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What do you love most about dining out for breakfast? Is it the thought of not having to cook at home? Knowing you can order a creamy cappuccino? Or is it the unique dishes you can’t quite recreate yourself? For me, I love going out to breakfast because I enjoy cozy cafes, good espresso and the hustle bustle of a morning crowd ambiance.
[center_quote]There is something fresh and rejuvenating about breakfasts… you can start anew and choose happiness, while deliberating over good espresso on how to spend the rest of your day.[/center_quote] And for those vacationing in Hawaii, finding the perfect breakfast spot that combines good atmosphere, great food and an energizing cup of coffee is one of the best ways to begin the morning. Here is a list of my top favorite breakfast spots on Oahu, chosen for their ambiance, food, coffee and price point.
As a North Shore resident, I realize that convenience plays a big role in the lifestyle up here. So for anyone vacationing on the North Shore, there is a conveniently located cozy café in the heart of historic Haleiwa. Known as Haleiwa Café, this restaurant is open daily from 7:00am till 2:00pm.
Since it’s one of the only breakfast nooks on the North Shore, it can become quite crowded on weekends, but thankfully this café runs both an indoor and outdoor seating section. While the indoor area has the café appeal, the outdoor area is pleasant as well with a garden backdrop and eclectic decor. You can never go wrong with a café that offers unlimited coffee refills, especially when the brew is good and strong. My favorite dish here is the Café Egg Sandwich, which offers the perfect amount of food to get your day started.
My next recommendation is Morning Glass in the Manoa Valley of Honolulu. This quaint café/coffee shop has the feel of a San Francisco or Seattle style morning eatery, with their large chalkboards, espresso art and friendly yet ‘we-mean-business’ service. Open everyday from either 7:00am or 7:30am till 1:00pm or 4:00pm (check their website for specifics), this small spot cranks out the meals. With excellent espresso and eggs served in personal cast iron skillets, you can’t go wrong at this charming open-air café nestled in the lush town of Manoa.
For those of you staying in town, or Honolulu area, there is a restaurant I always recommend you try at least once during your vacation. Wailana Coffee House is basically like the Hawaiian Denny’s. While this might throw some of you off, the thing that Denny’s, and other restaurant chains do well are comfort foods. While Wailana is not a chain, it does have the ambiance and charm of a large diner, meaning plush booth seating, free coffee refills, classic waitresses and all the wonderful comfort breakfast options you could ask for.
What makes Wailana so unique however is you can order local Hawaii style breakfasts too. If you’ve been dying to try a loco moco, spam musubi or coconut pancakes then I highly recommend you take part in the old school dining experience that is Wailana Coffee House. Plus, they’re open 24 hours every day. Talk about convenience.
Over on Oahu’s East Side there is a unique spot called Cinnamon’s and it has quite possibly the most extensive variety of breakfast around. If you love dishes like French toast, pancakes and waffles (like me), then this place is the jackpot. Known for their red velvet pancakes (I die), Cinnamon’s is touted as having the best pancakes on the island, served up with tropical syrups and even a signature guava chiffon goodness to top it off.
Open everyday from 7:00am till 2:00pm, this café has a cozy, home style cooking ambiance with indoor seating that somewhat resembles a country home… or Grandma’s kitchen. In the heart of Kailua, Cinnamon’s is the best bet for breakfast on Oahu’s east side.
Back on the North Shore, there is one more noteworthy spot that I’d like to include. Ted’s Bakery is not only a local favorite, but it’s a destination for tourists, specifically for their pie. This place is located just east of Sunset Beach and is almost always crowded with beachgoers. I love Ted’s because you can either grab a pastry and coffee to go, or sit down and enjoy a meal in the outdoor seating areas.
The baked items range from decadent cinnamon rolls to donut holes, croissants, Danishes, éclairs and more, and if you couldn’t tell already, Ted’s honestly has the ultimate baked goodies to satisfy any sweet breakfast craving.
This ‘greasy spoon’ spot also offers hot meals including omelets, loco mocos, corned beef hash and eggs, spam and much more. With a newly renovated outdoor patio area across the parking lot, you can take a seat and enjoy a leisurely breakfast on Oahu’s fabled North Shore. But don’t expect tableside service. This is an order-at-the-counter style eatery, no tip necessary… unless you’re feelin’ tipsy.
My last mention is Moena Café, which is located in Hawaii Kai just outside of Honolulu. A cute little breakfast place serving up local flavors with local ingredients, Moena is somewhat of a hidden gem in the affluent neighborhood of Hawaii Kai.
This restaurant has all the classic breakfast items and also local favorites, and tosses things up with specialty items like crepes, acai bowls and paninis. Plus, with the full array of espresso options, Moena Café is the complete breakfast place for food, ambiance and service. Cute and clean, this indoor café fills up fast on weekends and is open daily from 6:30am till 3:00pm.