the kcc farmer’s market is easily the top recommendation i’d have for any foodie traveling through oahu. we make our way back year after year because it is truly a food lover’s vacation dream: it is the best place to taste hawaiian treats & pick up some food souvenirs to bring back to mainland us & share the taste of aloha with your loved ones. it’s no secret that i love farmer’s markets. to me, farmer’s markets are synonymous with summer. there is nothing better than starting your weekend off with a saturday morning coffee & wandering through endless booths filled with locally grown produce, locally crafted treats, & beautifully arranged blooms.
the fresh air & the sense of community is hard to beat.
when i’m in the comfort of my own metro, i definitely prefer farmer’s markets with abundant produce. the more selection to browse & admire, the better. i use these trips to stock up my fridge with fresh, seasonal goods & try all the recipes i’ve dreamed up throughout the week. (if you’re in the twin cities metro, the st. paul farmer’s market in lowertown is pretty hard to beat.)
when i’m traveling, though, i tend to prefer markets that have tons of local flair, filled with food vendors & artisans showcasing their specialty treats. i find it the best way to get to the heart of the community to which i have traveled.
when my aunt took me to the kapiolani community college farmer’s market in honolulu for the first time a few years back, i felt like i’d died & gone to farmer’s market heaven. booth after booth, we perused different fruit & produce local to hawaii. vendors graciously shared samples of their treats. there were chefs from local food trucks & restaurants cooking up delicious meals – everything from loco moco to fresh smoothies & pressed juices to vietnamese street food.
located in the parking lot of kcc (which is right at the base of diamond head), it is just a ten minute drive from the waikiki area. the kcc farmer’s market is open from 7 am – 1 pm on saturdays. we like to show up right away, before the rush of tourist buses come in. there is ample free parking in the lots at kcc & also in the streets in the surrounding area. there are breathtaking views of the southeast shore of oahu & the pacific glistening in the morning sun. if you want to make a morning of it, you can also add to your itinerary the hike up to the summit of diamond head, which is just a 15 minute walk from kcc.
the kcc farmer’s market is easily the top recommendation i’d have for any foodie traveling through hawaii.
we make our way back year after year because it is truly a food lover’s vacation dream: it is the best place to taste hawaiian treats & pick up some food souvenirs to bring back to mainland u.s. & share the taste of aloha with your loved ones.
some of our favorite kcc farmer’s market stands over the years:
kukui sausage co
kukui sausage co’s stand is difficult to miss – it will be the one that has a long, winding line of people anxiously waiting to order the delicious grilled sausage that has been handmade in their honolulu facilities since 1944. the flavors of their sausage range from as authentic as portuguese sausage to as creative as kim chee or gyoza.
we always opt for their spicy portuguese sausage on a stick. perfectly juicy, spicy & full of smoky grilled flavor, it is the kind of straight-forward, no frills or fuss, damn delicious food that is definitely worth the wait in line.
i also love getting their pitaya bowl. let’s be real: anything that is this beautiful hue of magenta is a-okay in my book. a dragonfruit smoothie layered with tons crunchy granola, fresh berries & bananas, this pitaya parfait a refreshing way to start the day.
fresh locally-grown hawaiian pineapple, coconut, & mangoes
the kcc farmer’s market has several awesome stands where you can try the sweetest, ripest mangoes & pineapple you’ll ever have. you can eat it fresh, have a pressed juice (pineapple mint is my favorite!), try a smoothie that’s served directly in the pineapple or coconut itself, or even buy a package to have shipped back to your home on the mainland.
otsuji farm’s sushi sliders
otsuji farm, located in hawaii kai on southeast oahu, grows the most beautiful kale you’ll ever find. they serve it at the kcc farmer’s market as a delicious gree juice & also as the base of their sushi slider.
what the hell is a sushi slider, you ask?
honestly, i like to think that it came about as the result of the otsuji family calling in xzibit to pimp their kale. part nacho, part spicy tuna roll, it is the craziest & most delicious hawaiian food creation i have found in all my trips to hawaii.
it starts with a base of crunchy tempura fried dinosaur kale on which they pile on a layer of creamy guacamole & a generous piece of sushi-grade ahi tuna. served five to a plate & finished with artistic drizzles of a shoyu (japanese soy sauce) reduction & spicy sriracha mayo, these sushi sliders are the the perfect bite & the ultimate kcc farmer’s market treat.
i’d love to hear – what’s your favorite local or destination farmer’s market?
what do you love to try & buy? have you ever come across anything as ingenious as a sushi slider?
let me know with a comment below!