When I say that Duke’s Waikiki is my favorite spot in the world, I’m not exaggerating a bit. In this post, I’m going to share with you why I feel this way about this place.
However, first I want to make a disclaimer: I’m not getting paid by Duke’s to make any of the statements I’m making in this post. This place rocks and I’m simply giving it the credit it deserves!
Duke’s Waikiki – The Bar
Duke’s Waikiki is the most amazing bar and restaurant in the Island (in my humble opinion). Not only it’s located in a pristine location on the island, with a long bar that oversees the beauty of Waikiki but it also has the best Mai Tai’s in the world.
I’m kidding you not.
I suggest you go and try all other Mai Tai’s first and then try Duke’s mai tai because when you do so, you would never be able to have another mai tai anywhere else.
I know this sounds like an exaggeration, but actually, it’s not.
I’ve tried pretty much every mai tai in the Hawaiian islands and nothing comes close to Duke’s Mai Tai.
It is served in a super cute clear tiki glass with a cute umbrella that even a real man can endure.
The secret ( and I can tell you this after watching them make hundreds of mai tais at the bar) is more than one:
- The mix of natural juices they use. Nothing is fake in this drink. Real juices make a huge difference.
- High-quality types of rum: white, gold and dark
I’ve tried to get the recipe for the mai tai without success, and the reason is they have the juice mix pre-mixed at the bar, so I can’t spy on the bartenders on how they are making them, but I’m happy to keep going back to get it at Duke’s Waikiki.
Besides the Mai Tai they have an array of other great drinks some are on my top 10 favorite list also like the Hawaiian Salt, made with POG (Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava) Juice and Li Hing Powder, also this last trip I tried a Lahaina Burst and it was so much better than I was expecting. This will become one of my to go drinks for sure when going to Duke’s Waikiki.
Finally, the coconut mojito is one girly drink that Ben like besides the Mai Tai, as a matter of fact, the one he is drinking in the picture above.
If you are a beer type of person, they have several local beers on tap that won’t disappoint you. Some of the ones Ben has tried are Hanalei IPA and Bonny Doon Claret. He highly recommends both of these.
Duke’s Waikiki – the Restaurant
What makes this place so great is that everything is amazing as you will see through this post.
So when you are having a great time and having some drinks, eventually you are going to get hungry, right? Well, Duke’s Waikiki has amazing food not only at the bar but as a restaurant too.
Anything from nachos to lobster. Seriously.
From the bar menu, my favorite item is the Pork Nachos and the Tacos. So deliciously prepared to pair any of the amazing drinks you can have at the bar.
As for the Restaurant menu, that you can also have while sitting at the bar, I’ve never had a bad experience at Duke’s and I have seriously eaten here more times that I can remember.
Most recently we had the Ahi Poke for the appetizer and it was simply amazing. I can’t wait to go back and have more.
For the main dish we shared the Opah with forbidden rice (black rice) and it was so yummy we ate every bite of it.
We got (from our lovely bartender Kenny) a Hula pie for dessert, and if you have never had a Hula pie you need to order one because it’s an insane ice cream cake that tastes like heaven!
I’ve also had the lobster before as well as the breakfast buffet. Again, Duke’s Waikiki will not disappoint you!
Duke’s Waikiki – The Wait Staff
So we have been going to Duke ever since we’ve been going to Hawaii. Because it’s location, food, and drinks we tend to hang out here a lot and for long periods of time which have allowed us to get to know some of the staffs.
I have to say that in general everyone in Duke’s is awesome.
One of the things that strike me the most is that time after time when we go back I get to see the same faces at the bar and at the table.
That only means one thing. Duke’s Waikiki’s employees are happy to work here, and for repeating clients like us, that makes a huge difference.
When we walk up to the bar we always get greeted and even get hugs and grins in the staff faces because we are back.
In my opinion that is the ultimate customer experience.
They know our names and we know theirs.
With that said, when you go to Duke’s Waikiki make sure you ask for one of these fellas: Kenny or Tony at the bar, and Josh at the Restaurant.
I guarantee you will be taken care of like a royal. Tell them that Ben and Carmen from Alaska sent you!
There is so many other great staff like the twin brothers and the blond lady at the bar side tables, I just, unfortunately, don’t know their names, but just go to Duke’s Waikiki and you will understand what I’m saying about the service, the food, the view, and the location!
Duke’s Waikiki – The Beach
This post can’t be completed without a mentioned to the one and only reason I go to Hawaii: The Beach.
The reason I discovered Duke’s in the first place was because I was looking the best spot to hang out in Waikiki Beach, and then I found this magical little spot where the sand is so soft that feels like you are walking on the clouds, with the water so blue that your every view looks like a postcard, the hidden spot to rent umbrellas and chairs so complete relaxation is possible and the perfect most amazing hanging spot in the island right there.
Seriously, if I would have been trying to design this spot in my dreams I wouldn’t have come close to how amazing it is.
Everything I need to make my getaway a few days in paradise is in that spot: The most beautiful beach and the greatest bar and restaurant on the island.
Tip: Because we go back and forth between Duke’s and the beach I get to use the restrooms at Duke’s without guilt. They are clean and kept up all day.
If you haven’t been, you need to go to Hawaii. It’s a paradise, and it’s not as expensive as you think. Read my post about the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel to learn how to save $400 a night for your hotel. Also, learn how to find the cheapest fares available to know when to go.
When you go to Hawaii, you need to go to Duke’s Waikiki and try the best Mai Tai’s on the island.
Remember to travel more, and travel often because life is a getaway!