Must Eats at the Kaka'ako Farmers Market
The Kaka’ako Farmers Market happens every Saturday from 8am - 12pm. It’s one of the best farmers markets in Oahu with over 100 booths and everything is locally grown or made. A lot of locals have started coming here instead of the KCC Farmers' Market because it’s less crowded.
Oh, and if you’re not familiar with the Kaka’ako neighborhood of Honolulu and all its cool street art murals, you can check it out in our Kaka’ako guide.
There’s amazing local fruit and vegetables, fresh-caught fish, and handcrafted jewelry and art. But we’re here every Saturday for all the prepared food and here are our favorite vendors…
Heads up that the vendors change up from time to time, so no promises that these will all be there when you visit.
Youpo Noodles is one of the most popular food vendors. They serve hand-pulled wheat noodles with Sichuan Beef, Cumin Lamb, Malay-Style Curry Shrimp and Pork, Duck, and Vegan Mushroom Tofu. It’s cool to watch them bouncing and stretching the noodles out before making each noodle bowl to order. Heads up, they’re spicy, but you can ask them to adjust the spice level.
Hawaii based chef and owner Andrew Pressler grew up in a military family and traveled a lot as a kid which got him interested in Southeastern Asian cuisine. After attending The Culinary Institute of America he spent 11 years in New York working under James Beard Michelin starred chefs, before moving to Hawaii in 2014.
They have gluten free options.
Get your order in early. They get busy fast.
They’ll adjust the spice level. Just ask.
Wallflour Bakeshop makes a bunch of different naturally-leavened sourdough breads and pastries — brioche donuts, tarts, etc. They use freshly-milled, whole grain flours, and organic and local ingredients. The flavors are inspired by the many cultures in Hawaii. They bake out of the ‘Ili‘ili Cash & Carry but have a regular booth at the Kaka’ako Farmers Market.
Ellen Stavro and Javier Flores met in 2016 while working at Runner and Stone, a small bakery in Brooklyn. Ellen had previously worked in the pastry departments for Michelin-starred restaurants in NYC and Javier had baked in Las Vegas at the Wynn and Encore Resorts. They both ended up in San Francisco, working at Jane the Bakery before moving to Honolulu.
The name, Wallflour Bakeshop reflects their personalities — true introverts who are happiest baking in the solitude of their kitchen.
Fun fact: Their sourdough culture is named Gary and he has to be fed twice a day.
Coconut Matcha Parisian Flan
Brioche Donuts Filled With Pandon or Sesame Custard
Miso Sourdough Studded With Pickled Papaya
Lilikoi Sticky Bun
Cara Cara Vanilla Brioche
Go early. They tend to sell out of their breads and pastries early.
You can also pre order to pickup at Cash and Carry on Mondays 7am -12pm.
Hā‘awi Toast & Tea
The name kind of says it all. Hā‘awi Toast & Tea has only serves 4 different toasts and iced tea. It’s a small menu but the flavors of each item are well thought out and delicious. The toasts are buttery and crisp with really tasty toppings. Most people come for the Mango Toast, with fresh local mango and mascarpone cream cheese. The eggplant toast also uses local eggplants paired with caramelized onions, garlic, parmesan cheese, and tomato sauce.
Owner Bonnie is the wife of Alan Wong’s Wine Director Mark Shishido and you’ll sometimes catch him working the booth too. She’d been laid off from her job and decided to start a new career path. She started coming up with these incredible toasts that now pop up on everyone’s Instagram feeds.
Mango Toast (This is what most people come for.)
The toasts are on the small side, but they’re really flavorful. Just know it’s probably not a whole meal on its own. Either get two toasts per person or plan on visiting a couple other food vendors while you’re there.
Coco Nanas is a newer vendor at the market. They serve up fruit based “nicecream” made from coconut cream and bananas (hence the name) — no added sugar, oil, or gum paste. It's vegan, gluten free, and dairy free, but it's not just good for "vegan ice cream"... it's just downright good. Each bowl comes with 2 scoops of ice cream, granola, a drizzle (like peanut butter, honey, coconut butter, or almond shreds) and you can add fruit as a topping.
Lizzi has been plant based for 5 years and her cofounder, Emmet, loved ice cream but also knew he it's not the best thing to eat all the time. So the two came up with a healthier version. They first opened Fall 2021 at the Waialua Sugar Mill, a small market where they could test whether people liked their new version of ice cream.
