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Tucked away and often overlooked, hole-in-the-wall places usually turn out to be the most pleasant surprises. Sure Shot Cafe is one of those places on Oahu that’s packed with hidden treasures. The super-casual front door is off to the side and can be easily mistaken for a storage space in the Makiki Shopping Center. Just a quick drive from Waikiki, Sure Shot’s neatly nestled between a Subway and a mini-mart.This sign will help guide you to the little cafe in Makiki.
But as soon as customers walk through those doors, they’re greeted by plates full of freshly-baked pies, cakes, pastries and quiches. The air inside is warm and toasty, bagels and scones all cozy in the oven. The cafe’s dully-painted walls extend way back into the building, where an overstuffed bookshelf sits beneath dimmed lights. And all around, people chat up a storm, read the latest headlines or tack tack away on their laptops – with a coffee or sandwich in tow.
The cafe describes this as “Coffee culture at its best” because of the “Good Food, Good Coffee, Good People.” It’s not difficult to find out what they serve; four gigantic panels hanging from the ceiling act as floating menus. In addition to pastries baked daily, there are bagel sandwiches, homemade soups and salads, fresh fruit bowls with oatmeal or homemade granola and vegetarian items. The weekend always has a waffle special, and the coffee? It will surely satisfy anyone in search of some caffeine. They’ve got a full espresso menu and an array of rich roasts to choose from. Non-coffee beverages include teas, hot cocoa, lemonade, italian sodas and steamers.
I’ve been coming here for the past couple of years, usually on my way to work when the sun’s still asleep. Sure Shot’s the first business to light up the little shopping center everyday, opening at 6 a.m. sharp. And it’s always the same crew hard at work behind the counter – the tattooed gal making sandwiches in the back and the guy with the thick black-rimmed glasses taking orders and making coffees in the front. Sometimes I see a few other employees, but these two are always buzzing around when I come in. Their website describes their employees as the Motley Crew, consisting of students, teachers, musicians, punks, geeks and jocks – with tattoos, piercings and (I love this!) green and purple hair.Pumpkin in one of its most unique outfits: pumpkin cheesecake.
I actually talked to a tourist once who showed up to Sure Shot after a friend highly recommended it to him. He made sure to get there before they ran out of the pumpkin cheesecake they had at the time. Their desserts are made in-house and change, depending on the fruit season. But you can always count on the scones, muffins and croissants to be there every morning. It’s the kind of place where you order first, then take your pick from the plates that cover the countertops.
Good Food, Good Coffee, Good People? I think those are pretty Good Reasons to give them a (sure) shot.
SURE SHOT CAFE • 1249 Wilder Ave., Honolulu, HI 96822 • Open Mon-Sat 6am-6pm, Sun 7am-6pm • 808-523-BEAN (2326) • www.sureshotcafe.com • Parking Available; Near bus route