Koko Head Cafe is Chef Lee Anne Wong’s love letter to brunch. Part of the Kaimukī neighborhood of Honolulu, this friendly neighborhood café features daily dumplings.
When you enter Koko Head Cafe, it has a laid back neighborhood feel. We enjoy sitting at the bar so we can reflect on the daily dumpling (“Dumplings all day Wong”) and the specials. Watching the work in the kitchen and getting to talk with some of the staff make our time there enjoyable.
Take time to study the menu. I appreciate the bar program, not that I was drinking early in the morning, but they had George Dickel (one of my favorite Tennessee bourbons) and many Hawaiian spirits. There are so many sweet and savory menu choices that I will be going back often to try them all. Many have local flavor such as biscuits made with poi, poke omelet, portuguese sausage, and kimchi.
Before your breakfast, you have to try the dumpling of the day, so come to Koko Head Cafe hungry. So beautifully made with local ingredients.
Skillets, plates, and bowls
Choosing your main dish is so hard. Here are 3 of the savory choices we’ve tried.
The famous French toast was so perfect for my sweet tooth! The French toast is breaded with cornflakes. Also, the bacon is nice, thick cut, the maple syrup has black pepper. And to top it off, the topping is gelato made with Sugar Frosted Flakes!
The Paniolo blended whiskey from Mau’i caught my eye. In addition, I love the special Maker’s Mark bottle Chef Lee Anne received as a gift with her face etched on!
Because the restaurant is in Kaimukī and not Waikiki, the feeling is relaxed. One time we were there and Chef Lee Anne walked in. One of the staff told her that we were visiting from North Carolina and she came up and kissed each of us! Sorry, no photos! That was a time to be in the moment and a memory to tuck away in my adventures in Hawaii.
Map of Kaimukī
Koko Head Cafe is definitely a neighborhood place. Therefore, if you are driving from Waikiki, you have to get across the H1 highway to get to Kaimukī. Our tip is to drive north on Kapahulu Avenue and turn right on Kaimuki Avenue (right after Leonard’s Bakery). Take Kaimuki to a left on 12thAvenue and then take a right on Koko Head Avenue (using this route you will see the lovely Kaimukī Fire Station.) Turn left on Mahina Avenue and then a left into the parking lot behind all the businesses. You can use this parking lot or find parking on the street. Look for the striped awning for Koko Head Cafe.
Using The Bus, take bus 24 to the Kalihi Transfer Center. Take bus 1 to Waialae and Koko Head Avenue.
- Kaimukī perfect neighborhood from Hawaii Life
- A brief history of Kaimukī from Historic Hawaii Foundation
- Chef Lee Anne Wong from Hawaiian Airlines
- Waikiki Guide from The Bus
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