5 Lunch Spots In Kaka'ako That Deserve A Visit
Whether you prefer a tonkatsu sandwich or a camarones taco to get you from one side of Hump Day to the other, lunch is pivotal.
It marks completion of a successful first half of your day and commences the latter half filled with finishing up a project, closing out emails, and grabbing your board for a sunset surf.
In case you needed an excuse, let us be the ones to tell you that lunch should be a celebration, and there’s no denying that Kaka’ako definitely got this message.
Whichever street you stroll down, you’re bound to find some ambitious chef whipping up epic flavors, fusions, and fantastic food.
While it was hard to narrow it down — and be sure to follow us on social for additional points in the right direction — we’re bringing you 5 Kaka’ako eateries that make lunch feel like the extraordinary meal it should be.
#1 E.A.R.L. SANDWICHES
The phrase “gourmet sandwiches” is not taken lightly by the team at E.A.R.L. In their terms, “gourmet” means a Cubano sandwich with braised pork belly, roasted garlic dijonaise, and house made pickle. Or a “Fun Goat” sandwich with fennel onion marmalade, pesto, and (you guessed it) goat cheese.
E.A.R.L. stands firm on quality ingredients — with bread baked fresh daily — and culinary innovation which inspires everything they do. The result? A buzzy (but not loosing momentum anytime soon) sandwich shop with a very loyal following.
#2 SUNSET TEXAS BARBEQUE
Once a food truck, Sunset Texas Barbeque’s wild success and niche product demanded a more permanent location for locals and tourists alike to experience true Central Texas barbeque. Now located amidst the famous Kaka’ako murals, this brick-and-mortar restaurant serves up a collection of smoked meats — including house made sausages and USDA Prime beef brisket — alongside a variety of authentic Central Texas, scratch-made sides.
This style of cooking carries deep roots and mandates a craftsmanship that you can taste with each bite of spicy brisket ends pinto beans and pork spare ribs. If you’re craving some heart and soul on a plate, add Sunset Texas Barbecue to this week’s lunch lineup.
Location: A block and half’s walk from SALT at Our Kaka’ako within a refurbished warehouse decorated with local art and graffiti.
#3 HAMADA GENERAL STORE
Originally H. Hamada Store, a family owned & operated grocery store, Hamada General Store opened in 2018 with an exceptional takeout and catering offering that the Kaka’ako community has quickly gotten behind. The former kitchen owners of Slammer’s Bar & Grill, Kanpai Bar & Grill, and Home Bar & Grill, you can expect the same dedication to aloha-inspired meals.
From a tempura battered basa on a toasted hoagie for their “Fish, Chips, & Dip” sando to their “Kimchi Steak & Eggs,” expect leveled up classics that hit the spot time and time again.
Location: A block’s walk from Ohana Hale Marketplace, soon-to-be The Park Ward Village.
Authentic street-style tacos with simplistic succulence prove hard to come by in Hawaii. That was until this Kaka’ako namesake staked claim in our neighborhood. With fresh ingredients, house made tortillas, and well done combinations, this taco shop exemplifies the long-awaited cuisine of lunchtime bliss.
Expect a variety of tacos — including tako, cauliflower, and carne asada — with burrito, quesadilla, and tostada alternatives, and a mouth-watering list of sides and add-ons. Fresh, flavorful, and always on-par with the fulfilling lunch we crave.
Location: On the mauka side of SALT at Our Kaka’ako.
#5 BUTCHER & BIRD
This part-full service butcher, part-deli shop eatery serves up locally sourced meats of the finest quality for customers to eat in gourmet sandwiches on the second-story lanai or to take home and cook at one’s convenience.
Voted “The Best Cheesesteak in Hawaii” by Eat This, Not That, there’s no denying the dedication to quality that extends through each menu offering. While grabbing a house made brautwurst with sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard, be sure to also add soppressata and mortadella for your weekend’s fan-fave charcuterie board.
Location: In the heart of SALT at Our Kaka’ako on the second story above ARVO coffee shop.
From Hawaiian favorites to the Lone Star State classics to iconic east coast offerings, Kaka’ako has every option you need to make lunch a true break from the work day. Follow along with us on social to discover the newest spots hitting town and stay up to date on all of the new condo buildings adding flavor to the neighborhood.