The Happiest Happy Hours In Honolulu

17 November 2015

Somewhere in the world, it’s cocktail time. When you’re on Hawaiian Island time though, you’ll need to set your cocktail clock for happy hour – those few magical hours when the sun and drink prices dip and the good times and surf are free-flowing. Happy hour in Hawaii is synonymous with signature tropical cocktails (don’t forget the cocktail umbrella!) and local appetisers known as pupu, and nowhere more so than the capital, Honolulu. Here’s cheers to raising a glass or two with some pupu at these top happy hours.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Dzae6Ljc7U

 Go with the flow during Aloha Hour at Hula Grill Waikiki. (Image: Hula Grill Waikiki)

1. Hula Grill Waikiki

Go from the beach to the bar at the oceanfront Hula Grill Waikiki at Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach. With Diamond Head Crater and the famous Waikiki waves as your view, Plantation Bar is the spot to grab a pew and sink a few as the sun goes down. Here, Aloha Hour flows from 3 to 6pm with cheap pupus like coconut-crusted calamari and barbecue pork sandwiches.

Drink: Freshly squeezed Hula mai tais in a tiki glass and Kona draft beers.

Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach, 2334 Kalakua Avenue, Honolulu

 The famous Guy Tai cocktail concocted by Chart House Head Bartender Guy Maynard. (Image: Chart House Waikiki)

2. Chart House Waikiki

Set away from touristy Waikiki on the marina, Chart House is the longest-running fine dining restaurant in Honolulu, and it also hosts a happy hour that’s a favourite with locals with early and late sessions and live music. There’s daily lounge cocktail and pupu specials, including steamed clams, ahi poke and fried shrimp.

Drink: Guy tai (an award-winning twist on the mai tai, created by – you guessed it – Guy).

Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, 1765 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu


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 The living is cheesy at Giovanni Pastrami's Ballpark Happy Hour with free cheese pizza. (Image: Giovanni Pastrami)

3. Giovanni Pastrami

Free pizza. Do we have your attention now? Not only does this Italian pizzeria/New York-style deli/sports bar have a fun rhyming name, it also dishes out free cheese slices during its weekday happy hours. Head here for Ballpark Happy Hour from 3 to 6pm on Monday to Friday for your sports fix, discounted drinks and snacks on the side.

Drink: Draft beer

227 Lewers Street, Honolulu

 The view is like 'wow' from the Top of Waikiki revolving restaurant. (Image: Top of Waikiki)

4. Top of Waikiki

Get a panoramic view of Waikiki and surrounds at this famous revolving restaurant, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. With an award-winning Happy Hour, and that sky-high view, it’s a popular spot so arrive early for a prime seat. Happy Hour at Top of Waikiki runs daily from 4:30 to 6:30pm with a menu of 10 signature handcrafted cocktails, small plates and appetisers.

Drink: Top of Waikiki – a signature cocktail with rum and tropical juices.

21st floor, 2270 Kalakua Avenue, Honolulu

 The Moana Mai Tai is a large mai tai inside a whole carved pineapple. (Image: Moana Terrace)

5. Moana Terrace

A fiercely guarded Waikiki secret, this poolside bar within Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa serves up great cocktails with that amazing oceanfront view, minus the price tag. The dress code is casual (yay!), and the drinks may come in plastic glasses, but with nightly live Hawaiian music and happy hour drinks and appetiser specials from 4 to 6pm daily, this place has real sundowner appeal.

Drink: The Moana Mai Tai served in a whole pineapple. Because, Hawaii.

Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, 2552 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu

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Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Hawaii.

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Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.