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The Best Coffee in Honolulu and Waikiki: 9 Incredible Cafes

Are you looking for the best coffee in Honolulu and Waikiki? This guide from a Hawaii local has all of the coolest cafes in town!

Two hands holding pink bouquet of flowers from Pua Hana and a to-go cup of coffee from Arvo, one of the best places to get coffee in Honolulu and Waikiki
Photo Courtesy of Arvo Cafe

Waikiki and Honolulu have more than their fair share of incredible coffee shops. You can easily stop at a different café every single morning of your trip, and you’ll never run out of options. After all, if there’s one thing that Hawaii is known for, it’s coffee.

overheat shot of espresso cup filled with coffee beans on a pile of coffee beans

Hawaii Coffee-Related Words to Know

For the most part, Hawaii’s coffee scene is pretty easy to navigate. Unlike other local foods, like poke and shave ice, that have lengthy lists of unfamiliar words, there are only a few at Waikiki and Honolulu coffee shops.

Macadamia Nut Milk: Just like almond milk or cashew milk, macadamia nut milk is milk from macadamia nuts. Given that Hawaii produces about 40 million pounds of macadamia nuts each year, it should come as no surprise to find macadamia nut milk at some Waikiki and Honolulu coffee shops.

Matcha: Powdered green tea leaves

Ohia Lehua Honey: Rarely found on Honolulu coffee shop menus, ohia lehua honey is honey from the rare native Hawaiian ohia lehua blossom. It has a smooth, spreadable texture, unlike the typical runny viscosity of normal honey.

Pandan: A sweet, green Southeast Asian leaf

Taro: A root vegetable widely used in native Hawaiian cuisine and occasionally used in Waikiki coffee shops.

Ube: Filipino purple yam

Vietnamese-Style Coffee: A type of coffee typically made with coffee beans sourced from Vietnam, brewed through a phin filter, and added to a condensed milk-drizzled glass

Where Can You Find the Best Coffee in Honolulu and Waikiki?

You can find delicious coffee quite literally anywhere in town – from fancy hotels to unassuming holes-in-the-wall. Honolulu and Waikiki are just overflowing with fantastic cafes!

Cappuccino from Honolulu Coffee with bouquet of roses in the background
Photo Courtesy of Honolulu Coffee

Honolulu Coffee

Honolulu Coffee is a classic. There are five café locations scattered across Honolulu and Waikiki in shopping malls, business districts, and hotels. And they can make pretty much any type of coffee drink you can dream of, including ones you may not have heard of, like a Gibraltar or a side car.

But surprisingly, those cafés aren’t the coolest part of Honolulu Coffee’s Oahu presence. Also in downtown Honolulu, you’ll find the Honolulu Coffee Experience Center. There, you can learn the history of coffee, watch the coffee roasting process, and order from an extensive list of coffees (and teas, smoothies, and breakfast items). It’s, without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Honolulu.

Addresses:

Experience Center: 1800 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Downtown Honolulu Location: 1001 Bishop St, Honolulu, HI 96813

Ala Moana Shopping Center Location: 1450 3 Ala Moana Boulevard Unit #3066 Level, Honolulu, HI 96814

Moana Surfrider Hotel Location: 2365 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Prince Waikiki Hotel Location: 100 Holomoana St, Honolulu, HI 96815

Sheraton Waikiki Hotel Location: 2255 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

cappucino and kouign amann pastry from Kona Coffee Purveyors, one of the best coffee shops in Waikiki
Photo Courtesy of Kona Coffee Purveyors

Kona Coffee Purveyors | b. patisserie

This indoor-outdoor café at Waikiki’s International Marketplace will charm you as soon as you see it. The warm wood, the smell of coffee, and the bright Hawaii sunshine make for the most welcoming atmosphere. At Kona Coffee Purveyors, your perfect espressos, lattes, and flat whites await.

