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Honolulu’s Hidden Bars and Local Hangouts

  • Post category:Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii’s vibrant capital, is not just about sun, sand, and surf. The city is also home to a plethora of hidden bars and local hangouts that offer unique experiences for both locals and tourists. From secret speakeasies to lively dive bars and neighborhood favorites, there’s something for everyone looking to explore the lesser-known nightlife of Honolulu.

Key Takeaways

  • Honolulu boasts a variety of hidden speakeasies like Harry’s Hardware Emporium and The HI Brau Room, offering a nostalgic 1920s vibe.
  • Tiki bars such as La Mariana’s Sailing Club and Tiki’s Bar and Grill provide a tropical escape with their exotic cocktails and island-themed decor.
  • For live music enthusiasts, venues like Hawaiian Brian’s and The Dragon Upstairs offer a rich lineup of local and international acts.
  • Dive bars like 8 Fat Fat 8 Bar & Grille and Shinsho Tei offer a unique twist with their eclectic decor and laid-back atmosphere.
  • Neighborhood favorites such as Home Bar and Grill and Lei Lei’s Bar and Grill are perfect for a casual night out with friends.

Exploring Honolulu’s Hidden Speakeasies

Step into a more exotic era at Harry’s Hardware Emporium, a posh, mysterious Prohibition-themed 1920s lair hidden behind a rundown, slightly creepy facade. This craft cocktail and jazz spot even has a hidden door disguised as a bookshelf, every mystery buff’s dream come true.

The HI Brau Room is a small room above Aloha Beer Company in Kakaako. This room is a dark lit 1920s themed area that fits up to 40 guests with live music. The room has one bar with a personal server who is showcased on their Facebook page.

A nicely hidden speakeasy behind a vending machine is Wild Orange. This secret spot is located in Downtown Honolulu. Once a coin is placed in the vending machine guests will see an orange tree in the middle of this room. This venue also offers all plant-based food.

Tiki Bars Off the Beaten Path

green-and-brown palm trees under clear blue sky

Honolulu is home to some of the most unique and under-the-radar tiki bars that offer a perfect blend of tropical vibes and local culture. These hidden gems are frequented by locals and provide an authentic experience away from the usual tourist spots.

Local Hangouts for Live Music

Honolulu’s live music scene is as vibrant as it is diverse, offering a range of venues that cater to different tastes and preferences. Whether you’re into jazz, rock, or local Hawaiian music, there’s something for everyone. Oahu’s vibrant art scene also complements these musical experiences, making each visit to these venues a feast for the senses.

Dive Bars with a Unique Twist

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Honolulu’s dive bars are more than just places to grab a drink; they are vibrant hubs of local culture and history. From tiki bars to speakeasies, these are some of the under-the-radar places you may not have heard of, but have locals frequenting them on the weekend or pau hana (after work) for drinks, takoyaki, and live music.

8 Fat Fat 8 Bar & Grille

8 Fat Fat 8 Bar & Grille is a beloved spot among locals. Known for its unpretentious atmosphere and amazing food, this bar offers a unique blend of comfort and excitement. The owner, Mary Ann Yeung, ensures that every visitor feels at home, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the true essence of Honolulu’s dive bar scene.

Shinsho Tei

Shinsho Tei is another gem in Honolulu’s dive bar landscape. This bar stands out for its nostalgic vibe and excellent service. It’s a place where you can enjoy a quiet drink while soaking in the rich history that the bar exudes. The ambiance here is perfect for those who appreciate a more laid-back, intimate setting.

Anyplace Cocktail Lounge

Anyplace Cocktail Lounge is a dive bar that lives up to its name. It’s a versatile spot that caters to a diverse crowd, making it a popular choice for both locals and tourists. The bar’s unique twist lies in its ability to offer a little something for everyone, from classic cocktails to modern mixes, all served in a welcoming environment.

Nostalgia grips Hawai‘i more tightly than in other places I’ve lived, but is it possible that even here, it’s losing to rising trends? Dive bars like these ensure that the authentic spirit of Honolulu remains alive and well.

