In My Town—Gems Around Makiki

Makiki and I go way back. Before it housed my current library, used furniture and rambunctious rescue dog, Makiki was first and foremost the town in which I grew up. In the cramped, two-bedroom apartment I shared with my parents and younger sister, we fought for our claim over the bathroom and designated spot on the two-seater sofa. When we moved into a more spacious house with my grandparents in 2011, I never would've anticipated returning to the very same apartment complex four years later, yet that's exactly what I did!

Despite the heavy traffic and overcrowded housing situation, Makiki has my heart, and I love exploring its hidden gems whenever I can. This week I'm shining the spotlight on my favorite Makiki spots for eating, exploring, and eating some more.

Sure Shot Café
A staple for Makiki residents, Sure Shot Café is a diamond nestled in Makiki Shopping Village, offering some of the best coffee on the island. I'm a big fan of their no frills, great coffee approach, which keeps the line moving and my caffeine craving satiated. In addition to strong, smooth coffee, Sure Shot also offers tasty scones, muffins, breakfast burritos, sandwiches and cakes, just to name a few! Tip: Head over to Sure Shot early in the day to beat the crowds and nab a good parking stall at Makiki Shopping Village. 

Honolulu Museum of Art
Growing up I spent many summers challenging my artistic side at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, and while I can't say my skills improved, I'm still grateful for the valuable lessons I have learned from truly talented artists, painters and sculptors. Honolulu Museum of Art is a great place to take classes, attend workshops and browse through current exhibitions with some of the state's finest visual arts on display. Spalding House is the museum’s second location situated on Makiki Heights Drive and features permanent and rotating galleries, a café and sprawling green gardens. 

Burgers & Things
Maybe this is cheating since it's not technically in the heart of Makiki, but Burgers & Things is too good to pass up! Relatively new to the neighborhood, Burgers & Things is the brainchild of talented Chef Ernesto, who opened the hole-in-the-wall location late last year. He's responsible for specialty burgers like the "Wagyu Say?!," a mouthwatering wagyu beef patty topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions and the "Un-Foie-Gettable," a grass-fed patty braised in a delicious foie gras demi-glace. On any given day, Chef Ernesto also surprises his guests with treats like marshmallow-stuffed Campfire Cookies and the addictively garlicky Wave Fryders—just thinking about it makes my mouth water! 

Makiki District Park
Recreational parks are underrated features in many neighborhoods, and Makiki District Park is no exception. The sprawling, green field, lush shower trees and abundant facilities often go unused, yet that doesn't stop me from making my morning trek to the park for a relaxing jog. Behind the well-manicured field, there are also tennis and basketball courts, a swimming pool and children's playground. My favorite feature is the community garden that houses a variety of fragrant flowers and plants. 

There are so many restaurants, hikes, beaches, museums and historical landmarks to explore across all islands! To learn about some of our favorite spots, visit

Happy adventuring!

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