Urban meets island in KAKA‘AKO. This Honolulu quartier is shifting from warehouse mecca to a trendy ARTS DISTRICT attracting start-ups, young professionals and businesses. Eye-catching graffiti art — repainted annually by internationally acclaimed artists during POW! WOW! HAWAII — adorns buildings and street corners, adding to the appeal of this chameleon neighborhood.
A colorful collection of proposed construction projects, cafes, boutiques, bars and open-air bazaars make Kaka‘ako a must- see for visitors seeking a dose of alternative culture in the Pacific.
Tucked away in the AUAHI STREET vicinity, you’ll find hip cafes, shops and bars. PAIKO HAWAII, a botanical boutique, is a fun place to get acquainted with local flora and fauna. Hungry? Choices abound in Kaka‘ako. For casual fare, HANK’S HAUTE DOGS offers up everything from the classic Chicago Dog (its most popular offering) to exotic Lobster Dogs. EARL KAKA’AKO is known for its memorable sandwiches such as the Turkey Jam Sam and Cubano. If you feel like dining in, VEIN and MOKU KITCHEN are area favorites. For drinks, we recommend BEVY ‘s handcrafted cocktails, the massive array of beers at VILLAGE BOTTLE SHOP & TASTING ROOM or HONOLULU BEERWORK’S (over on Cooke Street) frothy microbrews.
Refuel at one of the many tempting eateries! Also at Ward Village is the brand new SOUTH SHORE MARKET in Ward Village (on the corner of Auahi and Queen Lane), an indoor market of local boutiques, vendors and restaurants that blend Kaka‘ako’s street art and city vibes. Visit wardvillageshops.com.
HAWAII CHILDREN’S DISCOVERY CENTER gives parents an opportunity to sneak in a little educational fun with the keiki. Exhibits include: “Fantastic You,” an inside look at the human body; “Your Town,” which shows how communities function and gives kids the chance to role-play; and “Hawaiian Rainbows,” which shares what makes Hawai‘i so unique. Call (808) 524-5437.
NOTE: At press time, many venues have revised hours or are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Be sure to check with individual venues for hours of operation.