We parked right in front of the gorgeous Iolani Palace and got to admire the holiday lanterns as we crossed the street to the Y.
Named after its architect, Julia Morgan (the first woman to design a public building in Honolulu), the café is housed in the YWCA Laniakea Center, an official historic building as decreed by the state. The building is a charming maze of beautiful courtyards, open-aired interiors and incongruous spaces, like the pool and the chapel. Although it’s in the middle of downtown Honolulu, this building almost feels like a secret garden of sorts, and is totally serene and removed from the hustle and bustle of the city.
My dad convinced me that I had to try their homemade macadamia nut “Nutella,” and he was right. If you go for breakfast, do NOT miss this whatever else you order. Making Nutella with super creamy macadamia nuts is genius, and the super soft, freshly baked white bread is perfect to scoop it up with. Even this soft, rich butter was somehow notable, I think due to the fact that the bread was also stellar and they complemented each other in the most simple but excellent way.
As if the bread, butter and nutty chocolate spread hadn’t already sufficiently satisfied my morning appetite, an amazing breakfast sandwich was next set down in front of me. Luckily I have a huge appetite in the morning, because this sandwich was super rich (verging on heavy, but in the best possible way) and flavorful and I wanted to down every last bite. Wedged precariously between two halves of a super buttery, homemade biscuit, was a giant breakfast sausage patty, cheese and eggs. The sausage was actually on the lighter side somehow, maybe because it had herbs mixed in and wasn’t crushed when it was cooked. The sandwich seemed very gourmet but the tater tots it came with were the complete opposite. It worked for me to have this outstanding sandwich and then some tried-and-true, if unimpressive, tater tots on the side.
Lana got a very standard Hawaiian breakfast: bacon, eggs and fried rice (I didn’t try anyone else’s meals since I had so much of my own food to conquer).
My dad got pancakes, which he enjoyed but I don’t think they looked too memorable. Regardless, I was extremely pleased with my meal. The food, service and ambiance is not to be missed.
Location: 1040 Richards St. Honolulu, HI 96813 Phone: (808) 533-3334