Whether you’re drawn to the laid back culture, Ohana, Ho’oponopono, surfing or just need another foodie vacation to add to your bucket list, Kaimuki offers a slightly hipster vibe far from the tourist traps. So if you’re looking to avoid the pricey restaurants and cookie cutter vacation shops, look no further. Honolulu has a hidden indie culture just waiting to be discovered.
Tucked in a corner of O’ahu, Kaimuki is adjacent to the Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium, Diamond Head and the Kahala Mall, so you can still get your fill of all the Honolulu tourist attractions if needed.
Here is our list of hot spots in Kaimuki for shopping, creative local dishes and our favorite cup of coffee.
The Best Breakfast
Leahi Health: This little cafe and smoothie joint has nutrient packed foods to help fuel your day. We love the kitschy design, prices and the feel good from eating crazy good on vacation.
The Best Authentic Hawaiian Food
Kaimuki Superette: If you’re feeling like you need the surf and sun and something fresh and light stop in this little cafe. This small white building with the turquoise door is one of the many restaurants on Waialae Ave. While it may not look like much this cafe sources local food and offers seasonal options.
Town: So local that the dinner menu changes daily due to availability of local ingredients, there are usually a few things you can count on at Town Restaurant. An industrial feel, new american and Italian foods and everything being absolutely delicious.
Mud Hen Water: An array of authentic Hawaiian foods with coconut, banana, pineapple and all the tropical flavors, you can count on a Mud Hen Water for brunch or dinner and a warm U’ala donut.
The Hidden Chinese Food Culture of Hawaii
Koko Head Cafe: Summon your inner King Fu Panda and settle in with the best dumplings in town. Steamed, fried or served in broth, they feature dumplings of the day and a cute diner atmosphere.
Happy Days: Dim Sum anyone? Within minutes of entering this Chinese restaurant a wheeled cart can be rolled to your table and you could be sampling the best dim sum around.
The Best Shopping
Sugarcane: If you’re looking for gifts or small luxuries you can check out the Sugarcane instagram for a pics of the inventory or go for a browse. If you find too many things to toe home, they are happy to shop… always a a nice perk!
The Best Coffee
The Curb: A cute coffee place with specialty coffees and an excellent cold brew. Still flaunting it’s local charm, it’s yet to be discovered by too many tourists, so get there while you can.