Rise and Dine

June 5, 2012 | By Lianne Bidal Thompson

Start the day off right with a hunger-busting breakfast.

It may be the most important meal of the day, but breakfast need not be utilitarian. Yes, it’s where you’ll get your store of energy for the adventures that lie ahead (kayaking, hiking, retail therapy, serious poolside lounging), but try one of these eateries for a sublime morning meal.

Tropics Bar & Grill
Hilton Hawaiian Village
2005 Kalia Road,
(808) 949-4321

Here, breakfast becomes an experience. There aren’t many places where you stretch out your arms as the beachside breezes gently wake you up. Tropics’ locale on the first floor of the Ali‘i Tower offers up stunning ocean views and a menu that runs the gamut from light fare (breakfast smoothie of papaya, Greek yogurt, mint and lehua ohia honey; granola yogurt parfait or steel cut oatmeal) to decadent (Hawaiian bananas foster French toast or Belgian waffles). Savory dishes include smoked salmon and bagel, The Tropics Breakfast (two eggs, a choice of meats—try the chicken mango sausage!—potatoes toast, coffee and juice). The Lemony Griddle Cake, served up with blueberry compote and maple syrup is a pitch-perfect symphony of flavors. The aforementioned French toast is a dream-come-true for those with a sweet tooth. Two large wedges of French toast are topped with bananas foster complete with caramel sauce, served with a scoop of macadamia nut ice cream. Who says you can’t have dessert for breakfast?

Bogart’s Café & Espresso Bar
3045 Monsarrat Ave.,
(808) 739-0999

Walk into this cozy eatery, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Behind the counter you’ll find what can only be described as the “menu wall.” But fret not—you’ll definitely find something that you’ll like here. Their breakfast bagel is a great on-the-go morning meal. Other popular dishes include the Goldie Lox Benedict (toast topped with lox, poached eggs and truffle-infused hollandaise sauce), an array of Belgian waffles and Mama’s Fried Rice. The latter is probably one of the lighter fried rice dishes you’ll find. Chock full with mushrooms, corn, spinach, asparagus and bits of scrambled eggs, this dish is certainly hearty without being heavy. We like ours with Portuguese sausage (at the suggestion of our cheery cashier). Other dishes to try include the açaí bowl and breakfast burrito.

Cream Pot
Hawaiian Monarch Hotel
444 Niu St., #104
(808) 429-0945

Step into this restaurant and you’ll be transported from the sunny shores of O‘ahu to a quaint cottage straight out of a fairy tale. Not to worry—only fanciful dishes and a setting complete with pretty details await you in this eatery. The baked eggs, a rare dish to find on Honolulu menus, have garnered rave reviews. Dig in to these with the accompanying toast points. This traditional French egg dish, filled with maple bacon, potatoes, mushrooms and caramelized onions, is surprisingly light on the palate, thanks to flavors that meld together well. Additionally, Cream Pot’s Asian twist on a breakfast favorite, the Maguro Eggs Benedict delivers all of the flavor one could expect. Fresh slices of maguro and avocado are perched on perfectly poached eggs, resting on a bed of seared rice rounds topped with a shiso leaf, and smothered in a miso-based sauce. All of this is served with a side salad. For the sweeter side of breakfast, opt for the Soufflé Pancakes with strawberry caulis. It’s not on the regular menu, but it is usually found amongst the specials. Like biting into a cloud, the strawberries are the perfect counterpoint to the extremely fluffy pancakes that are served with a dollop of whipped cream.

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener
Royal Hawaiian Center
2301 Kalakaua Ave.,
(808) 922-33600

Since it’s a New York-style steakhouse, you’ll be surprised to learn that Wolfgang’s serves brunch. Sip a mimosa, Bellini or Bloody Mary as you indulge in a Wolfgang’s Eggs Benedict (two eggs served over English muffins with sliced filet mignon, hash browns and hollandaise sauce) or the steak and eggs. Not in the mood for beef? Opt for lighter fare including the granola and yogurt or an egg white omelet with spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes.

Eggs ’N Things
343 Saratoga Road,
(808) 923-3447

Waikiki Beach Eggspress
2464 Kalakaua Ave.,
(808) 926-3447

You’ve no doubt seen the long lines along Saratoga Road or along Kalakaua Avenue for the two outposts of Eggs ’n Things. Here, you can indulge in all your breakfast fantasies. Indeed, people have made this restaurant a must-visit whenever they’re in town. Three-egg omelets, local favorites including Portuguese sausage, loco moco and sweet bread French toast, pancakes, waffles and crepes fill the menu. Here, they boast of having the best pancakes in Hawai‘i—try it and decide for yourself. Flavors include strawberry whip cream with nuts, pineapple whip cream with nuts, coconut, macadamia nut and buttermilk. Delicious.

Photos: Lianne Bidal Thompson