For many of us, a good day doesn’t begin without a proper cup of coffee. Getting dressed, navigating through traffic, answering emails, it’s all made twice as challenging without the glory of coffee to kick-start our brains and get our bodies moving. Whether you enjoy the biting, bitter taste of straight black coffee or opt for flavored espresso beverages, coffee lovers understand the simple pleasure of sipping that first cup.
For those of you who are visiting or living on Oʻahu and subsist daily off of numerous cups of coffee, this post is for you. I’m breaking down my favorite coffee shops on the island that stray from the more common corporate pours.
Overview: Topping the list is Coffee Talk, one of Kaimuki’s longstanding gems. The ample seating, eclectic décor and friendly service are all just icing on the very delicious cake that is their amazing coffee selection. From the smooth Iced Toddy to the classic house blends, Coffee Talk offers a menu that’s both comprehensive as well as inventive.
Sample Coffee: Nitro Cold Brew or Cinnamon Roll Latte (my personal favorite).
Sample Food: Throw in a chocolate chip scone and monstrous slice of bread pudding because you deserve it.
Bonus: Situated deep within the coffee shop is “The Vault,” a vintage gathering space that was once an actual bank vault. The Vault room boasts a long wooden table and ample chairs, ideal for large groups looking for a quiet place to study, work or simply hang out. Come early, or call Coffee Talk to reserve the space!
Overview: If coffee shops could win awards for ambiance, Morning Glass would definitely take home the trophy. Nestled in the heart of Mānoa, the quaint Morning Glass enjoys a refreshing indoor-outdoor atmosphere with the picturesque Mānoa Valley mountain range framed in the background. Like its environment, Morning Glass coffee is top-notch with each cup freshly ground and prepared to order. Creative and delicious weekday breakfast and weekend brunch options make Morning Glass a go-to for Mānoa residents.
Sample Coffee: Hawaiian Coffee of the Day or Vietnamese Style Iced Coffee.
Sample Food: Macaroni + Cheese Pancakes. Always go for the Macaroni + Cheese Pancakes.
Bonus: Though open exclusively during the day, Morning Glass hosts a handful of Burger Night gatherings and Night Breakfast events for eager foodies throughout. Follow Morning Glass on social media to learn more!
Morning Brew Coffee & Bistro
Overview: This Kailua staple recently opened a new location in SALT at Our Kakaʻako, but I’m biased toward the original location. I love driving past the Koʻolau mountain range bathed in the early morning light and setting up shop in Morning Brew’s spacious, second floor loft for some quality reading and writing time. The coffee shop is clean and welcoming, offering delicious, organic coffee and healthy food options.
Sample Coffee: Any of the Single Brew Pour Over coffees—they’re all delicious!
Sample Food: The Brew Breakfast Sandwich houses egg, meat, Muenster cheese and house-made aioli in a fresh ciabatta roll, and it’s to die for.
Bonus: The loft seating upstairs is a great place to hunker down and get things checked off your to-do list.
Island Brew Coffeehouse
Overview: Like Morning Brew, Island Brew Coffeehouse has multiple locations, but I like the east Oʻahu one the best. The Hawaiʻi Kai location is graced with prime positioning along the marina, offering breathtaking views of crystal clear waters and lush Hawaiʻi vegetation. Not many coffee shops can boast great coffee, quality food and ocean views!
Sample Coffee: Malabar Mocha—a signature Island Brew beverage featuring rich espresso, chocolate, caramel and crème de cacao.
Sample Food: A crunchy yet fluffy waffle draped in fresh fruit, chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.
Bonus: As if the ocean views weren’t enough, friendly and knowledgeable baristas run the show at the Hawaiʻi Kai location
Looking for more F&B recommendations during your time on Oʻahu? Follow us on social media at @thisweekhawaii or visit our website for more of our favorite picks!