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 your local
Martha has lived in Honolulu since 2006. Born in San Francisco, she came for a boy and stayed for the people and ocean.
Where I live: Kapahulu, within walking distance of the local eateries on Kapahulu and the energy of Waikiki, and where I can hear the zoo animals in the morning on my way to Diamond Head’s surf breaks.
Best way to get around the city: Honolulu’s bikeshare, Biki, is great for short distances in the central corridor from Diamond Head to downtown, but to get to the edges of town, like Kaimuki and up the steep ridges, a car is best.
Don’t leave without having: Poke. Obviously.
But the local favorite is really: Still poke. There’s a reason it’s sold by the pound in all the grocery stores.
If I moved, I’d most miss: The surf. I’ve been many places around the world, but Oahu is still my favorite place to surf.
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
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
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.