Strawberry Shortcake at Patisserie La Palme D'or
La Palme D'or might very well be the fanciest patisserie in Honolulu. Every little detail is accounted for in all the cakes and confections, be it a Strawberry Shortcake made with strawberries flown in from Japan or the Chocolate Sandwich, which features a crunchy hazelnut cream filling sandwiched by two chocolate brownies. The drinks are also not to be missed—think coffee jelly topped with whipped cream and whole milk, and the Lava Flow, an intoxicating blend of condensed milk and strawberry puree over ice.
Interior of Patisserie La Palme D'or
Banana Bread at Honolulu Coffee Company
Local coffee (and excellent frappes) are the draw at Honolulu Coffee Company, but people return for the baked goods and pastries. Most popular is their Banana Bread, which is offered by the hefty slice with or without walnuts. It's dense, baked to a deep brown, and packed with fresh bananas to keep it extra moist and flavorful. I occasionally buy extra to take home, toast, and serve with vanilla ice cream. HCC also bakes incredible Oatcakes: tidy rounds sweet with dried cranberries and nutty oats.
Hokkaido Bread at Panya Bakery
At Panya Bakery, look for the Hokkaido Bread. They are golden, fluffy mounds of sweet yeast bread that come in two sizes: Mini and "Big Top Hokkaido." Get the Mini Hokkaido. Why? You want as much surface area as possible.The crust is some sort of insane, addictive magic—a super thin outer layer that is simultaneously crunchy, sweet, and slightly sticky. You could potentially peel off the entire crust before devouring the delicate, airy interior. Breakfast, snack, lunch; appropriate all hours of the day.
Thai Herbal Tea Shave Ice Sundae at Pacific Place Tea Garden
There are five different Shave Ice Sundaes on the menu at Pacific Place Tea Garden, and all are literally a cross between the classic Hawaiian shave ice and ice cream sundaes. I've got a soft spot for the Thai Herbal Tea, which starts with a generous base of condensed milk topped with shave ice and a syrup made from their own Pineapple Coconut Rooibos. A tidy scoop of coconut ice cream finishes the deal. Also notable is the Azuki Bean Sundae which comes with matcha shave ice, azuki beans, fresh fruit, and matcha ice cream.
Long John at Saint Germain
With multiple locations throughout Honolulu, Saint Germain is a popular Japanese bakery that offers everything from the city's best baguettes to croissants and cheesy ham rolls. Don't overlook the sweets. The Butterflake roll tastes like a cross between a danish and croissant baked into a muffin tin, and the Mini Gaufres are soft sweet waffles perfect for snacking. The Long John (pictured) is essentially a yeasty, deep-fried doughnut stick split open and filled with either vanilla custard, chocolate pudding, or apple pie filling. You can't go wrong with any of them.