Mango Zinger (It's their best seller.)
The specialty flavor of the week (like Samoa Cookie Swirl, Starburst, or Hawaiian Lime Pie)
They are also at the Waialua Night Market on Tues (3pm-7pm).
They serve a specialty flavor every week and they are always winners.
You can preorder ice cream by the quart if you DM them on Instagram.
Roscoe’s Sourdough Breads
Roscoe’s serves freshly baked, super crunchy sourdough bread made with their own starter yeast formula that gives it a sweet and tangy flavor. They have sourdough rolls in a few different flavors (sesame, okinawa sweet potato, olive, etc.) and they’re always experimenting with different ingredients and new flavors. Roscoe mills the wheat himself with a stone grinder.
Roscoe’s was started by Roscoe Fowler and Jenny Bredeken. Roscoe didn’t have any experience working with food. He was in construction, working on sailboats. Jenny was a nurse. They met and fell in love while in Honolulu. Then Roscoe flew out to Jenny’s family farm in Minnesota and spent 4 months there in the winter. Stuck inside during the cold, he started baking. The following summer they returned to Minnesota and he started selling his bread at the farmers markets, along with the farm’s vegetables and jams. Roscoe’s Sourdough officially launched in Hawaii in 2019. Jenny quit her nursing job and they went into things full time. They try to source as much of the ingredients as they can from Jenny’s family farm in Minnesota.
Open Sesame Loaf
Da Purps Loaf
They’re also at Kailua Farmers Market on Sundays.
Journey by H.F.C (Hawaii Food Collective)
Everyone’s here for their popular breakfast burger served up on a black charcoal brioche bun and topped with a sunnyside up egg. They actually make their own brioche buns and add coconut charcoal which turns the buns black. They’re all about high quality grass-fed beef (from Forage Hawaii), lots of butter to toast the bun, local eggs, and topping it off with unique flavors (like red chili aioli and maple bacon jam).
Expect long lines.
Eat it right away so the bun doesn’t get soggy.
Sugah Daddeh’s Kane Juice
Sugah Daddeh’s serves freshly pressed local sugarcane juice with a bunch of different fresh fruit toppings or ginger. They actually cut the sugarcane and juice it right in front of you to make the drinks to order. It’s not overly sweet — a little more mellow than other juices. You can get the drinks in a mason jar with a huge smiley face on the side. Fun fact: sugarcane juice is packed with different minerals, like potassium, magnesium, and iron.
They’re a local family owned business that opened in 2016.
Dragon Fruit Kane
Get to them early. They tend to sell out.
If you’re not planning to drink it all right away, get a mason jar. It travels better.
If you plan to see them more than once, get the jar. If you bring it back, they’ll refill it for a discounted price.
They also have a little shack on the North Shore, right next to Fumi’s Kahuku Shrimp
Check the board for special flavors.
Izu’s sells fresh handmade mochi in different flavors. Their mochi are decorated with little designs and they do some seasonal ones too (like mummies and Frankensteins for Halloween). They come in different sizes — medium and large, but also sampler packs full of minis if you want to try a variety.
Owner Izu came to Hawaii from Okinawa when she got married. It wasn't easy to find a good job because she didn't speak or write English. She managed to get a job at Subway, but with 3 kids, money was tight. She'd heard that a lot of locals liked mochi but there weren't many mochi shops like she was used to seeing in Japan. So she taught herself how to make mochi and started selling it in 2017. She still feels so lucky to have this business that draws a line every Saturday and helps support her family.
Fresh Strawberry Mochi. (This is what they’re known for.)
Okinawa Sweet Potato Mochi
Peanut Butter Mochi
Sampler of minis (to try several flavors)
You can DM them on Instagram to order ahead of time. She has a separate line for pre order pickups. (Heads up, the account is private. So you may want to request to follow them ahead of time.)
There are always lines, but they move fast.
Go early. They sometimes run out of popular flavors early in the day.
Check their Instagram for any specialty flavors.
Fresh mochi is best eaten the day you buy it.
She accepts credit cards.
For more places to find mochi in Oahu, check out Where to Find the Best Mochi in Oahu.
