Neighborhood Favorites

Experience Honolulu's Best

You’ll find many of the city’s favorite hotspots right in Midtown Ala Moana. Here, we’re highlighting some of our favorites!

Chengdu Taste

Treat your taste buds to the hottest, and we mean hottest, Chinese restaurant. But Chengdu Taste isn’t just any old Chinese restaurant. Its specialty is fiery Sichuan dishes full of flavors that numb your mouth and leave you wanting more. There’s something for everyone here whether you like fish, pork or chicken, and yes, there’s even something for those of you who don’t like spicy foods. Authentic Sichuan cuisine is hard to find outside of China but luckily for us there’s some right in the heart of Midtown.

Photo credit: Chengdu Taste

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Bernini Honolulu

Tucked away just off of bustling Piikoi Street, Bernini Honolulu is a contemporary Italian restaurant worthy of your next night out. Chef Kengo Matsumoto, who hails from Tokyo but was trained in Northern Italy, uses seasonal locally sourced ingredients to inform his dishes. Be sure to try the popular, savory Norcia Roman-style pizza, topped with mozzarella, Italian sausage, mushrooms, walnuts and truffles. And save room for dessert. Their tiramisu espuma with Hawaiian cacao nib are little bites of heaven.

Photo Credit: Randy S. posted to Yelp

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Thrills Soft Serve

Picture this: decadent ube soft-serve topped with a perfectly toasted marshmallow, all swirled into a crunchy charcoal cone. Pretty thrilling, right? That’s the mission of Honolulu’s newest ice cream parlor, Thrills Soft Serve. You’re going to want to Instagram your visit to the Piikoi Street confectionery. Each flavor comes out in dazzling, vibrant hues (think turquoise for birthday cake and bubblegum pink for Fruity Pebbles) and the interior of the shop features several backdrops worthy of the ‘gram. Be sure to order your sweet treat in their activated charcoal cone, which costs $6. The intense-looking cone offers a fresher, more subtle taste compared to vanilla—perfectly balancing out the sweet ice cream flavors.

Photo Credit: @thrillshnl

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Salon Glitter

While some may say all that glitters isn’t gold, a visit to Salon Glitter will have you singing a different tune. Located on Keeaumoku Street, this intimate nail salon has been transforming nails into stunning works of art since 2009. These aren’t just your run-of-the-mill manicures either. Using gel polish straight from Japan, manicures and pedicures at Salon Glitter last longer and won’t cause damage to the nail bed. With hand-painted snowflakes and mermaids and everything in-between, the nail technicians at Salon Glitter can make any nail design dream a Pinterest-worthy reality.

Photo Credit: Salon Glitter

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Honolulu Time Company

This Midtown Ala Moana company is one to watch! Honolulu Time Company understands that fine watches and jewelry are much more than casual accessories. They pay attention to the minute details by integrating the technical and aesthetics of form and function. Originally from Vietnam, owners Linh and Eveyln started the business in 1978, hoping to bring the tradition of artisanal watchmaking to Hawaii. If you are looking for the perfect accessory, pay them a visit and explore their extensive collection of vintage and contemporary fine watches and jewelry.

Photo credit: Honolulu Time Company

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Aloha Confectionery

Say “aloha” to Midtown Ala Moana’s newest dessert spot: Aloha Confectionery! Treat yourself to one of their many decadent baked or frozen treats. Our favorite is the milk tea soft serve, which pairs perfectly with sweet Hawaiian honey and crunchy housemade rice oats.  Each confection is incredibly Instagrammable, so make sure to snap a pic before savoring every last bite!

Photo Credit: Aloha Confectionery

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Steepologie Teas

Steep into Hawaii’s favorite tea shop at Steepologie Teas located at Ala Moana Center. Living up to their name, Steepologie Teas offers over 300 flavors of tea so whether you’re in need of a quick midday burst of energy or deciding what gift to get for a loved one, you’re sure to find everyone’s perfect cup of tea here! And if you’ve ever wondered what Hawaii would taste like in a drink, sample their Hawaiian Lei Tea, an herbal blend that fuses the tropical flavors of the islands into a drink that absolutely de-lei-cious!

Photo Credit: Yelp Hawaii

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Sweet Creams

I scream, you scream, we all scream for Sweet Creams! Satisfy your sweet tooth with some rolled ice cream and unique toppings. Tucked away behind Ala Moana Center on Kona Street, Sweet Creams is rollin up fresh desserts right before your eyes. Choose from flavors like the traditional Cookies ‘n Cream or the crowd pleasing Strawberry Shortcake. Open late, you can cool off with Sweet Creams Sunday through Thursday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Photo credit: Honolulu Magazine

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Friend Cafe

Pick up your BFF and pop into Friend Cafe, a little-known boba shop tucked along Kapiolani Boulevard. Friend Cafe is bubbling over a variety of boba concoctions that even tea-holics can’t get enough of. Take advantage of some free wifi while you sip on unique drinks like the messy ube milk tea or oreo crunch cheese foam. The perfect place for a sweet get together, Friend Cafe is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Photo credit: Friend Cafe

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Hawaiian Brian’s Social Club

Hawaiian Brian’s Social Club invites you to join the crowd for a happening night out in Midtown Ala Moana. Whether you’re a reggae fan or prefer hip hop, the stage is set for an intimate concert experience with whatever hot artist is in town. And if beats aren’t your thing, roll out your billiard skills or try your hand at a game of pool. Visit their website for a full list of upcoming concerts and events.

Photo credit: Hawaiian Brian’s Social Club

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