Honolulu is full of restaurants, but what if you want a little treat? A donut or a cupcake… Luckily, the city has a number of amazing bakeries as well. You should definitely check out one, or all five, of these spots next time you find yourself in town.
https://www.leonardshawaii.com | 933 Kapahulu Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816 & 3 MalasadaMobiles @ Waikele Shopping Center, Pearlridge Shopping Center, and Koko Marina Shopping Center
Hot, fresh, yeasty custard-filled donuts from Portugal… Leonard is responsible for bringing the malasada to Hawaii or at least making them the popular treats they are today. The grandchild of Portuguese immigrants, Leonard opened his bakery in 1952 and added malasadas the menu shortly after. Back in Portugal, they were popular treats for Shrove Tuesday, so his mother urged him to start making them and they’ve been a huge hit ever since. They have other delicious goodies too, like cream horns, pineapple turnovers, lemon coffee cake, and Florentine bars.
Poi: a uniquely Hawaiian dish make from the fermented root of the tara plant, baked and pounded into a paste. Some people love it, some won’t even taste it, Kamehameha Bakery mixes it with sugar and covers donuts with it. That’s right, Poi Glazed Donuts are their specialty. And, as polarizing as poi can be, tourists and locals both seem to love Kamehameha Bakery’s donuts. You can also try their take on the malasada, the coconut flavored Haupia Malasada. But, get there early! These guys open at 3am with their fresh, hot donuts and they’re known to sell out.
Honolulu Cookie Company
http://www.honolulucookie.com | With 8 locations in Waikiki alone, you’re bound to just walk into one accidentally… Try the Waikiki Beach Walk location on Lewers Street.
Started in 1998 by local entrepreneurs, Keith and Janet Sung, the Honolulu Cookie Company got its start making pineapple shaped shortbread cookies. Now, they have seventeen regular flavors, from simple Butter Macadamia to Dark Triple Chocolate Macadamia, and seven holiday flavors like Peppermint and White Chocolate Ginger Spice. Pop into any of their many locations for a few samples and walk out with a variety box full of cookies.
http://www.lilihabakery.com | 515 N Kuakini St, Honolulu, HI 96817
Liliha Bakery opened back in 1950 and is both a baker and a diner. So, in addition to your guava filled cupcake and croissant donut, you can order up a country style omelet or a hamburger steak. Coco puffs are their specialty though; they sell as many as 7,200 a day! Some of their bakers have been there for 30 years. Clearly, they know what they’re doing and they do it well.
Sweet Marie’s Hawaii
http://www.sweetmarieshawaii.com | 1818 Kanakanui Street, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96817
Sweet Marie’s Hawaii is Hawaii’s first 100% gluten-free and allergy friendly bakery and cafe. Owner Marie Cassel has worked in the food industry for over 35 years but decided to open Sweet Marie’s Hawaii after finding out she has Celiac disease. Being gluten-free is a requirement for her now (as my friend once put it “I’m hospital gluten-free, not Gwenyth Paltrow gluten-free”). She focuses on making baked goods that are good for you and taste delicious too. Marie has fans in both locals and tourists (she’s been known to make meals for people to take on the flight home when airline meals didn’t meet their dietary needs).