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10 Best cafes and restaurants for breakfast, brunch and coffee in Honolulu



Great breakfasts are definitely a strong point for Honolulu, and considering all of the things to see and do here, it's no surprise that a good breakfast is an important way to start your day- even on vacation. Delicious and hearty breakfasts come in all forms on the island. If you're in search of a quick bite or cup of Hawaiian coffee at a small cafe, you're in luck. For those looking for a more upscale meal to start the day, you'll have no trouble finding a tried and true restaurant with a delightful ambiance. In Honolulu it's even possible to find breakfast around the clock, to start a day early or get a late night fix.

In the heart of Honolulu you'll find upscale breakfast staples like the Hau Tree Lanai, where you'll be overlooking a white sand beach and the Pacific, with views of Diamond Head crater in the distance. On the other end of the spectrum, the Wailana Coffee house is low key and casual, serving breakfast 24-hours a day and is a favorite with locals.

For those in search of the quintessential coffee house or cafe, Bogart's Cafe is a favorite for Honolulu hole-in-the-walls. Another coffee house favorite is Mocha Java nestled in Ward Center, although you can get food quick here, you can also sit down and enjoy healthy food and coffee in a casual yet classy atmosphere.

At 10 Best, we're all about guiding you through a perfect day, and it starts with breakfast.


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Hawaii's only all vegetarian natural food store has three locations around the island of Oahu. In addition to a thorough array of grocery shopping, each Down to Earth has a well thought out salad bar as well as a hot food bar open from early morning to late at night. While the salad bar selections remain the same throughout the day, the hot food bar changes from breakfast foods to dishes fit for lunch and dinner. The food here is always healthy, much of it is organic, and it's a really satisfying meal that you can enjoy inside or outdoors at tables, or take it to go.


Liliha Bakery
Photo courtesy of O'ahu Visitors Bureau


This old-style eatery has tons of character, and you'll enjoy stepping in to watch the short order cooks work their magic. If you want to grab a homey breakfast or a burger, have a seat at the counter and place your order. This is a famous local breakfast spot. If you want a slice of pie, savor it there, or have it wrapped up for home. They also sell terrific cakes, flaky pastries, and other baked goods, such as brownies and doughnuts. Their coco puffs � something like profiteroles but with the addition of chocolate pudding � are incredible, but unfortunately, they go fast.


Waioli Tea Room & Bakery


In the 1920s, girls were instructed in homemaking at what is now the Waioli Tea Room. Today, that tradition of domestic gentility continues at this charming eatery. Known for its high tea and scrumptious desserts, the establishment also serves a delicious breakfast. Along with eggs and bacon, patrons may choose from pastries, fruit, omelets, Belgian waffles, frittatas, breakfast burritos, and quiche. Naturally, the restaurant's own special coffees and teas are served, and group events are welcomed. This is a highly popular place, so reservations are recommended. You can dress up slightly even for breakfast, to make it a little more fun. After all, how many tea rooms are around these days?


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All things baked and wonderful come from Leonard's Bakery in Honolulu, a local staple for sweet treats out of the oven. They're famous for their malasadas, sugar dusted donuts. Cake's, pies, cookies, savory wraps, pastries and breads, Leonard's has it all. Drop in for a box of whatever you want to start the day or end it as a dessert. Any time of any day of the week, you're bound to find a gathering of locals picking up there favorite treats, a testament to the quality and flavors of their sweet treats. This is hands down the most famous and sought after bakery in Honolulu.




Dining beneath a graceful, arching hau tree by the water � could there be any more gracious setting? This outdoor venue is located in a hotel and delights diners with its idyllic ambiance and then confirms the pleasure with delicious cuisine. The Hau Tree is known for its wonderful breakfasts that offer traditional breakfast fare with a Hawaiian twist. Dinner, especially at sunset, is sublime, and fresh fish is de rigueur. Grilled, steamed, or blackened, its delicate flavor matches the setting; you'll also find shrimp and crabcakes to sample. Other enticing options include an amazing rack of lamb and wonderful vegetarian dishes.




Set along the North Shore, this fantastic coffee shop appeals to folks with its laid-back ambiance. The rustic venue is adorned with mosaic floors and burlap sacks full of fragrant coffee, and the house roaster adds to the aroma as it prepares the beans for blending and grinding. Hawaiian coffee, naturally, is the specialty, and a variety of light fare is available for those who require a bit of sustenance. In addition to coffees, there's tea, smoothies, and other healthy custom made herbal and fruit blends. Pastries, both savory and sweet, are available as a start to the day. A terrific hangout.


Wailana Coffee House
Photo courtesy of tasty island


Since it never closes, this coffee shop is a perpetual favorite with those looking for sustenance in the wee hours. yet the breakfast, which consists of traditional fare is a tried and true go to meal with locals looking to start the day with a hearty breakfast. Its relaxed ambiance welcomes a laid-back crowd, and the all-day breakfast pulls in its share of satisfied patrons too. Ideal in the morning, the comforting aroma of bacon and eggs also appeals to diners looking for a late-night snack. Lunch and dinner are offered as well, and you'll find karaoke and live music in the cocktail lounge, come evening.


Mocha Java Café


At this fantastic caf�, you can either step in for a smoothie or a full-bodied cup or coffee, or you can stay awhile and have a light meal as well. This is Honolulu's answer to the classic city coffee shop. Cr�pes are a specialty, both savory and sweet, and you can also pick up an omelet, salad, sandwich, or stir-fried dish. Cakes and cookies make an appearance as well, as do some great vegetarian options, including vegan, low-fat, and tofu-based fare. Consider Mocha Java a stop-off while you run errands, or make it a destination for a satisfying, tasty meal.


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Diamond Head


Bogart's is one of those hole-in-the-wall places that is a tried and true reliable joint for locals in search of that perfect breakfast. Whether taken to eat on the go or eaten at one of their small sidewalk or indoor tables, Bogart's is a not to miss place for anyone vising Honolulu. The tiny cafe has an extensive hand written menu on the wall, and although it's quite varied and long, everything is really good. The coffees are also great and they have every type of espresso you could want. A real hit is the breakfast bagel sandwich, can't go wrong with that.




Cafe Haleiwa is a North Shore staple, owned and operation by a family who's lived there for decades. The cafe has been open for over a decade too, and is a favorite with locals and visitors alike. Until recently the cafe served breakfast only, which was always good. The breakfast menu offered standard breakfast fare like pancakes and eggs, in addition many Mexican breakfast dishes. Just a few months ago Cafe Haleiwa opened for dinner, and is now one of the best dinner spots in the town. Their food is gourmet and still decently priced. The dinner menu offers unique dishes such as savory thyme cheesecake served with greens and fruit, ginger potato soup, and main dishes of fresh local fish, ribs, and steak. It's bring your own beer and wine here, which can be purchased next door at the adjacent wine shop.


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Meet Jade Eckardt

Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jade has traveled the world and doesn't intend to stop, yet the Hawaiian Islands are still her favorite place. She spent seven years living on Oahu and...  More About Jade

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