Pupu Grill Teppanyaki
Pupu Grill serves crispy musubi. They grill up the seasoned rice patties right there, wrap them in nori, and top them with Japanese flavors and local ingredients. Most pull directly from Japanese or Hawaiian flavors with ingredients like ume shiso, mentaiko mayo, furikake, and poke. Others have some unexpected ingredients like gooey mozzarella that somehow still compliment the crispy rice.
They opened in 2021
Go early. They sometimes sells out of flavors like their tuna mayo.
On Sundays they’re at the Kailua Town Farmers Market.
Ono Seafood is a hole-in-the-wall seafood counter attached to an apartment building. They serve up 8 different kinds of poke and it’s some of the best in Oahu. Even the sushi chef at 22Kailua recommended them. The quality is so good. And the wait for their poke bowls at the farmers market is faster than if you head to their brick and mortar shop. (Parking is easier to find too.)
Ono Seafood has been around since 2006. It was founded by a husband and wife team who needed to some extra income so they started making poke. Now it’s one of the absolute best poke spots in Oahu.
You can also visit their very popular shop near Leonard’s Bakery. But FYI, expect lines and limited parking.
Katsu Sando 808
Katsu Sando serves up made-to-order tonkatsu (Japanese cutlet) and egg salad sandwiches from their food truck. It’s a small menu — maybe 6 items and a couple specials — but everything’s good. They only use fresh ingredients. Each sandwich includes shredded cabbage and a spicy mayo sauce. The thick, fluffy bread comes from EPI-YA Boulangerie in Honolulu.
Owner Mark Szczepanski lived in Las Vegas for 20 years and owned a tonkatsu restaurant for 5 of them. One of the most popular menu items was a tonkatsu sandwich. When he moved to Honolulu, he wanted to serve that sandwich again.
Tonkatsu Sando (Pork)
Egg Salad Sando [FYI It always the first to sell out.]
They tend to sell out of their most popular sandwiches but you can preorder on Friday using this form.
Check their Instagram to see what their specials are (like spam katsu sliders or portobello mushroom katsu).
Go early. They tend to sell out of some sandwiches early. The Egg Sando is the first to go.
We’re here for the green smoothies, made from kale, spinach, romaine, baby bok choy, mint, mango, and banana. It’s one of the best green smoothies you’ll find — really fresh, not too sweet, and it packs in all your greens and veggies. No GMOs or pesticides here.
They’ve been around since 2013.
Only one thing here. Get the green smoothie.
You can either get a 16oz cup or 32oz “All Day” mason jar. The jar is nice if you don’t plan to finish the whole thing at once.
They do samples if you want to try before you buy.
Lanikai Mochi is the new kid on the block. (They just opened in 2019.) This is the best place to get butter mochi in all sorts of flavors — Mac Nut, Lilikoi, Kona Coffee, Banana Nut, and Peanut Butter, along with special seasonal ones. A cool thing about their butter mochi is that all 4 sides of the squares have a crust because they’re baked in individual molds. They use local ingredients whenever they can and everything’s gluten free.
Lanikai Moch started off as a quarantine pasttime and turned into a family run business.
Lilikoi Butter Mochi
Ube Butter Mochi
Banana Nut Butter Mochi
Check their Instagram to see where they’re going to show up besides the Kaka’ako Farmers Market.
For more places to find mochi in Oahu, check out Where to Find the Best Mochi in Oahu.
The Wicked HI Slush is so dang good. It’s made using honey from local apiaries and they usually have 3-5 flavors to choose from. And that drizzle of honey on top… [chef’s kiss]. In fact, they don’t use any refined sugar, only honey to sweeten their slushies.
Owner Brandon Slowey is a beekeeper. He and his twin sister, Brittany, wanted to start a business to support beekeepers and pollinators. First they started selling slushies at the farmers markets. Then Brandon got interested in sourdough. He mixed bee pollen, flour and water to make a sourdough bread starter that his sister then made into waffles.
Heads up, the flavors rotate, but a couple past favorites are…
They have 3 sizes, but the keiki or small size is usually plenty.
You can combine up to 3 different flavors in one cup.
If you make it to their cafe in Waialua, try their sourdough waffles. They’re made using bee pollen, honey, and a special fermentation process which results in a slightly caramelized, chewy waffle. (Go early though. The waffles sell out.)
