Honolulu & Waikiki
After Kauai, we traveled to Oahu and spent a few days down in Waikiki. We spent one morning trying to boogie board at Waikiki beach, which was fun, even though we picked a day when there weren’t many waves — oops! We were also able to find some salsa dancing on Friday night, and connect with a few people in the Honolulu dance scene. Yay new dance friends!
Honolulu had a very different feel than Kauai. We’ve heard it described as Chicago, if Chicago were near the ocean and had palm trees. We’re still adjusting to seeing palm trees and Christmas trees next to one another! A little strange compared to our usual white Christmas.
Aside from dancing, we didn’t spend much time downtown, since we’re coming here again on our way back to MN in February. Our plan is to check out Pearl Harbor and any of the other attractions we missed at that time. We decided to stop in Hawaii on our way to and from Australia because 1. it’s Hawaii… and 2. we figured it would cut down the super long flight and make the time adjustment easier. After Oahu, we’re heading over to Melbourne, and then Tasmania!
While I think we preferred Kauai overall, we did find a few great restaurants we liked in Waikiki!
Favorite Places to Eat Near Waikiki
Heavenly Island Food
Loved their Eggs Benedict with pork belly!
Sweet E’s Café
Great Breakfast place! We split their french toast with fruit and a side of bacon.
The Lovin Oven
Great little pizza place near our hotel. We had a custom pizza of Kahlua pork, sun dried tomatoes, Portuguese sausage. Yum!
There was a line out the door when we got there (and still out the door when we left!) but it was worth the wait! They moved people through fairly quickly, so we didn’t have to wait too long. We ordered at the counter, and they had our food ready and tables available by the time we got to the tempura line. You can select any tempura items you want (shrimp, vegetables, etc) and they have great fried chicken! Very reasonably priced and tasty.
Favorite Sweet Treats Near Waikiki
A staple of Honolulu and Waikiki, they are known for their malasadas, which are a type of Portuguese donut that are deep fried and coated in sugar. We tried an original malasada and one filled with Haupia (coconut cream). They make them as soon as you order, so they’re still hot when you eat them! Both were good, but we preferred the original over the filled. We got there around 12:30 p.m., and there was still a line to the door.
Fantastic dairy free soft serve made with bananas, fresh fruit, and local ingredients so it’s *mostly* healthy! We discovered a group of zebra doves (“Zebra dove mafia”) that aggressively stalked the tables looking for anything that fell off. A couple of times while we were eating a zebra dove flew up and landed on the corner of the table. Easy to scare off, and interesting to watch so many up close without needing to feed them!
Island Vintage Shave Ice
They put frozen yogurt in the center of their shave ice, and serve it with a side of popping boba and some of the best mochi we’ve ever had (full disclosure: we haven’t had much mochi… but we thought theirs was great!).