Shopping Guide

    The second-most important private industry in Hawaii is tourism. In 2009, tourism contributed $10 billion to the state’s $66.4 billion GDP, or about 15 percent. As the economic center of Hawaii, Honolulu has a retail industry that is designed to cater to the tourists who visit the area. However, this bustling island city also offers shopping malls and shopping centers that cater to the locals.

    Shopping Malls

    • Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, 808-955-9517, www.alamoanacenter.com; This mall is located on 50 acres and has three levels, 1.8 million square feet of retail space and 260 different shops — one of the largest open-air shopping facilities in the world. In this mall, you will find the biggest names in haute couture partnered with top name stores like Neiman Marcus and Macy’s. Stores such as Williams-Sonoma, Town & Country and Pacific Harley-Davidson may appeal to your more practical side.
    • Aloha Tower Marketplace, 1 Aloha Tower Dr., Honolulu, 808-566-2337, www.alohatower.com; This is a favorite shopping spot locals and visitors alike. Located at Honolulu Harbor, it features over 80 apparel stores, kiosks, gift and specialty shops.
    • Hawaii Kai Towne Center, 6700 Kalanianaole Hwy., Honolulu, 808-396-0766, www.hawaiikaitownecenter.com; Accessories, furniture, designer fashions and beachwear are a few of the items you can find at this center.
    • International Marketplace, 2330 Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki, 808-971-2080, www.internationalmarketplacewaikiki.com; This is an open-air bazaar in the heart of Waikiki. It has over 150 gift shops, carts, stands and booths.
    • Kahala Mall, 4211 Waialae Avenue, Honolulu, 808-732-7736, www.kahalamallcenter.com; This is an enclosed shopping mall that is located in one of the island’s most prestigious neighborhoods. It has 90 specialty shops.
    • North Shore Marketplace, 66-250 Kamechamecha, Haleiwa, 808-637-4416; This marketplace offers swimwear, gift shops, art galleries and specialty stores. The unique architectural facades of the shops are a contrast with the modern coffee galleries and rustic surf shops.
    • Pearlridge Center, 98-1005 Moanalua Rd, Aiea, 808-488-0981, www.pearlridgeonline.com; This mall is the island’s largest enclosed shopping center in Hawaii and has a bit of a split personality. While the Uptown Pearlridge Center is sophisticated and decked out in rich-looking hues of brown burnished wood and subtle gold accents, the Downtown Pearlridge Center takes on a more industrial look with sheet metal, rivets and cutting edge sculptures. The 11-acre complex is home to 170 stores.
    • Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, 2201 Kalakaua Ave., Waikiki, 808-922-2299, www.royalhawaiiancenter.com; A four-story, open-air market consisting of over 110 shops, this is Waikiki’s largest shopping spot. This shopping center combines upscale European boutiques with casual shops.
    • Victoria Ward Center (the Ward Warehouse, Ward Centre, Ward Farmers Market, Ward Village Shops and Ward Gateway Center), 1240 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, 808-591-8411, www.victoriaward.com; This is the place to shop if you are looking for a fast-paced trendy vibe. This unique collection of centers is located within four city blocks and features more than 120 specialty shops, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.
    • Windward Mall, 46-056 Kamehameha Hwy., Kaneohe, 808-235-1143, www.windwardmall.com; This is a shopping experience with a few old favorites. With 120 stores, this mall has nationally recognized chains like Macy’s, Sears and Borders and also has unique Hawaiian stores. A big plus is the indoor play area for children.

    Outlet Malls

    The Waikele Center and Premium Outlets, 94-790 Lumiaina St., Honolulu, 808-676-5656; This is the island’s only premium outlet center. It offers more than 70 stores with designer and name –brand merchandise at an everyday savings of 25 percent to 65 percent.

    Department Stores

    Discount Retailers

    These discount stores offer a wide variety of products and services. But unlike the comparable stores on the mainland, groceries are not available in these stores and none of these stores are open 24 hours, so check out their websites for hours of operation, product availability and available services.

