You don’t mess around when it comes to coffee. And after a 6-hour or more flight only the best java will do. Starbucks in HNL? No thanks. Not to knock Emerald City’s mainstay, but you are in Hawaii and want to kick start your trip with some local beans, caffeine, and in a scene that complements the paradise you’ve just arrived in. Given that we do airport pickups and drop-offs at all hours of the day and night we absolutely know where to get the best brew (coffee, that is) and are happy to share the intel with our fellow aficionados. Below we have detailed the best cafes to get your caffeine fix soon after arriving at HNL, which are also on the way to your accommodations.
4 Best Coffee Shops Near Honolulu International Airport (and probably en route to your hotel)
Ali’i Coffee Co. (15-20 minutes from HNL)
35 S Beretania St, Honolulu HI
This cafe is pretty new, having opened in May of 2018 after a stint in the “food truck” business hocking java at Pearlridge and a variety of other parking lots around the island. Thank goodness they settled into an in-town brick and mortar, and smack dab between the airport and Waikiki area hotels. This independent and extremely well-reviewed coffee shop is best known for its off-menu Ube Taro Latte (be sure to request it!) and is also renowned for its nitrogen-infused cold brew and “Coff-tails” (which is what it sounds like) but espresso fans will want to try the The Queen (espresso, hazelnut syrup, toasted coconut flakes) with an extra shot to energize you for your first day on the island. If the line for Ali’i is too long and you simply can’t wait, you’re just around the corner from one of our other top coffee picks near HNL – Honolulu Coffee Company (see below, at the bottom).
Island Vintage Coffee (20 minutes from HNL)
Ala Moana Center / 2233 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu HI
Usually coffee chains don’t hold a candle to independents (above) but Island Vintage Coffee (IVC) is as elite as any cafe on the island. If you’re heading to Ala Moana Hotel from HNL then you can pop right into Ala Moana Mall and into IVC which is on the very first floor for a quick fix of the best espresso drinks on the island. Charged with the finest gourmet 100% Kona coffee, top picks include the Island Latte, Hawaiian Honey Latte, and super-rich Lava Mocha. IVC also boasts one of the best acai bowl menus on the island, for those in need of a superfood boost after a long flight. If you’re staying right in Waikiki Beach, then get dropped off at the Royal Hawaiian Center location (second floor) which is near the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Sheraton Waikiki among the other Kalakaua Avenue hotels/resorts.
Hawaiian Aroma Caffe (20-25 minutes from HNL)
2300 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI
While there is an Ilikai hotel location on the edge of Waikiki that is technically closer to HNL by about 5 minutes you’ll want to head to this cafe in the heart of Waikiki Beach, on the second floor of the newly renovated Outrigger Waikiki Beachcomber. The coffee is great, no doubt, but it makes this short list for ambiance, decor, service, and latte art. There’s an aroma of ALOHA throughout Hawaiian Aroma Caffe that is hard to beat and while it can take up to 25-minutes to get there from the airport (not exactly close, right?) it’s worth the wait when you’re staying in Waikiki. If you’ve arrived in town in the late afternoon and need something extra with your caffeine you’ll be pleased to know that this is a licensed establishment which means you can turn your cup of joe into a proper Irish Coffee, should you desire.
Honolulu Coffee (20 minutes from HNL)
1001 Bishop St, Honolulu, HI
Honolulu Coffee Company is a well established Hawaiian coffee shop chain and is best known for its butter-smooth Hawaiian Latte in addition to a delectable selection of pastries. They serve Kona coffee, which is a must for most, including Kona Estate and Kona Extra Fancy, but their Peaberry is also pretty amazing. There are many Honolulu Coffee Company locations spread throughout the south shore and near your Waikiki area hotel, but this is the closest to the airport should you be in need of an immediate fix. This location is also close to Pier 2, which is important for those of you who need to get from HNL to the cruise ship terminals. What better way to begin your adventure at sea?
Now that you know where to go for coffee after arriving at Honolulu International Airport, make sure you put a plan in place to get you to one of the establishments above by booking your direct, private, flat-rate shuttle to Honolulu and Waikiki. Flat rates for the above destinations range from just $30-35 (up to four passengers, luggage included) and if you just want to run in to grab a coffee before we take you right to your hotel then let us know and we can work something out. Call us 24-hours in advance to book your affordable private transport from the airport at 1-800-929-1219 or complete the form found here.
~ ALOHA ~