Hawaii Kai Farmers' Market Options
With the exception of the Saturday farmer's market at Kapiolani Community College (KCC), Oahu's selection for farm to table agriculture has shrunk. Fewer farmers are finding it profitable to attend these markets and as interest dwindles, the audience likewise gets smaller. It's a self-fulfilling outcome.
Still, Costco can't fulfill all of a household's food needs. I often find myself needing fresh Thai basil or a bundle of cilantro. If I'm feeling ambitious, I'll make the trek to KCC on Saturday morning. More likely than not, however, I'll end up going to my favorite open market: the City's one-hour event at the Hawaii Kai Park and ride.
The City's People's Open Market runs from 1pm to 2pm on Saturdays in Hawaii Kai, at the Park and Ride near the dog park. Parking is ample and the selection is usually pretty good: mostly food staples like the type you can get in Chinatown. On a typical Saturday you can buy daikon, chinese parsley, chives, watercress and any other number of those vegetables not easily obtained.
I also like the Friends of Kaiser High School farmer's market on Tuesdays. It runs from 4pm to 7pm at the school's parking lot. Again, there is ample parking and access is fairly good. Selection at Kaiser's farmer's market is limited. Kay's produce stand is always there, however. I highly recommend it for its fresh basil. Without fail, the basil is fresh and full. You can choose from either sweet or Thai basil.
Olay Thai restaurant also has a booth at Kaiser High School's market. If you're having a craving for a Thai plate lunch, sticky rice, spring rolls, green papaya salad or an iced coffee, this is the place to go There's a regular following of customers who have made it part of their routine.
Recenly added, Kaiser also has fresh Waimanalo eggs directly from the farm, as well as rice milled that day or the day before.
Finally, if you're looking for those Chinatown-like vegetables and can't make it to the Saturday open market, the Hawaii Kai Towne Center also hosts a stand behind Panda Express, facing the marina. It runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m.– 3:00 p.m. I haven't visited it in a while, but the last time I was there, the stand had about two dozen or so different items, including ripe papaya.