Liliha Bakery: Best butter rolls on the Island
515 N. Kuakini Street
We went to Liliha Bakery for their famous coco puff pastries: cream puff pastries filled with chocolate pudding. Fellow food blogger, Denise Sakaki of Wasabi Prime recommended Liliha, telling me that the coco puffs had the same cult following as the famed cronut. So I had to try this place.
Liliha Bakery is not just a bakery though, there is also a diner area with counter seating in the same shop. We decided to grab brunch along with our coco puffs before lounging on the beach.
The coco puffs were everything that I dreamed of: fluffy, eggy pastry filled with the creamiest, sweetest chocolate pudding. Liliha Bakery also makes a green tea version, it’s slightly less sweet than the chocolate coco puffs, with a slight green tea flavour in the filling. As we were eating, I noticed customer after customer buying boxfuls of the coco puffs. They really ARE the Hawaiian cronut!
We ordered two loco moco plates: traditional Hawaiian breakfasts that consists of two scoops of rice, a hamburger patty and two eggs, sunny side up, all smothered in gravy. I asked for my eggs to be scrambled though. The loco moco is similar to the other Hawaiian staple: the plate lunch, which is practically the same meal minus the gravy and with two scoops of macaroni salad. The loco moco at Liliha Bakery also comes with toast or butter rolls. I tried to order the toast but the server stopped us and insisted that we order the butter roll if it was our first time at the bakery. I’m glad we did. This butter roll practically changed my life – it was so unbelievably flaky, soft and buttery, it simply melted in my mouth. Grilled on one side so it was crispy and hot, I have to confess, I loved this butter roll more than the loco moco tenfold. The cranberry scone we ordered was scrumptious but nowhere near as buttery and addictive as that butter roll.
The loco moco is named for being a local dish and I can see why: it’s simple and homey but fills you up. Nobody loves mystery meat more than me so the hamburger patty in the loco moco won me over right away. The loco moco is the perfect comfort food. The loco moco is reflective of the mish mash of cultures in Hawaii, there’s a huge Asian population here as well as a mix of western and American culture. And everything tastes better when smothered in thick, creamy gravy.
I also loved the atmosphere at Liliha Bakery. It was obvious that there were regulars seated next to us, the servers already knew what they wanted to order before they even cracked open the menu. The bakery section of the shop was also constantly bustling with customers, the digital “Now Serving” number sign whipped through nearly 20 numbers in the time that we were there.
If we weren’t headed to the beach afterwards, I would have loved to pick up a box of a dozen coco puffs and butter buns! I have daily cravings for those pastries. If you’re in Honolulu, make sure you stop by Liliha Bakery and bring your appetite!