Trend alert: What's heating up Honolulu's food scene this month

Trend alert: What's heating up Honolulu's food scene this month
Shorefyre | Photo: Corina Q./Yelp
By Hoodline - Published on October 07, 2019.

Want the intel on Honolulu's most talked-about local spots?

We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to discover which local businesses have been seeing especially high review volumes this month.

To find out who made the list, we looked at Honolulu businesses on Yelp by category and counted how many reviews each received. Rather than compare them based on number of reviews alone, we calculated a percentage increase in reviews over the past month, and tracked businesses that consistently increased their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.

Read on to see which spots are extra cool this autumn.


Photo: malu/Yelp

Open since August, this dessert spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Desserts" on Yelp.

Citywide, dessert spots saw a median 2.2% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Malu saw an imposing 142.9% increase, with a slight downward trend from a five-star rating a month ago to 4.5 stars today.

Located at 661 Keeaumoku St., Suite 106-E in Ala Moana-Kakaako, Malu offers soft-serve ice cream, shaved ice, green tea mousse, red bean taiyaki, crepe cakes and more. When it comes to beverages, look for coffee, royal milk tea, Coke floats and black tea.

Malu is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.–midnight on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.)

Tane Vegan Izakaya

Photo: mandolin d./Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about McCully-Moiliili's Tane Vegan Izakaya, the popular sushi bar, izakaya and vegan spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Sushi Bars" on Yelp saw a median 1.5% increase in new reviews over the past month, Tane Vegan Izakaya bagged a 20.8% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a healthy 4.5-star rating.

Open at 2065 S. Beretania St. since March, Tane Vegan Izakaya offers plant-based, vegan menu items including pan-fried vegetable and tofu dumplings, poke salad, ramen, sushi rolls and more. 

Tane Vegan Izakaya is open from 5 p.m.–10 p.m. on Tuesday-Saturday. (It's closed on Monday and Sunday.)

Nico's Upstairs

Photo: Joel D./Yelp

Kalihi-Palama's Nico's Upstairs is also making waves. Open since February at 1129 N. Nimitz Highway, the seafood spot has seen a 10.1% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.2% for all businesses tagged "Seafood" on Yelp.

To start, Nico's Upstairs offers such appetizers as the crab and artichoke dip served with pita bread, as well as seafood entrees like seared scallops with butternut squash puree, roasted Alii mushroom and soy brown butter sauce. Desserts include skillet s'mores, chocolate mousse and key lime pie.

Over the past month, it's maintained a mixed 3.5-star rating among Yelpers.

Nico's Upstairs is open from 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m. on Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.–9 p.m. on Sunday.


Photo: shorefyre/Yelp

Waikiki's Shorefyre is the city's buzziest New American spot by the numbers.

The well-established New American spot, which opened at 2330 Kalakaua Ave., Suite 396 in December 2018, increased its new review count by 7.4% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.3% for the Yelp category "American (New)."

It's not the only trending outlier in the New American category: Paia Fish Market Waikiki has seen a 7.2% increase in reviews.

Stop by Shorefyre for breakfast and dig into banana macadamia nut pancakes and strawberry chocolate French toast; or opt for grilled teriyaki chicken and ahi poke tacos for dinner.

chicken and waffles, ahi poke tacos, burgers, açaí bowls, chicken wings, slow-roasted pork sandwich and more. 

Shorefyre is open from 8 a.m.–2 a.m. daily.

Liliha Bakery

Photo: Toku F./Yelp

Ala Moana-Kakaako's well-established Liliha Bakery is currently on the upswing in the coffee and tea category on Yelp.

While businesses categorized as "Coffee & Tea" on Yelp saw a median 2.7% increase in new reviews over the past month, this bakery, which offers coffee and tea, cupcakes and more, increased its new reviews by 11.3% — and kept its rating consistent at 3.5 stars.

There's more abuzz in the world of Honolulu coffee and tea: Honolulu Coffee has seen an 8% increase in reviews.

Open for business at 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Floor 3 since March, Liliha Bakery offers baked goods, French toast, omelets, sandwiches, salads and more, as well as free refills on coffee and tea.

Liliha Bakery is open from 6:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 6:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m. on Sunday.

This story was created automatically using local business data, then reviewed and augmented by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.