photo by Kaimuki Soap Co. via Keep It Kaimuki

 

Kaimuki is one of Honolulu’s oldest neighborhoods, and perhaps one of the most charming. The area, which lies among the tony neighborhoods of Diamond Head, Mānoa Valley and Kāhala, boasts a unique small-town feel yet is just a short drive from the city, marking it one of—and easily accessible to—the best parts of Honolulu. 

 

The beauty of this dynamic community is that everything is at your fingertips. From fine dining to trendy gastropubs and unique gift shops, Kaimukī offers a lifestyle that is as culturally diverse as its residents.

 

As many neighborhoods in Honolulu are experiencing complete renovations and overhauls, the heart of Kaimuki is still the various locally-owned shops and businesses. Many establishments have been around for decades, such as the family owned and operated surf shop Downing Hawai’i and the beloved local home and hardware store City Mill. Perhaps equally important as the neighborhood’s rich past is the excitement of its present and future. A burgeoning food scene and abundance of mom-and-pop shops have turned Kaimuki into a go-to neighborhood to find some of Oahu’s top tastemakers and for living well.

 

Kaimuki is brimming with places that invigorate mind, body and soul. Think Palolo Valley’s Ka‘au Crater hike for a glimpse at the stunning waterfalls, hot yoga classes and a handful of quaint coffee shops for solo time or to connect with loved ones. Here are just a few of our favorite healthy eateries and wellness-minded shops in Kaimuki.

 

Support Local, Feel Good at Awa + Olena

Head to Awa + Olena, a “feel good store,” for a variety of locally sourced wellness essentials, clean beauty brands, home goods and jewelry. Shop owner Amanda Watkins is almost always behind the counter eager to spit knowledge on each item she’s so carefully curated. Expect to find brands from all over the islands in one well-stocked spot, such as A’o Organics, Malama Mushrooms, Maruyama Jones Farm, Matt Bruening Label, Hawaii Medicinal and so much more. Its fresh aesthetic and bright pink accent wall elicits a good feeling the moment you step inside. 

1152 Koko Head Ave.

 

 

Eat Well at Coco Bloom Kitchen

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Coco Bloom Kitchen opened its doors in 2020, moving forward with the idea to provide healthy and delicious meals to the masses. The energizing menu of items features locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, and are always free of additives, preservatives and pesticides. Sandwiches and burgers are technically less healthy, but the curries are chock-full of veggies and the salads and smoothies are almost too pretty to eat—almost. This new Kaimuki cafe is located in the Times Supermarket plaza on Waialae, where there’s plenty of free parking so there’s no excuse not to stop in, show your support and savor something sans guilt.

3221 Waialae Ave., Suite A3

 

 

Shop Sustainably at Everyday Better by Green Meadows

If you’re looking for eco-conscious housewares and gifts in Honolulu, head to Everyday Better by Green Meadows, a hidden gem tucked away by the former Goodwill Kaimuki store on Koko Head Ave. Owner Katie Meadows opened the shop in 2019 determined to offer more sustainable alternatives to everyday essentials and lifestyle items that don’t skimp on style. Most, if not all, brands you’ll find in the shop are locally made, helmed by women or are family-owned and operated, much like the shop itself. Whether you’ve been living zero waste for a while now or you’re just starting your journey into reducing your carbon footprint, this eco-friendly shop in Kaimuki should be on your short list of go-tos. 

1223 Koko Head Ave., suite 2

 

 

Taste the Rainbow at Jewel or Juice 

This longtime, family-owned business has been serving up some of the best acai bowls, smoothies and juices on Oahu for more than 15 years from its Kaimuki location. Jewel or Juice's ingredients include tropical island favorites like pitaya (dragon fruit), passion fruit, guava and lychee, plus superfoods like blue spirulina, bee pollen, chia seeds and more. Not to mention, this is the place to get your greens, as it has more than eight options for green juice and smoothies that are flavorful and pack a punch (of the good stuff). This no-frills cafe on the corner of Koko Head and Waialae Avenue is one of those rare gems that truly serves the community, rather than just catering to tourists.

3619 Waialae Ave.

 

Read more about Kaimuki here, and stay up-to-date on neighborhood happenings by following #KeepItKaimuki, which celebrates the small business community of Kaimuki.