Food & Drink

The 13 Best Brunch Spots in Honolulu

Summer Nakaishi Published On 07/13/2015 Published On 07/13/2015

Traditionally, breakfast in Honolulu = loco moco, but you’d have to be... well, loco to miss out on the slew of sweet new brunch spots that’ve opened here lately. That’s why we’ve done you a favor and rounded up the 13 best ones in town. Feast your eyes...
 

Tucker & Bevvy Breakfast

Kaimuki
What you’re getting: Roast beef hash; mushroom rosti
Named after the Australian slang for “food and drink,” this Sydney-inspired eatery specializes in fresh, healthy ingredients like kale and quinoa salad with roasted kabocha and two poached eggs. But those with a sweet tooth will find that the Tim Tam Waffle, a light and crispy beer-battered waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, maple syrup, and chocolate malt biscuits, will do more than satisfy.

Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop

Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop

Downtown/Chinatown
What you’re getting: "Milk & Cereal" Pancakes; Creole Shrimp n' Grits
No need to set your alarm, because this Southern-inspired nook serves Kim Chee Bloody Mary and Pound Cake French Toast every day until 2pm. Just don’t get too attached, because Chef Brian Chan (formerly of Restaurant Epic) shakes things up by updating the menu every three months to accommodate the island’s seasonal produce.

Koko Head Café

Koko Head Café

Kaimuki
What you’re getting: Cornflake French Toast; Dumplings All Day Wong (dumplings of the day)
Helmed by fashion designer-turned-Top Chef finalist Chef Lee Anne Wong, the old 12th Avenue Grill has been transformed into a bright and beachy eatery, where pancakes are fluffy and moist, and eggs Benedict get an island-inspired update with poi biscuits, luau leaves, and poi hollandaise. Go with an empty stomach (or friends who like sharing), because you’ll want to sample one of everything.

Moena Café

Moena Café

Hawaii Kai
What you’re getting: Short Rib Loco Moco; Strawberry & Milk Pancakes
After hitting the hiking trails, stop by Moena at Koko Marina Center to take advantage of its all-day breakfast menu. Run by husband and wife team Eric and Nicole Chang, the modern eatery offers brunch classics with their personal touch. Try the pineapple sausage hash, served with potatoes, onions, and two eggs; or the Cinnamon Roll Pancakes topped with a whirl of cream cheese syrup.
 

Goofy Café & Dine

Waikiki
What you’re getting: Big Island Honey French Toast; Homemade green veggie juice of the day
Named for the right-footed surfing stance (not the Disney character), this beachside café’s wooden ceiling fans and racked surfboards make you feel like you’re dining in your best friend’s beach house. The small café offers both healthy and hearty breakfast options every day until 11pm. Try its acai bowl with local fruit or the kalua pig eggs Benedict, served on a taro muffin with a raw kale salad and Okinawan sweet potatoes. Each bite will make you forget the extra minutes spent hunting for meter parking in Waikiki.

The Nook Neighborhood Bistro

The Nook Neighborhood Bistro

Manoa
What you’re getting: Mochiko Chicken and Waffles; Hamakua Mushroom Scramble
Tucked away in the corner of Puck’s Alley, this intimate eatery was the pipe dream of two childhood friends who used a crowdfunding platform to bring Malasada Breakfast Sandwiches, Haupia Oatmeal, and Pork Belly Benedict to the masses. Or at least to however many people can fit in this 700sqft café that offers a proportionately small menu, and homemade touches like house-made hot sauce, Shinsato Farm pork sausage, and more.

Morning Glass Coffee + Cafe

Morning Glass Coffee + Cafe

Manoa
What you’re getting: Macaroni + Cheese Pancakes; Kim Chee Fried Rice Omelette
Built like a house with one roof and two walls, this breezy eatery is known for its Chemex-filtered Stumptown coffee and homemade baked goods. On weekends, sip on a cinnamon latte while braving the wait-list before sinking your teeth into a homemade buttermilk biscuit with Shinsato Farm pork sausage patty, over-easy Kalei eggs, and country-style pork gravy. And don’t forget, a side of applewood-smoked bacon is always a good idea.

