After falling in love with Wahiawa upon his first visit, master coffee-brewer Mike Richards quickly plotted a way to join the community’s eclectic crowd on a more permanent basis. The fruition of this aim, Perk-A-Lot Coffee & Sandwich Shop, marries Wahiawa’s uplifting spirit with a low-key ambiance and delicious coffeehouse fare. Since opening its doors in 2011, this up-and-coming spot has evolved into a cherished hangout for locals and coffee connoisseurs on pilgrimages from nearby islands. Mike and his friendly staff of baristas prepare café beverages behind simple wooden counters, pairing iced or steaming drinks with handmade wraps and sandwiches. When they aren’t sitting down to enjoy pastries such as lemon scones and fudge brownies, visitors can walk across the café’s checkerboard floor to view the local art that adorns the walls. On Friday nights, local poets and musicians stage performances for crowds, who signal their approval by snapping and pelting the stage with packets of sugar.
VG Addict fulfills dragon-slaying and Formula 1–driving fantasies with a virtual treasure trove of new and used video games, DVDs, and accessories. Customers can stop by the retail store to bask in a glorious assortment of classics and new releases for systems from Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to Nintendo Wii and handheld consoles. Gamers are encouraged to test-drive games before they buy, ensuring games are in working order and haven't been exposed to damage by previous owners.
Rainbow Tea House takes tea beyond the standard afternoon cuppa with bubble tea drinks, boba milk tea, and thai milk tea. Fresh fruit smoothies, sorbet caf?, and honeydew and taro milkshakes offer some tasty tea alternatives in the sun-drenched spot brightened by canary-yellow walls, sunflowers in the window, and white tables and chairs.
Staff members at Green Snow carefully shave blocks of ice into very fine pieces before infusing the desserts with flavors. Local specialties include guava, lychee, and lilikoi––a juicy passionfruit. They also use the icy medium to duplicate other drinks such as root beer. The staffers then top off frosty concoctions with sweetened condensed milk, azuki beans, or li hing plum powder.
Despite its thin and delicate appearance, the crepe is a stronghold, capable of holding delicious bundles within its soft shell. At Delice Crepes, these bundles range from savory combinations of chicken and mozzarella to the sweet Keiki crepe, stuffed with peanut butter and blackberry jam. Each of these crepes is made from scratch?a feat made all the more impressive by the fact that the kitchen is a vintage red-and-white Volkswagon.
Owner and chef Jonathan Pajot, who grew up in France, prefers to use gluten-free buckwheat flour for the savory side of the menu. He also seeks out organic ingredients, including fresh avocados, bananas, tomatoes, and spinach. Just steps away from the food truck, a few tables dressed in checkered cloth serve as an outdoor dining room, saving patrons the trouble of bringing their own table and chandelier from home.