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May 28, 2012 10:13 AM

Seafood and farmers markets near Honolulu

Aloha Chowhounds,

We'll be visiting Honolulu late June and we're wondering where the best local farmers markets and fresh seafood markets are located. We'll be staying near Sandy Beach, but have cars and plan to be in Honolulu regularly.

We're also interested in any suggestions you might have for local Japanese (especially teppanyaki), Korean, Chinese, Thai or Hawaiian food.


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  1. Helena's or Ono's for Hawaiian food..

    1. In chinatown at the corner of King and Kekaulike street is the old Oahu market. Start there and in the surrounding blocks you will find fresh fish, fresh produce, etc. Not quite a farmer's market, but similar.

      The best known farmer's market is the one at Kapiolani Community College on Saturday Mornings. There is another one on Wednesday afternoons at the Neil Blaisdel Center at Ward and Kapiolani.

      For fresh fish you can also check out Tamashiro Market, Monarch Seafood, Nico's (next to/in the restaurant). You can also check threads on the Hawaii board about the best places for Poke.

      The farmer's market at Ward (Auahi Street) is much diminished, and mostly fish and hawaiian food, not much in the way of produce.

      Honolulu has a fish auction and much of the fresh fish on Oahu goes through there. It starts at 5:30am, and is a wholesale auction, but fascinating to watch.

      1. There's a city-run farmer's market at the bus stop across the street from the Hawaii Kai Town Center (the shopping center near you, with a Costco) on Saturdays for an hour starting at 1 p.m. There's a neighborhood farmer's market at Kaiser High School in Hawaii Kai, also possibly on Saturdays, not sure of the day or hours. A Thai family sells fresh veggies of all kinds on the water side of the Town Center, I think several days a week. My information is vague, and possibly out of date, because I moved out of the neighborhood a year ago. The city-run farmer's markets operate most days of the week at various locations around Oahu. See . A more upscale farmer's market operates, i think on Saturdays, at Kapiolani Community College near Diamond Head. See . Parking can be a bitch, and it can be kind of a mob scene. Unlike some others, it also offers prepared food and hot meals/snacks.

        1. Seafood: Sold in most supermarkets, and at the Costco near Sandy Beach. You can't go wrong, in terms of variety of selections, freshness and quality, at Tamashiro Fish Market in Kalihi. But there are lots of other options too. On weekends, especially, you may see local guys, mostly amateur fishermen, parked along the highway between Sandy Beach and Kailua with signs advertising fresh ahi (tuna) and/or aku (bonito), sometimes other fishes as well. I've bought from them frequently over the years and always got very fresh, very high-quality stuff, usually at bargain prices. Keep a cooler in your car in case you spot a roadside seafood bargain, or find yourself near Tamashiro's. You can always find ice in a hurry at a convenience store, supermarket and at many gas stations. Chinatown, besides offering amazing fruits and veggies for cheap, has some good fish vendors, mostly at Oahu Market. One of the finest local fishes is the Pacific broadbill swordfish, usually sold under its Japanese name, shutome. You don't see it much in stores because most of it is exported. If you do see it, buy it. It'll be the cheapest swordfish you ever eat, and it's excellent. I like it Sicilian style, marinated overnight in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, and chopped fresh oregano and/or mint, then grilled. Other local billfishes are more common in supermarkets, and good, but shutome is the best of them.