The KCC Farmer’s Market…if you want to try a variety of local style prepared foods, honey, macadamia nuts and coffee, you can do it here.
This is not the farmers market to come to if you want to buy some local produce. Sure, there are some produce vendors there, but they are few and far between. If you want a farmers market that actually has…farmers, try the Kaka’ako Farmers Market. KCC farmers market is really more of a food festival.
Where: Kapiolani Community College parking lot on Diamond Head Road, across the street from Diamond Head Crater.
When: Saturdays, 7:30am – 11:00am
Other Things You Should Know:
Parking: Parking is a gigantic pain in the butt. At any given time, about 15 other cars vying for one of the precious spots in the lot. There aren’t a whole lot of other parking options unless you want to park a few blocks away on Kilauea Ave.
Cash: Many of the vendors now accept credit and debit cards, but some are still working with cash only. Be sure to bring some cash.
Taking Home Produce: You can’t. Part of the security you are going to go through at the airport is the Hawaii State Agriculture Dept. Only certain fruits, veggies and flowers are allowed for export, and those are pre-approved. If you buy fruits or veggies at the farmers market, make sure you eat them before you leave.
I’m going to be honest. I have a love/hate relationship with this farmers market. I love the large variety of vendors, though I do wish there were more fresh produce options. I hate THE GAZILLION OTHER PEOPLE THERE. Since at least 3 trolleys stop at the market, it is ALWAYS full of Japanese tourists. And they are all either walking really really slowly or have completely stopped in a large group right in the middle of the walkway. When you are actually trying to shop for specific items, it gets annoying rather quickly.
Come hungry to the farmers market. You’ll have lots of food choices. Abalone, fried green tomatoes, sausage, pizza, sushi sliders, acai bowls, Hawaiian plate lunches, roasted corn, mochi, and my favorite: The Pig & the Lady. The Pig & the Lady is Vietnamese street food. They have sandwiches and salads and pho bowls. My favorite thing is the pho french dip. It’s a bahn mi style sandwich with pork belly and a pho dipping sauce. It’s SOOOO good.
For drinks, there’s the GingerKool tent that makes awesome ginger juice drinks, a place that makes pineapple smoothies, several Kona coffee places, and the sushi slider place has a yummy green juice drink.
So, if you want to try a variety of local food, and don’t mind hordes of people, give this farmers market a visit. You can go on the hike up Diamond Head Crater to watch the sunrise, and then stop by the market for a bite to eat.