Top 10 Best Coffee Shops In Honolulu, Hawaii

Coffee culture has become an integral part of daily life for many people around the world. In Honolulu, Hawaii, this culture thrives amidst the picturesque landscapes and vibrant city life. With its warm climate and diverse population, Honolulu offers a unique blend of traditional Hawaiian hospitality and modern coffee experiences. From cozy cafes to trendy roasteries, there is a coffee shop to suit every taste and preference. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top 10 coffee shops in Honolulu, delve into the historical overview of coffee in Hawaii, discuss the diversity of coffee offerings, examine the role of coffee shops in the community, and highlight the etiquette expected in these establishments.

Top 10 Coffee Shops In Honolulu, Hawaii

  1. The Curb Kaimuki – Known for its friendly atmosphere and excellent coffee, The Curb Kaimuki is a popular spot among locals and tourists alike. They source their beans from local Hawaiian farms and offer a variety of espresso-based drinks and pour-over options.

  2. Island Vintage Coffee – Located in the heart of Waikiki, Island Vintage Coffee is famous for its farm-to-cup approach. They serve freshly brewed coffee made from locally grown beans, as well as delicious pastries and light snacks.

  3. Morning Glass Coffee + Café – Tucked away in Manoa Valley, Morning Glass Coffee + Café is a hidden gem known for its artisanal coffee and laid-back ambiance. They roast their beans in-house and offer a selection of specialty drinks, including their signature honey latte.

  4. Kai Coffee Hawaii – With multiple locations across Honolulu, Kai Coffee Hawaii is a beloved coffee roaster known for its commitment to quality and sustainability. They source beans from around the world and roast them to perfection, offering a range of single-origin coffees and blends.

  5. Brue Bar – A favorite among coffee enthusiasts, Brue Bar combines sleek modern design with expertly crafted coffee. Their menu features a variety of espresso drinks, cold brews, and unique concoctions like the lavender latte.

  6. Ala Moana Center – Situated in the bustling Ala Moana Center, this coffee shop offers a convenient respite for shoppers and locals alike. They serve freshly brewed coffee, tea, and specialty beverages, along with a selection of grab-and-go snacks.

  7. Arvo – Nestled in the trendy neighborhood of Kakaako, Arvo is a hip café known for its minimalist décor and Instagram-worthy drinks. They serve a range of espresso-based beverages, as well as healthy breakfast options and decadent pastries.

  8. Brew & Foam – Located in the vibrant neighborhood of Chinatown, Brew & Foam is a cozy café specializing in pour-over coffee and artisanal pastries. They take pride in sourcing their beans from small-batch producers and showcasing the unique flavors of each origin.

  9. The Sunrise Shack – A laid-back beach shack serving up delicious coffee and healthy snacks, The Sunrise Shack is a favorite among surfers and beachgoers. They offer a selection of organic coffee drinks, smoothie bowls, and açai bowls to fuel your day in paradise.

  10. The HI Brau Room – A unique combination of coffee shop and brewery, The HI Brau Room offers an eclectic atmosphere and a diverse selection of beverages. In addition to their locally roasted coffee, they also brew their own beer on-site, making it the perfect spot to unwind with friends.

Historical Overview

Coffee has a long and rich history in Hawaii, dating back to the early 19th century. The first coffee plants were brought to the islands by European settlers, who recognized the fertile soil and ideal climate for cultivation. However, it was not until the 1820s that coffee production began in earnest, with the establishment of coffee plantations on the islands of Kauai, Oahu, and Maui.

One of the key figures in Hawaii’s coffee history is John Wilkinson, a British physician who immigrated to Hawaii in 1819. Wilkinson planted the first coffee trees in the Manoa Valley on Oahu, laying the foundation for what would become a thriving coffee industry. Over the years, coffee cultivation spread to other parts of the islands, with Kona on the Big Island gaining recognition for its exceptional quality.

