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 morning 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. The vendors are great, there's a huge variety, and a visit here is more calm and relaxing (though it gets VERY 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.
Handmade mochi in all the good flavors (you know just how much we love mochi in Hawaii ^_^).
My two favorite flavors from Izu's: Strawberry Mochi (with a whole fresh strawberry and azuki bean paste) and the Okinawan Sweet Potato Mochi.
Izu's Mochi has many weekly and seasonal specials. One of my favorites is the Kasa/Casa Muchi which is an Okinawan-style mochi that she makes just once a year. This super fragrant and fresh mochi is steamed in shell ginger leaves.
There are also lots of other fun treats like chichi dango and mini mochi!
P.S. If you like chichi dango and mochi in general, also visit Nisshodo Candy Store / Mochiya and Fujiya Hawaii (they're not at the farmer's market but definitely worth a special trip).
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 weekly. 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 scoop of azuki beans. Super ono and refreshing!
Wicked HI Slush
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.
They have 3-4 flavors on rotation and it's fun to combine multiple flavors in a cup.
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!
We love spaetzle! Little Sparrow makes many different spaetzle dishes and we especially love the veggie one packed with greens (pictured above). It's cheesy, hearty, and so fresh tasting with local tomatoes.
The menu changes all the time. Look out for the specials, especially ones that involve seafood like the lobster and crab cakes with spaetzle.
Youpo offers hearty bowl of hand pulled noodles, all 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 and you can watch them pulling the noodles. Just bring a hat and sunglasses because there is no shade ^_^
The noodles are spicy and savory, laced with hot oil, and incredibly satisfying. Each serving is good for a one full meal. Split an order with a friend if you want to have extra stomach space to try other dishes at the market.
Wallflour Bake Shop
A super good bakery! We love pretty much everything here from the sourdough breads to the sweet and savory croissants and a whole collection of pastries! There always seems to be a line here, so make this one of your earlier stops when visiting the market.
Recent favorites include: pandan stuffed doughnuts, a glorious garlic cheese pull-apart bread, black sesame twist (pictured above), and Manoa chocolate and Nutella babka. The offerings change weekly and they do a lot of seasonal treats.
Note: If you can't make it to the farmer's market, Wallflour Bake Shop is also at 'ili'ili Cash & Carry on Mondays mornings from 7-11am.
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
The Rice Factory has a nearby brick and mortar store (which I wrote about in this post, it's where we buy all our rice).
If you can't get to the store, make sure to stop by this stand to purchase 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 good musubis and vinegar drinks.
Dean & Deluca
Only in Hawaii would Dean & Deluca be at the farmer's market. I love that. Dean & Deluca has two retail locations in Waikiki, but they make special treats for the farmer's market like this cheese and olive loaf. (with their logo branded on the bread!) I love the size of these mini loaves...makes for a great snack for 2-3 people. They also have a selection of iced drinks and mini sandwiches.
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
- The market is open Saturday 8am-12pm. Go very early in the morning (right at 8am or even a tiny bit before), otherwise you'll be walking around in the blazing sun.
- Wear a hat or cap. Consider bringing an umbrella if you are sensitive to sun and heat.
- Go early to also avoid the lines.
- Bring cash. Many vendors accept card, but not all.
- There's free parking around the market, but it fills up. Another perk of going early is better parking.
- Some vendors allow pre-ordering online (check their website or Instagram beforehand).
- Market is dog friendly, you'll see lots of people with their dogs (on leash).
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)
Saturday 28th of January 2023
Happy Lunar New Year Kathy! Would love to hear of any celebration/food details in HI. The market looks amazing. Pandan donuts! It's a favorite flavor of mine and seems to be harder and harder to find in CA. What does the amazake taste like? I imagine something like kombucha but I think I'm totally off
Friday 23rd of December 2022
OMG, is this a new post? The date says 12/22/22 but I think that perhaps I have seen it before. I forgot all about this Farmer's Market, and my wife and I were back in HNL in October. I have to make a note to visit this market next year when we go back to HNL again for our annual vacation.
Friday 6th of January 2023
Aloha Alan! Good memory!! This is an older post that I just updated with new information and vendors (some of them have changed and new vendors have arrived). Definitely visit then you are back this year! Happy New Year :) - Kathy
Thursday 22nd of December 2022
Wow! We're finally heading "back home" soon and this looks super! I appreciate the wonderful post!
Friday 6th of January 2023
Aloha Kirk! Happy New Year and hope all is well! Have a super delicious trip back home! Definitely go early, this market is great. Can't wait to read about it on your blog. Been enjoying your France and Mexico posts :) - Kathy
Monday 14th of December 2020
Wow! I never knew of this place/event. Thanks for the info. Next time we go back to HNL, we will have to visit this market. We love this kind of stuff and all the special food stuffs!
Monday 14th of December 2020
Hi Alan! It's a super neat market, definitely check it out! :)