Best of Honolulu 2021: The Best Services on O‘ahu

We asked our readers and searched the island for the best of everything—book club to cat café, day spa to barbershop, hardware store to car rental—all so you can live better in Honolulu.


Civil Beat Book Club

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



Best Book Club (That You Can Join)

A lot of people find life in the solitary pleasure of a book—and some find social life in an online book club. Civil Beat’s club began with a mixer at Da Shop bookstore’s warehouse in November 2019; during the lockdown it threw a literary lifeline to readers. The news site provided moderators and Da Shop: Books + Curiosities sourced books; this year an all-local author lineup included Jim Dooley’s Sunny Skies, Shady Characters: Cops, Killers and Corruption in the Aloha State. For that one, newspaper crime reporter Dooley conversed with CB’s Nick Grube to the delight of the 183 attendees. Find the 2021 books at Da Shop in Kaimukī and join the club at its Facebook page. —DW


Da Shop: Books + Curiosities, 3565 Harding Ave.,, @dashophnl 


SEE ALSO: Hawai‘i Book Recommendations: I Can’t Believe It’s Literature (And Local!) 


Hawaii Cat Cafe

Photo: Courtesy of Hawai‘i Cat Café



Best Cat Café

About 80 cats are adopted from Hawai‘i Cat Café every month, bringing the total to more than 1,400 adoptions since it opened in 2018. But there’s no pressure if you just want to cuddle and play. On the café side, grab a popular Calico Latte (coconut and macadamia nut) or Tropical Tortie Iced Tea (hibiscus ginger tea with coconut, orange and strawberry), as well as some baked goods—all of which are made fresh daily by Honolulu Coffee Co.—and either take a seat by the large picture window facing the cat lounge or head inside with a timed buzzer. It’s $12.50 for 30 minutes or $17.50 an hour ($3 less for those under 12), and up to 10 people can hang in the 750-square-foot cat lounge along with a supervisor. All cats (usually 25–35 at a time) are rescues from the Hawaiian Humane Society and arrive spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and treated for parasites. —KV


415 Kapahulu Ave., (808) 744-3192,, @hawaiicatcafe 



Best Lei Po‘o Making Class


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A post shared by Lei by Dillyn (@leibydillyn)


Glam up any special occasion, celebration or Insta-shoot whenever and wherever you want with a lei po‘o, crafted by the oh-so-talented you, thanks to Lei by Dillyn—a florist based in Mānoa who creates vibrant, tropical and anything-but-simple lei po‘o, lei ā‘ī and maile-style lei lā‘ī, eye-catching bouquets and special occasion arrangements. The newish monthly lei workshops at boho-chic Island Bungalow in Kaka‘ako offer hands-on lessons on constructing your own wili style weave in both open group formats as well as private classes with at least four eager lei-learners. We think it’s the perfect time to mix with new humans outside of your pod and to learn some new skills. —KK


670 Auahi St., (808) 888-2282,, @leibydillyn



City Mill

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



Best Hardware Store

Reader Pick

Just as we do during hurricane alerts, we rushed to City Mill when the pandemic closures struck in March 2020. This time we came for fresh pots of herbs for our terrace gardens, hand sanitizer, fairy lights, home repair supplies—and those ubiquitous yellow buckets, which we’ve used for everything from storing baby toys to beach-trash pickups. The yellow bucket is the perfect emblem of how embedded the 122-year-old company is in our lives and how central the eight stores became as management adeptly walked the line on safety while keeping open our lifeline to gardening supplies and plants, propane, lumber, fixtures and Gorilla Glue. —DW


Multiple locations,, @citymill



Best Travel Agency

Reader Pick

Now that you’ve had a year to dream about that next vacation, Panda Travel Agency has some advice. Travel to Asia was closed in May, manager Daisy Tsui Komeiji says, “but we are busy with packages for Las Vegas. People have cabin fever from quarantine, and they’re ready to go out.” Since the agency opened in 1981, it has led tours through Asia, the U.S. and Canada. This summer, Panda’s Disneyland packages are popular; other travelers, though, might need guidance navigating the now tricky airline schedules. Says Komeiji: “Many other travel agencies have had to halt operations …  [but] we’ve been able to help out folks still booking travel, from vacations to business meetings.” —Kainoa Deguilmo


