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Detours with locals. Travel tips you can trust.
The interior of Surf Garage.

A guide to local favorites in Moiliili

The interior of Surf Garage.
  • By Martha Cheng
  • Photos by Marie Hobro
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Visitors are apt to drive through Moiliili without stopping, but those who pause will find tucked-away, everyday delights. Its proximity to the university gives it a young vibe in a long-established residential neighborhood, once home to taro fields and then a Japanese immigrant community (the Japanese Cultural Center and Moiliili Hongwanji, a Buddhist temple, still exist here). Karaoke dive bars and fine-dining restaurants share a block, and a convenience store serves shave ice the way it has for decades while beer geeks invent new brews.

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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Surf Garage
This surf shop has the most stylish surfboard collection in town, from noseriders to shortboards by local and national shapers.
Surf Garage, 2716A S. King St. Honolulu, HI, 96826
Inspired during a trip to Japan, husband-and-wife team Dean and Cassy Song opened Mono to offer a tightly edited selection of minimalist stationery and home goods.
Mono, 2013 S. King St. Honolulu, HI 96826
Ahi Assassins
Co-owners Joshua Schade and Erika Luna serve locally caught fish in a petite space wedged in the top corner of a small commercial building. Find about a dozen poke varieties here.
Ahi Assassins, 2570 S. Beretania St. Honolulu, HI 96826
Waiola Shave Ice
One of the most classic shave ice spots in Honolulu, the original Waiola location traces its origins to 1940, when it was just a mom-and-pop grocery store. Today, from the convenience store window, it still serves soft, finely shaved ice drenched in your choice of syrups.
Waiola Shave Ice, 2135 Waiola St. Honolulu, HI 96826
Beer Lab
The most experimental of Honolulu’s breweries, Beer Lab offers a constantly changing menu of beers, from sours to juicy IPAs to seven-hop blends. The focus is entirely on beer, so bring in food from any of the many neighboring eateries.
Beer Lab, 1010 University Ave. Honolulu, HI 96826
There's more to see
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.