The 11 Best Coffee Shops in Honolulu

here’s the deal: hawai’i is famous for its kona coffee, which hails from the kona region on the eastern side of the big island of hawai’i. While that might be a short plane ride from O’ahu, the city of Honolulu has nonetheless perfected the art and finesse of a good cup of coffee. Today, Honolulu’s best coffee shops serve local-style and Asian-influenced nitros, espressos, lattes, and cold drinks that delight coffee addicts and caffeine addicts alike. just ask anyone who has spent significant time here.

also: if you’re looking for a good cup of coffee in honolulu, you’ve come to the right place.

Reading: Best coffee in honolulu

Below, we highlight the best coffee shops in town, also known as the best places to drink kona coffee and other Hawaiian coffee blends in Honolulu and O’ahu in general.

The coffee at all of these cafes is excellent, so no matter where you end up going, you can’t go wrong. Bookmark this list later!

enjoy!

***

vintage island coffee

While Island Vintage Coffee has a few locations around the island, this Waikiki staple is one of the few places in Waikiki that opens before 7am. m., which is why it is always packed with jet lagged tourists.

In its walk-in cafe and newly expanded wine bar, IVC serves up some of the best coffee and breakfast bowls (sweet and savory) to an avid crowd. the cafe is overwhelmingly popular with tourists and locals alike because the coffee, poke, and popular açaí bowls are excellent.

As we wrote in our guide to the 8 best breakfast spots in Honolulu, we love their vegan poké and Hawaiian honey latte. more popular menu items for those who like sweetness in their coffee. they also make fantastic açaí bowls and salads.

  • expert advice

    island vintage is a great place to shop for local foodie souvenirs like chocolate covered macadamia nuts, local all-natural skin care brands, local salt, local chocolate, and of course, local coffee.

    Inventory is also very high quality. (These are high-end local sundries, not tourist trinkets.)

    ali’i coffee co

    ali’i coffee co is a tiny artisan coffee shop on a graffiti-strewn street near Chinatown that sells excellent coffee and original coffee-based beverages. we love their bright purple taro ube latte (shown above).

    The banana milk float is also amazing, made with cold brew, macadamia nut milk and mashed banana foam. order any of these items for the quintessential experience. All in all, both the coffee and the espresso ali’i are excellent.

    ali’i is a local coffee shop, very modern and unassuming, so you’ll want to come back for a new craft drink every time. (or at least that’s what we recommend).

    It’s not really “close” to anything, but it’s worth the bike ride from Waikiki or the 15-minute walk from the Honolulu Museum of Art.

    Just be aware that Ali’i is only open until 2:30pm. m. every day and closed on Sundays.

    kona coffee suppliers

    at its newly expanded location within the international market in waikiki, kona coffee purveyors offer coffee, breakfast and elegant desserts. It’s one of the best places in Waikiki to get fresh, crisp local kona coffee.

    They have a great seating area and a convenient location in the heart of tourist-ville, but the black sesame kouign-amann (also known as Breton cake) from b. patisserie in sf worth a walk around the neighborhood, even if you’re a local.

    (Breton pastries are a rare, crunchy, buttery French pastry that the New York Times once called “the fattest pastry in all of Europe.” This bakery makes one of the best in the world.)

    kona coffee purveyors also display beautiful latte art. if you’re the kind of person who likes a frothy graphic design drawn on top of your latte, this is the place for you.

    The ultra-modern checkout system makes grab-and-go a breeze, but the cafe faces the street, so there are plenty of people sitting and watching. In addition, they have free Wi-Fi.

    Keep in mind, though, that while this is also one of the best coffees on O’ahu, it’s also one of the most expensive. you get what you pay for i guess.

    kai hawaii coffee

    kai coffee hawaii has a few locations right in the heart of waikiki. As a result, cafe kai is really a drop-in, drop-out kind of place, and they have great kona and maui coffees to start your day off right.

    See also: 25 of Our Favorite Florida Coffee Shops and Roasters

    try the super nice and not too sweet kai latte, a macadamia nut latte made with two shots of espresso. It’s divine and a quintessential Honolulu treat that you’re unlikely to find on the mainland.

    kai also makes a great turmeric latte, and each drink can be made hot or iced. we love its cool packaging; They have a great selection of fresh ground coffee and cups available for purchase. these make great keepsakes!

    morning coffee + coffee

    the morning glass coffee has specialty kona and ka’u beers, as well as some tasty and super unique breakfast and lunch items like mac n cheese pancakes (some real!),oatmeal crème brûlée (yes, yes, yes!), and honey lilikoi shortbread cookies (to die for).

    For what it’s worth, the sound system’s playlist is also always on point.

    Adventurous coffee lovers should be sure to try the “sucker punch”: two shots of espresso mixed with cold-pressed lemonade. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s actually really good! On my last visit to the store, I asked the barista, hesitantly, “that can’t be good… can it?”

    Unfortunately, it reminded me that the bitterness of the coffee actually complements the flavor of the lemonade, and there is enough sugar in the mix to balance the flavor of those two astringent elements. try it for yourself and you will see. it’s crazy! (The only other place I’ve seen such a combination is Orlando. But this place is the OG!)

    also: make sure you go to the coffee manoa location! for some reason google keeps sending people to an old pop up location at fishcake in kaimuki. (It’s now home to another coffee shop called Bean About Town.)

    the correct location for morning glass coffee is 2955 e manoa rd (in the direction of the manoa falls trail).

    • expert advice

      my suggestion is to walk manoa falls in the morning and then go for coffee. a perfect day in the making!

      the halekulani bakery

      the halekulani bakery across the street from the keyless house is one of the best hidden gems in waikiki. here, you can buy excellent cappuccinos (above) and an incredible array of delicious European-inspired baked goods. (chocolate mousse with cassis, edamame bread and chocolate bonbons, to name just a few).