Joja Hawaii is the black food truck that says “We Got the Noods: Best Noodles in Town.” It’s a big claim, but the truck lives up to it, serving homemade pastas and dishes with Asian influence. They’re bringing Cali Bay Area flavors to Oahu. Everything is made from scratch, with locally sourced ingredients.
JOJA stands for Joslyn and Jason. They’re from the Bay Area in California where they owned Jason’s, an Italian restaurant in Greenbrae, for over 13 years. They’d sold their restaurant and were about to sign a lease and start construction on a new space when the pandemic hit. They ended up designing a custom food truck in San Diego and having it shipped to Oahu in 2021. Then they sold their house and moved to Oahu (where they used to visit annually).
Green Eggs and Ham
Morning Bruschetta (served on hash browns instead of bread)
Hamachi Truffle Poke
Check out their specials (like Kimchi Bacon Pasta)
Indigo’s Healing Kitchen
Here’s where you find vegan veggie sandwiches and salads with ingredients all sourced from local farms. The food is so colorful, fresh, and topped with pretty edible flowers.
Indigo Mathewson is a private chef, born and raised in Honolulu. She got into food and nutrition when she was trying to tackle her own health issues due to years of poor diet. This passion pushed her to get a Bachelor’s degree in Science with a focus on Nutrition and Culinary Arts in 2016. She focuses on holistic nutrition with a food as medicine approach and works with clients who have been prescribed a specific diet by their doctors or have a personal health goal they want to reach.
Big Island salad
Ever heard of a fawaffle? It’s a handmade falafel, baked like a mini belgian waffle that comes in 3 different colors and flavors (green is herbs and spices, red is roasted peppers and chili, and yellow is Indian curry and potatoes). Everything’s plant based and gluten free, including the sauces and Middle Eastern side dishes.
Surfers wife was started by Yonatan & Maya, an Israeli couple based in Oahu. They were missing the Middle Eastern flavors from their childhood and decided to come up with plant-based versions that were just as good. It took them 6 months to perfect their falafel recipe, which is baked in a waffle iron instead of fried. They’ve been selling at local farmers markets around Oahu since 2017.
Fawaffle Plate (to sample all 3 flavors)
They’re also at the Kailua Farmers Market on the weekends
You can also buy frozen waffles to take home and cook later.
Niu Soft Serve
Niu serves a coconut based soft serve that’s vegan, dairy free, and not overly sweet. The flavors rotate every week and come with different toppings, like granola, macadamia nuts, hot kululu sauce, lilikoi cream, and strawberry lemon peel. There are usually 2 flavors each week.
Niu Soft Serve is a family run business started by Aiku'e and Kekahu Napoleon-Ahn. They grew up working in their family’s beverage and ice cream business.
Keep in mind the flavors change weekly, but here are a couple past favorites:
Cookies & Cream
You can have them swirl the two weekly flavors together.
You can pick up a pint of the weekly flavors. But heads up, there’s a limited supply and it’s first come, first serve. No pre-orders.
Little Sparrow serves fresh spaetzle egg pasta (which are like little dumplings) in 5 different flavors. Everything is made to order.
Spaetzle actually translates to “Little Sparrow” in German. Vince McCarthy, the former executive chef of Merriman’s Honolulu and Waimea learned how to make it while working at a German restaurant in Portland.
The O.G. Cheesey
Expect at least 5 minutes for them to prepare your dish since it’s made to order.
A-Ma’s Gua Bao
A-Ma’s is a newer addition to the market as of 2021. They’re known for their Taiwanese pork belly buns.
Pork Belly Bao
Beef Gua Bao
Minced Pork Bao (if you like spice)
Go early to put your order in. They steam the buns in small batches, so it can take a while for your order to come up, but you can walk around and come back.
Go early. It’s not unusual for them to sell out by 11am.
Boba Bros uses only real ingredients — no powders, artificial flavors, or non-dairy creamers. They can swap milk with coconut milk to make your order vegan too. Their boba is a good consistency too — not too soft, but not hard or crunchy.
Take a look at the Boba Bros logo and you’ll notice 4 bobas. They represent the 4 brothers who started the business because they loved boba so much. They were born and raised in Hawaii and so they want to build a business here.
Matchatte (a Matcha Latte)
Lady Bug (Boba, Milk, and Strawberry Puree)
They can swap milk with coconut milk to make your order vegan.
