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Feb 25, 2007 07:41 AM

Good Coffee shops...HAWAII

I will be in the island next week....cruising. I know I willbe missing my usual strong tasty brew..... so I figure I will add great coffee shops to my Hawaii food quest. I'll be in Honolulu, Hilo, Lahaina, Nawiliwili, and that order. We'll have a the coffee shop will be our first destination before we take off on our day. Any suggestions?

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  1. Town, a cool modern bistro spot on Waialae Ave. in Kaimuki brews illy coffee. They open early, I think around 6:30 or 7am. You can sit outside which is dog friendly so you might get to meet some neighborhood dogs!

    1. In Hnl you could try "Gift & Gourmet", which is a couple blocks from the Aloha Tower docks.
      <disclaimer> Celia Khim, the owner, is a friend of mine. That being said, Celia doesn't know I'm posting this, and I will receive no compensation for this mention of her store, not even a free cuppa joe. <end disclaimer>
      She is quite passionate about her wares, and while I may not agree with all her product choices, she does carry some of the best beans in Honolulu. She usually has a selection of good Kona beans, as well as a variety of beans from around the world. She has a different fresh brew daily, and can also pull shots if you prefer espresso. It's a tiny, crowded, one-person operation, and is strictly take-out, so if you want ambience, take your cup and walk to Iolani Palace or Kawaiahao Church. I'd advise walking to the store from the docks, as parking in that area is pretty scarce on weekdays. It's primarily offices on the way so the walk is safe.

      Here are a couple articles:

      and a map:

      As stated before, I may not agree with all her product choices, nor with all her opinions, but she does carry some good, fresh, expertly roasted beans.
      Good luck with your search, and please post if you find any other good coffee shops in Hnl.

      1. Yes, do go to Town on Waialae Ave! See if they'll whip up some of their
        RIDICULOUSLY good french fries!

        1. Susan-

          The best serious "third wave" coffeehouse in Honolulu is Honoulu Coffee Company. There is one on the main Waikiki drag in the Sheraton (I think) and one in that huge mall, Ala Moana, east of Waikiki. Their skills are outstanding, and they brew espressos on a beautiful La Marzocco in Waikiki and a gleeming Synesso at Ala Moana. There is nothing comparable in Honolulu; it is a brilliant coffeehouse.

          In Kona, if you go to the Kona Joe coffee plantation, there is a great espresso bar there, with a La Marzocco, and very skilled staff.

          These two- HCC and Kona Joe- were the best coffee experiences I have on our Hawaii trip over Xmas.

          I agree that town (they spell it "town," lower case) is a great resto!!! But watch out for those fries, it is a HUGE "side"!

          1 Reply
          1. re: John Manzo

            I second the honolulu coffee company. They roast their beans on premises, at least teh ala moana one does. its also a good place to people watch. they also have some great baked goods or frozen desserts.

          2. My husband and I did the hawaii cruise for our honeymoon. NCL?

            This won't exactly be close to your stop in Hilo, but Hana Hou bakery/restaurant had THE BEST macadamia nut cream pie (this is kind of off topic.. since we didn't have the coffee there). I am still dreaming about it. It's past the Volcanoes National Park of Rt 11, but wouldn't be too much farther if you're planning to stop at the black sand beach in Punalu'u (where they have the sea turtles)

            Here's the address: (This site also has lots of other coffee shop listings you might check out.


            There's a picture of the pie in my blog: .. it's not very photogenic, but believe me that it was tasty. :)