The 4 Best Places to Eat Outside in Mānoa and Mō‘ili‘ili

When one door shuts, the outdoors open. Here are some of our favorite restaurants in Honolulu for dining alfresco.

Find more outdoor dining options in the August issue of HONOLULU. Find it on newsstands in August, subscribe or look for it in our online store.

 

 

Wai‘oli Kitchen & Bake Shop

A quick stop for pastries can easily turn into a lengthy brunch here, where outdoor tables allow for ample distancing and the garden presents a peaceful getaway from the bustle just down the road. Order inside off the menu board (the banana mac nut pancakes, $10, can easily feed two) and someone will bring your food out to you when it’s ready. A 3% charge is added to help with Wai‘oli’s mission to teach life and work skills to women from Salvation Army’s drug and treatment center and those transitioning out of prison. –KV

Open Wednesday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2950 Mānoa Road, (808) 744-1619, waiolikitchen.com, @waiolikitchen

 


SEE ALSO: The Historic Wai‘oli Tea Room Reopens as the Wai‘oli Kitchen & Bake Shop 


the nook neighborhood bistro
Photo: Katrina Valcourt

 

The Nook Neighborhood Bistro

For a time, Sunday brunch defined my generation. Its popularity meant that reservations were always strongly recommended. In this new world, they’re required, but not much else has changed at The Nook, where the coveted outdoor seating is de rigeur. Each table has a QR code to scan so you can pull up the menu on your phone, and you’re asked to keep your mask on until after ordering. We love the scones and gravy ($16.50), with rosemary cheddar scones, local pork sausage, bacon cream gravy, two eggs and a Sriracha maple sauce, though the menu changes depending on availability. If you can, get the Almost Irish ($10), a bourbon and espresso cocktail with maple syrup and fresh cream on top. Dine-in is currently Saturday and Sunday only; beginning Aug. 6, that will expand to Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. –KV

1035 University Ave., #105, (808) 942-2222, thenookhonolulu.com, @thenookhi

 

Le Crepe Café

Le Crepe Café owner Soufiane Bouharkat says he loves how sometimes the biggest, burliest guys will transform into little kids when they watch him spread crepe batter into thin, round sheets and tuck Nutella, strawberries and bananas into their folds. If you’re feeling more grown up, you can go the savory route with a vegetarian crepe of spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms. The few outdoor tables don’t quite have the charm of a Parisian café, but come Friday mornings and you’ll catch Mānoa Marketplace’s outdoor market—last I visited, the seasonal offerings included mountain apples, mangoes and dragon fruit. –MC

Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, 2752 Woodlawn Drive, (808) 988-6688, lecrepecafe.com, @lecrepecafehawaii

 


SEE ALSO: Soufiane Bouharkat, Owner of Le Crepe Café, on the Difference Between Racism in France and America 


 

Tori Ton

This tiny izakaya across from Old Stadium Park opened at the beginning of 2017 and has since kept a loyal following of yakitori fans on a budget. And since the demand for outdoor seating has taken this city by storm, Tori Ton has answered the call. Along the sidewalk and outside the entrance area are four to five tables for small groups. When visiting for a safe and cheap pau hana session, we recommend four crowd-favorites: the pork-wrapped mochi and cheese ($2.90) and the pork-wrapped Japanese premium rice served with an egg yolk dip ($3.90) from the butamaki-kushi (bacon-wrapped) menu, salmon kamameshi (a slow-cooked rice dish that is partly prepared at your table; $12.90) and a naughty little high ball to wash it all down with ($5.50). Definitely call ahead to book a table. –KK

2334 S. King St., (808) 260-1478, @toritonhawaii

 


Read Budget on a stick: Tori Ton on Frolic Hawai‘i


 

Read more stories by martha cheng, Katie Kenny and Katrina Valcourt