In Hawaii we are very early risers. Often we are up at the crack of sunlight to get that pre-work surf when the waves are right. Or some prefer to hit 18 holes before the hot Hawaii sun starts to blaze. Either way we are hungry and looking to tuck into a savory breakfast Hawaiian Style!
Big City Diner is Hawaii’s closet thing to a real diner in terms of atmosphere but in terms of food – let’s call it local style dishes meets gourmet diner cuisine. Big City Diner has grown over the years and now has four locations on Oahu. One of the reasons it is very popular with residents is the amazing service and wait staff that make you feel like you are eating at Mom’s kitchen. Owner Lane T. Muraoka has put his many years of experience working for some of Honolulu’s top restaurants into good practice as he creates some very clever items. They add a Hawaiian twist to many dishes like roasted Macadamia nut pancakes with Haupia crème sauce and turn it into a gourmet breakfast experience. Having a full bar at each location can also enhance the breakfast which may be why they say – there is no diner finer than Big City Diner. While this is a top breakfast spot, Big City is also open for lunch, dinner and for that late night snack. www.bigcitydinerhawaii.com
If you are looking for a lighter start to your day, Vida Food for Life offers healthy fare. Located right by the ocean, this casual spot is popular for people fitting in a quick run or surf before work and looking for something to go. Chef Norman makes all his items with care and the Acai’ Bowl with Spirulina, granola and fruit is a great way to start your day.
Another place that offers fresh nibbles and amazing coffee is Coffee Talk. A neighborhood establishment long before Starbucks got it’s hold on the islands, this landmark is a relaxed and often displays art featuring local artists. Owner Liz Schwartz and her team are always smiling as they take your order. Coffee Talk is a fantastic spot to read the paper, meet a friend for a hot morning beverage and enjoy one of their freshly made bakery creations.
If you are looking for place to start the day with a beautiful ocean view, head to Duke’s Restaurant and Barefoot Bar. Many people are not aware that Duke’s offers a great breakfast-brunch buffet from 7 – 10:30 a.m. so close to the water it could touch your toes! This is an ideal place when you have people on many different time zones as the menu items are very diverse and Duke’s has a full bar. They also validate parking and is a fantastic jumping off spot to explore Honolulu. www.dukeswikiki.com
Rounding out the top five picks is – Town Restaurant located in the hip neighborhood of Kaimuki. Executive Chefs Ed Kenney and David Caldiero have expanded service within the past few years to include breakfast. Their cuisine motto is to keep it “local first, organic whenever possible and always served with aloha”. That means they create daily specials around what the best local products are in season. Town is a self-proclaimed unpretentious neighborhood bistro that offers outstanding dishes that are sure to please even the most jaded of palates. Town is a fabulous place to enjoy breakfast on the outside patio that is dog friendly. www.townkaimuki.com