1017 Kapahulu Ave., (808) 734-1961,, @pandatravelhi



Best Chiropractor

Reader Pick

Global Health Chiropractic has topped the list for our readers since 2015 and the list of services it offers goes beyond spinal adjustments. Clients can also receive total life conditioning, which includes coaching on nutrition and weight loss, corrective posture exercises that can be practiced at home or in the office, as well as spinal and posture screenings. Led by Sarah Padrutt, the team has a flexible schedule and flexible payment plans. —KD


677 Ala Moana Blvd., #914, (808) 521-9686,



Best Day Spa

Reader Pick

Say it with us: We have all earned a bit (correction: a lot) of self-care and pampering. Elizaveta Neginskaya Signature Brows & Beauty Studio is ready for our outdoor closeups with its mix of beauty services including waxing, facials, permanent makeup, hair removal and brow-mapping (a strong brow game has continued in 2021). Owner Neginskaya, known as Liza, studied skin care and beauty techniques in the U.S., Russia and Ukraine before setting up shop in Kaka‘ako. We’re starting our recovery with the one-hour signature organic seaweed facial peel. —KK


627 South St., #3, (808) 797-5757,, @signaturebrowshawaii 



Lex Brodie

Photo: Courtesy of Lex Brodie’s



Best Automotive Repair

Reader Pick

Founded in 1961 by its lanky longboarding namesake, Lex Brodie’s Tire, Brake & Service Co. is the locals’ go-to for automotive care, no matter how fancy or gently used your personal form of transportation. On our beater car’s recent visit for a stuck window, staff also cleared a sticky one for no charge. Aloha is real at this employee-owned chain; at another repair shop where we took Old Nessie for a recall, the fix came with an “estimate” for $3,700 in urgent repairs. Whereas at Lex Brodie’s, there’s no upsell and a caveman on Queen Street—what more do you want? —DW


Multiple locations,, @lexbrodiesoahu 



The Rest of the Best: Reader Picks

Best Adult Day Care

Winner: Central Union Church Adult Day Care & Day Health Center

1660 S. Beretania St., (808) 983-5910,

Finalist: live well at Iwilei by Kāhala nui

888 Iwilei Road, #105, (808) 218-7777,, @livewellhi


SEE ALSO: How the Arcadia Family of Companies Copes with COVID-19


Best Auto Detailer

Winner: Street Shine

Multiple locations,, @streetshinehawaii

Finalist: McKinley Car Wash

1139 Kapi‘olani Blvd., (808) 596-2609,


Best Auto Insurance

Winner: Geico

711 Kapi‘olani Blvd., Suite 300, (808) 593-1010,, @geico

Finalist: State Farm

Multiple locations,, @statefarm


Best Automotive Repair

Finalist: Kaimukī Auto Repair

3375 Wai‘alae Ave., (808) 737-1711, @kaimukiautorepair


Best Bank

Winner: First Hawaiian Bank

Multiple locations,, @fhbhawaii

Finalist: Bank of Hawai‘i

Multiple locations,, @bankofhawaii


Best Barbershop

Winner: Vintage Barbershop Hawai‘i

1157 Bethel St., (808) 888-2086,, @vintagebarbershophi

Finalist: Mojo Barbershop & Social Club

Multiple locations,, @mojobarbershop


Best Car Rental

Winner: Enterprise

Multiple locations,, @enterprise

Finalist: Hertz

Multiple locations,, @hertz


Best Catering & Event Planning

Winner: Tanioka’s Seafoods and Catering

94-903 Farrington Highway, Waipahu, (808) 671-3779,, @taniokas

Finalist: Marian’s Catering

79 Mango Place, Wahiawā, (808) 621-6758,, @marians_catering


SEE ALSO: Secrets of the Chefs Who Cater in Hawai‘i 


Best Cell Phone Service

Winner: Verizon

Multiple locations,, @verizon

Finalist: T-Mobile

Multiple locations,, @tmobile


Best Chiropractor

Finalist: Hawai‘i Elite Chiropractic

99-128 ‘Aiea Heights Drive, #404, ‘Aiea, (808) 445-3527,, @hawaiielitechiropractic


