Waikiki nightlife is wonderfully varied—you’ll find bars and clubs, fine dining and live music, ultra-casual hangouts and high-class venues, so no matter your mood, there’s always somewhere to go. Check out the locations below; many are popular with visitors and locals alike.
LuLu’s (2586 Kalakaua Ave., 808/926-5222, 7am-2am daily) serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but is more widely known as a place to hang out, have a beer, and enjoy its second-story view. Right on the corner of Kalakaua and Kapahulu Avenues, it’s the spot for people-watching.
Sky Waikiki (2330 Kalakaua Ave., 808/921-9978, 5pm-midnight Sun.-Thurs., 5pm-close Fri.-Sat.) is an upscale club, which offers amazing views, tapas, signature cocktails, and all the things nightclubs are known for. Expect a line to get in after 9pm and a cover charge at the door. You must get bottle service and a table if you’d like to order food.
The Hideaway Bar (1913 Dudoit Ln., 808/949-9885, 6am-2am daily) is a famous little dive that prides itself on being the first establishment in Waikiki to start serving alcohol fresh and early, at 6am. It’s also notorious for interesting characters.
For a more upscale experience, check out Rum Fire (2255 Kalakaua Ave., 808/922-4422, 11am-12:30am Fri.-Sat., 11am-midnight Sun.-Thurs.) in the Sheraton Waikiki. Set by the infinity pool, the food is globally influenced to complement the cocktails.
Next door at the Royal Hawaiian is the Mai Tai Bar (2259 Kalakaua Ave., 866/716-8109, 10am-midnight daily). Right on the beach, the views are exquisite, and there are a couple of cabanas to lounge under. The food and drink are on the expensive side.
The Irish Rose Saloon (478 Ena Rd., 808/947-3414, 6am-2am daily) is a great Irish pub with live and loud rock and roll and a great selection of Irish whiskey, of course. Smoking is still allowed in the Irish Rose, which you’ll either love or hate.
Arnold’s Beach Bar & Grill (339 Saratoga Rd., 808/924-6887, 10am-2am daily) is a kitschy throwback to the 1950s. It’s warm and cozy, the service is friendly, and the drinks are priced just right.
One of the only true nightclubs in Waikiki, Addiction Nightclub (1775 Ala Moana Blvd., 808/943-5800, 10:30pm-3am Thurs.-Sat.) is in the chic Modern Honolulu hotel. DJs, dancing, bottle service—check the website for who’s spinning while you’re in town.
On the second floor of the Waikiki Grand hotel, Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand (134 Kapahulu Ave., 808/923-0669, 10am-2am daily) is Waikiki’s premier gay and lesbian bar. Famous for its open-air lanai and beautiful views from the rail, Hula’s has DJs and dancing, daily drink specials, and a limited menu of entrées and appetizers. Check its website for a complete monthly events calendar.
Excerpted from the Eighth Edition of Moon Honolulu & O’ahu.