The Kani Ka Pila Grille is one of the best places to hear Hawaiian music in Waikiki. An added bonus is that you can get good local style food while you enjoy yourself. I like that many locals come to hear the groups play. Kanikapila loosely means “let’s play music.”
The grill is next to the pool in the center of the Outrigger Reef Hotel. The bandstand and bar are under cover and the majority of the tables are under the sky!
Origin of Kani Ka Pila name
Near the hotel on Beach Walk is the statue in tribute to Gabby Pahinui, a legend of Hawaiian music. He made the first recording of slack key guitar (kī hō’alu). He influenced many musicians with his kanikapila sessions at his home in Waimānalo.
Telling the story of Gabby Pahinui and his son, Cyril Pahinui, the menu features many Hawaiian style dishes. For the most authentic, ask for the Pop’s special. If you are lucky, it will be pipi beef stew.
Eat and drink ono kine grindz
Along with great tropical drinks, we like the steak and seafood offerings from the grill. They often come with sides such as macaroni salad, rice, or kimchi. The desserts include tropical flavors too!
You can download the monthly entertainment schedule for Kani Ka Pila Grille and choose which night to go. Or take your chances, every night has a great group. The crowd is usually tourists mixed with locals. Some groups bring a hula dancer, but you’ll also see folks get up and dance to hula favorites such as Papālina Lahilahi or Tewe Tewe.
- Outrigger Reef resort hotel
The music starts at 6, so I recommend getting there early for a good view of the musicians. If you have a large party, you can make a reservation with Open Table, or call 808-924-4990.
Map of Waikiki
The Outrigger Reef hotel is on Kalia Road near Fort DeRussy Beach Park. From Kalakaua Avenue, you can get there on Beach Walk or Lewers Street. If you drive, you can valet park at the hotel, or use the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center parking deck (enter at Royal Hawaiian Avenue).
Resource links for Kani Ka Pila Grille
- Download the monthly entertainment calendar for Kani Ka Pila Grille
- Hawaiian Music Live
- The story of Gabby Pahinui
- PBS Let’s Play Music with Cyril Pahinui and friends
- Hawaii musicians from mele.com
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|Where to stay in Oahu||Hawaii regional cuisine||Hula culture, art, practice|
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