Moon Cakes & Montreal Bagels: Two Bakeries to Check Out in Oahu

Photo courtesy of Empty Elle's Bagels

Story submitted by Kristin

Are you stationed on Oahu or headed here soon?  We’re so lucky we live in Hawaii, and not just because of the beautiful beaches, great weather and endless list of things to do – but because of the incredible food scene! There are so many great restaurants, hole -in-the wall spots, bakeries and award winning chefs on this little rock in the middle of the ocean.

I’m going to highlight two cool spots I checked out this week:

Elvin’s Bakery

The first spot I’d like to highlight is Elvin’s Bakery, located in Honolulu in the Kapalama Shopping Plaza off Dillingham Boulevard.  This month Elvin’s is offering their delicious and popular moon cakes. Have you ever heard of a moon cake? Did you see them featured in a new Netflix movie called “Over The Moon?”

A moon cake is a Chinese baked good traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The festival is about lunar appreciation and moon watching, and moon cakes are regarded as an indispensable delicacy.  According to Wikipedia, “moon cakes are offered between friends or on family gatherings while celebrating the festival.”

Elvin’s Bakery makes all of their bakery items right on the premises. Their moon cakes are sweet or savory.  We tried their sweet lotus flavor. It was so beautiful to look at and delicious the eat!  They also make small and pig shaped moon cakes. If you’re a fan of cheesecake, try their Japanese cheesecake — lighter and fluffy than the typical American cheesecake. Elvin’s sells other specialty Chinese and Japanese bakery items.  They offer great service and they were happy to answer my questions about their different items.  Parking was free and easy in the shopping plaza parking lot. 

Empty Elle’s Bagels

The next spot I’d like to highlight is Empty Elle’s Bagels in Kailua.  Have you been?  It’s close to Whole Foods and next door to Grace in Growlers.

We finally had a chance to check it out this past Saturday morning. We tried their everything bagels with butter (for the kids — a big hit!) and an everything bagel with egg, cheese and tomato.  Great, friendly service and tasty Montreal-style bagels, a distinctive variety that is handmade and wood-fired, with a smaller, sweeter and denser texture.

Their business name is a play on words — the abbreviation for the Montreal airport is MTL (“Em-ty Elle” … hear it?) The owner really likes the Montreal style bagel. There’s easy, free street parking, if available, and there are nearby free parking lots as well. You can order to-go or sit at their tables.  They have about eight tables available right now while they work to keep their seating socially distanced. 

What are some new spots you’ve tried lately? Comment below, or give us ideas on what you’d like us to check out and write about. For more fun ideas on things to do, see and taste, follow me on Facebook “Bloom Where You Are Anchored” or Instagram.

Mahalo (thanks) for reading!

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