To find the coolest local artisans and food vendors all in one place, you should consider heading to a farmers market in Hawaii. Not only is it a great way to support local businesses, but you can also find truly one-of-a-kind souvenirs, handmade art, and snacks to take home for yourself or to gift to someone special. On top of that, the fruits and vegetables from a farmers market are at peak freshness, making for a healthy and flavorful treat.
Ultimately, farmers markets are all about community. It’s both a place to discover new things you might otherwise overlook and a chance to chat directly with local harvesters and creators, whether their craft focuses on beauty, accessories, Hawaiian gifts, or food. Opportunities to connect with the local community in this way can be difficult to find in Waikiki, which is why Waikiki Beach Walk makes an effort to host its own farmers market each week, where Hawaii artisans and small businesses can gather in a bustling locale.
The Beach Walk Market takes place every Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Here are just some of the vendors you might catch there.
Aloha Sugar Cane Juice
A freshly squeezed sugar cane drink can really hit the spot, especially on a warm and sunny day in Hawaii. Using locally sourced ingredients, Aloha Sugar Cane Juice concocts different tropical flavors that are all natural and chock full of antioxidants and vitamins. Aside from being a healthier and more hydrating alternative to energy drinks, sugar cane juice is said to promote kidney health and help boost your immune system.
Not sure what to order? We recommend starting with the most popular menu item: sugar cane with calamansi. And don’t forget to bring cash!
Mo’o Hawaii Designs
If you’re searching for a unique gift or a special keepsake to remind you of Hawaii, Mo’o Hawaii Designs is well worth a visit. Owners Roberto and Eunice team up to customize colorful mini surfboards that can be personalized with names and other designs. The process starts with Roberto, who applies a fresh layer of paint to each surfboard, then Eunice takes over by adding in intricate illustrations, including animal, floral and other tropical motifs.
Don’t forget to say hi to the couple’s cute dogs, Ula and Junior, as well. Bonus tip: if you have a photo of your pet, Eunice would be happy to paint a portrait of them.
Hilo Soap Company
Run by Priscilla Galvan and her husband, Hilo Soap Company specializes in vegan bath and body products that are all handmade in Hawaii. Produced in small batches to ensure high quality, you can find soaps, scrubs, serums, body butter, lip balms, roll-on perfume and hand sanitizers. Many of the beauty offerings are infused with a variety of hydrating oils, like cocoa and apricot, and integrate popular skincare ingredients, such as goat milk and activated charcoal. Hilo Soap Company also puts a lot of thought into the design of their products, often giving them multiple functions (e.g., roll-on perfumes that double as cuticle care).
A few of their best-selling gifts and souvenirs are the Lavender Eucalyptus Soap, Lemon Hand Sanitizer and Plumeria Soap with Activated Charcoal.
Apart from being a regular sight at the farmers market, they can be found on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/hilosoapcompany
Oh’s Kitchen: BBQ on a Stick + Smoothie and Fresh Fruit Stand
No farmers market trip is complete without picking up something to eat! With two different tents side by side., Oh’s Kitchen has exactly what you need whether you’re in a sweet or savory mood. The first tent, BBQ on a Stick, serves up yakitori-style meat skewers like Hawaiian Huli Chicken, Garlic Pork, and Teriyaki Chicken. If you’re feeling extra hungry, make it a full meal by adding on a tasty pad thai or fried rice as well.
The second tent is a smoothie and fresh fruit stand, which also sells fruit snacks and desserts. The top items from here are the Mango Pineapple Smoothie, Mango Sticky Rice, and non-dairy Tapioca Pudding. Just keep in mind that Oh’s Kitchen is cash only.
Sucker Punch Hard Candy
While the pandemic has been incredibly challenging, it has also inspired a number of new local business ventures. Sucker Punch Hard Candy
was created by Nicholas and Jennifer, two service industry workers who pivoted to the art of candy making during this era of COVID. Made with real ingredients, a few of the bold flavors on rotation are Grape Guava (Nick’s favorite), Pineapple Lemonade, Cranberry Lemonade, and Cinnamon Ginger (Jennifer’s favorite).
Names All Day
With over 20,000 bracelets on display, you’re bound to find the name you’re looking for on one of the colorful, handmade bracelets by Names All Day. If not, personalized bracelets can be made on the spot for $10 each (or at a deal of 3 for $25). Choose an ombre, solid color, or rainbow design and don’t be shy about requesting numbers and symbols to make it really stand out. Once your bracelet is ready, remember to make a wish before putting it on. It’s said that if the bracelet ever breaks, the wish will come true.
Spiritual in nature, tiki sculptures hold significant meaning and represent important values, such as family, perseverance, and more. Typically made of wood or stone, they each have a unique store to tell and are often modeled after ancient Hawaii gods to help capture their essence and power (or mana in Hawaiian). For example, a tiki of Ku — the God of War — symbolizes hard work, focus, and accomplishment.
At the Oahu Tiki booth, you’ll find an assortment of tiki statues wearing intense emotional expressions as well as wooden carvings of other notable symbols in Hawaiian culture, like the Hawaiian fish hook and the sea turtle.