5 of Our Favorite Downtown Honolulu Spots to Grab Breakfast
Here’s where you can have a great sit-down breakfast during the week in downtown Honolulu.
The Berry Nuts! waffle ($7.99) at Le Crepe Café overflows with sliced bananas, strawberries, Nutella, whipped cream and walnuts and is sweet enough to not need syrup.
Photos: Katrina Valcourt
Long lines, crowded tables, noisy restaurants: Eating out at noon when you work in the city center is anything but leisurely. Get together for a weekday breakfast instead, or treat yourself to something a little more thoughtful than takeout coffee or yogurt at your desk. Here are five of our favorite spots downtown to start the day off right, including a couple that just started serving breakfast recently.
1. Artizen by MW
If you’ve had any of Michelle Karr-Ueoka’s delicious pastries, you know how much of a shame it would be to waste any of them. Our favorite ways to use day-old bread? French toast and bread pudding. It only makes sense to combine the two for a gooey and sweet breakfast, made sweeter with local Hawaiian Island Honey drizzled on top ($7). Artizen started making breakfast a few months ago and the menu changes daily (check artizenbymw.com for current items), but expect pancakes, a breakfast platter with eggs and sausage, toast with gourmet toppings, breakfast sandwiches as well as classic items like bagels and yogurt. There’s plenty of seating, so slow down, enjoy the trickling fountain and get your Ka‘anapali Estate coffee for here.
Breakfast served from 7:30–10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, inside the Hawai‘i State Art Museum, 250 S. Hotel St., artizenbymw.com, 524-0499
2. Kai Coffee
This Waikīkī coffee shop opened a second location in Downtown last month (where Subway used to be, on the corner of Alakea and King streets), bringing with it craft-brewed coffees and hefty pastries called soustenirs ($7). They’re listed on the lunch menu, but fresh-baked focaccia bread, topped with bacon, cheese, herbs and a soft egg, warmed before serving, screams breakfast to us. Assorted pastries and breakfast sandwiches are also available, along with various coffees and espresso drinks. Sit at the window to watch others rush to work while you enjoy a Kai Latte, which has macadamia nut-flavored coffee and whipped cream ($4.50 small).
6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 207 S. King St., kaicoffeehawaii.com, 537-3415
3. Le Crepe Café
Step from Fort Street Mall and into the streets of Paris in this quaint French café. The weekly special last time we went was a $6 egg-and-cheese crepe with a regular coffee or soft drink—a hard price to beat. Savory crepes with a breakfast bent are served all day and include the Breakfast of Champions, Oeuf Fromage and Le Bacon. The Le Bacon crepe is packed with chopped-up turkey bacon, mozzarella cheese and an egg, which is cracked right into the warm crepe as it’s cooking. For $6.99, it’s filling enough to last you through lunch—or even past. If you really want to treat yourself, try the Berry Nuts! waffle ($7.99), which comes with a towering mound of bananas, strawberries, Nutella, whipped cream and walnuts. You don’t even need syrup. Complement it with a Nutellatte or honey mocha ($4.25).
7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. during school breaks) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, waffles until 11 a.m., 1160 Fort St. Mall, lecrepecafe.com, 599-8400
4. Taco Kabana
Two weeks ago, this street-style-taco joint expanded its menu (and hours) to include breakfast burritos with egg and cheese. Choose the other ingredients—bacon ($7.50), chorizo and potato ($7.50), or steak ($9). Throw in some tomatoes and onions or salsa for 75 cents each, but we found the chorizo burrito perfectly spicy without anything extra, and very filling. Plus, we like the brightly colored walls and seating area that still feels like a secret.
Breakfast served from 6–11 a.m., 1121 Union Mall, instagram.com/taco_kabana, 585-8186
“The Elvis” French toast ($12) drips with decadent chocolate, peanut butter and bacon-banana caramel.
5. Scratch Kitchen and Bake Shop
From classics with a twist to Latin dishes, breakfast at Scratch is serious business. “The Elvis” French toast ($12), smothered in peanut butter, a bacon-banana caramel and chocolate sauce with smoked bacon sticking out of the top, is almost a heart attack waiting to happen, but it’s worth the risk. The milk-and-cereal pancakes ($10), light and fluffy with a sweetened milk syrup, are a unique and tantalizing evolution from Scratch’s earlier tiramisu pancakes. Play it a little safer with a BLT Benny ($13) or smoked-salmon-and-avocado toast ($14).
7:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. daily except Tuesday, 1030 Smith St., scratch-hawaii.com, 536-1669