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3 Elegant Espresso Bars

By Margo Steines


Third-wave coffee culture has come to stay in Honolulu. Here are our favorite spots for meticulously sourced and prepared espresso, served by passionate professionals in design-minded environs.
A delicious brew
Body 1: 

1. Brue Bar
With two downtown locations plus a new Kaka’ako spot in the works, the coffee artisans behind Brue Bar have you covered, from morning Americano to leisurely afternoon latte. The only thing that can beat their state of the art Slayer espresso machines and single-origin Verve Coffee roasts is the office delivery option, which will whisk full coffee service and set up to your downtown office. Don’t forget to Instagram your latte art before you sip—Brue features the most elaborate designs we’ve seen on-island! 119 Merchant St., Downtown; 1164 Bishop St., Downtown; 441.4470

Body 2: 

2. Ars Cafe Diamond Head
Our favorite place to while away an hour or three is sitting by the window at this gem of a cafe, which doubles as an art gallery and features homemade gelato and a well-curated menu of pastries, toasts and salads. Boasting a custom koa wood and polished nickel Slayer and a rare Mod Bar automatic pour-over module, Ars is a marvel of product and design. There is absolutely no unconsidered detail in this beautiful space, which was inspired by a turn of the century English bar. From the hand painted gold leaf signage and bottle glass storefront detail to the magnificent reclaimed wood bar, the only thing more pleasing than the decor is the impeccable espresso. 3116 Monsarrat Ave., Diamond Head, 734.7897

Body 3: 

3. Kona Coffee Purveyors
Master roaster and coffee industry veteran Raymond Suiter has partnered with Bay Area pastry phenom b. Patisserie to bring us Kona Coffee Purveyors, our new favorite Waikiki spot for sweet sips. The cafe was designed by the team behind the Apple store’s clean modern lines, lending a feeling of sleek serenity to the light and airy space. All the single-estate, high elevation coffee served in the cafe is grown in Kona and meticulously roasted at Suiter’s O’ahu roastery, where he takes great pains to roast every bean to its “sweet spot,” resulting in deeply rich and flavorful brews. Pair your cup with a delectable kouign-amann and enjoy both while peeking at b. Patisserie’s open in-house bakery. If you stick around til the evening hours, you’ll also find imported charcuterie and a wine list, making this cafe a perfect respite at any hour. International Market Place, 2330 Kalakaua Ave., Waikiki, 450.2364