Oahu is known as “The Gathering Place,” which is a befitting moniker for Hawaii’s most populated island. A magnet for travelers seeking to experience its staggering natural beauty and explore its storied past, Oahu is also teeming with restaurants that delight locals and visitors alike. Since brunch is the absolute best way to kick off any weekend day, we’ve rounded up five restaurants serving the top brunches in Oahu. Fuel up for an afternoon of soaking up the sun or soaking up local history at one of these spots.
Orchids at Halekulani
Brunch hours: Sundays, 9:30AM to 2:30PM.
When locals think of brunch on Oahu, many think of one place: Orchids. The oceanside restaurant at the Halekulani Hotel has been a Sunday brunch mainstay for years. It’s also been voted best brunch by Honolulu magazine. Orchids’ brunch features everything you can think of, and then some. There are entrées, such as kalua pig Eggs Benedict, a carving table, and chefs on standby for personalized omelets. The buffet also features sashimi, poke, crab legs, clams, and mussels. Be sure to save room for dessert. Here you’ll be treated to macarons, fruit tarts, coconut cake, roll cakes, mousse cakes, all made in-house. Make a reservation at Orchids at Halekulani.
Brunch hours: Friday (until the end of 2017), Saturday, and Sunday, 10AM to 2:30PM.
Opened this past summer, Herringbone Waikiki is the fourth location of chef Brian Malarkey’s popular Herringbone restaurants. Known for its “fish, meats, field” concept, Herringbone fits in well on the island. There’s no reason to wait until dinner either. Herringbone’s weekend brunch is a seafood lovers’ delight. There are oysters on the half shell, Alaskan king crab, whole lobster, prawns, yellowtail crudo, and a ceviche tostada. Even Herringbone’s Eggs Benedict has king crab, uni, caviar plus bacon, all atop local sweet bread. It’s a brunch standout. Another must- get: Ray Ray Pancakes. Instead of being fried on a pan or griddle, this short stack is baked in an oven, resulting in some extra fluffy flapjacks. They’re served with lilikoi butter and seasonal fruits. Herringbone also offers bottomless rose or bottomless mimosas served with fresh fruit juice. Make a reservation at Herringbone-Waikiki.
Mahina & Sun’s
Brunch hours: Sundays 6:30AM to 2PM.
Mahina & Sun’s Sunday brunch offers all the classics — with a local twist. Located in the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, the Waikiki eatery is helmed by Oahu chef and restaurateur Ed Kenney. Kenney is known for infusing Hawaii’s rich food traditions into his menus. For those with a sweet tooth, there’s the mini chocolate mocha — Japanese rice cake — waffle, served with black sesame gelato, the malted waffle with maple butter syrup, and freshly baked scones. For something heartier, opt for the Surfjack breakfast with two eggs, hapa rice or toast, tossed greens or macaroni salad, kim chee, and bacon or Portuguese sausage. Brunch isn’t complete without cocktails, and Mahina & Sun’s serves mimosa with fresh juice and Bloody Mary’s, such as the Hamajang Bloody Mary made with Prairie vodka, charred local tomatoes, Hawaiian chili pepper water, lemon juice, and Adoboloco Hamajang hot sauce. If you wanna get going early, Mahina’s brunch starts early, at 6:30AM. Make a reservation at Mahina & Sun’s.
Grondin French-Latin Kitchen
Brunch hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 10AM to 2PM (The last Sunday of the month features live jazz from 11AM to 2PM).
What’s better than a delicious meal on a Sunday morning? Some live jazz to go along with your breakfast grinds. Look no further than Grondin French-Latin Kitchen. Located in Honolulu’s Chinatown, the cozy bistro buzzes each weekend with tasty brunch foods, and on the last Sunday of each month, live jazz. It’s not uncommon for diners to dance mid-meal — or maybe after a hibiscus mimosa or two. For a satisfying Eggs Benedict — there are three to choose from — opt for the Norwegian Bennie made with smoked salmon and poached eggs blanketed in housemade hollandaise sauce all atop an English muffin. Pro tip: don’t leave without dessert! We recommend a slice of the poi-banana bread a la mode; the vanilla ice cream is even made in-house. Make a reservation at Grondin French-Latin Kitchen.
Monkeypod Kitchen-Ko Olina
Brunch hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 10AM to 2PM.
Brunch isn’t just for Honolulu townies. In fact, one of the best weekend brunch spots is located in Kapolei, on Oahu’s west side. Monkeypod Kitchen, situated in the Ko Olina resort complex, has been keeping locals and visitors happy and full since it opened. The restaurant, named after the large sprawling trees found in Hawaii, is helmed by chef and restaurateur Peter Merriman. Merriman is renowned for sourcing local ingredients to craft creative dishes. Just take a look at Monkeypod’s brunch menu: There’s the loco moco, a beloved local favorite featuring a sunny side up local egg, grass-fed Big Island beef, Hamakua wild mushrooms, and MAO Farm organic chard blanketed in alii mushroom gravy. Another favorite is the strawberry cream pie French toast, a French roll filled with housemade strawberry cream pie filling and deep fried with panko batter. We suggest ordering both and sharing. Monkeypod also has Champagne Sundays, where the restaurant’s bottles of bubbly are half off all day. Make a reservation at Monkeypod-Ko Olina.
What are your picks for the top brunches on Oahu? Let us know here or over on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.
Tiffany Hill is a freelance writer based in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she writes about travel, culture and business. Read more about her here.
Photo credit: James Anschultz (Grondin French-Latin Kitchen).