Non-restaurant foodie fun in Honolulu and Kauai?
Wife and I are headed next week. I think we're good for restaurant recos, but would love some out of the box food ideas.
We are from MN, so a spot to find fresh fruit, fish or nuts would be great. We'll have a stove in Kauai, so I'm excited to cook up some local grub. Any suggestions? Feel free to link to a thread, as I may have missed it.
In Honolulu your best bet would be to head down to Chinatown, the blocks bounded by Nuuanu, River, Nimitz, and Beretania, but especially on Smith and Maunakea between King and Pauahi. Lots of tropical fruits, vegetables, and fresh fish. If you are in Honolulu on a Saturday Morning, head up to the Farmers Market at Kapiolani Community College (KCC). Best to get there before 10am.
Every Saturday at the parking lot of fishmarket (where Marukai is) across street from Ward Warehouse mall-the have Huli Huli chicken cooking for sale -i always purchase a couple of chickens and then go get sides at Marukai market and sit on bench ouitside store and pig out-yum!! I specifically get the fresh-not previously frozen poke as a side from Marukai-which btw u need a club membership to enter but they give day/weekly passes to tourist for free. If you dont know what Huli huli chicken is just google or go and find out how delicious this island dish is!!
Buffet 100, Kakaako, HI 96814
Depending how far you want to wander, just take a look at Tamashiro's on North King, about five minutes from Chinatown, for an amazing display of fresh fish (many of them whole) and live seafood, including local island prawns in a tank. They maintain that all of their fish-based poke' is fresh and everything we've had has been delicious. They don't seem to encourage sampling, but you can ask. This is a local standby.
You didn't say where you're staying, but sticking with Honolulu and immedia environs, also take a peek at a Don Quijote, a local Asian *Walmart* for lack of a better descriptior. And besides shave ice, the best known local sweet item is malasada, a Portuguese-based doughnut-like concoction that's richer and more flavorful -- best ones in Honolulu are at Leonard's on Kapahulu, some prefer Champion not far away. (Our favorites are at Agnes' Portuguese Bakery in Kailua on Oahu's Windward side.)
Search the boards for mentions of something called "crackseed," NOT that stuff, but all sorts of snack items, sweet and savory, including some flavored with li hing mui, a sweet/sour plum powder.
Here's my short list of "original to Hawaii" food which would be fun for a first timer to try and which you can usually get a venue that is not a restaurant (supermarket, 7-11, lunch wagon, bakery):
Portguese sweet bread
Portguese bean soup
Kauai or Molokai coffees
Hawaiian food: kalua pig, poi, lau lau, lomi salmon, haupia
Japanese snacks: arare, senbei, mochi, popcorn with furikake