On an island where the majority of bars and restaurants belong to big chain hotels, The Brewseum is a rare indie gem. This family owned brewpub began as a way to serve visiting American Military officials a pint of honest Hawaiian beer. Their drafts come straight from the same family’s very own brewery, Home of the Brave, which is locally renowned as the best beer in Honolulu. When you walk into the bar, the first thing you’ll notice is a small museum’s worth of WWII memorabilia and photography covering the walls; the second thing you’ll register is the scent of free popcorn, offered to you by the extremely friendly servers. This little act of hospitality sets the tone for a night of excellent service, as the Brewseum is dedicated to giving their customers great experiences along with great beer. From trivia nights to live music, they schedule a range of nightly activities each week that you can check on their website, so you’re guaranteed a lively atmosphere whenever you turn up.
Price: Mid range
Opening hours: Tues-Thurs 5-10pm, Fri-St 5-11pm
Watch out for: the pepperoni and cheese pizza, and the variety of pretzels to accompany your handcrafted Honolulu beer
The Brewseum, 901 Waimanu St, Honolulu, HI, +808 799-2796
If you want to feel like an extra in a James Bond film for an evening, this intimate jazz bar is for you. Perfect for early evening drinks or an after-dinner nightcap, Lewers Lounge will add a touch of serious class to any evening, with its mod décor, smooth wood finishings, warmly subdued lighting, and tasteful live entertainment. They serve a superb variety of contemporary and classic cocktails, as well as a solid wine and spirits list, tempting appetizers and desserts. This is just the place to linger after hours over intimate conversation, low-key live music, and a dry martini.
Price: Fine Dining
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 7:30pm-1am
Watch out for: The to-die-for Chocolate Martini
Lewers Lounge, 2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI, +808 923-2311
Station Bar and Lounge
Located on Kapiolani Blvd within walking distance of several popular restaurants, Station Bar and Lounge is the place to go after dinner when you’re just warming up for the night. From live music to stand-up comedy to karaoke, there’s always something going on to keep your night rolling here. The vibrant atmosphere is only improved by the great cocktails, prepared by Station’s masterful mixologists and served with a smile. Check their website for an up-to-date list of events, and get ready for an uproarious good time that’ll get you out of your shell well into the wee hours.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 6pm-2am
Watch out for: the variety of local talent showcased on acoustic night
Station Bar and Lounge, 1726 Kapiolani Blvd, Honolulu, HI, +808 384-9963
Known by many as the friendliest bar in Waikiki, Wang Chung’s is the go-to bar for Waikiki locals. Wang’s wants its guests to simply kick back and relax Hawaiian-style, and their unpretentious, cheery decor creates the perfect climate to do just that. They’ve got a great list of cocktails, beer, and wine to help you unwind, and if you need something to nibble on with your drink, go for the Chinese Popcorn Chicken or the Cream Cheese Wontons. At Wang’s you’re always among friends, so put your feet up, sit back with a Mangotini, and pass the karaoke book around until you’ve all signed up for the silliest songs you can think of.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 5pm-2am
Watch out for: the Mangotini.
Wang Chung’s. 2424 Koa Ave, Honolulu, HI, +808 921-9176
The Beach Bar
Picture yourself lounging under a 111-year-old banyan tree, sheltering from the afternoon rays, sipping sweet Mai Tais and noshing on fleshy pineapple, all while a cadre of local musicians serenade you. Your island fantasy is a dream come true at Beach Bar. Part of the historic Moana Surfrider Hotel, which once welcomed the likes of Amelia Earheart, Frank Sinatra, and a young Prince of Wales, this paradisiacal place is made for a day of doing absolutely nothing, and doing it well. Mahalo.
Price: Mid-range to Fine Dining
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10:30am-12am
Watch out for: the Lava Flow cocktail
The Beach Bar, 2365 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI, +808-922-3111