When it comes to Java in the US, coffee connoisseurs tend to rave about Seattle, San Francisco, and New York City as being home to elite coffee shops. I think Hawaii needs to be added to the list. With more people gravitating to the cultural jaugenaut that is Starbucks, I’ve tried to, in the last few years, sample coffees from a variety of locally owned shops. There are many more to add to this list, but, let’s start with the first five. Like with my other Five To Try posts: this is by no means a Top 5 list of any kind, just a selection of five interesting spots that I think are worth checking out.
If you’re visiting Hawaii and want to do something a little unusual, random, and a bit off-the-wall, then maybe consider checking out one of Oahu’s Asian supermarkets. We’ve got a few, but the two largest ones are located in the old plantation town of Waipahu. Let’s take a walk through Pacific Supermarket to see what interesting food items we can find! You might even find something to take back home with you.
Located about 30-minutes from Kihei, Keoneoio, better known as La Perouse Bay, makes for a perfect half-day adventure for those looking to enjoy a coastal trail covered in lava rock. The waves (like the drive to get to this beach) can be a bit rough and the shore is rocky, so swimming isn’t recommended. But, bring a large towel and a picnic basket, find a spot, and enjoy the views.
When it comes to Hawaiian shave ice, move over Oahu, because Kauai is king. The Fresh Shave and Wailua Shave Ice are the top Kauai shave ice spots that you want to visit if flavor profiles beyond the generic “rainbow” shave ice is what you’re after. At Wailua Shave Ice, only fresh local fruits are used and forget about artificial flavors, dyes, or high fructose corn syrup…they don’t roll like that…they only use fresh ingredients that are locally sourced.
We’re fans of Chef Peter Merriman, but you already knew that. If you’ve had the chance to enjoy dinner at his flagship restaurant on the Big Island, then the next logical Merriman location to check out would be Merriman’s Kapalua, located on the luxurious Kapalua coastline. On Sunday mornings…they do brunch. And they do brunch right.