Take It Outside

Blue skies. Fresh, clean air. Deliciously balmy breezes. Ahh, another gorgeous day in paradise.

And where are you? Stuck in a windowless dungeon of an office slaving away on expense reports. As soon as you break free of your shackles, er, cubicle, you’d love to sit outside, grab a meal, kick back and breathe easy.

But finding a nice open-air eatery that’s not swarming with tourists, tiki glasses and umbrella-topped drinks can be a bit tricky. To help you plot your 5 p.m. getaway we’ve rounded up a handful of our favorite Honolulu al fresco dining spots.

Lei Chic Cream Pot
With its cozy cottage-like décor complete with antique lanterns, vine covered trellis, and mosaic chairs, dining at this quaint breakfast and brunch spot is like taking a trip to the French countryside. The outdoor patio seats up to 14 – the perfect place to indulge in Cream Pot’s delectable French and Japanese fusion menu items, which range from heavenly fruit-filled crepes and caramel-drizzled waffles to a burgundy beef stew omelet and maguro-topped eggs Benedict. Hawaiian Monarch Hotel Waikiki, 444 Niu St., Honolulu, 808.429.0945.

Lei ChicGrand Café & Bakery
A favorite spot for lunch, Grand Café has a four-table outdoor dining area that’s a nice place to linger on sunny Honolulu afternoons. The food reflects the tastes and styles of cuisine from when the original Grand Café opened in the 20’s. Expect items like chicken pot pie and meatloaf as well as traditional soups, salads and sandwiches. 31 N. Pauahi St., Honolulu, 808.531.0001. More info here. Image courtesy: Grand Café & Bakery.

Lei ChicOrine Sarang Chae
A parking lot off of Keeaumoku is hardly the place you’d expect to find a little ambiance. And yet nestled behind a row of mom-and-pop shops is Orine Sarang Chae’s casual outdoor dining area, filled with wooden umbrella-covered tables large enough to accommodate both a table-top grill and a bevy of the Korean restaurant’s tasty dishes (yakiniku meats, veggie baskets, kimchi soup, and more). An encircling picket fence provides just enough privacy while the giant banyan tree at the center, strung with twinkling Christmas lights, gives off a welcoming glow. 905 Keeaumoku St., Honolulu, 808.955.0646

Lei Chic
Brasserie Du Vin
It’s hard to believe you’re still in Chinatown when you plunk down at one of Du Vin’s outdoor tables. With warm brick accents and plenty of Old World charm, the patio is a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of downtown. And with a menu of French classics that would please even the most discerning Francophile, this spot is a favorite for downtown dwellers, office-types and anyone who respects a decent moules frites. 1115 Bethel St., Honolulu, 808.545.1115. More info here.

Lei ChicOlive Tree Café
Tucked behind the chain restaurants of Kahala Mall is one of Honolulu’s most popular Greek eateries. With specials like chicken and lamb souvlaki, freshly made dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), hummus and other Mediterranean dishes, this small café is usually bumping. The breezy outdoor tables are at a premium so be ready to pounce if you see one open up. 4614 Kilauea Ave., Honolulu, 808.737.0303.