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HONOLULU Staff Favorites: The 14 Best Breakfasts in Hawai‘i (and Where to Get Them)

Here are our top restaurants to start our days with something fancy, something on-the-go, something light and something greasy.


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Brekkie Stack 

$14 from The Nook Neighborhood Bistro 

french toast

PHOTO: STEVE CZERNIAK

 

My all-time-favorite breakfast/brunch dish gets a major upgrade at The Nook, combining classic French toast with bacon, fontina and cheddar cheeses, and two sunny-side-up eggs. If you think cheese on French toast is weird, you’ve clearly never had a Monte Cristo. But this is even better.Katrina Valcourt, managing editor 

1035 University Ave., Suite 105, (808) 942-2222 

 

The Hawaiian Breakfast 

$20 from The Hau Tree Lānai Restaurant

 

The Hawaiian Breakfast at Hau Tree Lānai at The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel (is that name long enough for ya?): poi pancakes, two eggs, Portuguese sausage and pineapple slices. Lately they've been throwing in Spam and homestyle potatoes.—Don Wallace, senior editor 

New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, 2863 Kalakaua Ave., (808) 923-1555, kaimana.com

 

Homemade Corned Beef Hash Plate & Eggs 

$6.65–$9 from Zippy’s 

 

Their corned beef hash is legit! Served with two runny, sunny-side up eggs and rice is the only thing I want to eat after a late night out in town. Specifically, the Vineyard location for its close distance to Hotel Street and the full service restaurant.—Katie Kenny, digital editorial specialist  

Multiple locations, zippys.com 

 

Churro French Toast 

$10 full order & $7.50 half order from Barrio Café 

churros

Photo: Enjy El-Kadi

 

Two things you need to know about me: 1. I really, really love cinnamon. 2. Driving to new places makes me nervous. But I drove all the way from Hawai‘i Kai to Wahiawā for the first time in my life just for the churro French toast at Barrio Café (which I’d read about in HONOLULU’s brunch issue) and let me tell you, it was worth it. Everything was perfect: the chocolate sauce, the cajeta (Mexican caramel), the cinnamon-sugar ratio and, oh my God, the butter. I had the half order, which only comes with three slices of toast instead of six, and that was just the right amount of happiness for me.—Enjy El-Kadi, digital marketing specialist 

672 Kīlani Ave., Wahiawā, (808) 622-3003, barriocafe808.com 

 


SEE ALSO: 2019 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners: The Best Breakfast Restaurants in Hawai‘i


 

Biscuits 

Starting at $3 from Scratch Kitchen 

 

The biscuits at Scratch Kitchen in Kaka‘ako are to die for. You can get them as a side, in their eggs Benedict or as the bun on their brunch sandwiches.—Scott Schumaker, publisher  

South Shore Market, 1170 Asahi St., (808) 589-1669, scratch-hawaii.com 

 

Taiwanese Breakfast 

$1.25–$5.75 from Old K C Kitchen 

fan tuan

Photo: David Croxford

  

The only place in Honolulu I know of where you can get a fan tuan (stuffed glutinous rice rolls are a traditional quick Chinese breakfast) with savory soy milk.—Martha Cheng, food & dining editor 

100 N Beretania St., (808) 538-1151 

 

Fresh Fish and Lū‘au 

$18 from Mud Hen Water 

mud hen water

Photo: courtesy of Mud Hen Water

 

Seafood isn’t something I usually crave for breakfast but there’s something so addictive about this combo of tender fish, plump poached eggs (lightly dusted with inamona dukkah), root vegetables and savory stew-y lū‘au leaves. Mmm—my mouth is watering just thinking about it.—Brie Thalmann, managing fashion editor 

3452 Waialae Ave., (808) 737-6000, mudhenwater.com 

 

Kimchee Fried Rice Omelet with Ham 

$9.50 from Harry’s Café 

  

A lot of cool new restaurants have popped up in the Ward area in the past few years. But Harry’s—the quintessential mom-and-pop diner of my kid days—offers two things they can’t: nostalgia and the best kimchee fried rice omelet in the neighborhood. Everything about it is perfect, from the homemade pickled cabbage to the fluffy blanket of egg. No artisan coffee, fancy ingredients or stylish ambience, just good ol’-fashioned local eats. (Note: It’s cash only, so bring bills.)—Marisa Heung, special projects editor 

1101 Waimanu St., (808) 593-7798 

 

Ohayou Eggs

$16 from Koko Head Café

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Martin Tical Kim (@martintical) on

 

Rich and savory Ohayou Eggs from Koko Head Café—two soft-baked eggs, hidden in a Parmesan dashi cream sauce, with thinly sliced ham and mushrooms, and served in a mercifully shallow skillet. It’s lights out after this one folks. Plan accordingly.—James Nakamura, creative director 

1145C 12th Ave., (808) 732-8920, kokoheadcafe.com

 

Vegan Tofu Scramble 

$10 from Joey’s Kitchen Ka‘anapali 

 

I just had the vegan tofu scramble at Joey’s Kitchen on Maui … and it was damn good. A healthy serving of golden, turmeric-stained tofu crumbles plays perfectly with fresh, garlicky tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms and kale. Get it with brown rice (might-as-well stick with the healthy-ish theme) and add a splash Tabasco fo’ some heat. Plus, it’s cheap. I like cheap.—Stacey Makiya, senior fashion editor 

Whaler’s Village, 2435 Ka‘anapali Parkway, Lahaina, (808) 214-5590, joeyskitchenhimaui.com

 

Brunch Bowl

$16 from Over Easy

Over Easy Brunch Bowl and Kailua Eggs

Over Easy Brunch Bowl and Kailua Eggs.
Photo: STEVE CZERNIAK 

 

Combine two fresh soft-cooked eggs, spinach, microgreens, the salty-sweet crunch of candied bacon alongside tomato jam, yogurt and tangy sourdough toast—made in house—for a breakfast I order again and again. It’s fresh, tasty and healthy, but a little indulgent with the bacon and toast. That’s why I need to go to Over Easy with family and friends so I can steal bites of other dishes.—Robbie Dingeman, editor at large

418 Ku‘ulei Road, #103, Kailua, (808) 260-1732, overeasyhi.com

 

And advertising executive Donnie Ford couldn’t narrow down her favorite to just one dish: 

“Breakfast is my absolute favorite. I can’t narrow it down to just one dish since it depends on whether I am in the mood for sweet, savory or both.” 

 

Veggie Omelet  

$11.75 from Café Kaila  

Loaded with fresh veggies and I always get it with cheddar cheese, a side of breakfast potatoes and extra crispy bacon. 

2919 Kapiolani Blvd., (808) 732-3330, cafe-kaila-hawaii.com

 

Dutch Baby 

$12 from The Original Pancake House (Dillingham location) 

This is AMAZING! Oven-baked German pancakes with the powdered sugar, lemon wedges and butter—there is no need for syrup. I love it when the edges are a little crispy. OMG yum! 

1414 Dillingham Blvd., (808) 847-1496, originalpancakehouse.com

 

Corned Beef Hash & Eggs with Gravy  

$5.95–$7.95 from Rainbow Drive-In

A classic dish that I eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. So good with their special brown gravy on top. And a slush float on the side! 

Multiple locations, rainbowdrivein.com

 


HONOLULU Magazine’s gathering the top breakfast and brunch restaurants for BrunchFest presented by American Savings Bank. It will be a morning of delicious sweet and savory bites, bloody marys and mimosas, lawn games, entertainment and more. Join us for a relaxed Sunday Funday vibe on March 8, 2020 at the Ho‘okupu Center. Click here for ticket details.

 

 

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