Neighborhood Favorites for a Casual Night Out

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Home Bar and Grill

Home Bar and Grill is a beloved spot among locals, offering a relaxed atmosphere perfect for unwinding after a long day. The menu features a variety of comfort foods, from burgers to poke bowls, ensuring there’s something for everyone. It’s a great place to catch up with friends over a cold beer or enjoy a casual dinner with family.

Lei Lei’s Bar and Grill

Located on the North Shore, Lei Lei’s Bar and Grill provides a laid-back setting with stunning views of the golf course. The outdoor seating area is particularly popular, allowing guests to enjoy the beautiful Hawaiian weather while savoring delicious seafood dishes and refreshing cocktails. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely evening out.

Grace In Growlers

Grace In Growlers offers a unique twist on the traditional bar experience. This establishment combines a self-serve beer wall with a mission to support local charities. Patrons can sample a wide range of craft beers while knowing that a portion of their spending goes to a good cause. It’s a win-win for those looking to enjoy a night out while giving back to the community.

For those seeking a more relaxed and community-focused night out, these neighborhood favorites provide the perfect blend of good food, great drinks, and a welcoming atmosphere.

Dance Venues and Clubs to Experience


Located at 1349 Kapiolani Blvd, District is one of Honolulu’s premier nightclubs. This venue is perfect for those looking to dance the night away with a mix of electronic and hip-hop beats. The club features state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, ensuring an unforgettable experience.


Situated in the Ala Moana area, Addiction offers a high-energy atmosphere with top DJs spinning the latest tracks. The club is known for its stylish decor and exclusive VIP sections, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

The Lei Stand

The Lei Stand is a must-visit for anyone wanting to experience Honolulu’s vibrant nightlife. This club offers a unique blend of traditional Hawaiian music and modern dance hits, creating a lively and inclusive environment. It’s a great spot to immerse yourself in Honolulu’s art scene: galleries and more.

Block Parties and Community Events

black and white piglet on green grass during daytime

Honolulu’s block parties and community events are a vibrant part of the city’s social scene. These gatherings offer a unique way to experience the local culture, food, and entertainment. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, these events provide a fantastic opportunity to mingle with the community and enjoy the island’s lively atmosphere.

Join us for unforgettable block parties and community events that bring neighbors together in celebration! Discover more about our exciting events and how you can participate by visiting our website. Don’t miss out on the fun and community spirit!


Honolulu’s hidden bars and local hangouts offer a unique glimpse into the city’s vibrant nightlife and community spirit. From speakeasies with secret entrances to cozy dive bars and lively music venues, there’s something for everyone looking to experience the authentic side of Honolulu. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these hidden gems provide the perfect setting for memorable evenings filled with great drinks, delicious food, and unforgettable moments. So next time you’re in Honolulu, venture off the beaten path and discover the city’s best-kept secrets.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I wear when visiting Honolulu’s hidden bars and local hangouts?

Guests are recommended to wear comfortable appropriate attire including shoes (walking, water or hiking as needed), sun protection (cream, hat, and rash guard), insect repellent, sunglasses, and bring a bottle of water.

Can I book activities and excursions in advance?

Yes, Far and Away Adventures is a South Pacific Specialist that custom builds memorable vacation packages, including flights, cruises, ferries, hotels, transfers, and activities. Some activities can be priced and booked directly on their website.

Are there any specific recommendations for water activities?

Our water activities require guests to know how to swim, be comfortable in the water, and able to cope with occasional currents. Guests are cautioned not to touch or step on the coral reef, or touch any underwater animals for safety and environmental reasons.

Are there any hidden speakeasies in Honolulu?

Yes, Honolulu has several hidden speakeasies including Harry’s Hardware Emporium, The HI Brau Room, and Wild Orange.

Where can I find local hangouts for live music in Honolulu?

Some popular local hangouts for live music in Honolulu include Hawaiian Brian’s, The Dragon Upstairs, and Blue Note Hawaii.

What are some neighborhood favorites for a casual night out?

Neighborhood favorites for a casual night out include Home Bar and Grill, Lei Lei’s Bar and Grill, and Grace In Growlers.