In the late 19th century, coffee production in Hawaii faced challenges from diseases such as coffee rust and labor shortages caused by changes in immigration laws. Despite these setbacks, the coffee industry persevered, thanks in part to the ingenuity and resilience of local farmers. Today, Hawaii is renowned for its premium coffee beans, particularly those grown in the Kona region, which fetch top prices in international markets.


One of the defining characteristics of Honolulu’s coffee scene is its diversity. Thanks to its multicultural population and global influences, the city boasts a wide range of coffee offerings, from traditional Hawaiian brews to specialty drinks inspired by international flavors. Whether you prefer a classic cup of Kona coffee or a trendy matcha latte, you’ll find something to satisfy your caffeine cravings in Honolulu.

The diversity of coffee shops in Honolulu also extends to their atmospheres and aesthetics. From cozy neighborhood cafés to sleek urban roasteries, each establishment has its own unique vibe and personality. Some coffee shops emphasize sustainability and environmental stewardship, sourcing beans from local farms and using eco-friendly practices. Others focus on artisanal craftsmanship, roasting their beans in-house and experimenting with innovative brewing methods.

In addition to traditional coffee drinks, many shops in Honolulu also offer alternative options such as tea, kombucha, and specialty sodas. Vegan and gluten-free options are also becoming increasingly common, reflecting the city’s commitment to inclusivity and catering to diverse dietary preferences.


Coffee shops play a multifaceted role in the community, serving as more than just places to grab a quick caffeine fix. They serve as social hubs where friends can gather, colleagues can collaborate, and strangers can strike up conversations. In Honolulu, where the pace of life can sometimes feel hectic, coffee shops offer a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city living.

Moreover, coffee shops contribute to the local economy by supporting small-scale farmers and artisans. Many shops in Honolulu prioritize sourcing their beans from local growers, thereby investing in the success of Hawaii’s agricultural industry. By showcasing the unique flavors and terroir of Hawaiian coffee, these establishments help to promote the islands as a destination for coffee tourism, attracting visitors from near and far.

Coffee shops also play a role in promoting cultural exchange and understanding. In Honolulu, where residents hail from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, coffee shops serve as melting pots where people from all walks of life can come together and share their stories over a cup of coffee. Whether you’re a lifelong resident or a first-time visitor, you’re sure to find common ground and forge connections in the welcoming atmosphere of Honolulu’s coffee shops.

Coffee Shop Etiquette

While Honolulu’s coffee shops are known for their laid-back vibe, there are still some etiquette guidelines to keep in mind when visiting these establishments:

  1. Respect the space: Remember that coffee shops are not just places of business but also communal spaces where people come to relax and unwind. Be mindful of your noise level and avoid disrupting other patrons.

  2. Support local: Whenever possible, opt for locally sourced and ethically produced products. By supporting local businesses, you’re helping to sustain the local economy and preserve the unique character of Honolulu’s coffee scene.

  3. Tip generously: In Hawaii, tipping is customary, and coffee shop staff rely on tips to supplement their income. If you receive good service, consider leaving a generous tip to show your appreciation.

  4. Clean up after yourself: Help keep the coffee shop clean and tidy by disposing of your trash properly and wiping down tables after use. This ensures that the space remains welcoming for everyone.

  5. Be patient: Coffee shops can get busy, especially during peak hours. Practice patience and understanding, and be prepared to wait in line for your order.

By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure a pleasant experience for yourself and your fellow coffee lovers when visiting Honolulu’s coffee shops.


In conclusion, Honolulu, Hawaii, is home to a vibrant and diverse coffee scene that reflects the unique culture and spirit of the islands. From traditional Hawaiian brews to trendy specialty drinks, there is something for every coffee aficionado to enjoy in the city. Whether you’re sipping a cup of Kona coffee on a sunny beach or sampling a matcha latte in a trendy café, you’re sure to be captivated by the flavors and aromas of Honolulu’s coffee shops. So next time you find yourself in the Aloha State, be sure to explore the rich and inviting world of coffee in Honolulu.