Oahu: Kaimuki

Old meets new in charming, eclectic Kaimuki

Just inland from Diamond Head, where in the late 1800s ostrich once roamed and carnation fields later dotted the hillsides, rests charming, eclectic Kaimuki. This effervescent neighborhood today retains old-time shops on and off central Wai'alae Avenue, while continually sprouting contemporary eateries helmed by talented island chefs-all beckoning many (hungry) returns.


Transport the kids to Art Explorium, a blank-canvas studio with a motley collection of art materials ready for imaginations of all ages. Structured workshops dates vary. 1142 Koko Head Avenue. 808-312-4316; artexplorium.org.

Sink into a reserved leather Barcalounger at the intimate, 19-seat Movie Museum to watch all manner of films on DVD-or rent one for home. 3566 Harding Avenue, Suite 144. 808-735-8771.


Near the bus stop, glass jars packed with dried fruit and curated salty-sweet delights line the tiny, decades-old Crack Seed Store, perfect for soothing seed cravings or merely indulging in a cold, house-blended li hing mui Icee. 1156 Koko Head Avenue. 808-737-1022.

The beachy, eco-friendly Sugarcane Shop is stocked with quaint jewelry, vintage housewares, plush throw pillows, and trendy clothes. 808-739-2263; fb.com/sugarcanehawaii.


One-time Top Chef contestant Lee Anne Wong helms all-day brunch at Koko Head Café, from daily dumplings to cornflake French toast à la mode. 1145-C 12th Avenue. 808-732-8920; kokoheadcafe.com.

Adorable hole-in-the-wall Sprout builds curry chicken and other fresh sandwiches on just-thick-enough ciabatta slices. 1154 Koko Head Avenue. mkt.com/sproutwich.

Ed Kenney's bright, casual Kaimuki Superette features farm-to-table quiche, sandwiches, and sides. 3458 Wai'alae Avenue. 808-734-7800; kaimukisuperette.com.

The former food-truck-turned-bustling-treat-shop Via Gelato has inventive scoops (think cotton candy or milk tea). 1142 12th Avenue. 808-732-2800; viagelatohawaii.com.