Given that you’re probably reading the article for the coffee (after all, that’s what the title says), you might think that’s all the information you need to know. But no. You don’t want to leave Kona Coffee Purveyors without a pastry – or more specifically, the kouign amann.

The kouign amann (pronounced sort of like “queen ah-mohn”) is my favorite part of visiting Kona Coffee Purveyors. Sourced from the critically acclaimed San Francisco bakery, b. patisserie, this buttery, flaky dessert is one of the best bites of food I’ve ever had on Oahu.

Address: Kuhio Avenue Mall Entrance – International Marketplace, 2330 Kalākaua Ave #160, Honolulu, HI 96815

Frozen coffee beverage with little orange paper umbrella from Morning Glass Coffee
Photo Courtesy of Morning Glass Coffee

Morning Glass Coffee

Settled just a few blocks from the University of Hawaii Manoa location, Morning Glass Coffee is one of those spots that has a recognizable name – partly due to the social media savviness of the nearby college students and partly because their coffee is so good that people just want to talk about it!

While many of the best Waikiki and Honolulu coffee shops are committed to using Hawaiian coffee (and for good reason – it’s delicious!), Morning Glass Coffee offers its patrons coffee options from all over the world – from Ethiopia to Honduras to Indonesia. Quite a lot of variety for your morning cappuccino or cold brew!

And don’t forget to grab some breakfast while you’re at Morning Glass Coffee as well! They’re known for their mac + cheese pancakes and breakfast burritos, in particular. As a matter of fact, many of their breakfast items often sell out, so be sure to get there early if you can!

Address: 2955 E Manoa Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822

pair of to-go coffee drinks from Island Vintage Coffee sitting in sand at the beach
Photo Courtesy of Island Vintage Coffee

Island Vintage Coffee

Island Vintage Coffee is one of my favorite coffee shops in Honolulu and Waikiki. They also have the cutest ambience, with its wooden walls and coffee mugs galore, but more importantly, they’re one of the few Honolulu coffee shops that uses 100% Kona coffee.

As for how those luxurious local beans are prepared, you’ve got a few different options to choose from. For hot drinks, feel free to get your classic cappuccino or latte, or go for something a little different with a Hawaiian honey latte. And if it’s just too hot outside and you’re hoping for an iced drink to cool down, their array of frozen Kona coffee options is sure to please.

But before you leave, there’s just one more thing that you’ll want to buy from Island Vintage Coffee Roasters: an acai bowl! There are five different acai bowl options, and I have to say, they’re all incredible. Topped with fresh fruit and served in an adorable Island Vintage Coffee mug (if you dine-in, rather than take-out), it’s one of my favorite acai bowls on the island.

Addresses:

Location in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center: 2301 Kalākaua Ave #C215, Honolulu, HI 96815

Location in Ala Moana Shopping Center: 1450 Ala Moana Blvd #1128, Honolulu, HI 96814

Blue to-go cup from Kai Coffee Hawaii with a cappuccino. The cup is perched on a lava rock wall with a blurry beach in the background.
Photo Courtesy of Kai Coffee Hawaii

Kai Coffee Hawaii

With five locations spread throughout Honolulu and Waikiki, there’s always going to be a Kai Coffee Hawaii near you. From beaches to shopping centers to hotels, this local Honolulu coffee shop is thriving! Plus, you can even visit their roasting facility (and its walk-up window) for the freshest coffee drinks around.

If there’s one thing that Kai Coffee Hawaii is known for, it’s its Kai Latte. Made with macadamia nuts, you’ll get to enjoy the taste of the islands with your morning cup of joe. And why not make it a one-stop-breakfast-shop by adding one of their delicious acai bowls or breakfast wraps to your order as well.

