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Three Perfect Days in Kailua

Kailua’s unique local businesses, scenic beauty, soft-sand beaches and friendly faces make it a place where residents and visitors alike can experience some of the most perfect days on Oahu.


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The iconic beachside Kalapawai Market is a Kailua favorite.

photos: david croxford

Take a step next door from Manuhealii to Kalapawai Café and Deli, the 2011 Hale Aina-award winner for Best Little Neighborhood Restaurant and Best Gourmet Comfort Food. “We like to keep it local,” says owner Lindsey Dymond, who reveals that 70 percent of their ingredients are sourced locally. Dymond also says he only stocks the restaurant with local beers from Hawaii brewers, such as Maui Brewing Co. and Home of the Brave Brewery. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Kalapawai Café and Deli offers up fresh coffee, homemade pastries, and an extensive menu of gourmet dishes and local favorites, like the Kailua Club Sandwich—which is also a favorite down at the beach at their sister location, Kalapawai Market.

Zia's Caffé

photo: courtesy zia's caffé

Lindsey and his father, Don Dymond, own and operate the iconic beachside market. The quaint, cottage-style shop has a been a convenience and a treat for Kailua and Lanikai residents, providing snacks, coffee, drinks, sandwiches and any last minute items to beach goers and barbequers for years. “It’s a place a lot of people grew up with,” says Dymond. “I started working at the market with my dad when I was 10 years old, sweeping floors and doing dishes, and a lot of people that were our customers when I was 10 still come in every single day.”

The Dymond family also owns and operates Zia’s Caffé, an Italian family-style sidewalk bistro. Zia’s offers a menu of traditional Italian classics, a great wine selection and the perfect outdoor setting for any weekend afternoon or evening.

If you’ve spent the day at the beach and have a hankering for a quick bite before heading home, sandy feet are always welcome at Maui Tacos. Fish tacos, Hawaiian-barbecue tortas and the mango salad are CEO Jeff Endervelt’s favorite after-beach foods. “We’re basically a laidback beach shack,” he says. “We love being part of the Kailua community. We were born on Maui and bred in Hawaii, so we offer local people and visitors a great, healthy meal at a fair price.”

The Perfect Special Occasion

Kailua may not have the upscale restaurants and flashy designer storefronts of Waikiki, but this town provides exceptional food and fashionable shops that always make for a memorable occasion.

Both photos: Buzz's

Photos: Kristen Hook


For 50 years, Kailuans have flocked to Buzz’s Original Steakhouse for its fresh fish, great steaks and unchanging retro style. “Buzz’s provides a comfortable and intimate setting for diners; being in the restaurant transports you back to the good ‘ol days of Hawaii,” says Mani Schneider, the restaurant’s general manager. Patrons of this iconic establishment appreciate it not only for its vintage charms, but also for its convenient location, situated right across from Kailua Beach Park. A paddling win, birthdays, anniversaries and first dates have all been commemorated at Buzz’s. “This restaurant represents Kailua, it’s like the heart of our home,” adds Schneider. Of course, it doesn’t take a significant event to drive people to Buzz’s, as most Kailua residents will tell you, they eat there because it’s just so darn good.


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Honolulu Magazine July 2020
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