Liliha Bakery celebrates its, what, 55th anniversary this year? This is definitely an old time local-kine bakery and coffee shop that remains as ever popular and relevant today. I love the patisseries and bakeries that have opened up in and around Honolulu in recent years, but Liliha Bakery is still one of my favorites.
I think the attraction is definitely their coco puffs (the cream puffs are also nice). I’m not kidding when I say the bakery probably sells thousands of these each day. They’re always busy, so expect a wait. But it’s well worth it if you have the patience. If you’re there for the puffs, and you don’t want to wait in line, keep it short by grabbing a prepackaged box of coco puffs in their freezer. I also love their cinnamon twists, pies (custard, but pumpkin during the holidays), and cakes (mmm … chantilly). If you’re feeling daring, dabble with their haupia filled malasadas. Their donuts might not have the melt-in-your-mouth texture of Krispy Kreme, but these are good ol’ style donuts.
I also must recommend the coffee shop. They must have only about a dozen, or so, seats, and like the bakery there’s likely to be a line, but the fresh from the grill and buttery goodness of their menu is worth the wait. Your food is cooked in front of you on their grills. I love their Hamburger Steak, as well as their Country Style eggs scramble and their Steak and Eggs. The pancakes are also huge and delectable. My girlfriend loves their Grilled Cheese Sandwich. And most items on the menu come with a buttery dinner roll with jelly (whatever that stuff is, I want to take it home with me but its not for sale). I swear, I think their secret is the butter.
When I was younger, I’d go to Liliha Bakery’s coffee shop after a night out for a meal to wind down. Here’s where the open 24-hours is really convenient (with the exception of Mondays). But the shop definitely attracts a local crowd and the old timers are great to talk story with while you’re enjoying your food.