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Need to know




Kaka’ako is still at the beginning of it’s revival — quickly becoming the coolest neighborhood in Oahu. It’s a great time to visit, before everyone else finds out about it.

Not long ago, you’d only come here to get your car fixed. Today, the once industrial area is homebase for Oahu’s street art scene. Warehouses and concrete walls are covered in colorful murals done by international artists. The area is very walkable and you never know what you’ll discover around the next corner as you go from one artist’s work to another.

Once a year, the Pow! Wow! Festival takes over the streets. Muralists from all over the world come to Kaka’ako, and for a week, you can watch them painting dozens of walls. In fact, some paintings only stay up for a year until the next festival, so even if you’ve been to Kaka’ako before, there’s a good chance you’ll discover something new when you return.

The nice thing about this neighborhood is that while it’s not completely unknown to tourists, it still feels like a locals spot — definitely not crowded like Waikiki (which is just a 10 min drive away).

And there’s more than just the street art here. It’s a diverse neighborhood with great energy — urban but way more laid back than Waikiki. There’s a vibrant food scene that ranges from fine dining to street food, cool coffee shops, and local micro breweries. There are eclectic boutiques with locally made goods, vintage record shops, yoga studios, and ongoing events, like a weekly farmers’ market.



SALT At Our Kaka’ako is a good place to start

691 Auahi St

Honolulu, HI 96813


Free - the artwork is outdoors in public spaces


Within Kaka'ako

  • Highway Inn

  • Moku Kitchen

  • Hank's Haute Dogs

  • Sun Tea Mix

  • Waikiki Brewing Co

  • Honolulu Beerworks

  • Lonohana Chocolate Tasting Bar

Beyond Kaka'ako

  • Waikiki — 10 min drive

  • Chinatown — 7 min drive

Known for its colorful street art. It’s like a public art gallery with huge murals around every corner. Up and coming Honolulu neighborhood with great food and shops.



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Good to know





​*FYI many of these restaurants have seasonal and changing menus so don’t get mad at us if something we recommend isn’t on the menu.

  • Arvo Cafe (at SALT at Our Kaka’ako) is an Aussie cafe serving up handcrafted coffee drinks and avocado toast that’s insanely pretty to look at (and tastes as good as it looks). Try the Loaded Avocado Toast, Matcha Chia Pudding, Nutella Toast, Flat White, and Cold Brew. 

  • Highway Inn is a local fave for old school breakfast and traditional Hawaiian food. Local fave. Try the Smokin Moco.

  • Bevy is a friendly bar with craft cocktails, tapas, and a happy hour. (Tip: check their Instagram for the cocktail of the day.)

  • Moku Kitchen for pizza, pie, cocktails and more from Chef Peter Merriman.

  • Piggy Smalls is the sister restaurant to the oh so popular The Pig & The Lady. International flavors, creative menus, kickass brunch and great cocktails too.

  • Sun Tea Mix for brown sugar boba and milk and cheese foam. (Try the: Brown Sugar Boba with cheese foam and Creme Brulee Souffle Pancake.)

  • MW Restaurant is an upscale spot where you can try fancy spam musubi topped with a quail egg. Also try the mochi crusted Kona Kanpachi, Fried Jidori Chicken, Tropical Fruit Creamsicle. [FYI: Michelle, who runs the pastry side of things, was a James Beard finalist and her husband and co owner was an Alan Wong protege.]

  • Honolulu Beerworks is located in an open air warehouse with a small beer garden. A craft microbrewery with board games.



  • Street art. It’s everywhere. SALT at Our Kaka’ako is a good place to start. You can walk in any direction and discover amazing murals or check out Pow! Wow!’s map to find specific artwork.

  • Pow! Wow! Festival is a week long event in February (usually around Valentine’s Day) where you can watch international muralists paint new artworks throughout the neighborhood. There’s also music and other events, most of which are free. [FYI: They skipped 2020 and 2021, so we’ll see if it makes a comeback in 2022.]

  • SALT at Our Kaka’ako is a cool outdoor mall with local and curated shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars. It takes up an entire city block. Pre Covid they also hosted regular events. It’s got an artsy, but industrial vibe with corrugated aluminum siding and repurposed iron mixed with huge breathtaking murals.

  • Kaka’ako Farmers Market for local produce, local art and artisan foods like fried mochi balls, sugarcane juice, Hawaiian honey slushies, and hand-pulled noodles. [Tip: find free parking across the street at 1050 Ala Moana and at Fisherman’s Wharf.]

  • Paiko is a really cool looking botanical boutique. Check out tropical flours and cute succulents, just keep in mind that you can’t take soil from Hawaii, so anything that’s potted in dirt won’t make it pass the agricultural inspection at the airport.  [Fun fact: Arvo Cafe got its start with a small coffee counter inside Paiko.]

  • Treehouse. A camera shop and film store. A really cool shop for anyone who’s into photography. 

  • Kaka’ako Waterfront Park is about 35 acres of grassy knolls along the water. It’s a great spot for a picnic or BBQ. There’s a wide sidewalk that runs across the ocean if you want to go for a walk or a bike ride. It’s also called Point Panic Park because it’s a popular bodysurfing spot (but FYI that it’s not great for swimming). You can sometimes catch outdoor concerts here too. 

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  • SALT at our Kaka’ako is a good place to start because the murals are within walking distance — all within a 2 mile radius.



  • Parking. If you park in the garage at SALT at Our Kaka’ako, the first hour is free and there are discounts with validation from one of their shops or restaurants (like 2nd hour for $1 and 3rd hour for $3, etc.)

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  • Kid friendly. Kaka’ako is very walkable and easy to get around with a stroller or carrier. Kids will enjoy all the colorful walls, some with animals or characters painted on them.



  • Pet friendly. Most restaurants have outdoor seating and allow pets. There are also some pet friendly parks nearby.



  • Kaka’ako used to be marsh land with salt ponds near the shoreline and fishing villages. In the 1800s Honolulu Iron Works, a metal foundry and machine shop, helped transform it into an industrial center. Today, the open air center, SALT at Our Kaka’ako, is named after the ponds that salt ponds that use to fill the area.

  • “Our Kaka’ako” is responsible for a lot of Kaka’ako’s transformation from an industrial area to Oahu’s most up and coming, art centric neighborhood. It’s a $60M residential and commercial project to add 200 homes and rental units. It’s headed by the Kamehameha Schools and Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii Inc. 

  • Ward Village was another major community revitalization project. It features tons of residences, businesses, restaurants, shops, events and green spaces — all planned with walkability in mind.

  • Beer has had a long history in Kaka’ako. Hawaii’s first legit brewery, the Honolulu Brewing & Malting Company, was opened in 1901 in Kaka’ako. The brewery is long gone, but you can still walk past the red brick building where it used to be housed. Prohibition put Hawaii’s beer production on pause, but today micro breweries are popping up all over Kaka’ako. 

Last Updated 9 / 13 / 21

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