Taro root treats, purple-hued and sweet. Ripe mangoes and papayas piled high. Some of the best poke (pronounced “pokey”) you’ll have the pleasure of tasting anywhere. Wherever you are on Oahu, you’re never far from a local farmers’ market. Here are our favorites.
The Ala Moana Farmers’ Market brings the bounty of the country to the city. Expect a rainbow of locally-grown fruits and vegetables and vendors who will educate you, say, on different types of pineapple and their preparations. Select macadamia nut butter, lilikoi jam, pickled sea asparagus or taro macaroni and cheese; then enjoy your picks at tables and chairs beneath a tent. Located on the upper deck of Ala Moana Center (by Sears), this market promises ample parking and Pacific views. Open Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon.
While some of the dishes here may seem pricey, KCC specialties are splurge-worthy. Try sushi sliders from Otsuji Farms, taro sweet bread from Bale Bakery and bahn mi from The Pig and The Lady. Get your Spam breakfast plate from Grandma G’s. There are small surprises, too, like fried green tomatoes, fresh Hawaiian lychee fruit, just-canned kimchee and produce bargains – if you’re sharp-eyed. Open Saturdays, 7:30-11 a.m.
If you like sushi, you’ll love poke – cubed, raw tuna seasoned with sea salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, seaweed and chili pepper. Find it at the Honolulu Farmers’ Market along with Okinawan sweet potato fries, strawberry- and azuki bean-stuffed mochi and Vietnamese iced coffee. (We also go for macadamia-crusted mahi mahi from Hui in the Pot, Thai coconut chicken curry from Da Spot and the Big Island Abalone stand.) For a sweet finish, seek out Akamai Food’s cranberry walnut oatcakes or rum cakes in flavors from pumpkin with dark chocolate to taro coconut, or Ono Pops’ paletas. Open Wednesdays, 4-7 p.m.
“ If you are visiting between November and February, don’t miss Waimea Bay on the North Shore where the island’s top surfers take on 30-foot waves ”
ALA MOANA FARMERS’ MARKET
Address: 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96814
Phone: (808) 338.9696
Web Address: www.haleiwafarmersmarket.com/ala-moana.html
Distance/Drive: Less than one mile from THE MODERN HONOLULU.
Brief directions from THE MODERN HONOLULU: Just head south on Ala Moana Boulevard, make a U-turn on Ena Road and sharp right on Atkinson. Or watch for the Waikiki Trolley’s Pink Line “Shopping Shuttle” – approximately every 10 minutes, the trolley stops by to transport shoppers to Ala Moana. One-way tickets are $2.
KCC FARMERS’ MARKET Address: 4303 Diamond Head Rd., Honolulu, HI 96816
Phone #: (808) 848.2074
Web Address: www.hfbf.org/markets/markets/kcc
Distance/Drive Time From THE MODERN HONOLULU: 3 miles and a 10 minute drive.
Brief directions from THE MODERN HONOLULU: Head southeast on Ala Moana Boulevard, right on Kalakaua Avenue, left onto Monsarrat Avenue and continue onto Diamond Head Road.
HONOLULU FARMERS’ MARKET
Address: Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall Lawn, 777 Ward Ave., Honolulu, HI 96814
Web Address: www.hfbf.org/markets
Distance/Drive: Just two miles from THE MODERN HONOLULU – less than a 10-minute drive.
Brief directions from THE MODERN HONOLULU: Head southeast on Ala Moana, right on Piikoi Street, left on Kapiolani Boulevard and right on Ward Avenue.