Waioli Kitchen & Bake Shop is a beautiful breakfast/lunch restaurant in Honolulu's lush Manoa Valley. Breezy and relaxing, it's a spot that locals love and few visitors know about.
Welcome to Waioli Kitchen
First thing to know, Waioli Kitchen is beautiful. It's set in Manoa Valley on a large and lush piece of land with monkeypod trees.
Waioli Kitchen's concept is unique and offers a perspective of Hawaii not often seen by visitors. It's also been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1998!
Second thing to know, Waioli Kitchen has a long history. It opened in 1922 as a Waioli Tea Room. The Tea Room served as vocational training for orphans at Salvation Army Girls Home. Growing up, we used to have afternoon tea at Waioli with friends and family. It was always packed and busy.
Picture the hotel afternoon teas of Hawaii, but in a more casual and cozy setting. Over the years, the Tea Room was slowly forgotten, and eventually closed for several years. But then! It was revitalized in 2019 as Waioli Kitchen & Bake Shop. Today it's a wonderful breakfast/lunch restaurant that also functions as vocational training for people recently released from incarceration.
Order at the counter and find seating anywhere inside or out. They'll call your order when it's ready. It feels like you're in someone's home...a large, picturesque home with great indoor/outdoor seating. It's always breezy and relaxed in Manoa. I love getting late breakfast or an early lunch here with mom. The visits always feel rejuvenating.
Waioli Kitchen is located in Manoa Valley, one of my favorite eating neighborhoods in Honolulu. Manoa Valley is a residential neighborhood, home to the famous Manoa Falls Trail/Hike and lots of good food. Check out our Manoa Dining Guide here.
While you're in the neighborhood, stop by a few of our other favorite Manoa spots:
- Feast - Come here for plate lunch, slightly elevated! I love the hamburger steak and fried chicken (which is like chicken katsu crossed with mochiko chicken). Don't forget pumpkin crunch for dessert.
- Morning Glass – For coffee, all types of neat drinks (like housemade ginger soda and hot chocolate) and housemade pastries. It's an ideal spot to meet and catch up with friends and family.
- Andy’s Sandwiches & Smoothies – Andy's is the local sandwich shop we’ve been visiting for over two decades. I like the eggplant melt and the hot ahi spread. Don't forget to get a smoothie.
What To Order
The menu is short and focused on local ingredients. From the fresh lilikoi (passion fruit) sauce that accompanies the mochi waffles to the sea salt and honey harvested at Waioli, local Hawaii elements find their way into every dish.
There are about five different menu items (and a daily special). Here's what we like to eat:
We love all things mochi Hawaii and these mochi waffles are considered their signature dish. You get four small waffle rounds to an order, hot from the waffle iron and dusted with sugar. It comes with a housemade lilikoi (passion fruit) sauce...tart and tangy. Bonus: you can buy their packaged mochi waffle mix to make at home ^_^
Banana Macnut Pancakes
Good old fashioned pancakes with sliced bananas grown in Manoa and sprinkle of toasted macadamia nuts. Comes with butter, coconut syrup, and maple syrup.
This is occasionally a daily special - get it if you see it. House-baked bread, crispy bacon, local lettuce and tomatoes, and just enough mayo. So simple, so good.
The bread for all the sandwiches are baked in house, and they're known for muffins, scones, and all sorts of sweet delights. The baked goods offerings change daily...think blueberry cream cheese scones (we love blueberry cream cheese scones in Hawaii and Diamond Head Bakery also does an excellent version!), bread pudding, and cinnamon rolls. Make sure to come early for these.
There's a large and free parking lot directly in front of the restaurant.
No need reservations! It's a very causal spot, and great for both small and large groups. There's ample seating and I've always been able to find a table.
You can sit indoors (windows open, very breezy) or on the outdoor veranda and garden. Both options are great. It's hard to describe just how relaxing and soothing this place is. Even if you're just coming for a morning coffee and pastry, you'll leave in a very happy mood.