Addresses:

Location at Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa: 2424 Kalākaua Ave #129, Honolulu, HI 96815

Location at Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach: 2490 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Location at the Waikiki Shopping Plaza: 2250 Kalākaua Ave K4, Honolulu, HI 96815

Location at Queen’s Arbor: 2490 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Roastery and Walk-Up Window Location: 525 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Flatlay of Arvo Cafe coffee drinks, including matcha lattes, charcoal lattes, and normal lattes. Car keys with shell keychains are interspersed with the lattes.
Photo Courtesy of Arvo Cafe

Arvo Café

Located in the trendy SALT at Our Kakaako, Arvo Café is known for two things: coffee and avocado toast.

First, let’s talk about the coffee. While Arvo Café can make any of your favorite caffeinated drinks, they’re also one of the only Waikiki or Honolulu coffee shops that offers fun flavor twists. Try the matcha latte, lavender latte, or charcoal latte if you’re looking for something a little more out of the box.

But no trip to Arvo Café would be complete without some avocado toast to go with your morning cup of caffeine. Topped with arugula, local cherry tomatoes, and feta, it’s simple, yet delicious.

Address: 324 Coral St Suite 1A-104b, Honolulu, HI 96813

interior of The Curb Kaimuki, one of the best places to get coffee in Honolulu, complete with a speckled counter top and bold green wallpaper accent wall
Photo Courtesy of The Curb Kaimuki and Keep It Kaimuki

The Curb Kaimuki

Kaimuki in general has lots of great foodie spots. Home to Koko Head Café, one of the best brunch spots in Honolulu, and Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery, an incredible place to get malasadas, it only makes sense that there’s a fantastic coffee shop in the area too. And that honor goes to The Curb Kaimuki.

The Curb Kaimuki actually started as a coffee food truck (hence, the name), but it was so successful that its brick-and-mortar location popped up soon after. And a lot of the business’ success has to do with the owner, Sumner Ohye, who eats, drinks, and sleeps coffee. It’s safe to say that he knows his stuff – and that you’ll get some next-level coffee at his Honolulu coffee shop.

You can find all of your favorite coffee drinks here – lattes, macchiatos, cortados, you name it – all brewed to perfection. And if you’d like a little something different, try one of their seasonal drinks, which often feature fun flavors like pandan and kabocha squash.

Address: 3408 Waialae Ave Suite 103, Honolulu, HI 96816

hand of tattooed man serving coffee in a glass at Alii Coffee Co.
Photo Courtesy of Alii Coffee Co.

Alii Coffee Co.

Alii Coffee Co. has three locations spread throughout Honolulu and Waikiki, and although each one has its own unique personality, they all feel warm and welcoming.

This local coffee shop is where you’ll want to go for a fun twist on your coffee. From raspberry and coconut to lavender and ube, there are all sorts of fun flavors in Alii Coffee Co.’s coffee concoctions.

If you do feel like picking up a bite to eat while you’re at it, you won’t be disappointed. The avocado toast and breakfast sandwich are just a couple of crowd favorites.

Addresses:

Location in Downtown Honolulu: 35 S Beretania St., Honolulu, HI 96813

Location in Ward Village: 1200 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814

Location in Courtyard by Marriott Waikiki Beach: 400 Royal Hawaiian Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

close up of a cappuccino and a little cat figurine beside it from TRY Coffee

TRY Coffee

TRY Coffee isn’t just one of those coffee shops that you’ll just stumble across. It’s one that you have to seek out. (The only reason I found it in the first place is because a friend took me there!)

Located in Ward Village inside of the BoxJelly coworking space, TRY Coffee generally appeals to the working traveler or the remote work local. That said, they make some great coffee, and it’s still worth a visit whether your trip is for business or leisure. All you have to do is grab your good ol’ coffee of choice and take in the views from the second-floor lanai (balcony) seating area.

Address: 1200 Ala Moana Blvd 2nd Floor, Honolulu, HI 96814

And there you have it! The best coffee in Honolulu and Waikiki! Do you think any other spots should’ve made it into this list? Let me know in the comments!

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