Kaka‘ako Farmers Market offers a super variety of fresh produce, fruits and prepared foods (including mochi and baked goods)! Visiting this Honolulu farmers market is a Saturday tradition.
When people talk about farmers markets in Hawaii, you always hear about KCC Farmers Market. It's the biggest, it's bustling.
It's fun (and has tons of great produce and prepared foods/sweets), but the crowds (it's a popular tour bus stop) can be draining.
So many locals now head to the Kaka‘ako Farmers Market.
You'll see a 50:50 ratio of tourists to locals at KCC Farmers Market, but it's more of a 80:20 ratio at Kaka‘ako Farmers Market. It's not as big, but the vendors are great, and a visit here is calm and relaxing (though hot/sunny, so go early in the morning).
What to Eat at Kaka‘ako Farmers Market
Ok! Here we go to the good stuff. The vendors here change often so I'll make sure to keep this page updated. And feel free to chime in if you have a favorite vendor I missed.
My two favorite flavors from Izu's: Strawberry Mochi (with a whole fresh strawberry and azuki bean paste) and the Okinawan Sweet Potato Mochi.
Islander Sake Brewery
Islander Sake Brewery is always a must-stop at this market! I love their amazake, which is a refreshing and nonalcoholic drink made by fermenting rice with koji (the mold use to make sake).
The sell the amazake by the cup or mason jar. I always get the mason jar so that I can have extra to drink at home ^_^ The flavors change every week. They always have plain/original plus a few fruit flavors. Pictured above is the watermelon amazake. I've also had the pineapple and ginger one...they are all so good.
In addition to sake and amazake, Islander Sake Brewery also makes sweets and snacks using sake byproducts.
These treats include sake-kasu muffins, sake-kasu cheesecake, black seasme sake-kasu pudding, and amazake-soymilk panna cotta (in flavors like peach and watermelon).
I often order the amazake parfait (pictured above) which layers green tea jelly with watermelon, amazake cream, and a little scoop of azuki beans. Super ono and refreshing!
Kaka‘ako Farmers Market gets hot (especially if you go after 10am), and Wicked HI Slush is how we cool down.
It's like a cross between slushy and sorbet, made with honey and fresh local fruits like dragon fruit, pineapple, and lilikoi.
P.S. If you're on the North Shore, make sure to visit Wicked HI Cafe, which is their cafe with a full sweet and savory menu. We love the sourdough waffles and sourdough pizza!
They have 3-4 flavors on rotation and it's fun to combine multiple flavors in a cup.
Hearty bowl of hand pulled noodles made to order! They have several different protein options. I usually get the lamb, duck, or the mushroom-tofu. These Xian biangbiang noodles are made to order (you can watch them pulling the noodles, just bring a hat and sunglasses because there is no shade ^_^). It's spicy and savory, laced with hot oil, and incredibly satisfying. Each serving is good for a full meal for one. Split one with a friend if you want to have stomach space to try other dishes at the market.
Local I'a has top quality local fish. We love seafood in Hawaii, and access to great, fresh seafood is one of the things I miss most when on the mainland. Think ono, aku (and aku poke), mahi, kajiki, local oysters, and so much more. They also offer a seafood CSA which I've been curious to try.
The Rice Factory has a brick and mortar store nearby (which I wrote about in this post, it's where we buy all our rice). If you can't get to the store, pick up rice (they have smaller 2-pound containers if you don't want to commit to a big bag of rice) and bottles of soy sauce from the market stand. They also make musubi and vinegar drinks.
Green smoothies! They only make one thing at Ōmao Man, and they make it well. The smoothies are made from kale, spinach, romaine, baby bok choy, mint, mango, and banana. Really refreshing, not too "green tasting" and only a touch sweet. Smoothies are $5 for 16oz cup and $9 for a 32oz bottle.
Fresh Fruit Vendors
Hawaii has a ton of amazing local fruits. Think mangoes (the best!), papayas, avocado. My mom loves to get all the rambutan, lychee and longan (when in season), and the pink dragon fruit. I load up on lilikoi. They have fruits grown not just on Oahu, but from the neighbor islands as well.
Roscoe's Sourdough Breads
I always get a focaccia square for my dad here. Pick between olive-garlic, tomato-rosemary, and garlic-sea salt. They do many different types of breads but we love the focaccia best.
MA'O Organic Farms
Ma'o Organic Farms has all the good greens including lots of Hawaii-specific ones like ulu (breadfruit) and luau leaves (use them to make luau stew and lau lau)! Their farm is in Waianae and they also sell to many local supermarkets.
We get a ton of our vegetables from Ho Farms (their farm is in Kahuku). From beautiful cherry tomatoes, and my favorite okra (okra recipes coming soon!), long beans (so good in curries), Japanese cucumber (which we love to pickle), moringa (for soup!) and eggplant, Ho Farms has all the good stuff ^_^ I love how they have many Asian vegetables that you don't come across as easily at the supermarkets.
Kaka‘ako Farmers Market: Insider Tips
- Parking: there's a ton of free parking right next to the market. People tend to fill up the uncovered lot first, but you're better off in the covered lot (your car won't be super hot by the time you come back).
- The market is open Saturday 8am-12pm. Go early in the morning, otherwise you'll be walking around in the blazing sun (it wouldn't be crazy to bring an umbrella if you are sun/heat sensitive).
- Bring cash. Some vendors accept card, but not all.
Kaka‘ako Farmers Market: Info
- Kaka‘ako Farmers Market | 1050 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814 | farmloversmarkets.com
- Price: mochi $2 each, focaccia $5, smoothies $5-9, plate lunches $10-15, honey slush $3-6
- Hours: Saturdays (8am-12pm)