Best Cleaning Service

Winner: The Maids

Multiple locations,, @themaidscorp

Finalist: Maid in O‘ahu

307A Kamani St., #12, (808) 664-0036,, @maidinoahu


Best Cooling and Air Conditioning

Winner: Alternate Energy

92-1276 Waihona St., Suite #114, Pearl City, (808) 842-5853,, @aeihawaii

Finalist: RevoluSun

660 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 220A, (808) 748-8888,, @revolusun_smarthome


Best Cosmetic Surgery

Winner: Asia Pacific Plastic Surgery Inc.

1401 S. Beretania St., #888, (808) 207-7345,, @shimchingmd

Finalist: Ferguson Clinic

677 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 1011, (808) 521-1999,, @thefergusonclinic


Best Credit Union

Winner: Hawai‘i State FCU

Multiple locations, (808) 587-2700,, @hawaiistatefcu

Finalist: Hawai‘iUSA Federal Credit Union

Multiple locations, (808) 534-4300,, @hawaiiusafcu


Best Day Spa

Finalist: Spa Uilani

520 Keawe St., (808) 312-4485,, @spauilani


Best Drug Store/Pharmacy

Winner: Longs/CVS

Multiple locations,, @cvshealth

Finalist: Walgreens

Multiple locations,, @walgreens


Best Dry Cleaner

Winner: Hakuyosha Clean Living

Multiple locations,, @hakuyosha_hawaii

Finalist: Al Phillips The Cleaner

Multiple locations,


Best Employment/Staffing Company

Winner: ALTRES 

Multiple locations,, @altres_inc

Finalist: Staffing Solutions of Hawai‘i

1375 Kapi‘olani Blvd., #915, (808) 949-3669,, @staffinghawaii


Best Eyelash Extensions

Winner: The Beauty Room HI

Multiple locations,, @the_beauty_room_808 and @the_beauty_room_808_mililani

Finalist: Lavish Spa & Nail Lounge

Multiple locations,, @lavishkapolei

Best Financial Adviser

Winner: Edward Jones

Multiple locations,

Finalist: Ameriprise Financial

745 Fort St., Suite 1400, (808) 784-3289,, @ameriprise


Best Flower Shop

Winner: Watanabe Floral

1618 N. Nimitz Highway, (808) 832-9360,, @watanabefloral

Finalist: Paiko

675 Auahi St., Suite 127, (808) 988-2165,, @paikohawaii


SEE ALSO: Learn How to Make Your Own Lei Po‘o for Lei Day


Best Gas Station/Convenience Store

Winner: 7-Eleven Hawai‘i

Multiple locations,, @7elevenhi

Finalist: Hele

Multiple locations,, @helegas


Best General Contractor

Winner: Atlas Construction

2222 Kamehameha Highway, (808) 951-9500,, @atlasconstructionhawaii

Finalist: Ko‘olau Builders

2604 Doris Place,, @koolaubuilders


Best Hair Removal

Winner: Honolulu MedSpa

1650 Liliha St., Suite 102, (808) 528-0888,, @honolulumedspa

Finalist: European Wax Center

Multiple locations,


Best Hair Salon

Winner: Dada Salon

410 Atkinson Drive, (808) 888-3232,, @dadahawaii

Finalist: Satori Salon & Spa

9 A Maluniu Ave., Kailua, (808) 261-5000,, @satorisalonspahi


Best Handyman Service

Winner: Kama‘āina Handyman

(808) 393-1163,

Finalist: Handy Andy

80 Sand Island Access Road, Unit #227, (808) 285-3443,, @handyandyhawaii


Best Hardware Store

Finalist: Home Depot

Multiple locations,, @homedepot


Best Home Insurance