Café Kaila

Café Kaila

Kaimuki
What you’re getting: Belgian Malted Waffle; buttermilk pancakes
Driving past Market City Shopping Center, on any given day, you’re likely to see a line curling around this brunch institution. For good reason. If you’re looking for dependable breakfast staples, stop by for Chrissie Kaila Castillo’s consistently tasty pancakes and waffles. Or, if you’re in the mood for a little variety, opt for the breakfast quesadilla or cheesy frittata, made with local vegetables.

Kaimana Farm Café

Kaimana Farm Café

Kaimuki
What you’re getting: Soufflé omelette with creamy risotto; caramelized banana French toast
Opened by Junko Ikawa, who fell in love with the islands while on a foreign exchange program, the cozy, rustic café offers a Japanese-influenced breakfast menu every day except Tuesdays. Settle into the repurposed wood-paneled booths in front of the picture window and enjoy a kinako banana smoothie or a Spam spinach Benedict while you people-watch the day away.

Bogart’s Café

Bogart’s Café

Diamond Head
What you’re getting: Acai bowl; breakfast bagel (eggs, cheddar and Jack cheese, topped with tomato and spinach on your bagel flavor of choice)
After you’ve scaled Diamond Head or swam at Kaimana Beach, hit the ATM and then hit this popular cash-only breakfast spot with an extensive menu, including taro pancakes topped with haupia sauce, and massive acai bowls. On an island where the icy Brazilian superfruit smoothie reigns supreme, Bogart’s generous ratio of acai to fruit and granola is one of the reasons the line stretches out the door.  
 

Cream Pot Breakfast & Brunch

Waikiki
What you’re getting: Soufflé pancake; Burgundy Beef Stew Omelette
With its white miniature knickknacks,  ace doily coasters, and wrought-iron bistro chairs, this breakfast spot gets nearly as much attention for its hobbit-like, French countryside decor as its Japanese-infused menu. Fuel up on its Maguro eggs Benedict, which boast ahi carpaccio topped with avocado, daikon sprouts, and a shiso leaf, served on a bed of rice. If you’re lucky, snag a table in the outdoor garden patio, and watch kayakers sweep through the Ala Wai Canal.

Sweet E’s

Sweet E’s

Kaimuki
What you’re getting: Stuffed cream cheese blueberry French toast; corned beef eggs Benedict
Hidden in Kilohana Square, this small brunch spot tends to pack a crowd on weekends. Luckily, it's open every day to fulfill your eggs Benedict and waffle needs. Try the Extreme Mess, which is exactly like what it sound like: all your favorite breakfast items -- hash browns, sausage, ham, bacon, onions, and peppers -- scrambled with eggs to create one giant breakfast explosion.

Liliha Bakery

Liliha Bakery

Liliha
What you’re getting: Hotcakes; butter rolls with neon jelly
Established nine years before Hawaii joined the Union, the original Liliha Bakery has been a mainstay for the past 65 years. Sit at retro bar stools and watch longtime waitresses sizzle Portuguese sausage, scrambled eggs, and butter rolls on the flat-top grill 24 hours a day, every day except Mondays. On your way out, don’t forget to grab one or 12 of its famous Cocoa Puffs. You know, for later (and totally not for the car ride home). 

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1. Tucker & Bevvy Breakfast 449 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815 (Kaimuki)

Tucker & Bevvy Breakfast (Aussie slang for "food and drink") is a mix Sydney-inspired local fare, with an emphasis on fresh, healthy ingredients. You will see a Kale Fried Rice grace the specials quite often, but for those with more of a sweet tooth there's also the Tim Tam waffle, a light and crispy beer-battered waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, maple syrup and chocolate malt biscuits.

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2. Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop 1030 Smith St, Honolulu, HI 96817 (Downtown)

Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop does some truly killer brunch items, like kim chee Bloody Marys and pound cake French toast. But we're not just talking Sunday brunch, chef Brian Chan (formerly of Restaurant Epic) serves it up everyday until 2 pm.

