Happy National French Toast Day!

To celebrate one of the nation’s greatest faux holidays, we rounded up seven of our favorite French toast dishes in Honolulu.


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Scratch french toast

Who doesn’t love French toast? We ate our way through Honolulu breakfast spots to find our favorites, including this one at Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop. Yeah, tough job.
Photo: Katrina Valcourt

 

Now that the weather is ever so slightly colder and the sun doesn’t show its face until almost 7 a.m., we need something warm and comforting to coax us out of bed—and French toast is one of the most comforting and versatile breakfast foods around. It’s super easy to make and hard to screw up, which makes it a staple of virtually every brunch menu in town. We can’t possible eat them all, but, of those we have eaten, these are some of the standouts.

 

Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop

As part of its new winter menu, Scratch has replaced its sweet and sticky Elvis French toast with a much lighter version—a strawberries ’n’ cream stuffed French toast. Mascarpone cream and fresh sliced strawberries hold together two slices of thick-cut bread topped with strawberries, blueberries, ice-cold whipped cream and—wait for it—Rice Krispies. The cereal stays crunchy despite soaking in a vanilla-infused maple syrup that’ll make you want to lick your plate. You’d be a fool not to. Go for breakfast, not brunch—the kitchen ran out of the dish by 11 a.m. when we went.

$10, 1030 Smith St., scratch-hawaii.com, 536-1669

 

Koko Head Café

Photo: Steve Czerniak

 

Who would’ve thought we like our French toast crunchy? With the Frosted Flakes gelato accompanying Koko Head Café’s Cornflake French toast, it’s easy to think you’re getting away with dessert at 8 a.m., but the cornflakes, brown-sugar bacon and black-pepper maple syrup remind you that this is indeed breakfast, so have at it.

$14, 1145C 12th Ave., kokoheadcafe.com, 732-8920

 

 

The Nook Neighborhood Bistro

Nook french toast

Photo: Katrina Valcourt

 

We’ve been eyeing the apple pie French toast for some time, with its spiced apples and oatmeal crumble, but every time we’re at The Nook, we can’t seem to get past ordering the Brekkie Stack, a savory pile of French toast, bacon, fontina and cheddar cheeses and two sunny-side-up eggs—all our favorite breakfast foods in one glorious dish.

$13, 1035 University Ave., thenookhonolulu.com, 942-2222

 

Café Grace

Photo: Katrina Valcourt

 

What took us so long to realize that bagels make the perfect base for French toast? House-made bagels from Café Grace turn soft and chewy but somehow remain light when dipped in milk and eggs, with added texture from banana slices and walnuts.

$6.95, 725 Kapi‘olani Blvd., cafegracehi.com, 492-1470

 

Over Easy

Photo: Catherine Toth Fox

 

Three words: custard French toast. This new brunch spot in Kailua offers a Cinnamon-Toast-Crunch-crusted dish that’s soft and custardy on the inside, crispy and sugary on the outside. Made with orange crème fraîche, the toast has a citrusy tang that brightens up the decadent meal.

$13 full order, $8 half, 418 Ku‘ulei Road, Kailua, overeasyhi.com

 

Cream Pot

Photo: Katrina Valcourt

 

Breakfast at Cream Pot feels like dining in a bright white French cave, with Carla Bruni playing on the speakers and high, arched ceilings. Amid the quirky wire busts, ceramic pots, framed photos, rustic pans and stuffed animals, you’ll find a menu boasting baked cheesecake-stuffed French toast. The French bread is prepared lightly, baked in crème anglaise, decidedly less eggy than other French toast dishes. Strawberries, strawberry coulis and tangy cream cheese round out the dish.

$14.50, 444 Niu St., 429-0945

 

LuLu’s

Photo: Katrina Valcourt

 

The stuffed French toast at LuLu’s is massive and next to impossible to eat in one sitting, though we tried our hardest. It’s basically two grilled cream-cheese sandwiches with pineapple-liliko‘i marmalade, plus dollops of whipped cream, bananas and macadamia nuts, propped up like a volcano.

$12, 2586 Kalākaua Ave., luluswaikiki.com, 926-5222

 

Missed your favorite? Tell us where to go next in the comments!

 

READ MORE STORIES BY KATRINA VALCOURT

 

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