HOME > Chowhound > Hawaii >


Specialty Foodie souvieners to take home

Hi Chow Hounds!
Any suggestions for some specialty items to take home to share w/other foodie friends? Looking for locally produced, would be hard to find else where, & unique. I taken home honey & jams. I really appreciate any suggestions!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. go to the saturday farmer's market at KCC Community College. they have many different jams and jellies all using locally grown or harvested fruits. they also have many different types of honey, some from single types of flowers such as ohia or hibiscus. there is also chocolate made from cacao plants grown in waialua, ka'u and kona coffee and other goodies.

    7 Replies
    1. re: killersmile

      Thanks for the info. Any ones that are a particular standout? I know there are plenty of items but I want to know is anything is of a standout nature. I love the idea of locally produced chocolate though ; )

      BTW, I will be visiting Oahu. Will have car so willing to travel for good finds!

      1. re: SweetObsession

        Sometimes the Alii Kula Lavender Farm is there, they have wonderful things! Also you can buy some Pacifikool Ginger Syrup, it says to refrigerate (and I would when I get home and in a fridge while you are here) but it travels well and I always take home some to friends who have come to love it. That's from the farmer's market too. You didn't say when you are coming but in August - always Admission Day weekend is the Made In Hawaii festival. I do almost all of my Christmas shopping there. There are plenty food products and lots of sampling. There is lots of sampling at the market as well. If you are in Kailua there is a Sand People store that sells really great locally made jewelry and next to that is Lanikai Bath & Body which has great things. Kailua has their market on Thursday nights if you happen to be there, it's behind Long's and has lots of locally made things, it is affiliated with the KCC market (HFB).

        1. re: manomin

          Thx Manomin! The ginger syrup sounds really interesting. Is it a syrup for pancakes & such?I will be there 7/3-7/9. Waaaay too short!

          1. re: SweetObsession

            Not specifically but I'm sure you could use it for them. Lots of of people replicate the drinks they make at the stand with mint/basil/seltzer water. It's great for martini's, poured on fresh fruit, used in marinades, etc. Have one of their drinks and you'll get the idea.

          2. re: manomin

            there is also a sand people store in waikiki on kalakaua, beach side, in the middle of the strip.

            1. re: indelibledotink

              Yes, but the store in the Moana Hotel (Diamond head side) does not have clothing.

          3. re: SweetObsession

            If you like the idea of locally grown & produced chocolate, then in Kailua there are two shops (Madre Chocolates and Manoa Chocolates) that opened recently that produce artisinal single origin chocolate bars using cacao grown on oahu and the big island. They actually go through the entire process of processing the cacao from bean to bar in their small shops. Definitely not cheap, but excellent chocolate. You can find their shops locations by going to their websites, http://madrechocolate.com/Home.html and http://manoachocolate.com/. You can also find Madre chocolates at the Ala Moana Farmer's Market and in some shops around town. They have the list of shops on their website.

        2. Oahu coffee and chocolate also are available on the North shore in the Waialua sugar mill complex. Wonderful, expensive chocolate.

          1. +1 on killersmile's jam and honey suggestion (my fave is ohia lehua honey), and manomin's of PacifiKool ginger syrup (you can get it on line, too, 2 kinds).

            I'd also suggest some real pa'akai (native-harvested salt) if you can find it. Kaua'i Kookie Co.'s poppyseed dressing mix is killahs, too.


            1. Locally made fish jerky, available packaged at many places, such as Tamura's, and by the piece/lb (with an interesting selection, and I think they offer tasting) in the deli in the new Nico's at Pier 38.

              I often take won ton chips; there is a Hilo-made brand, I think called "1-Ton" you can find at Long's...friends who have moved to the Mainland appreciate them with fond memories, and others enjoy them at cocktail hour. They are more sturdy than Hilo-made Atebara brand potato chips, so they travel better. Similarly, I usually take arare rice crackers (local name: "mochi crunch" which is mostly imported. There are numerous brands and different types...not sure if any are made here, but are a local favorite snack, again great with beer or cocktails.

              5 Replies
              1. re: macaraca

                Thanks so much to everyone! I. Have never had fish jerky before so I will put that on the list for sure!

                1. re: macaraca

                  I love 1-Ton chips, but they never make it back to the mainland with me. They are really tasty to eat with poke!

                  1. re: akq

                    Are they just fried won ton skins or is there more to it?

                    1. re: SweetObsession

                      That's basically the gist of it. Highly addictive though. Another thing I always take up to relatives in California are the taro & sweet potato chips from Hawaiian Chip Company, although it will be kind of bulky, so it might be difficult if you don't have the space. You can even visit their factory outlet and have some fresh made chips.

                  2. re: macaraca

                    FWIW: Costco carries One-Ton Chips in big plastic jars that are more likely to survive in your checked luggage.

