Liliha Bakery Coco Puffs: A Must Try On Your Oahu Vacation

I don’t know how Liliha Bakery coco puffs managed to elude me until my fifth visit to Oahu and my second visit to this bakery.  When I visit Oahu, they will never evade my grasp again!

Pastries from Liliha Bakery

Assorted Pastries from Liliha Bakery. Coco puffs are on the lower right-side of the photo.

Are you wondering what coco puffs are? I’m finding it a challenge to describe them, but I’ll give it a shot. It’s a small puffed pastry filled with a creamy chocolate pudding and topped with a thick, semi-hard, vanilla and coconut frosting. They are similar to an eclair, but much better. Coco puffs are refrigerated, but with the first bite, they melt in your mouth. The photo below shows our selection of pastries from Liliha Bakery. The coco puffs are on the lower right-side of the box. When my parents, Andy and I took our first bite of our coco puff at the same time, there was a brief pause followed by a simultaneous “mmmmm!”  We then wondered why we didn’t buy more.

Liliha’s coco puffs are popular with Hawaii residents. On a recent flight from Oahu to Maui, I noticed some folks bringing boxes of coco puffs with them. According to the bakery’s Web site, they sell between 4,800 and 7,200 every day. Dubbed as “the magic puff”,  the bakery’s Web site claims that sharing them can help you “make amends with a friend, impress your significant other’s family and celebrate a milestone. Liliha Bakery’s coco puffs are that kind of magic. The butteriness and creaminess of this chocolate-filled puffed pastry can’t be matched nor explained.” Oh yes, I believe it!

I don’t know how these delightful pastries have remained hidden from visitors. This bakery and these pastries have even escaped the radar of Hawaii travel guidebooks. (I haven’t found Liliha Bakery mentioned in any Oahu travel guidebooks.) As savvy Hawaii travelers and readers of Go Visit Hawaii, you now know this secret.

Liliha bakery coco puffs

Two de-lish-ous Coco Puffs

I suppose the reason Liliha Bakery isn’t in any Oahu guidebook is that the bakery is hidden away from typical tourist areas. It’s located in Honolulu, but away from any major hotel. Though it’s off the beaten path, it is a convenient diversion if you are on your way to:

Liliha Bakery is located in Honolulu at 515 N. Kuakini Street. See this Google Map with the location indicated. You can see their menu and prices here. A coco puff cost $1.20. Liliha Bakery is open from Tuesday 6 a.m. through Sunday 8 p.m. It is closed on Mondays. There’s bakery section and a restaurant section. The restaurant serves pretty good greasy spoon fare with counter-top only seating.

I must thank my friend Evelyn from Homespun Honolulu who first told me about Liliha’s coco puffs. I had mentioned to Evelyn that I had breakfast at Liliha Bakery. She asked me if I tried one of their famous coco puffs. I was embarassed to admit I didn’t even know what a coco puff was much less knew to try one. She told me I would have to go back to try a coco puff. Thank you, Evelyn, for urging me to return.


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About Sheila Beal

Sheila Beal is the founder and editor of Go Visit Hawaii. You can connect with Sheila Beal on Twitter, Go Visit Hawaii on Facebook, or Sheila Beal on Google+.

22 comments

  1. They also have Green Tea Puffs, which are good, but nothing beats the original, ya know? I think part of the secret lies in the chantilly. I could bathe in that frosting!!

  2. Sweet! (literally!) My wife and I are going to Oahu on Tuesday for a week. I’ve added this to my list of things to do.

  3. @ Melissa – chantilly frosting….so that’s what the topping is called. I’ve just been researching and came across this recipe for chantilly frosting.
    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chantilly-Cake-Frosting/Detail.aspx
    I e-mailed the link to my parents so that we can try to make it the next time I visit them.

    @ Andrew – excellent! Let me know what you think of Liliha Bakery. Enjoy!

  4. You got scolded by Evelyn? Too funny! :)

    No! – You got it wrong – Go back there and do it again! This time, don’t forget the coco puffs.

    But yeah… Those things are awesome. Folks who show up at work with a box of Coco Puffs get a lot of extra bonus points.

    I don’t know which I enjoy more. Hot Malasadas or Ice cold Coco Puffs?

    BTW – Have you ever had an Okinawan Andagi? It is fried like a donut and brown and crispy on the outside and cakey on the inside, not fluffy like a malasada. (Also served hot.) Yummy!

  5. @ David Zuls – well not scolded per se. I wouldn’t doubt if she may have snickered, though. Going to Liliha without getting a coco puff is like going to Krispy Kreme and not getting a doughnut. :0)

    I haven’t tried an Okinawan Andagi. Dang! Where does it end with tasty food in Hawaii? Will I ever eat my way through every island specialty? *sigh* I’m up for the challenge. ;-)

  6. Not all andagi is good IMHO. My favorite is the one at the annual Okinawan festival in Kapiolani Park–I believe it’s Labor Day weekend. Put that on your list for your next visit, and remind me! I’ll take you to get some andagi!

    ….hmmmm…..maybe we can do something that explores the cultural foods of Hawaii like that. I promise not to make them bizarre foods!

  7. Melissa – I would LOVE that!

  8. Which is better, a Leonard’s Bakery cream-filled Malasada or a Coco Puff. Either way, it’s not good news for my diet.

  9. @Christian – for me, without question, the coco puff is clear winner. :)

  10. All I can say is WOW – stumbled across this post before going to spend a week in Oahu and it was more than worth the $50 round trip cab ride from Waikiki just to taste one of those amazing coco puffs!! Of course, I couldn’t just stop at one and after buying a box to go I was left licking the wrappers after the last one was eaten. Thank you so much for this recommendation!!

    • Oh Aja – I am so happy to get your comment and to hear you loved the coco puffs! I’m glad to hear that you liked them so much that the $50 cab ride was worth it. They really, really are so delicious! What else did you enjoy sampling on Oahu?

  11. hi to all, can we bring the coco puff home to ca.?

  12. I wonder if a box given to our attendant could get us a room uprade at either the Turtle Bay or Outrigger Reef…. Hmmm….. (We’re going at the end of April 2010)
    Thanks for all of the insights!
    -Noelle

  13. Thank you very much for all the great info. I found it to be a great way to get to know the island before I visit. Mahalo

  14. Can you mail the coco puffs to california or will it last a 5 1/2 hr plane ride to la?

    • Shan – I very much doubt that you can mail coco puffs. I talked to a person from Liliha about shipping them and they said it would probably end up costing around $60 to ship them. I assume it would have to be overnight shipping in a cooler with some sort of long lasting ice.

      Now, would they survive a plane ride to LA? That’s probably more likely. I suggest you contact the folks at Liliha and ask them for their advice.

  15. oh great! it’s already crowded enough :( now the tourists will go? “sigh” some things aren’t mentioned in the tour books for a reason…

    • Aloha Mar!

      We greatly appreciate the loyal business from the our local families. A great reason for our big crowds is because the local families share us with their families on the mainland who also share us with more families and friends on the mainland or even other countries!
      More business keeps Liliha Bakery alive and we hope to share this aloha spirit with everyone who wants to know more about us or become a regular. We are thankful for our local customers as well as new customers.

      I hope this does not discourage you to come to visit Liliha Bakery. We would love to have you be a part of Liliha Bakery and hope you share us with your family and friends.

      Best,

      Shanae
      Liliha Bakery Office Assistant

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