Honolulu Coffee Worth Seeking

Rainbow Honolulu

Honolulu is home to frequent rainbows and increasingly satisfying coffee.

Hawaii is a hub for Asian cuisines, seafood, and seasonal ingredients. The island chain is also the only place in the U.S. where coffee grows on a consistent basis with convincing results. Learn about six places to drink satisfying coffee in Honolulu, the state capital and biggest city on Hawaii’s third largest island, listed in alphabetical order.

Updates since January 25, 2019
Additions: Ali’i Coffee Co., Daily Whisk Matcha
Subtractions: Brue Bar (Closed), Gorilla in the Cafe (Closed)

Ali’i Coffee Co.


Coffee Honolulu

Ali’i Coffee Co. co-founders James Webb and Will Gold have three Honolulu locations and one Kauai outpost. I visited their Ward Village location with ocean wave murals. Ali’i’s signature “coff-tails” include a tropical banana milk float with macnut cold brew and banana foam. Signature lattes like the earthy Taro Ube with taro powder, ube extract, and cane sugar also tap into local tastes.

MUST ORDER: Banana Milk Float, Taro Ube

Bean About Town

Coffee Honolulu

Olivier Vetter debuted Bean About Town in Kaimuki in 2018 and started roasting beans in-house before expanding to DFS Waikiki in 2023. Kaimuki baristas delivered textbook espresso drinks, plus flavorful specialty beverages like the shakarato, which features espresso and milk shaken with ice and lightly sweetened. Da Kine is a green smoothie that’s far less complicated to drink than to describe, made with spinach, almond milk, almond butter, banana, honey, matcha, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp hearts, and cacao.

MUST ORDER: Shakerato, Da Kine Smoothie

Daily Whisk Matcha

Matcha Honolulu

Ten Tomorrow boutique owner Summer Shiigi teamed with three friends to open this stylish window with ombre green wood panels on Kaimuki side street in 2022. They offer espresso drinks, but matcha is clearly the big draw. The earthy dried green tea powder stars in vivid tropical drinks like the tangy matcha lilikoi soda and cocktail inspired matcha-colada (pictured) flavored with pineapple and coconut. Hapa latte is a fun mix of matcha and hojicha (roasted green tea) sweetened with Big Island honey.

MUST ORDER: Matcha-Colada, Matcha Lilikoi Soda, Iced Hapa Matcha Latte

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Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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