• UO Guide: Hawaii

    Aloha! To kick off a new collection of city-specific souvenirs at UO, we're shining a light on Honolulu — from shaved ice to volcanic hikes, here's where to go and what to do on your next trip to the big island.
    Photos by Mark Kushimi

    Morning Glass Coffee: laid-back coffee shop in the university area. Good vibes and great daytime food options. 

    Bakery Manoa: Manoa is the young neighborhood surrounding the University of Hawaii, and this area bakery has built up a serious cult following for making some of the best breads and baked goods in Hawaii. Pro tip: get the bacon epi bread, which is, yes: bread with chunks of bacon in it. 

    The Pig and The Lady: Best restaurant in Honolulu, hands down. Located in Chinatown, the P and the L curates a very hip crowd that's popular with visitors and locals alike. Order the pho French Dip bahn mi and spicy Laotian fried chicken, and be sure to get a drink (or two or three) from their killer cocktail menu. 

    Lucky Belly: another Chinatown favorite. Lucky Belly's ramen is amazing, dished up in a trendy minimal and very cool space.

    : Popular spot that's a coffee house by day and whiskey bar by night, and also home to rotating art shows and parties. 

    Bevy Bar: See and be seen! Bevy is a very popular bar and restaurant in the up-and-coming Kaka’ako neighborhood. Go for the $1 oysters, stay for a couple rounds of their creative cocktails (gin, chartreuse, lime, basil, and celery bitters! Tequila, aperol, grapefruit, and lime!) 

    Lana Lane Studios: a a collaborative creative workspace in Honolulu hosting contemporary artists, musicians, filmmakers, and more. 

    ART+FLEA: A monthly pop-up event run by Aly Ishikuni that's become a gathering place for local creatives, artists, musicians, and an ever-rotating roster of events. 

    Night Market: A really popular monthly event focused on retail and food. 

    POW!WOW!HAWAIIthe incredible Hawaii-based, worldwide network of artists. Started by Jasper Wong  (check out our feature on Jasper and the POW!WOW! community here). POW!WOW! organizes gallery shows, lecture series, concerts, installations, and so much more. With over 60 murals all over the Kaka’ako neighborhood, POW!WOW! is also behind the previously-mentioned creative space Lana Lane Studios. Basically, if something cool is going on in the Hawaii art world, POW!WOW! is probably involved. 

    Chinatown Lei Shops: sorry to be the ultimate cliche, but when in Honolulu, you have to get a lei and most importantly visit the amazing places where they are still being made by hand, often by family-run businesses for whom lei-making is a time-honored tradition. We suggest the island's oldest, Cindy’s Lei Shop

    Mono: Japanese design good store — a great place to check out for soaking up some design inspiration. 

    Hungry Ear Records: Though it changed locations to a new space in the university area, Hungry Ear is the oldest record shop on the island — good music and a long history. 

    Matsumoto Shave Ice: A crazy-popular authentic spot to get shaved ice on the North Shore. The long lines and tourist hype are worth it!

    The Beet Box: an amazing organic vegan café in North Shore. Healthy and delicious

    WOW WOW Lemonade: locally-sourced, perfectly-tart lemonade in a handful of different flavors and served in adorable mason jars. 

    Fruit! fresh fruit is synonymous with Hawaii. There's fresh pineapple everywhere you look, and lots of little roadside farmers markets and trucks selling fresh juice, acai bowls, and coffee.

    North Shore Shrimp Trucks: ok stay with us here. Shrimp trucks are all over the North Shore for serving up delicious, fresh shrimp and other seafood. Find the spot where they all park near the surf shops and eat barefoot at the picnic tables like a local. 

    Sunset Beach: A slightly off-the-beaten path beach on the North Shore (and a good alternative to the popular Waimea Bay). Drive up, jump in, swim with sea turtles...it's incredible! 

    Waimea Bay: Aforementioned popular beach and surf spot, and for a good reason. Beautiful and otherworldly, go to swim around and soak up your surroundings. Cap off the trip with jumping off the famous "Big Rock." It's also adjacent to the jungly Waimea Valley, where you can hike up to a waterfall here and plunge into ice cold water.

    The Republik: A cool venue that brings in some of the best shows to the island (like, hint hint, the Twin Shadow show we're bringing to The Republik on December 12! Stay tuned for more details, and for now check out the event listing on their site). 

    Waikiki Beach: UO's new store overlooks the amazing and historic Waikiki Beach, a total surf destination and the most famous beach on the island (you can read up on the rich history of the beach here)

    Manoa Surfrider Hotel: the first hotel in Waikiki, the Surfrider opened in 1901 and evolved into basically the flagship of tourism in Hawaii. Stop in for a peek at their banyan tree at the center of the Surfrider courtyard: planted in 1904 at 7 feet high, it now stands about 75 feet high and 150 feet across. 

    Diamond Head: a big volcanic crater/mountain overlooking Honolulu and jutting out over Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head is huge and strikingly beautiful, complete with a popular and amazing hiking trail up through the volcanic canyon.

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