Let’s be honest, you won’t feel like you’ve been to Hawaii unless you’ve watched a sunset sipping a colourful cocktail with a little umbrella. Here’s some ideas to put you in the aloha spirit.
Where to Drink...
The Hula Grill Waikiki holds their ‘Aloha Hour’ at the perfectly located Plantation Bar right on the famous beachfront. You’ll find a great selection of discounted draft beers, wines and tropical drinks, plus an extensive choice of entrees and pupus at reduced prices between 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Great staff in a relaxed atmosphere will serve your Mai Tai in a special tiki glass in a location that is hard to top.
Top of Waikiki
From 5:00pm to 7:00pm you can take happy hour fun to an ultimate high with a 360 degree view of Honolulu and surrounds in Waikiki’s famous revolving restaurant, Top of Waikiki in the Waikiki Business Plaza. It’s a popular spot, so be sure to arrive early to secure a seat in the bar area. The sunset view is a winner, but there is also a delicious selection of appetisers at very reasonable prices.
Just out of the way of the bustle of Waikiki in Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, the Chart House fronts the marina near the Ilikai. It’s a legendary watering hole for locals, so expect to see crowds gathering well before the doors open. The ‘pupu’ (appetiser) menu is an imaginative selection of Pacific Rim delights, fresh and tantalising dishes, plus the discounted drinks are the perfect accompaniment.
Some folks like to call Moana Terrace at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort, a ‘well-kept Waikiki secret’. Here you can enjoy a super Bartender Special or scrumptious Happy Hour appetiser without having to worry about changing out of your crumpled day wear. Because it’s a poolside bar, the drinks come in plastic glasses, but don’t let that worry you, they still pack a tropical punch without the scary oceanfront price tag.
Ryan’s Grill is a place where you can relax in a casual atmosphere and still be ‘hip’. Ryan’s crowd is always an interesting mix of folks from all over and there’s plenty of unusual beers to choose from, either by bottle or on tap. For spirited types, there are tequilas and fancy whiskies you’re unlikely to find elsewhere in Honolulu.
With more than 110 specialty beers from around the world, specialty cocktails and innovative, gourmet pizzas, Bar 35 has become one of Oahu’s hot pau hana spots. On First Fridays, an art celebration held in downtown Honolulu on the first Friday of every month, Bar 35’s two favourites hangs – the little-bit-grungy inside bar and breezy outdoor lounge – are thronged with a younger mix of professionals and hipsters.
Nearby Bar 35 is Next Door, a multimedia venue hosting live bands and musicians, as well as local and nationally renowned DJs spinning dance and hip-hop music. Across the street from Bar 35 is Manifest, an art gallery and café during the day and a cocktail bar at night. Beyond craft cocktails and Honolulu’s best selection of whiskey, Chinatown goers head here to end the night on the dance floor.