Best Places for Live Music on O‘ahu
You’re in for a musical treat at these places in Honolulu and beyond.
What pairs best with mai tais, other than sunsets, blistered shishito peppers, kālua pork quesadillas and ‘ahi spring rolls? Live music, of course—and Honolulu’s scene has a little bit of everything. Whether you’re looking for moody jazz in a luxurious vintage setting or tropical vibes in a breezy alfresco spot, we’ve got a place for you. Here are some of our favorite live music locales, perfect to stop by with visiting family, to hit up on your next date night, or to just chill at with a few friends.
Kaka‘ako: Merriman’s Honolulu
This effortlessly stylish eatery’s outdoor tables are prime spots for some laid-back acoustic-style croonings. The musical lineup complements a casual dinner-and-drinks night out—nothing too loud or abrasive, and all about those warm aloha spirit vibes.
1108 Auahi St., merrimanshawaii.com/honolulu
Waterfront Kalihi: Nico’s
Check out Nico’s website for an impressive calendar of acts scheduled almost every day of the week and in the evenings too. Look for relaxed R&B and Hawaiian music at lunch between noon and 2 p.m., and again starting at 6 p.m. for dinner service.
1129 N. Nimitz Highway, nicospier38.com
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Waikīkī : House Without A Key
It wouldn’t be a live music round-up without a nod to Halekulani’s legendary House Without A Key. This go-to spot for happy hour boasts stunning oceanfront sunset views, perfect tropical cocktail classics, and Hawaiian-style entertainment to write home about. Not only are you treated to Hawaiian music every evening, starting at 5:30 p.m., but it’s accompanied by the dancing of former Miss Hawai‘i and Miss Hawai‘i-USA winners.
2199 Kālia Road, halekulani.com
Waikīkī: Lewers Lounge
There are few places quite like Lewers Lounge, and while it’s located within Halekūlani, it couldn’t be more different. Think cozy wood-paneled walls, lush velvety seating, and a moody ambiance that’s a perfect match for its nightly artists’ masterful jazz stylings. Find them under the spotlight and ready to groove from 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
2199 Kālia Road, halekulani.com
Kailua: Maui Brewing Company
Great local beers (and a huge variety!), easygoing brewery vibes, the perfect island-inspired bar menu. What more could you want? Maui Brewing Co. in Kailua has the no-fuss night-out formula down pat. And with live musicians every Wednesday through Sunday evening, starting at 6 or 7 (check the Maui Brewing Co. calendar for specifics), we could chill here for hours.
573 Kailua Road, Kailua, mbcrestaurants.com/kailua/
Ala Moana-Meets-Waikīkī Marina: 100 Sails
Prince Waikīkī’s 100 Sails has been on our radar for years, thanks to its stunning marina views and a top-tier brunch buffet that is the stuff of dreams. But its centerpiece bar, where you can grab small bites and craft cocktails, is a new reason to come back, this time for happy hour. Sweetening the deal is live music every Thursday through Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m.
100 Holomoana St., 100sails.com
Hale‘iwa: Maya’s Tapas and Wine
Get into the laid-back North Shore mode during weekend brunch, when Maya’s brings out some live tunes of the reggae-inspired, island-vibing variety. Best paired with sangria, it’s the perfect way to while away your Saturday.
66-250 Kamehameha Highway, Hale‘iwa, Mayastapasandwine.com
Ala Wai-at-Ala Moana: Signature Prime Steak and Seafood
Come for breathtaking floor-to-ceiling window views that encompass everything from Mānoa to the Waikīkī Yacht Harbor. Located on the 36th floor of the Ala Moana Hotel, this elegant, old-school restaurant and bar offers a fabulous happy hour and throwback dishes (like oysters Rockefeller and steak tartare). Throw in some live musical stylings on the house piano (expect classical, jazz and contemporary sounds) and you’ve got a trifecta of appeal that makes this classy, stylish spot one of the city’s best.
410 Atkinson Drive, signatureprimesteak.com
Waikīkī—At Sea!: Vida Mia
The Vida Mia is a restored yacht with a beautiful, vintage aesthetic that will take your coffee or cocktail hour to the next level. While the bulk of Vida Mia’s offerings include snorkel cruises, morning coffee cruises, and private sunset sails for quite the pretty penny, the calendar also opens up on Wednesday and Saturday evenings for Vida Mia Live. Only 30 seats are available for each of these intimate two-hour experiences, which feature a full seafood dinner, local artists and a full premium bar for $159.
Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor, Slip 499, thevidamia.com