Every Saturday from 7:30-11, dozens of farmers, food vendors and thousands of people converge at 4303 Diamond Head Rd, for the Kapiolani Community College Farmers' Market one of the most popular weekly gatherings on the island. I've only been a couple times, so my list of favorites will most likely grow each time I go, but here's the list I give to my friends. Let me know if I've missed your favorite! Getting into the market is free, but bring lots of cash, it's still easier than credit cards. Any of the coffee places - these days Kau Farms seems to be popular because the tiny town on Hawaii island, where the beans are sourced has been getting it's share of media coverage. Last time I was at the market a Japanese television crew was there. However, all the coffee spots are good, be sure to pick up a bag of beans to bring home.
Pig and The Lady: A farmers' market outpost for the popular Chinatown restaurant of the same name, headed up by Chef Andrew Le with dishes inspired by his mom. check their website for the daily menu. pigandthelady.com or follow on twitter @thepigandthelady
Otsuji Farm This Hawaii Kai farm (which also gives tours) produces a variety of veggies including dino kale, red kale, mizuna, daikon, purslane, green onion, radish, mustard cabbage, boo choy and beets. I love the Sushi Surfer Sliders, tempura'd kale or eggplant topped with spicy ahi, drizzles, and green onion.
'Nalo Made Lemonade: Lemonade with lemons straight from Waimanalo Country Farm, flavors: original, strawberry lemonade, and li hing lemonade and you get to keep the big glass jar - find them on instagram #waimanalocountryfarm
Daizu Tei: The line can get long for this stand, but they move quickly, organic acai bowls with milk from locally grown soy.
Big Island Abalone: If you're ready for BBQ abalone in the morning, this sustainably farmed abalone won't disappoint and you get to keep the shell. Want to have some sent home, check their website, bigislandabalone.com.
Hawaiian Chip Company: One of KCC’s original vendors sells locally sourced taro and sweet potato chips from Mokuau Farm, L&R Farm, and Hawaii Xing Long Farm.
Two Hot Tomatoes: If you love fried green tomatoes, zucchini or maui onions - this might become your favorite source. Owner and chef, Barbara Santanna is even famous Japan for her fried green tomatoes. Check her out on Facebook.
Bring Something Home:
Here's a list of items that are easy to travel home with and make great gifts - bring 'em home to the office so your coworkers love you instead of hate you for going to Hawaii ;)
Nalo Meli: Based on the windward side, beekeeper Howard McGinis and Kim Falinski sells raw honey and other local honey products (even soap).
Sea Salts of Hawaii: I love these sea salts on veggies or popcorn, hence I always bring some home with me. Flavors include Maui onion, Hawaiian chili pepper, kiawe smoked, Hawaiian ginger, spicy Hawaiian seaweed.
Malie Kai: Chocolate made with Waialua grown cacao
If you are going: check the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation's website for updates on vendors and special events.