DM them on Instagram if you’re interested in quart size “baby jugs.”
If you love boba, check out our Boba Roundup of all the best places to get boba in Oahu.
Daizu Tei serves premium fresh fruit filled mochi. They’re a little pricey at $4 / piece (and you have to buy a minimum of 4 pieces), but their mochi is made fresh, without any preservatives, and completely organic.
Fresh Strawberry with Azuki Beans Mochi (This is the one they’re known for.)
Fresh Mango Mochi (when available)
Fresh Peach with White Bean Mochi (when available)
Go early. They sell out of their most popular flavors (like the Fresh Strawberry Mochi).
Look for seasonal flavors like Pear, Mango, and Peach.
Fresh mochi should be eaten the day you buy it.
For more places to find mochi in Oahu, check out Where to Find the Best Mochi in Oahu.
Islander Sake Brewery
Islander Sake makes premium handcrafted sake in small batches. Unlike other sakes that are aged for a few months, theirs is served fresh, which is a totally different taste. Now, you won’t find their alcoholic beverages at the farmers market but you will find their Amazake, a non alcoholic version of their sake. It comes in flavors like lilikoi or pineapple, and you can get it in a cup or a mason jar. They also serve some sake flavored desserts.
They actually opened in March 2020, the day that shelter in place orders went into effect in Oahu. It’s Hawaii’s first sake brewery in 3 decades and they completely sold out within 2 weeks of opening. They’ve managed to come out the other end of the pandemic unscathed and recently announced that they’re moving their operations to the Big Island so they can expand.
Plain Amakase (They also have a fruit version.)
Head to Hanale, their new Chinatown location to try a flight of alcoholic sake and sample some of their tropical sake flavors, like pineapple or lilikoi.
Naked Cow Dairy Farm & Creamery
Try some local artisan cheeses, yogurts, and fresh churned butters from Oahu’s only dairy farm. Their cows are free of antibiotics and hormones. They try to support other local farms like Nalo Meli Honey, Akaka Falls Farm, Ka’iulani Spices, and Ala’ea Sea Salt, by using their ingredients to flavor their dairy products.
Naked Cow is almost exclusively owned and run by women. The farm opened in 2007 about 45 minutes outside of Honolulu. There used to be over a dozen dairy farms in Oahu but as the prices of milk imported from the mainland dropped, the dairy farms closed up one by one. Naked Cow is the last one left. It’s a small family farm with just 20 or so cows. The animals are fed Hawaiian sugar cane molasses, pineapples, kiawe beans, macadamia and kukui nut by-products and are free to roam and graze anywhere they want on the farm. They produce over 600 pounds of cheese and 800 pounds of butter every month.
Big Island Honey Butter
Gourmet Hawaiian Seas Salt Butter
Mango Habanero Cheese Spread
Kona Coffee Butter
They also offer farm tours and cheese making classes at their farm near Waianae. [Reservations required]
Ask them what their seasonal butter flavors are.
You can also find their products at local restaurants and grocery stores (like Foodland, Safeway, and Whole Foods).
Laie Vanilla Farm
Laie Vanilla is a family owned farm that sells pure vanilla extract (that’s 1.5 times stronger than what you get in the grocery store) and home vanilla bean extract making kits. Owner Saili is the nicest guy you’ll ever meet.
Owner Saili was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. He prayed to god to help him find something that would let him quit his 9-5 job and spend more time with his family. He was a water distribution operator and while on a job in Laie, he noticed a vanilla vine growing around the pipe he was sent to repair. Saili started learning about vanilla and ended up replanting that vine in his backyard where it eventually filled the entire yard. In 2019 he quit his job and found a plot of land to grow his vanilla plants. He was supplying Oahu restaurants when Covid hit, so he built a website and started going to farmers markets. He and his daughter continue to hand-pollinate the flowers of the vanilla orchid vines together and he achieved his dream of leaving his day job to spend more time with his family.
Check out the…
Vanilla Extract DIY Kit for a cool souvenir. It comes with 4 Vanilla beans and a 5oz glass bottle. You get to slice the beans and scrape out the vanilla specs, then add the alcohol of your choice. Shake the bottle weekly and after a month, you have your own homemade vanilla extract.
They offer 1 hour tours of the vanilla farm where you can learn about the process of planting, pollinating, and processing vanilla plants.