Winner: State Farm

Multiple locations,, @statefarm

Finalist: Allstate

Multiple locations,, @allstate


Best Home Painter

Winner: Kapili Roofing and Painting

94-221 Leonui St., Waipahu, (808) 621-7663,, @kapiliroofingpainting

Finalist: Bernardo’s Painting

Lanikūhana Ave., Mililani, (808) 384-0864,, @bernardospainting


Best Home Security Service

Winner: Alert Alarm Hawai‘i

3210 Ualena St., (808) 521-5000,

Finalist: MDH Automation

335 Merchant St., #1799, (808) 389-8451,


Best Internet Service Provider

Winner: Spectrum

Multiple locations,, @getspectrum

Finalist: Hawaiian Telcom

Multiple locations, (808) 643-3456,, @hawaiiantelcom


Best Landscaper

Winner: Ko‘olau Landscaping

252 Ilihau St., Kailua, (808) 590-3837,, @koolaulandscaping

Finalist: Hapa Landscaping

3514 Wai‘alae Ave., (808) 732-4272,, @hapalandscaping


Best Locksmith

Winner: Salz Lock and Key

3012 Wai‘alae Ave., Suite 100, (808) 734-6557,, @salzcorp

Finalist: Pop-a-Lock

Multiple locations, (808) 923-5623,


Best Luxury Car Dealer

Winner: Servco Lexus Honolulu

650 Kapi‘olani Blvd., (877) 278-4715,, @servcolexus

Finalist: BMW of Honolulu

777 Kapi‘olani Blvd., (808) 201-6026,, @bmwofhonolulu


Best Mani/Pedi

Winner: Lavish Spa & Nail Lounge

Multiple locations,, @lavishkapolei

Finalist: Salon Glitter

Unit C-101, 903 Ke‘eaumoku St., (808) 949-2218,, @salonglitterhawaii


Best Moving Company

Winner: Island Movers

4397 Lawehana St., (808) 832-4000,, @islandmovers

Finalist: Johnny the Mover

661 Ke‘eaumoku St., (808) 957-0040,, @johnnythemover


Best Pest Control Company

Winner: Kīlauea Pest Control

Multiple locations,, @kilaueapestcontrol

Finalist: Terminix

Multiple locations,, @trustterminix


Best Place for a Massage

Winner: Heaven on Earth Salon & Day Spa

1050 Alakea St., (808) 599-5501,, @heavenonearthhi

Finalist: Massage Envy

Multiple locations,, @massageenvyhi


Best Plumbing

Winner: 535 Plumbing

810 Bannister St., (808) 300-0535,

Finalist: T&C Plumbing

2472 Komo Mai Drive, Pearl City, (808) 456-2429,


Best Real Estate Firm

Winner: Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties

1314 S. King St., Second Floor, (808) 596-0456,, @cbpacific

Finalist: Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Advantage Realty

4211 Wai‘alae Ave., #96, (808) 738-3600,, @betterhawaii


Best Retirement Community

Winner: The Plaza Assisted Living

Multiple locations, (808) 745-1941,, @theplazahawaii

Finalist: Kāhala Nui

4389 Malia St., (808) 218-7001,, @kahalanui


Best Roofing Company

Winner: Akamai Roofing

2222 Kamehameha Highway, (808) 486-5555,, @akamairoofing

Finalist: Kapili Roofing and Painting

94-221 Leonui St., Waipahu, (808) 621-7663,, @kapiliroofingpainting


Best Solar Company

Winner: RevoluSun

660 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 220A, (808) 748-8888,, @revolusun_smarthome

Finalist: KumuKit

99-1350 Koaha Place, ‘Aiea, (808) 524-7336,