|View of Waikiki from Diamond Head|
The first dive we were able to find was the Waikiki Sandbox on Kuhio Ave. The Sandbox is your typical dive bar in many ways- smoky inside, crazy looking regulars, and a disgusting bathroom out back. But the Sandbox also boasts a huge tropical fish tank, a nice pool table, and a happy hour that kept us going back for more. Happy hour at the Sandbox is 2-8pm everyday and they offer, among other things, a $3 mai tai... Great spot!
Our next discovery was on our hunt for some good, cheap Hawaiian food... enter The Rainbow Drive-In. The Rainbow Drive-In, located on Kanaina Ave., is a little dive with a walk up counter and outside tables. It was always crowded and always delicious. We went a couple times during our stay and loved the plate lunches, which come with choice of meat (my favorite was the BBQ pork), rice, and macaroni salad for around $7.
While the Sandbox and the Rainbow Drive-In were our favorite dives, we did hit some other great spots in Waikiki:
- The bar in our hotel lobby (the Hilton Waikiki Beach, in the old Prince Kuhio) had half off delicious specialty drinks during happy hour from 5-7, and we tried almost all the happy hour specials! Try the Mac-cano Eruption if you get the chance!
- We also discovered Arnold's Beach Bar, located on Saratoga Rd., when it started pouring rain so we ducked in here to wait it out. Arnold's is a little tiki style bar hidden back from the street down a little alley and they have happy hour all day until 6pm. Good drinks, great atmosphere and live music.
- Chuck's Cellar on Kaiulani Ave. is another fun spot to hit for a drink (and dinner if you can afford it). Located down a flight of stairs from street level, this old school spot is dark wood and leather with a piano bar and live music every night. We sat in the bar for drinks, where I had a great Singapore Sling, and listened to the live piano music. Definitely worth checking out!
Of course we ate a ton of delicious food at numerous restaurants and drank as many tropical boozy drinks as we could find, but these are the places I would absolutely go back to if ever in Waikiki again.