10 French Toast Dishes in Honolulu That Take the Brunch Staple to New Levels
Latin twists, extravagant toppings and savory stacks to start your day right.
The French toast dish at Koko Head Café.
Photos: Steve Czerniak
Koko Head Café
With the Frosted Flakes gelato accompanying this French toast, it’s easy to think you’re getting away with dessert at 10 a.m., but the cornflakes, brown-sugar bacon and black-pepper maple syrup remind you that this is indeed brunch, so have at it.
$14, 1145C 12th Ave., (808) 732-8920
Scratch Kitchen & Meatery
Scratch’s ever-changing menu has gone through multiple forms of French toast—the Elvis (with peanut butter and bananas), strawberries ’n’ cream, and most recently a haupia crème brûlée French toast with toasted coconut, a coconut-vanilla infused maple syrup and seasonal fruit.
$12, 1170 Auahi St., (808) 589-1669
The Nook Neighborhood Bistro
A savory pile of French toast, bacon, fontina and cheddar cheeses and two sunny-side-up eggs make up the Brekkie Stack—all our favorite breakfast foods together in one glorious brunch dish.
$14, 1035 University Ave., Suite 105, (808) 942-2222
Bills’ tasty version, with caramel, pineapple and pistachios resting on a smear of Greek yogurt, conceals a surprise creamy mascarpone filling in the center of the bread, putting the ish in healthyish.
$16, 280 Beach Walk, (808) 922-1500
Button Up Café
These massive cubes of stuffed strawberry cheesecake French toast are a must-try for those with a sweet tooth. This indulgent treat already comes with pastry creme and strawberries, but go ahead and add blueberries, banana slices and whipped cream for $1.50 each.
$9.95, 719 Kamehameha Highway, Pearl City, (808) 454-5454
French toast goes Latin at this Kailua bistro, which uses spice bread studded with caramelized pineapple as the base of its Cactus Torrejas, with toasted macadamia nut butter, dulce de leche and fruit to round out a filling weekend brunch.
$12, 767 Kailua Road, Kailua, (808) 261-1000
Portuguese sweet bread is soaked in four kinds of milk and comes with honeycomb candy, just like Piggy Smalls’ milk and honey cake. It’s slathered with raspberry jam, too.
$13, 1200 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 665, (808) 777-3588
SEE ALSO: First Look: Piggy Smalls
Six slices of churro French toast are stacked in a pyramid, chocolate sauce and cajeta (Mexican caramel) dripping down the sides as a generous slab of butter melts, with crispy linguine sticking up out of the pyramid for garnish.
$10 full order, $7.50 half order, 672 Kīlani Ave., Wahiawā, (808) 622-3003
SEE ALSO: First Look: Barrio Café
Three slices of thick sweet bread come with chocolate ganache, caramelized bananas and whipped cream in Egghead’s Choco Crème Brûlée French toast. Add fruit for $3 and ice cream for only $1, since this is basically a banana split already.
$12, 885 Queen St., (808) 591-0066
SEE ALSO: First Look: Egghead Café in Kaka‘ako
This Cinnamon Toast Crunch-crusted dish is 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 a decadent meal.
$15 full order, $8 half order, 418 Ku‘ulei Road, Suite 103, Kailua, (808) 260-1732
Brunch like you mean it at HONOLULU Magazine’s BrunchFest presented by American Savings Bank on Sunday, March 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Salt at Our Kaka‘ako. Embrace the relaxed Sunday Funday vibe with seven local chefs, live entertainment, lawn games and a photo booth during this unique dining experience. Tickets on sale now. Click here.