The Kapiolani Community College Saturday Market is a great place to get a taste of authentic local culture. Just a short drive away from Waikiki near Diamond Head you will find prepared foods and drinks, tropical fruit, fresh vegetables, baked goods, and live music. From a product standpoint this is easily one of the top farmers markets that I’ve ever been to but the biggest drawback is the crowd of people that show up.
This picture was taken at around 10am and the place was absolutely packed. When we arrived the parking lot was full but luckily there were a steady stream of people who had arrived earlier and were heading out so it didn’t take too long to find a parking spot. As soon as we saw how many people were there we decided that we had to prioritize and try to grab some hot food before the vendors started running out of food. We didn’t even have time to do a scouting lap – if we saw something good we just jumped in line right away. All of the lines seemed to have between 5-15 people.
Our very first stop was Big Island Abalone where you could buy two medium-sized Big Island farm raised BBQ abalone for $7. Back home in Vancouver these cost about $9 each so two for $7 seemed like a steal and they were delicious! It ended up taking about 10 minutes to get through the line and we decided it was better to divide and conquer. Mrs A|T went one way and I went the other, each with one kid in tow. We would meet back in 20 minutes to divvy up the haul.
Since it was getting closer to mid-day the heat started to get to me. My first stop was Pacifikool Ginger Ale (left) for some refreshment. The Mrs and our kid that likes green things ended up getting a healthy looking veggie drink (right). We each also grabbed a some other cooked foods and headed back to our meeting place.
We weren’t sure if there would be any place to sit but then found that they had a box of bamboo mats that they loan out for free near a small grassy hill at the entrance to the market! Very Aloha!
I quickly scarfed down the food and ran back to the Ono Pop stand that I saw to buy some handmade Hawaiian Popsicles. If you ever see these in Hawaii or anywhere else stop and buy some. We bought one for each of us and then went back and got two more for sharing.
Located near Diamond Head [maps.google.ca], if you’re only in Hawaii for a week I think it’s worth fighting the crowds for the experience. I was tempted to keep my mouth shut and not blog about this place but there are already buses full of people who I assume are tourists that roll into the parking lot so it isn’t exactly a secret. The next time I’m in Hawaii I’ll probably check out the other farmer’s markets listed by the Hawaii Farm Bureau which I’m told are less busy and have some of the same vendors.
Note that the Saturday market runs from 7am to 11am. By 10:30 a lot of vendors had run out of the more popular items. If you plan to hit the Saturday market you’ve got to go early!
This post was shared with
- Travel Photo Thursday hosted by Budget Traveler’s Sandbox.
- Friday Daydreamin’ hosted by RWeThereYetMom
A homemade Hawaiian Popsicle sounds delicious. I can’t say that I’ve ever tried abalone. Maybe I’m missing something.
Abalone has kind of a sweet clammy taste. It’s kind of like a mix between clam and lobster tail. The texture is just a little rubbery but now chewy if that makes sense?
Another good way to get to the market is to ride TheBus but just like the parking lot you described, it is usually jam-packed as well. It isn’t too bad a walk from Waikiki if you like walking. . .it just limits the amount of bags you might want to carry back to the room. I love this market as well. Your post brings back great memories.
I’d noticed the TheBus directions on the website, but I never considered walking it. How long do you think that walk would take?
I want to thy ume Thai basil hawaiian popsicle…
I know, right? So many cool flavors!
Looks like a good place to grab a bit to eat in Honolulu.
Absolutely. Loads of great food available and a lot of locals eating there!
Oh, wow- that green cider stuff looks intense! Was it good?
Let’s just say it tasted healthy. It actually wasn’t bad at all. If I needed a veggie boost I’d pick that over a V8 any day and given the loco moco diet that I was in the middle of a little healthy green was probably good for me!
What a great place to try some local food – I love this idea! Do you go to Farmers Markets often while on trips or was this one recommended?
Thanks for linking up this week!
I’ll typically try to go to find regular markets, but any large farmers markets will usually attract my attention. As long as they have a decent list of vendors selling prepared foods I’ll try to get to it if I can.
For the KCC market I had a friend who picked up some food there before hiking Diamond Head and she put in a special request for some cranberry crackers that one of the vendors sells. If I didn’t promise to pick those up I might have just stayed at the beach and missed out!
I love markets, and I could see myself being there at 7am, and staying until the crowds became too much. I want one of those green smoothies…I drink one everyday when i’m not traveling, and always hard to find when I’m on the road. Popsicles…..YEP!! and abolone!!
That’s pretty cool that they loan out the mats. Nice touch. This market really does look super busy, but so much fun. I would have opted for the Pacifikool ginger ale, too. 🙂
I now have a serious hankering for some Ono Pops. This seems like a wonderful way to try out the local cuisine.
I love farmers markets and I love how you captured this one in your pics:) I’ve always wanted to try Ono pops too-I heard they’re awesome! Maybe next trip:)
A pink lemon cream popsicle sounds pretty good right now. In fact, I bet the fruity goodies at a Hawaiian market would all be delish!