Kihei Caffe – Maui, HI, United States

If you are in Maui and looking for a great local establishment for a fantastic, homemade style breakfast, check out Kihei Caffe in Kihei across from the Kalama Beach Park 30 minutes from Kahului Airport (OGG).  We go every time we visit Maui.  Just make sure you bring cash as they do not take credit cards.  There is an ATM in the gas station next to it though just in case I found out.  Open Daily from 5:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Kihei Caffe
1945 South Kihei Road
Kihei, HI 96753
(808) 879-2230

Onto the atmosphere, service and food.

This local establishment has a lot of charm and character.  You can’t beat sitting outside, enjoying some rich coffee, fresh muffins and looking over at Kalama Beach park and the Pacific Ocean with the trade winds blowing in your face.  Awesome.  The atmosphere has a great local, upbeat vibe.  When you eat there, you feel like you found a gem of a restaurant that is all your own.  There is ample parking around the restaurant as well.

The outside of Kihei Caffe

When you walk in, you are greeted by the friendly folks behind the counter.  We had a very nice gentleman take our order and talk us through the specials, muffins and that you need to use cash.  Which we didn’t have.  But, not to hold the line up, this trustworthy gentleman was nice enough to still let us order while they sat my wife and daughter down and I ran to the gas station to get cash to pay for it.  Ordering is done inside first before you sit down as you can’t hold tables.  I recommend getting there early or being patient if you want a seat.

The Kihei Caffe warning sign

Ahh the food.  Can’t go wrong with their splendid breakfast options.  You’ve got healthy choices like Papaya Delight, fruit salad and Biersch Mueslix.  Then there’s the chorizo and eggs, steak and eggs, sausage gravy and biscuits, breakfast burrito, french toast, waffles and pancakes (blueberry, macadamia nut, banana, pineapple), pork fried rice and eggs and of course the Loco Moco (two eggs, fresh ground beef patty, rice and brown gravy).  And you can’t forget about the homemade cinnamon rolls and muffins.  Everything that we had was really fantastic, full of flavor and holy crap was it filling!  I skipped lunch that day.

Breakfast Burrito from Kihei Caffe

Banana Macadamia Nut French Toast

Loco Moco from Kihei Caffe

Homemade blueberry muffin from Kihei Caffe

Neal’s Ratings:

  • Atmosphere = A   (local, parking, great restaurant charm)
  • Service =  A+    (quick, friendly, allowed us to order without paying)
  • Food = A+    (great menu, good solid selections, tasted oh so good)

Ken’s House of Pancakes – Hilo, HI, United States

I had some time to kill before flying out of Hilo International Airport (ITO) and wanted to find a good local place to eat.  Taking advantage of my smartphone, I performed a local restaurant search for around Hilo.  When I travel and am looking for a restaurant, I tend to base my restaurant selection by the number of review stars on Google and of course, the style of restaurant that I am in the mood for.  Lo and behold, Ken’s House of Pancakes popped up with a respectable 4 stars.  Doing a quick search, this acclaimed diner seemed to fit my bill perfectly.  So I headed to Ken’s.

Ken’s House of Pancakes
1730 Kamehameha Ave.
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 935-8711

Ken's House of Pancakes

Ken’s was started in 1971 and has since received Reader’s Choice Awards for “Best Breakfast on the Big Island”, 14 years in a row, and “The Best Diner on the Big Island”.  So naturally I had to try their breakfast grub on my visit.  Onto the atmosphere, service and food…

Being a diner, the atmosphere is well, a diner.  Walking into the restaurant you are welcomed by the bright diner interior, large diner bar and many busy tables.  This place is busy, so get there early.  The good thing is, being a diner they can flip the tables fast so they keep customers moving through.  I lucked out as I was traveling alone and was able to snag an empty stool at the bar.  It’s worth noting that parking is very limited.  There are a good deal of spots out front, but not near enough for all of the customers.  Not to mention since the restaurant is on the corner of a busy intersection, getting in and out of the parking lot can be a pain.  Especially if you are like me and missed the restaurant as I couldn’t get over and make the turn in time off Kamehameha Ave.  I ended up parking behind Ken’s in the medium size business building just off Kanoelehua Ave.  It was quite and had a good deal of empty spots and just a short walk on the sidewalk down Kanoelehua Ave. to get to Ken’s.

Ken's House of Pancakes Restaurant

The service was great.  The waitress behind the bar was friendly, fast and kept my coffee full.  No complaints.

What a large menu!  I have to say, I like options but I felt like I could be there all day trying to decide what to order.  I was traveling by myself and couldn’t narrow my choices to just one from the menu.  Being a ‘House of Pancakes’, I had to try their pancakes.  And since I was just down from Mauna Loa, they had to be Macadamia Nut.  These buttermilk beauties were quite heavenly I got to say.  Especially when you combine these fluffy morsels with their kokonut, passion and guava flavored syrups.  To balance it out, I had to get some egg meal as well.  Alas, I settled on the very Hawaiian, and ‘Original’, Loco Moco.  How can you go wrong with 2 scoops of rice, 5oz lean beef patty, brown gravy and 2 over easy eggs?  Gravy was tasty and had good thickness.  Rice was the yummy sticky rice.  The beef was a bit dry, but hey, it’s a diner.  Other items that looked divine were their other Moco’s with Spam, pulled pork, chili, etc. and their ‘famous’ omelettes that can be filled with just about anything, like crab, Spam, Chinese sausage, shrimp, Portuguese sausage, etc.  Yes, I was a gluttonous fool.  But my belly was happy.

Macadamia Nut Pancakes

 

The 'Original' Loco Moco

Neal’s Ratings:

  • Atmosphere = B-   (local, limited parking, diner)
  • Service =  A+    (quick, friendly, kept my coffee full)
  • Food = A+    (great menu, lots of options, big servings, and tasted oh so good)