A vacation from your daily life probably doesn’t mean you’ll be taking a vacation from caffeine anytime soon. After all, a cup of coffee is how most of us begin our day, especially if you have a full day of activities ahead of you. Here’s a guide to coffee shops in Waikiki for those staying in Honolulu’s tourism capital.
I’m going to highlight independent coffee shops and avoid coffee chains like Starbucks and Seattle’s Best. This guide serves as a way to engage with Hawaii’s unique coffee culture and taste our islands’ famous Hawaiian coffee.
Coffee shops in Waikiki
Kimo Bean Coffee:
With five locations throughout Waikiki, Kimo Bean is an established coffee company with nearly 20 years of experience. Whether you need a quick cup of 100% Hawaiian coffee or a meal to fill you up, Kimo Bean offers a variety of coffee drinks, snacks, and breakfast/lunch options.
Try a cup of Kona-grown or Maui-grown coffee to start your day before heading out to that dolphin swim adventure you’ve been planning.
- 2424 Kalakaua Ave in the Hyatt Regency Waikiki
- 2113 Kalakaua Ave near the corner of Saratoga and Kalakaua
- 150 Kaiulani Ave near the Ohana East
- 2200 Kuhio Ave in the Wyland Waikiki
- 1778 Ala Moana Blvd near Discovery Bay
Island Vintage Coffee:
Serving 100% Kona coffee since 1996, Island Vintage Coffee satisfies Waikiki visitors daily with their cafe’s convenient location in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, second floor above the Royal Grove.
When it’s bustling inside the cafe, grab a seat outside (if you can) after placing your order. The setting is gorgeous, with tall trees in the Royal Grove, hundreds of people passing, cars driving by and tall buildings to block the sun. Hungry? Try their acai bowl for a refreshing, light and nutritious meal.
Located at: 2301 Kalakaua Avenue #C215 (second floor)
Honolulu Coffee Company:
Famous for its coffee (and its championship-winning barista, Pete Licata), the Honolulu Coffee Company situates itself in some of the best locations in Waikiki: in the Moana Surfrider Hotel, the first hotel ever built on Waikiki Beach. You’ll also find HCC in two other Waikiki locations.
Grab a seat by either of the corner window and sip a specialty Hawaiian coffee that’s been expertly roasted and prepared by expert barista. HCC roasts their coffee beans in small batches without the use of automated signals—they roast using sight, sound, and smell, just as the old-world coffee roasters did.
- 2365 Kalakaua Avenue at the Westin Moana Surfrider
- 120 Kaiulani Avenue at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel
- 330 Royal Hawaiian Avenue at the DFS Galleria
Mt. Ka’ala Coffee:
In the Ilikai Hotel you’ll find one of Waikiki’s best Hawaiian coffee shops, Mt. Ka’ala Coffee Company, where you can buy beans by the bag or grab a delicious latte to start your day. The real-life mountain, Ka’ala, is located on Oahu’s North Shore, where the coffee company grows and roasts their beans.
Stop by Mt. Ka’ala for a true bean-to-cup Hawaiian coffee experience.
Located at 1777 Ala Moana Blvd. Unit 103D in the Ilikai Hotel.
Gorilla in the Cafe Hawaii:
Strange name, but interesting concept: a newly opened cafe with outdoor seating, Gorilla is a business venture by Korean superstar actor Bae Yong Joon. (The actor also owns a sister restaurant called Gorilla In The Kitchen.) As expected, the portion sizes are smaller than American Starbucks-sized coffee drinks, which makes for a reasonably-sized afternoon cup of joe. Sorry, no actual gorillas are found on site, but enjoy a fresh cup of coffee and pastries while you people-watch from the outdoor seating area.
Located at 2155 Kalakaua Ave next to Teddy Bear World.
The list keeps growing
Before the early 1990s, there were few, if any, specialty Hawaiian coffee shops in Waikiki. With the rise of businesses like Honolulu Coffee Company and Kimo Bean Coffee, Hawaii’s visitors staying in Waikiki can now enjoy a delicious, expertly roasted and prepared cup of java.
Do you know any good coffee shops in Waikiki?