Aulani to Honolulu

Making 1 trip from Aulani to the city with my kids in tow. Thinking about doing an all day excursion to Diamond Head.

Here are our early choices
Sunday lunch - Side Street opens at 1pm and they have the playoff games on
Monday lunch - Pig & the Lady (not open Sunday)

Our kids don’t love shaved ice and we have dole whip at the hotel.
Any great local sweet or desserts in the area than Leonards? Liliha Bakery?

What other place would you go out of your way for if you only had 1 day? We’re open to anything.

Haven’t been in a few years, but based on what I know…

Side Street was tasty last time I was there (I went to the one on Kapahulu).

Leonard’s I dream about, and cannot be beaten. Liliha has some tasty things, but some people love it, and others don’t. I personally love it (although not as much as Leonard’s). Leonard’s might scratch that bakery itch for most people.

Near Diamond Head, Fort Ruger Market used to have the best poke I’ve ever had, but I think they’ve changed owners recently…? Not sure, but it’s not far out of your way.

I don’t know anything about Pig & the Lady…

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I would do an all day adventure around the island…grab some shower gel and lotion to rinse off along the way with a towel or two from the hotel…

Start at Rainbow’s Drive in…then on to Leonard’s for the best hot malasadas…I like the passion fruit pudding but all are so damn good…
Hike up Diamond Head…get the fresh pineapple for $3+ at the food truck next to bathrooms in parking lot.

Then go snorkeling at Hanama bay…rent there…closed Tues or Wed…check.

Then drive around back side to Sunset Beach…wicked shore breakers for body surfing…no novices!

Hit up a shrimp truck…my fave is Giovanni’s for their garlic shrimp with 2 scoops…
Go to Matsumoto’s for shave ice…da best and they have ice cream too to add .

Maybe go to the Dole plant…check out North Shore to see if any waves are breaking and surfers, shredding.
Drops you right back to your resort…

If you head back to eat for dinner in Waikiki…
Roy’s Waikiki is fantastic…not the mainland Roy’s!
House without a key
Top of Waikiki for happy hour…Dukes and Hula Grill too.


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I guess we are going to Leonards and Side Street. I’ve been to Side Street once and loved the atmosphere and food.

Plumeria - that sounds like an awesome day trip. Can you watch our kids? They are very well behaved and like to eat cold cuts and bread.

A lot of these places are on our list just not sure how many times we want to brave the traffic from Aulani to Waikiki. We have a rental car but 30-45 minutes each way is a big obstacle.


Tell your kiddies that they are going to go swimming with turtles, eat ice cream, chile dogs and it will be an adventure!
Make a game out of it on the road…
You can do it js!!

Maybe you should take them to the ‘Angry Korean Lady’ in Honolulu…google her Korean restaurant…supposed to be really good but she has rules…hee hee

Kids and you would LOVE the Rainbow Drive -In…old school and very popular and then hit up Leonard’s before the hike to Diamond Head…


You’re a good saleswoman. We’re going to try this exact itinerary in the AM then do Side Street for lunch. If my little one can survive we’ll stick around and make a full day of it.

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Let me know how it turns out!

Get the book Chicken Skin on tales of true spooky Hawaiian stories…kids will love it!
Remember, no taking home volcanic rocks…Pele will curse you for it…

No volcanic rocks were disturbed.

I thought Leonards was going to be one of those famous touristy trap places with good food but not destination worthy - Cafe Du Monde, Pinks, Carnegie Deli, etc… But man those malasadas were amazing. Piping hot, soft pillowy and just the right amount of sugar. What a deal for $1. Almost all the people waiting in line were in rental cars like us or from Asia.

The pineapple at the truck outside of Diamond Head was spectacular. I’d expect pineapple to be better in Hawaii but it was beyond sweet and delicious. My kids hate pineapple bc its sour and doesn’t taste as delicious. I had to go back and get an extra bag.

Missed out on Rainbow Drive in and Side Street. Ended up at some sushi place near Chinatown that was pretty good.

Would also recommend Tanoika’s in Waipahu. Great poke, spam musubi, lumpia and shrimp tempura. The only downside is they have no tables to eat at or restroom.

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Aloha Bruddha. . .
So happy you went to Leonard’s for da bomb, malasadas…sublime…
And, you took my :pineapple: advice at Diamond Head…best damn pineapple I have EVER tasted!
Cheap and good and it’s like, what have you done to this :pineapple:…never ever had anything that good, for that cheap at food truck in a parking lot for a hike…
Wasn’t the last stairs before the top, like you were gonna just die?

So happy your kids had fun and no issues driving around and Pele was not disturbed!

Seriously the best pineapple of all time. It’s like a different species.

Those last set of stairs with a 3 and 5 year old are challenging to say the least but my kids made it all the way to the top themselves. No carrying except for one very small stretch.

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Awesome! I’ve actually thought about hitting up Tanioka’s my next trip to Oahu. It looks like the perfect poke/bento/plate lunch place. And I love all the foods you recommend there. Thanks for the tip!

The piping hot, coconut filled malasadas is one of the most amazing pastries I’ve ever encountered ! Lust over it everytime I’m in Honolulu :heart_eyes::yum:

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Huge lines both times I went. They do brisk catering business and would assume there is a lot of turnover. For the fried stuff they are constantly refilling the items. Ask them for hot lumpia or shrimp - sometimes they are coming out of the kitchen and significantly better than the ones sitting around.

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