The 3 Best Places To Eat Outside in Kaimukī Right Now
When one door shuts, the outdoors open. Here are some of our favorite restaurants in Honolulu for dining alfresco.
At Mud Hen Water, you can enjoy these warm summer evenings beneath string lights in the spacious courtyard.
photo: olivier koning
Mud Hen Water
You feel like you’re at a fancy picnic when you eat outside at Mud Hen—not just because of the picnic table seating, but because of the strings of lights crisscrossing the sky above. Kaimukī is a strolling town, so greetings fly over the planter boxes when diners recognize passersby on their evening ambles. This part of Mud Hen brings home the neighborhood feel of the area, something we wish we had in our own ’hoods. It’s as irresistible as the restaurant’s farm-to-glass cocktails and as memorable as its he‘e (octopus) lū‘au stew and miso butterscotch rice pudding you will order every time. –MT
Many of the restaurants in Kaimukī aren’t built for outdoor dining, but Himalayan Kitchen’s second-story spot has ample seating in the open courtyard at the top of the stairs (sorry, no elevator) next to Sugarcane. Come for lunch between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily, or dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. every night except Monday, where you’ll be seated beneath string lights and umbrellas. No matter what you order, start with the garlic naan and don’t forget to BYOB. –KV
The Ripple of Smiles
The Ripple of Smiles recently reopened its outdoor patio, painted a jolly green, shaded from the sun, fringed with foliage and cooled by ceiling fans—altogether as lovely a setting as you can get across from City Mill’s parking lot. Here, find solid Vietnamese classics such as pho and papaya salad with a house-made fish sauce, as well as extensive vegan options, which most recently included bitter melon stir-fried with mushrooms and stir-fried lemongrass rice noodles. It’s also open for breakfast, recently debuting a vegan manapua. Make sure to ask for a side of hot sauce, also made in-house. –MC
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11:02 a.m. to 2:32 p.m. and 5:02 p.m. to 8:32 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 8:02 a.m. to 2:32 p.m., 5:02 to 8:32 p.m., closed Tuesdays. 3040 Wai‘alae Ave., (808) 354-2572, @the_ripple_of_smiles
Read more stories by Martha Cheng and Katrina Valcourt