When we have visitors in town, one of the first places we take them is Kakaako. It’s a cute neighborhood division just outside Honolulu that is filled to the brim with restaurants, beautiful mural displays, local shops and more. If you are visiting Honolulu, definitely put Kakaako on your radar. Here’s why….
The Ultimate Guide To Kakaako
There are some absolutely delicious restaurants in Kakaako and it’s worth the drive and sometimes hairy street parking (it’s limited – people love it there!) to check them out. Favorites of ours include almost anything in SALT (listed below), Earl Sandwich and Kakaako Kitchen, and Ya-Ya’s Chophouse (the Obamas like this place too, just saying ;))
Looking for more places to chow down? This Kakaako Restaurant Guide is great!
SALT at Your Kakaako is a huge complex that includes shopping, restaurants and businesses all in one place. They also host pop-up events and a full calendar is listed below 🙂 They have a large parking garage, too, which is awesome for checking out what they have to offer since parking will be validated with most purchases. Shopping at MILO (surf-inspired apparel and goods) and Paiko (plants) should be your first stop and when you get a little hungry check out MOKU Kitchen (best mai tais on the island!), ARVO (quick eats like avo toast and yummy lavender lattes) or Taco’ako (a taco shop). The fresh meat selection at Butcher & Bird is second to none and I love the acai bowls and fresh juice from Juic’d Life 🙂
Craft beer lovers rejoice, because there are SO MANY breweries to enjoy in this area! Honolulu Beerworks, Waikiki Brewing Compay, Aloha Beer Company and Home of the Brave Brewing are all within 2-3 blocks of one another and have delicious brews (and some bar snacks) to enjoy. Because they’re all in such close proximity, just take an Uber to Kakaako and walk between the brewhouses, then be sure to get an Uber or taxi ride home!
Just beyond SALT, sits Ward Village, a five-building shopping complex filled with stores, restaurants and even a big movie theater! Some of my favorite stores at Ward Village include Island Olive Oil, Red Pineapple, and Jana Lam’s Studio + Shop. Don’t leave without getting a burger from Chubbie’s (a food truck) and homemade ice cream from Lucy’s Lab (I recommend the vodka ice cream with Fruit Loops!).
South Shore Market
This is technically located INSIDE Ward Village, but it deserves talking about all on its own, because it’s a building filled with local artisans. If you aren’t already aware, Hawaii is filled to the brim with talent and so many local businesses and brands are inside South Shore Marketplace. It’s an open-design and there are plenty of tables to bring your laptop and work, too 🙂 My favorite shops are Cameron Hawaii and Eden In Love.
Living In Kakaako
Admittedly, if Dane and I lived in a condo, it would likely be in Kakaako. The proximity to the ocean, Ala Moana and “town life” is pretty tempting, plus there are so many new condos going up that finding something in an “affordable for Hawaii” range is do-able. I also think we would walk quite a bit more! If you’re interested in living in Kakaako, check out Waiea, Anaha or Sky Ala Moana.
Kakaako Farmers Market
The Kakaako Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8AM – Noon. Personally, I think it’s the best farmers market on the island, because you can park for FREE within Ward Village.
Things To Do In Kakaako
Kakaako is a hugely artistic neighborhood, which hosts Pow Wow Hawaii every year. This event draws artists from around the world to paint murals around the blocks and brings life to older buildings and color to every street corner. Since they are rotated out each year, there is always something vibrant to see. It’s probably one of my very favorite things in all of Honolulu!
Yoga In The Park – Held every Thursday from 5:30 – 6:30PM and completely complimentary! Located on the mauka side of Victoria Ward Park, this free yoga class is led by two local professional instructors.
SALT Pop-Ups – SALT at Kakaako frequently hosts pop-up style events — everything from concerts to markets. Be sure to check their events calendar for updated happenings!
I hope this guide to Honolulu’s trendiest neighborhood was helpful. Want more information on Kakaako? Check out this helpful guide! And if you liked this post, you might also enjoy The Best Hawaii Itinerary or The Vegetarian + Vegan Guide To Oahu!