Oahu, the “gathering place,” seems like an ideal spot to enjoy a brunch with family and friends. With the endless options in Honolulu, it seems like lunacy to venture outside of the city in search of stellar restaurants. However, some of Oahu’s best kept secrets and most incredible breakfast menus can be found in all corners of the island. From the surf-central North Shore to its windward and leeward sides, you will surely find a wide range of fabulous brunch options on the island.
Affordable and Delicious on the North Shore: The Hukilau Café nestled in Laie, has been described as one of the best hole in the wall restaurants on the island. Here, brunch is served from 7 am until 11 am, offering ravenous guests breakfast dishes such as roasted veggies, eggs-any-way, pancakes, French toast, breakfast sandwiches, fried rice, loco moco, teriyaki bowls and even corned beef hash and eggs. Here, you can op off your breakfast with some passion fruit, orange juice or some hot cocoa. The best part is this restaurant is incredibly affordable, and as a result, is a favorite of locals on the North Shore.
Tasty Comfort Food: Unique and creative Kono’s Big Wave Café has a varied menu full of dreamy brunch items. Begin with the divine vanilla macadamia coffee, followed by their famous kalua pork burritos or breakfast sandwiches. They also offer enormous waffles, bagels, turkey melts, avocado BLTS, and a long list of scrumptious milkshake flavors such as the pineapple vanilla, Oreo cookie and coconut cream pie. Though seating is limited on busy days, the brunch menu is served all day and is worth the wait.
Laid-back Family Style Dining: Papa Ole’s Kitchen is another favorite on the North Shore, where locals and visitors can feel as if they were in their own dining room. From the fried potatoes to the sweet bread, pancakes, plate lunches, loco moco and the Spam breakfast sandwich, Papa Ole’s has a distinctly Hawaii feel reflected in every authentic dish.
All-day Organic and Vegan Brunch: Open from 9 am until 4 pm, The Beet Box Café serves fresh dishes to late risers who value organic and vegetarian plates. Brunch is served until closing time. The brightly painted dining hall allows guests to enjoy decorative artwork as well as same some food during their wait. From raw fruit and veggies juices to smoothies and teas, the Beet Box Café also serves in-house baked goods like the Three Birds Bread, lilikoi cheesecake and the mint chocolate chip cookies, all made with the finest vegan ingredients.
Casual Brunching on the North Shore: Whether you sit indoors or on the patio, the cozy Café Haleiwa will charm you immediately. Brunch is served from 7 am to 12:30 pm, except on Sundays when the hours extend to 2 pm. With a genuine American flare, the café serves buttermilk pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, veggies omelets, and sweet bread French toast. There is also mahimahi and eggs, steak and eggs and a variety of Mexican breakfast favorites for those who want a little more spice to their morning.
Sweet and Savory Crepes in Windward Oahu: Crepes have long been a popular brunch dish, thanks to the European influence in Hawaii. At Crepes Na Ka Oi in Kailua, visitors can peruse through an array of sweet and savory crepes items on the menu. Starting with rich coffees and numerous spiced teas, the crepe menu is laden with a wide range of accompaniments such as mushrooms, pulled pork, chicken curry, French ham, avocado, salsa, spinach, caramelized onions and more. These savory flat-cakes will delight the senses and nourish guests before a day of adventure. For those who want to sample the sweeter plates, there are crepes with dark chocolate macadamia, berry toppings, ice cream, strawberries, guava jelly, cinnamon apples, Nutella, banana, just to name a few. With high ceilings and a simple wooden interior, Crepes Na Ka Oi is the perfect place to enjoy brunch beginning at 7 am every day except Tuesday.
Local Restaurant Chain: Ideal for both early risers and late diners, the Koa Pancake House is open daily from 6:30 am to 2 pm. With over 30 kinds of omelets and egg dishes, guests can also order sweet bread French toast, pancakes (such as the lush red velvet stack), crepes, waffles, burgers, sandwiches and salads–this place has it all. There are eight Koa Pancake House restaurants throughout Oahu; so wherever you are on the island, a Koa Pancake House is always near you.
Simple and Unpretentious: Smack-dab in central Oahu, brunch from the Rise and Shine Café can provide an energizing kick-off to the day. Serving brunch from 7 am to 11 am (and all day long on Sundays), visitors are offered eggs Benedicts and potatoes, homemade granola, pancakes or French toast with fruit, omelets, loco mocos and tropical fruits. Practically any item that should be listed on a basic brunch menu can be found here.
Late Brunch in Central Oahu: Ideal for those who prefer to easy into their day long after the sun has risen, the Waialua Bakery is open from 10 am to 5 pm. Reminiscent of a bright little beach shack, this bakery sells freshly cookies and breads as well as a wide variety of juices, treats, snacks and sandwiches. Their breakfast smoothies are ranked in categories such as “mellow” or “tangy” so your taste buds know what they are in for.
By: Vacheh Joakim