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One of the many drinks offered at The Curb.

A guide to local favorites in Kaimuki

One of the many drinks offered at The Curb.
  • By Martha Cheng
  • Photos by Marie Hobro
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Kaimuki’s compact business district, its small, local companies and its 20th-century development as a suburb of Honolulu conspire to give the neighborhood its tightknit community feel. Many of the cafes, restaurants and shops are run by homegrown entrepreneurs, which means even the newer spots keep easy company with the old, as if they, too, had been here for ages, serving schoolkids to senior citizens and keeping their memories.

Meet Martha Cheng

Martha has lived in Honolulu since 2006. Born in San Francisco, she came for a boy and stayed for the people and ocean.

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The Curb
This cozy cafe brews impeccable coffee and espresso drinks with beans from local and national roasters. It’s also adjacent to Breadshop, a great bakery next door.
3408 Waialae Ave. No. 102, Honolulu, HI 96816
Juicy Brew
This vegetarian and vegan deli shuns meat and menus. So you’ll have to stop by to see what the chefs have concocted with primarily locally grown produce — past favorites include beet mochi, ulu waffles, and bentos with a pumpkin croquette and yuzu marinated mushrooms.
3392 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816
Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery
Fried to order and dusted with cinnamon sugar, li hing mui, coffee or cocoa, the malasadas at Pipeline are among Honolulu’s best.
3632 Waialae Ave. Honolulu, HI 96816
Kaimuki Superette
A sister restaurant to Mud Hen Water, this spot offers more casual fare, like a bowl of smoked fish and poached eggs on greens for breakfast, and for lunch, sandwiches including a he‘e roll, a local take on the lobster roll, but with octopus.
3458 Waialae Ave. Honolulu, HI 96816
Okata Bento
This hole-in-the-wall takeout window dishes up old-school, thoroughly unfancy favorites, from grilled cheese with American cheese to bentos with beef teriyaki or chicken katsu, just as it always has for the past 40 years.
3616 Waialae Ave. Honolulu, HI 96816.
Da Shop
Browse this independent bookstore’s mix of best sellers, Hawaiiana titles and books by local authors.
3565 Harding Ave. Honolulu, HI 96816
Awa and Olena
Amanda Watkins’s cheery second-floor space is stocked with her own beachy-meets-urban jewelry designs and wellness goods (she’s also a massage therapist) — think tea made with passionflower gathered from Kauai, botanical oils from Maui, and salves mixed with endemic Hawaiian plants.
1152 Koko Head Ave. Ste. 202, Honolulu, HI 96816
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Martha Cheng
Martha has lived in Honolulu since 2006. Born in San Francisco, she came for a boy and stayed for the people and ocean.
Marie Hobro
Marie is a contributing photographer to The Washington Post based in Honolulu.