We all know the best part about brunch is a good mimosa or Bloody Mary, right? Right! With that in mind, here are my top five island brunch spots.
1. Koko Head Cafe, Kaimuki
When chef Lee Anne Wong moved from NYC to Honolulu in 2013, her mission was to create the ultimate island-style brunch house. It’s safe to say her dreams (and ours!) have come true in Koko Head Cafe. Serving brunch daily from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., its don’t-miss dishes include Elvis’ Revenge — a decadent combo of peanut butter, banana tempura, billionaire’s bacon, local honey and toasted coconut, all on a sweet bun.
Best Brunch Booze: Top of Mauna Kea ($10), an infusion of hot steamed milk, Old Lahaina Gold & Dark Rum, local honey-vanilla and Hawaiian sea salt. Look out, coffee, there’s a new sheriff in town!
2. Cactus Restaurant, Kailua
A quick jaunt from town, Cactus in Kailua boasts indoor and outdoor seating, fresh ingredients and a whole lot of flavor. It serves breakfast on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring options that include the Local Guava & Cream Cheese Stuffed Argentine Fry Bread that has been rolled in cinnamon sugar.
Best Brunch Booze: Bloody María ($8), a generous mix of Camerana Blanco tequila and red chilé-infused tomato juice. The best part? You can make it as spicy as you like it!
3. LuLu’s, Waikiki
LuLus’s was the first brunch spot I discovered when I moved here, and nearly four years later, it’s still one of my favorites. Grab a seat on the bar rail to watch morning surfers catch waves, while noshing on Stuffed French Toast — sweet Pullman bread filled with cream cheese and pineapple-lilikoi marmalade. LuLu’s serves breakfast daily from 7 to 11 a.m.
Best Brunch Booze: LuLu’s Lemonade ($8), featuring Island 808’s pineapple vodka infused with ice-cold lemonade, ensures your day gets off to a delicious start!
4. Scratch Kitchen and Bake Shop, Chinatown
Get to Scratch early to capitalize on some of its best menu selections — Pound Cake French Toast and Creole Shrimp n’ Grits. Putting a modern twist on breakfast classics, Scratch serves breakfast from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Monday.
Best Brunch Booze: Tang Mimosa Cocktail ($9), a mix of Tang, prosecco, triple sec and orange-flavored Pop Rocks — this concoction is sure to awaken your taste-buds!
5. bill’s Sydney, Waikiki
Known for its Ricotta Hot-cakes served with banana and honeycomb butter, bill’s is a new favorite of mine. A bit of a hidden treasure, it’s open from 7 to 11 a.m. Monday-Sunday and offers both kamaaina and military discounts.
Best Brunch Booze: White Peach Bellini ($11), a refreshing fruit sensation that invigorates the senses!