      Because the halekulani bakery is a classic pastry shop, it doesn’t initially seem very Hawaiian, until, of course, you try their excellent variety of Hawaiian coffees.

      The bakery infuses many of its products with local fruits and vegetables, such as taro and coconut. As a result, they make an excellent pineapple banana bread, one of the best on the island.

      True to the halekulani spirit, the bakery also occupies a beautiful modern space, with all-white walls and glass, with a beautiful communal wooden table in the center. It’s one of the few serene places to work on a laptop in Waikiki.

      Overall, it’s a great place for visitors who want to try Oahu’s best coffee and a world-class pastry to go with it.

      • expert advice

        ^ Up to that point: The Halekulani Bakery sells amazing baked goods that we’ve never seen anywhere else. take, for example, their excellent “brownie bread”, a dark chocolate loaf made with cocoa powder and infused with fluffy pillows of homemade chocolate ganache.

        It’s a classic baked bread that tastes like a brownie but isn’t too sweet and looks like whole grain rye. It’s amazing!

        Be sure to try it out if they aren’t out of stock by the time you get there. (trust me, you don’t want to miss this).

        coffee house with beer + foam

        the brew + foam cafe is located in a strange location inside a tattoo shop that isn’t really “close” to any big attractions, but don’t let that stop you from passing.

        This is a quirky coffee spot ideal for completists who like to explore every coffee shop in the areas they travel to. It also feels like a coffee shop for coffee lovers.

        We love the haupia (coconut) mocha, as well as the nitro cold brew. We also like the huge gluten-free waffles, which come topped with fruit and whipped cream.

        brew + foam also has another location in waialua on the north shore. check it out for a true “locals only” vibe.

        local joel

        local joe’s might be the only coffee shop in honolulu where you can write “aloha” on top of your latte, so cool! they serve kona, hamakua, kauai, and home-blended coffee, as well as an array of organic lattes.

        See also: The 12 Best Small Coffee Makers of 2022

        try their real Hawaiian mocha or the signature Thai tea latte (pictured above, it’s a cross between a turmeric latte, Thai iced tea and a hot American). both are super popular and unique.

        If you need a snack, try the best-selling “veggie power wrap,” a veggie bao wrap stuffed with hummus and avocado. It’s a good quick breakfast or lunch.

        They also sell delicious paleo chocolate chip cookies that go great with bulletproof coffee. You can enjoy them while sitting on the turquoise bench at Joe’s local marble table. then walk over to the pig and the lady for lunch.

        Note that local joe is in chinatown which can be a bit sketchy. however, it’s a reliable place to stop when you’re in the area.

        Most of the people who go to this cafe are locals, not tourists, so the turnover is quite fast. the cafe is closed on Sundays.

        island cafe

        Island Brew Cafe is known for its rich coffee drinks: think espresso shakes, blended lattes, and flavored espresso classics. the menu is huge. They also sell a variety of gluten-free and vegan food, which they serve all day.

        plus, with free wi-fi and a laid-back seaside vibe, every brewing spot on the island is a popular study spot and coffee shop for business meetings.

        island brew has two premium locations: one in the ala moana center and one in the hawaii kai mall. the latter has sea views and tables with umbrellas. (And it’s close to Hanauma Bay, so it’s a good place to grab a coffee and a light bite to eat after your morning snorkel.)

        try their signature mixed malabar mocha (creme de cacao, chocolate and caramel), which is super sweet but totally worth it. We also like their biscotti latte and dark chocolate mocha. People also love super rich “cream shakes” in flavors like pina colada, chai and matcha.

        • expert advice

          For a unique yet very sweet experience, try the macao: a mixture of condensed milk and cocoa cream. ask them to add a shot of espresso for a real treat. (that’s what you see in the image above).

          arvo coffee

          inside the salt at our kaka’aka market, arvo cafe is a small seasonal cafe showcasing local coffee and Australian-inspired light bites.

          Visit us before having lunch or dinner at the salt market. or grab a coffee to go and enjoy the sunset at ala moana beach park.

          unlike many other local cafes in the area that close early, arvo cafe is mercifully open until 5 p.m. m. every day.

          plus it’s just around the corner from the excellent local chocolate purveyor, lonohana estate, who make excellent thai drinking chocolate. (They always have free samples too, fwiw.)

          True to the owner’s Australian roots, arvo also makes avocado toast. They also sell very cool t-shirts.

          honolulu coffee

          honolulu coffee serves farm-to-cup kona coffee in a variety of styles, from foaming nitro cold brew to sumptuous lattes.

          This local coffee chain is something like the “starbucks” of honolulu. is widely franchised, consistent, and features a variety of creative, high-calorie coffee and tea beverages. (matcha latte, anyone?)

          An example of this is mele kalikimatcha, a colorful green Christmas drink made with homemade amai matcha and jasmine mint syrup. (Like many of the drinks on the menu, it can be served frozen, iced, or as a hot latte.)

          their beans are also roasted the day in honolulu. the smell is heavenly. All in all, this is a good staple for those who live by the maxim, “but first, coffee.”

          And don’t we all do it?

          ***

          Related: The 8 Best Breakfast Spots in Honolulu.

          Also: These 5 must-see O’ahu hikes are a must for any outdoor adventurer visiting the island.

          Finally: Our guide to the 25 best restaurants in Honolulu has international appeal. And if you’re looking to experience true Hawaiian shave ice on O’ahu, these are the best places to get it. 🙂

          See also: Top 20 quán cafe Vũng Tàu ĐÁNG ĐI NHẤT dành cho bạn

bhh

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