                    Some other suggestions:
                    Cornflake "School Kine" Cookies that you should be able to find at Costco (also in big jars)...
                    Island Princess Mele Macs (you can get the jars at Costco and at Don Quijote)
                    Cookies in Paradise Furikake Party Mix (sweet local style Chex mix in jars at Costco)

                    (saw that someone already mentioned that you can get the tubs of One-ton chips at Costco, I'll leave my post here anyway :)

                  3. i would recommend portuguese sausage, pacific brand. they're only at don quijote and are the same brand used by mcdonalds. used to be that you could not get them except at fundraisers.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: indelibledotink

                      You can buy this large plastic tub of Won-Ton at Costco, I do this for parties. I would suggest the North Shore Cattle Co. portuguese sausage, it's amazing as is their Andouille. You can call them and ask to have some for purchase at the KCC market. Sometimes they have it sometimes they don't (available for purchase beyond the served in a bun on their menu). Hawaiian Chip Company also has a very good sized bag at Costco of the mixed variety.

                      1. re: manomin

                        I have plenty of room for stuff to take back so I appreciate all the feedback. Portuguese sausage & taro chips have been added to the list!
                        Does anyone know if there are any good seasoning mixes for Poke to make it fresh at home? I think I bought one once a long time ago from Hilo Hattie. Any others out there?

                        1. re: SweetObsession

                          no poke mix needed; there are plenty of simple recipes online. remember, it's the freshness of the ingredients that counts for poke, esp the fish.

                        2. re: manomin

                          I'd forgotten that they have those 1-ton chips in large, sturdy containers at Costco...thanks for the reminder, manomin. For chips and other easily breakables, you might want to find similar inexpensive large plastic storage containers (try Long's) to keep them from turning to powder on the trip home. However, if you do end up with lots of crushed chips, putting them or arare into popcorn is something you should consider...great local flavor. Same with furikaki...a dried Japanese condiment available in supermarkets and Long's...meant to be sprinkled on rice. Several varieties, but most include dried bonito, seaweed, sesame, etc.

                      2. I often buy salt or salt rubs to give as gifts. They go over well and travel easily.

                        You could take assorted crackseed. It's fun to go to a crackseed store and buy a variety out of the big glass jars, or you can buy the packaged ones from Longs. Some of my favs are lemon peel, red mango, rock salt plum, wet prune & apricot lee hing mui, and the old standby, red lee hing mui. YUM. Oh, and the red coconut ball candy. Mainland people love those. Also, dried cuttlefish and taco. YUM. If you like dried fish, you could also look for some dried Aku and take that with you.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: akq

                          tried to bring honey home in carry on, got it confiscated at security even though it was bubble wrapped and shrink wrapped. hope they liked it, try to pack yours in regular luggage

                          1. re: daisylover

                            They take everything not in the allowed ounce size.

                        2. I always stock up on tins of Honolulu cookies..sea salt..macadamia nuts for $7..Kona coffee at the ABC store..great place for cheap kitchey gifts.
                          What's the name of the dried plum stuff you islanders put on everything?
                          Surfing Goat Dairy in Maui has t-shirts and glasses that I'm going to order from the mainland.


                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Beach Chick

                            Li Hing Mui powder, available at Long's, and probably lots of other places. Agree ABC is best for kitschy souvenirs, but much better prices and selection on mac nuts at Don Quijote, just a few blocks, short bus ride from Waikiki central...and they have got plenty of kitsch too...maybe even cheaper than ABC...can't say, because those are never on my shopping list.

                            1. re: macaraca

                              Mahalo for the Li Hing Mui powder which I always forgot the name...good stuff.
                              I'll have to check out Don Quijote..

                          2. Hi all. Here is what I ended up getting, thanks for all your input!
                            Wailua Soda...loved the Lilikoi. So much so that I am contemplating ordering more & having it shipped. Also like the Pacifikool Ginger drinks from the Ala Moana Farmers Market since we didn't have time to go to the KCC one :( but they don't sell the syrup there, just drinks!
                            Honey & Macadamia butter from the Aloha Swapmeet...super good!
                            Kaua'i Kookie Co.'s - Kona Macadamia my fave
                            Island Princess Mele Macs - brought them back for coworkers & they loved them

                            I tried most of the other things but ran out of room (both my luggage & stomach! LOL). Can't wait for the next trip!

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: SweetObsession

                              The KCC market had so many good things we wanted to take back, especially fresh Mochi.

                              1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                                I was thinking about doing the same thing but was worried about it going stale. How long did your mochi last?

                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                  If it's fresh mochi, you should consume it within a few days of purchase.

                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                    Our Mochi never goes bad. We eat it too quickly, especially the peanut butter.

                                    1. re: Miss Needle

                                      If you wanted to buy some closer to your departure date than Saturday, Kansai Yamato in the Ala Moana food court has great mochi. My personal fave is the chocolate-peanut butter, but they have a good selection.

                                      1. re: Debbie M

                                        The Made in Hawaii Factory Outlet on Beretania sells the same mochi that they sell at their Farmer's Market booth so you could just head there, especially if you are looking for their strawberry mochi.

                                        1. re: killersmile

                                          The MIH show is 8/17-19 at the Blaisdell.

                                          1. re: manomin

                                            Yes, but that is completely different from the Made in Hawaii store. But good info for anyone interested in a wide range of products from all the different islands. I'll be going to see what's new & interesting as usual.

                                            1. re: killersmile

                                              Hence; my posting of it! There are plenty food samples there and produce from some farms between the 2 halls. I always buy those great outlet covers - I take an inventory of my house for the remaining ones needing a cover with the configuration and buy them there. I also have bought kava from Kava Boy. He has samples too!

                                2. Here's where I get some of my bring back with me stuff when I visit family in Hawaii.