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3. Koko Head Cafe 1145 12th Ave Ste C, Honolulu, HI 96816 (Kaimuki)

Led by Top Chef finalist chef Lee Anne Wong, this brunchery offers up fluffy pancakes, as well as island-takes on classic breakfasts, like eggs Benedict with poi biscuits, luau leaves and poi hollandaise. Plenty of pan-Asian eats are on the menu, and all offerings are so unique that you may have to order several extra entrees for the table.

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4. Moena Cafe 7192 Kalanianaole Hwy Ste D101, Honolulu, HI 96825 (Hawaii Kai)

Run by husband-and-wife team Eric and Nicole Chang, this modern eatery offers breakfast all day. Offering up brunch classics with a personal touch, the duo has a menu full of things like pineapple sausage hash, served with potatoes, onions and two eggs, and cinnamon roll pancakes topped with a whirl of cream cheese syrup.

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5. Goofy Cafe & Dine 1831 Ala Moana Blvd Ste 201, Honolulu, HI 96815 (Waikiki)

This beachside cafe makes you feel as if you're dining in your best friends beach house, with wooden ceiling fans and racked surfboards decorating the room. The small spot offers both healthy and hearty breakfast options everyday until 11 pm, so you have plenty of time to find meter parking in Waikiki before it closes.

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6. The Nook Neighborhood Bistro 1035 University Ave, Honolulu, HI 96826 (Manoa)

This small eatery brings malasada breakfast sandwiches, haupia oatmeal and pork-belly benedict to as many people as can fit in this 700-sq. ft. cafe.

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7. Morning Glass Coffee + Cafe 2955 E Manoa Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822 (Manoa)

Pre-made coffee doesn't exist in this breezy Manoa Rd coffeeshop—whether they're making espresso drinks like macchiatos or pour-over cups, this coffeehouse does individually filtered, brewed-to-order cups of joe every time. Patrons can choose between a plethora of Stumptown roasts or a Hawaiian coffee-of-the-day for their cup, which takes about five minutes to brew. Breakfast and lunch are available with a changing list of decadent specials and dishes sourced from local island ingredients, like their Kalei eggs which are fresh every day. Bakery treats are available for people on-the-go, but with plentiful seating inside and out on the front patio, why would you rush?

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8. Cafe Kaila 2919 Kapiolani Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96826 (Kaimuki)

Chrissie Kaila Castillo’s cafe has got dependable breakfast classics, but if you’re not feeling pancakes and waffles, go for the breakfast quesadilla or cheesy frittata, made with local vegetables.

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9. Kaimana Farm Cafe 845 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816 (Kaimuki)

The menu at this cozy and rustic cafe is local fare with a distinctly Japanese influence, meaning you'll find items like a kinako banana smoothie or a Spam spinach Benedict.

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10. Bogart’s Café 3045 Monsarrat Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815 (Diamond Head)

This cash-only breakfast spot has an extensive menu, including taro pancakes with haupia syrup, and massive acai bowls with a generous acai to fruit and granola ratio.

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11. Cream Pot Breakfast & Brunch 444 Niu St, Honolulu, HI 96815 (Waikiki)

This quaint little spot gets as much notice for its hobbit-like, French countryside decor as their Japanese-infused menu. Their maguro eggs Benedict boasts ahi carpaccio, topped with avocado, daikon sprouts, and a shiso leaf, served on a bed of rice, and is best enjoyed in their garden patio over looking the Ala Wei.

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12. Sweet E's 1016 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816 (Kaimuki)

This small spot in Kiliohana Square has a large crowd on weekends, but luckily they serve up their egg creations all week long. Try the Extreme Mess, it's exactly what it sounds like: hash browns, sausage, ham, bacon, onions, and peppers all scrambled with eggs to create one giant breakfast explosion.

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13. Liliha Bakery 515 N Kuakini St, Honolulu, HI 96817 (Liliha)

This Honolulu mainstay has been around for 65 years... That's nine years longer than Hawaii has been in the Union. Come by for breakfast 24 hours a day - except Mondays - and odn't forget to grab one (or a dozen) of their famous coca puffs on your way out.

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