Brunch is a big deal on the island of Oahu, where locals and vacationers alike take their morning and early afternoon meals seriously. From waffles to fried eggs and even bibimbap, you’ll find anything you crave — and perhaps, a few creative dishes you never realized existed. Along the way, you can experiment with unique cocktails or caffeinated beverages that give you a serious jolt.
Whether you crave an upscale experience or something a bit more casual, you’ll find plenty of trendy brunch spots where you can take in the local vibes as you enjoy delicious eats and even better beverages.
Be sure to add these essentials to your Oahu brunch itinerary:
Koko Head Cafe
Serving a brunch like no other, Koko Head Cafe owes its genius to the Food Network’s beloved Lee Anne Wong. The theme here is “brunch all day,” although, with hours extending until just 2 pm, you can’t entirely make good on that promise. Set aside plenty of time for the wait, which can easily extend over an hour. If you’re like most visitors, however, you’ll agree that this unmatched brunch experience is well worth the wait.
Once you arrive, you’re welcome to an adult take on the morning milkshake, which is just one of many enticing beverages available. You can’t go wrong with the Queen’s Mimosa or the Lilikoi Fizz, which are among the most popular drinks on the extensive cocktail menu. These beverages are tough to pass up, but it’s easier when you can substitute them with non-alcoholic alternatives such as lilikoi juice, guava juice, or a cold brew.
Island-style dishes abound, as do classics with a twist. When you crave a hint of sweetness, you can’t go wrong with the unique breakfast bruschetta: a Japanese version of vanilla rusk, plus honey yogurt, mac nut, fruit, and lime zest. The breakfast version of bibimbap is also a hit, as are the all-day dumplings.
If you’re in serious need of some caffeine before you embark on a jam-packed day, be sure to visit Morning Brew. This pleasant cafe is known for its fresh roasts and distinctive breakfast dishes. It’s also a great place to simply relax and take in the local atmosphere. The upstairs area is calm, especially as compared to most of Honolulu’s bustling brunch spots.
Getting caffeinated is always a wise choice at Morning Brew, where you’ll find a remarkable Kona pour-over. The cold brew is as refreshing as it is energizing. When you aren’t in the mood for coffee, you can always opt for kombucha, plantation iced tea, or even a trendy matcha tea latte.
It’s not every day you can order actual green eggs and ham. However, they are available at Morning Brew, complete with spinach and pesto. Other favorites include a delectable caramel apple waffle and an unforgettable naan bread creation incorporating prosciutto, goat cheese, and fried egg.
Goofy Cafe & Dine
Locavores adore Goofy Cafe & Dine. It is known for its toasted breakfast burritos, acai bowls, and its spectacular eggs Benedict. The latter is available with many enticing add-ons, such as salmon or kalua pork.
If you desire something sweeter, you’ll gravitate towards the many French toast options, which cater to cinnamon lovers, or place a Hawaiian spin on a classic recipe. Everything tastes better when accompanied by a guava mimosa, although the Bloody Mary is certainly worth a try.
Be prepared for a long wait, as this is currently one of the buzziest brunch spots in town. Streamline your visit by making a reservation, especially if you plan to stop by during the peak of weekend brunch. No matter when you visit, you’ll find that the pleasant surfer vibes get you in the mood for a fun day of island exploration.
Sweet E’s Cafe
Named for the beloved Ethel Mathews, Sweet E’s is a Honolulu staple. Comfy and chic, this charming space has a family-friendly feel and a range of dishes to please any type of visitor. Be sure to show up with a large appetite. You’ll leave full when presented with sizable portions of your breakfast favorites.
French toast is the perfect option when you want to indulge. It’s made with Hawaiian sweet bread and can be stuffed with cream cheese, plus bananas or strawberries. The breakfast sandwiches are gigantic. When in doubt, the Lox Bagel is sure to please with its capers and smoked salmon.
Don’t forget an energizing coffee, complete with free refills for the duration of your visit. Passion orange guava juice is wonderfully refreshing, but orange juice and iced tea are always solid choices.
Waffle and Berry
As a counter-service hotspot, Waffle and Berry might not offer the leisurely brunch experience you’ll find at the other destinations on this list, but it’s definitely worth a visit when you’re in a rush. Fast brunch service tends to be a rarity around Oahu. So there’s something to be said for a quick meal that delights the palate but then frees you up for other adventures.
Top offerings here include acai bowls and waffles, which are made to order. Whether you’re on the hunt for something healthy or indulgent, you’ll easily find something that satisfies your sweet tooth. Don’t forget to grab a freshly brewed sweet tea or a tasty fruit beverage.
There’s no question as to whether Oahu’s dining scene does brunch well. There truly is something for everyone, including high-end coffee, trendy cocktails, and, of course, the most enticing eggs and French toast imaginable. Start your Oahu morning on a high note with an unforgettable brunch.