The Best Coffee Shops in Kailua-Kona, HI
In Kona, coffee is king. Introduced back when mule-drawn carts and horses were still the primary mode of transport in the 19th century, Kona families have farmed and made a living from coffee for over 200 years on the slopes of Hualalai volcano. Relatively new on the scene is the coffee shop. Here are a few of our favorite coffee shops in Kona, Hawaii to catch a buzz, talk story, and sample some of that infamous Kona coffee. Plus, which spots have the best small kine eats and free wifi. Are you jonesing yet?
Kona Coffee and Tea
74-5588 Palani Road Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740
This farm to cup coffee shop is truly a Kona community hub. They grow, mill and roast their own coffee on their farm above town on the slopes of Hualalai volcano. They offer a superb cup of Kona coffee, tea, and also serve locally brewed beer, wine, and Kombucha. A small selection of breakfast items and snacks are available. Free wifi, cute dogs, and a myriad of cool workshops and events like “make your own macramé plant hanger” or “paint and sip” nights make them a popular spot all day long. Grab a pound of their beautifully packaged whole bean coffee to take home with you. Hours are 6 am - 6:30 pm daily.
75-159 Lunapule Rd, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
This place is a cute little spot off the beaten path. The owner and her staff are very friendly and always seem to be pulling some fresh, hot fluffy pastry out of the oven. Get your order “for here” and eat and sip from mad hatter style tea china. Their food menu is excellent and unconventional, serving freshly baked baguette sandwiches, German style breakfast, and a daily selection of house-made pastries for your sweet tooth. Their assortment of teas, as well as clever iced drinks is extensive, and the coffee is good too. Note: they do not have wifi. Their cozy, communal vibe is more geared towards good conversation or curling up with a book. Hours are 6 am -4 pm, closed Sundays.
75-6000 Ali'i Drive
Named for Kona’s elusive ‘green flash’ that the can be glimpsed at sunset, this little coffee shop is a favorite among locals. Their coffee comes from Buddha’s Cup Coffee - the highest elevation coffee farm in Kona. If you’re in the mood for something different, try their iced dirty chai latte - it’s amazing! They also cook up a delicious offering of hearty ‘on-the-go’ breakfast bagels, grilled paninis, plus a decadent croque monsieur sandwich. Yummy local fruit smoothies like the ‘Long Paddle’ with banana, blueberries, peanut butter, hemp protein, and milk and the ‘Green Flash’ with papaya, pineapple, mango, mint, spinach, and apple juice are refreshing and creative. They do have free wifi available but only for 30 minutes, and you must sign in as a guest. Hours are 6:30 am - 2 pm on Ali’i Drive.
Hualalai Center 75-170 Hualalai Rd. Kailua Kona, Hi 96740
If you like your coffee with a crispy, delicious waffle…topped with whip cream…for only $5, then this is your spot! This place has a great little menu that’s a hipster’s delight with pretty, tasty things like avocado toast, yogurt parfait with berries, açaí bowls, and a hearty reuben sandwich. They serve Kona coffee and a full espresso bar. This is a great place to come and get work done on your computer. They have free wifi, several outlets to plug in, and plenty of table space. Cafe hours are Monday - Friday : 7 am-4 pm Saturdays 7 am-1 pm. Closed Sundays.
79-7300 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kealakekua, HI 96750
Kona’s ‘mauka’ coffee shop with a sweet local farmer hippy vibe. This place kind of feels like your living room, with big cozy couches and a laid back, family friendly atmosphere. Yummy coffee and some pretty delicious gluten-free organic eats, including house-made to-die-for quiche. Kayas makes a perfect pit stop if you are road tripping south to Kealakekua Bay or Two-Step for snorkeling. Check out their eclectic selection of locally made crafts and interesting arty-things that make great souvenirs. They do offer free wifi. Cafe hours are 6 am - 6 pm.
Are you buzzing yet? If not, you better get out there and get caffeinated! One of the little known facts about Kona coffee is that it’s generally milder and contains slightly less caffeine than other varieties - so we’re giving you permission to indulge in that second, or third cup. Enjoy.
About the Author
M the Writer is a blogger specializing in Hawaii travel and entrepreneurship. She landed on the beautiful Big Island in 2013 as a backpacker and has been drinking all the Kona coffee ever since. Read more of her writing and get in touch at: https://mthewriter.com/journal. Follow her on Instagram @emilysouthpaw.