The 5 Best Places To Eat Outside in Ward and Kaka‘ako Right Now
When one door shuts, the outdoors open. Here are some of our favorite restaurants in Honolulu for dining alfresco.
photo: Katie Kenny
Aloha Beer Co.
When breweries in the area reopened, Aloha Beer Co. flexed its outdoor seating. The street level parking area once used for private gatherings is now a beautifully socially distanced lānai with low tops, high tops and adorable tables for two in front of the purple houses in the back. What else has it changed? The menu. Now guests can order thin crust pizzas from the popular Saturday morning market pie guy Fatto a Mano (@fattoamanohi), who has set up shop at the dog-friendly local brewery with six delicious options. One of our favorites is the From the Garden vegan pizza, which comes with tomato sauce, spinach, marinated artichoke hearts and roasted mushrooms (we add a sneaky bit of cheese too). It pairs so nicely with the Waimānalo Farmhouse Ale (a Belgian-style brew) and the Red Zeppelin (a deep red, old-school IPA).–KK
Photo: Katie Kenny
Merriman’s Street Burger and Beer Garden
On July 5, Merriman’s Honolulu announced a new pop-up concept. It promised burgers, hot dogs, Mexican street corn ($5), Caesar salad ($7), New England clam chowder with bacon ($8), a Beyond vegan bratwurst ($10), wine ($9 per glass), and local brews from Waikīkī Brewing Co. ($6) and Paradise Ciders ($9). It didn’t take long for the (socially distant) lines to form on its V-shaped lānai along Auahi and Kamakeʻe streets. Right at the point of that V is a huge barbecue filled with various juicy meats. My prayers have been answered. Maybe it was the social post; maybe it was the drool-worthy smells wafting through the streets that pulled the masses back to the Ward neighborhood spot.—KK
Open daily 11 a.m.–8 p.m., 1108 Auahi St., (808) 215-0022, @merrimanshonolulu
Moku is currently closed. Check back soon for its reopening date.
Some nights you just want to stare at people, preferably with a Muscat Mule cocktail in one hand (with house-made cayenne ginger beer) and a slice of Hāmākua mushroom pizza drizzled with truffle oil in the other. A railing is the only thing that separates the outdoor seats at Moku Kitchen from all the action so you can check out the line upstairs at Butcher & Bird or all the folks strolling across the courtyard. The quieter outdoor area is also better for conversation. Make reservations early, especially if you plan to show up before 5:30 p.m. or after 9 when the half-off-all-small-plates deal draws a crowd. –CY
Piggy Smalls closed their dine-in service on Aug. 18 but will continue to serve curbside takeout and delivery. Check back soon for its reopening date.
Say goodbye to Piggy Smalls’ long communal outdoor table (or good riddance, from those of us who never liked eating that close to strangers, anyway). The covered corridor now hosts small parties on separate tables for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, plus brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Stand on the cute pig markers while you wait to check in, use the proper doors (one-way only) and enjoy an order of curry clam frites in beer broth. –KV
Photo: david croxford
Waikīkī Brewing Co.
All tables at Waikīkī Brewing Co. are technically alfresco. The neighborhood brewery reopened in June with six picnic tables with umbrellas set up next to an Instagram-friendly, fresh-from-February Pow! Wow! mural—the black-and-white artwork accentuates the hues of your pint of beer. While we did love playing cornhole, giant Connect Four and Jenga, and watching kids chalk up the ground before COVID-19, guests are now asked to stick to their designated tables. It doesn’t dampen the mood. There’s always a line (make a reservation!), the food and drinks arrive fast and if you bring your dogs with you, they’re sure to be less skittish without the sound of Jenga blocks falling all around them.–KK
Read more stories by Katie Kenny and Katrina Valcourt