Family Restaurant Review: Keiki & the Pineapple

A unique play café entertains keiki and gives adults a (coffee) break.


Photo: Laura Dornbush

July 2020 Editor’s Note: The cafe currently is operating on a reservation-only system as part of its pandemic safety measures. Reserve a table and the playspace for a one-hour time slot in advance online. Reservations are $25 (which can be used as a credit to buy food when you are there) and are limited to 10 people at a time. The areas undergo a deep cleaning in between reservations. This review was from a visit in late 2019.

Our Dining Checklist:

  • Ambience: The cheery, yet sophisticated, murals and concrete floors lend the feel of a creative art space, which fits right into the Kaka‘ako neighborhood. With indoor and outdoor seating and play areas, toddlers laughing and screaming, and the espresso machine grinding and frothing, the café embraces positive chaos (the kind only a parent could appreciate).
  • Parking: Free parking is available in the building on the ground level marked “Customer Parking.” There is also metered parking on Ward Avenue or flat rate parking at the Blaisdell Center parking lot. On weekends only, customers can park outside the fence of Valenti Print Group (999 Waimanu St.) for free.


Diaper changing station and breastfeeding area.

  • Bathrooms: The bathrooms are shared with other commercial businesses in the building and are located out the back door of the restaurant. You need a code to enter. The bathroom was large and clean. There is no baby changing table in the bathroom, but the café has a corner reserved for diaper changing and breastfeeding (separated by a privacy screen.)
  • High Chairs/Stroller-Friendly: The restaurant offers high chairs and booster seats.There are a couple corners to tuck a stroller into, but most customers I saw just parked their strollers right next to their tables.
  • Keiki Menu/Takeout Option: The keiki menu offers smaller portions of the toasts and açaí bowl ($4-$5.75), but the whole menu is very kid-friendly (except the coffee!). Regular menu items are large enough for young children to share. Takeout is available.
  • What to Know: Check out the calendar online or on social media (@keikiandthepineapple) before you plan your visit, as they offer events throughout the month, including “Wednesday Story Time” and “Lullabies with Louis” that you won’t want to miss. They also host birthday parties. If you are sitting inside, grab a table next to the play area so you can watch your kids while you (try to) relax.


Photo: Laura Dornbush

Our Little Foodies:
  • Duke, 3, loves granola bars and buttered pasta. Hesitant at trying new foods, he sticks to what he knows. He would rather play than eat. 
  • Jack, 3, loves the variety in his daily bento box lunch, such as sugar snap peas and fresh cherries. As a slow eater, he has learned to guard his food from his twin brother, Luke. 
  • Luke, 3, loves any food he can get his hands on. An adventurous and healthy eater, he will try anything from olives to French brie. 

My mom friend, Nicolle, and I are always looking for places to go—to escape from our small condos and tire-out our boys. When we saw the Keiki & the Pineapple sign go up just down the street from where I live, we planned our next meet-up. Her twin boys, Jack and Luke, and my son, Duke, have been friends since they were infants in Mommy & Baby Yoga class. 

Keiki & the Pineapple opened in September by owner and mom, Tiffany Morrissey, who was inspired by the kid-friendly coffee shops in London that she used to frequent. After moving home to Hawai‘i, she wanted to open a space where moms and caregivers could connect and enjoy time with their keiki. 

We met at Keiki & the Pineapple (former Greens & Vines space at Kapiolani Blvd. and Ward Ave.) on a Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. for a mid-morning playdate. As we arrived, the boys spotted the Thomas the Train and dump truck ride-on toys in the outdoor café area. Before we could greet each other and say ‘hi,’ the boys were racing the vehicles, and Nicolle was drawing a racetrack with chalk. As the restaurant fronts two busy streets, I was relieved that the area is gated. And as a bonus, it is shady in the morning with plenty of tables!


Photo: Laura Dornbush

The boys didn’t want to give up the train and truck, but we persuaded them to come inside so long as the vehicles came inside with us too. It felt like a parade entering the café with a stroller, Veer Cruiser Wagon, two ride-on toys and three toddlers. But I was immediately put at ease when I saw strollers parked next to every table and diaper bags stacked on chairs. 

“It felt like a parade entering the café with a stroller, Veer Cruiser Wagon, two ride-on toys and three toddlers!” 

While the moms studied the menu, our blond trio dove into the indoor play area with soft climbing blocks, a play piano, puzzles and books. At the counter, Nicolle and I ordered our coffee first (no surprise there). She ordered a cold brew and I opted for a latte.


Photo: Laura Dornbush

We also ordered a few food items for the boys, knowing we might get a few bites of whatever they didn’t finish. The café offers a variety of sweet and savory toasts ($8.50-$12.50), overnight oats ($7), açaí bowl ($10.50), chia pudding ($7), yogurt parfait ($7), smoothies ($7.50) and a full espresso bar.   

Instead of traditional table numbers to help the food runners find us, we received a Peppa Pig table number. I also spotted fun Cookie Monster and Paw Patrol table numbers.

The boys stayed busy climbing and jumping in the play area while we waited for our food. We had to keep reminding them to be gentle since the area is designed for keiki ages 0 to 3 years old—and there was a baby nearby. Our coffee and food came out sporadically but took about 15 minutes to get everything we ordered. It wasn’t hard to summon the boys to the table. We all toasted to our friendship with coffee and Babyccinos (steamed milk). 


Photo: Laura Dornbush


Photo: Laura Dornbush

My latte hit the spot and I appreciated the leaf latte art and ceramic mug, which is an upgrade from my usual paper to-go cup. Nicolle’s cold brew was strong and didn’t get diluted with the ice cubes, which were also made with cold brew.

Jack started digging into his overnight oats with bananas, strawberries, raspberries and chia seeds right away. The fresh fruit on top was the first to go. Luke gave an A+ to the avocado toast, which he devoured quickly and then started eyeing his brother’s oats.

Jack surrendered the oats and ate the remaining piece of avocado toast. I’m not sure if Duke was thrown-off by the open-face presentation or the sprinkles, but he just stared at his colorful keiki unicorn toast. Eventually he ate one strawberry off the top. He just wanted to be excused to get back to playing. True to their colors, Jack and Luke polished off their toast and oats and joined Duke to play. 


Photo: Laura Dornbush


Photo: Laura Dornbush

The café was very accommodating with our requests to customize the order for the boys. For the overnight oats, we swapped pineapple for berries and left off the feta and cilantro on the avocado toast. And when the boys wrinkled their noses at the warm milk of their Babyccinos, the staff gladly added ice. 

The best thing about Keiki & the Pineapple is that it is a no-stress place to dine with infants and toddlers. Is your kid screaming? Is your kid spilling water all over the floor? Is your baby’s diaper exploding out the side? It’s OK, because all the parents and caregivers here have been there, done that. However, despite being a kids’ play café, the small touches in the latte art, cold brew ice cubes and creative table numbers make even the moms feel like they are going out for a treat.


Photo: Laura Dornbush

We’ll definitely be back for more playdates and to try out some of the scheduled craft activities! 

Keiki & the Pineapple is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is closed Mondays. 909 Kapiolani Blvd. Ste B. (808) 369-7025. keikiandthepineapple.com