Mar 13, 2018
Friends With Benedicts
There's never been a better time for foodies in Honolulu.
With literally dozens of restaurants offering up world-class and innovative culinary creations, you can find an out-of-this-world meal seven nights a week and twice on Sundays in this town. But when it comes to our favorite meal of the day, we'd be lying if we didn't say we had a soft spot in our stomach for brunch. And after all, who doesn't appreciate rolling out of bed on a Sunday at 11 for cocktails and all things hollandaise? With that in mind, we're pleased to pay homage to this legendary meal by curating a list of our favorite brunch destinations in Honolulu. Enjoy.
Koko Head Café:
Tucked away in the heart of Kaimuki stands Koko Head Café. Founded and run by acclaimed Chef Lee Anne Wong, Koko Head Café definitely brings the heat when it comes to brunch. The ambiance is mellow, festive, and fun and you can actually make the kitchen scream by giving them a tip. (True story.) When it comes to our personal favorites, you can't beat their famous cornflake French Toast, which is paired with a smooth-as-silk scoop of gelato, brown-sugar bacon and black-pepper maple syrup. Also on our must-grind list is the breakfast bibimbap, which is served in a sizzling skillet and pairs devilishly well with one of their signature Bloody Mary's.
Located in Mo'ilili, along the foothills of UH, stands The Nook. Routinely regarded as one of the city's premiere brunch locales, this gem of a restaurant is a surefire way to make the most of a Saturday or Sunday morning. If you're looking for a kitchen with a cocktail game as strong as their food game, look no further than The Nook. When it comes to ordering, trust us on this and give some very serious though to their Brekkie Stack, consisting of pillowy French toast piled with eggs and bacon. And for a libation, reach for their Morning Fiesta cocktail.
Ahh Scratch Kitchen, our home away from home. Chef and owner Brian Chan, who was practically raised in the kitchen, broke new ground in the brunch world when he opened the original Scratch Kitchen in Chinatown with his Southern-inspired creations. Since debuting their Ward Village location, the restaurant has been poppin' and has developed a cult-like following (present and company included) of patrons eager to devour just about anything that comes out of the kitchen. But when it comes brunch, let's just say that we think Scratch takes the cake…errr…French toast. So what to order? Well, it's literally hard to go wrong, but their Milk and Cereal Pancakes will leave you weak in the knees and there's a decent chance you'll go to bed a night dreaming of their Creole Shrimp 'N' Grits.
As the sister restaurant to the legendary Pig and the Lady, Piggy Smalls has developed a reputation for their outside-of-the-box approach to all things delicious. And when it comes to brunch, you'd be wise to remember that you're dealing with pros here. The crew behind the counter knows their stuff. So, what's the jam? Their Dutch babies, which come in both sweet or savory, are phenomenal, and we'd crawl across ground glass for their Hot Crab Benedict Pie.
Nalu Health Bar:
We get it. Sometimes, after a long night on the town, the idea of stuffing your stomach with butter, ham, and hollandaise doesn't seem like the wisest of choices. But what about something light, something refreshing, and something—dare we say—downright good for you? Well, dear reader, look no further than Nalu Health Bar and Café in South Shore Market to quell your hunger pangs, all without putting you in a food coma. Recently opened, Nalu offers an array of fresh, healthy, and delicious breakfast/brunch items, including their famous acai bowls, smoothies, and wraps. They also pour a mouthwatering mix of espresso drinks and kombucha, if you need an extra lift to get you through the day.
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