    Household Shopping

    Appliances/electronics/cameras/computers

    Beds, bedding, and bath

    Carpets and rugs

    Furniture

    Housewares

    Lamps and lighting

    Hardware/paint/home improvement

    Antique Stores

    The Aloha Stadium Swap Meet

    If you’re feeling like you’re ready to mingle while you shop, try The Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. It’s open on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Over 900 vendors and sellers attend this flea market every week. Up for grabs are amazing bargains on Hawaiian collectibles, clothing, music, arts, crafts, jewelry, luggage and more. Admission is 50 cents for everyone over 12. Come prepared to do a lot of walking. Loose clothes, sun hat, sunscreen and water are all must-take items. For more information, call 808-486-1529 or 808-732-9601.

    Thrift and Vintage Shops

    Trying to find the diamond in the rough at a thrift store can be quite a task, but if you’re up to the challenge, the payoff can be big. Honolulu has a number of thrift stores that can offer a lot of bang for the buck. To increase your chances of finding that “diamond,” ask the stores’ managers or sales associates when they typically put new items out. With a little bit of planning, you can take advantage of new stock before the crowds pick through them.

    Food

    For the malihini (newcomer), grocery shopping in Honolulu can be an adventure, with many new and different types of food to sample. It can also require a bit of adjustment. Beware of sticker shock when you go to get your first staples from the grocery store, because things cost approximately 35 percent more on the island than they do on the mainland. But don’t pack your bags to leave just yet. You are going to be pleasantly surprised at the low prices on fresh produce, seafood, and meat. So grab your wallet and your grocery list and let’s go on an adventure.

    Supermarkets

    • Foodland, www.foodland.com; With more than 30 stores, this is Hawaii’s largest, locally owned and operated grocery retailer.
    • Times Super Market, www.timessupermarkets.com; With twelve locations, this is one of Hawaii’s leading supermarket
    • Down to Earth, www.downtoearth.org; The largest health food store in Hawaii this site has a popular garden deli, bakery, fresh produce and organic cosmetics.
    • Huckleberry Farms: Located in downtown Honolulu, this is a favorite place for fresh, organic vegetables, deli sandwiches, soups and more.
    • Kokua Market, www.kokuamarket.ning.com; With 4,400 square feet of retail space, this is Hawaii’s only co-op market. The Kokua Market offers items that are made with mostly-organic ingredients
    • Whole Foods, www.wholefoodsmarket.com; Offers hundreds of items that come from small venders in local communities
    • Costco, four locations in Honolulu, www.costco.com
    • Sam’s Club, 808-945-9841, www.samsclub.com

    Natural food grocers and specialty market chains

    Warehouse Shopping

    Farmers Markets

    Honolulu abounds with farmer’s markets, which tend to open for only one or two days a week. For a complete listing of these markets, visit http://www.farmersmarketonline.com/fm/Hawaii.htm. Or try this brochure with farmers markets on the island of Oahu listed by day of the week: www.kphc.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/oahumarket.pdf. In the meantime, here is a sampling of some of the larger markets in Honolulu:

    • Kalihi Farmers Market, 700 Kalihi St., Honolulu. This is the largest farmers market in Honolulu. It consists of over forty vendors. You can purchase living seafood or get your meat selection cut by a butcher.
    • Kapiolani Community College Farmers Markets, 4303 Diamond Head Rd., Honolulu. Patrons at this market can choose from bright fruits and vegetables, jams, baked goods, seafood, and meats. The prices beat any grocery store around. Hours of operation are Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.
    • Manoa Marketplace, in front of the post office, Honolulu. This market may appear small but don’t be fooled; they have a huge selection. Snacks, herbs and vegetables are some of the items available. Hours of operations are Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

    Chinatown

    Perhaps the most exciting and mysterious neighborhood in Hawaii is Chinatown. This historic district is located in downtown Honolulu. Chinatown is a colorful and eclectic blend of Southeast Asian cultures. Vietnamese, Laotian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Filipino, Hawaiian, and Korean merchants sell fresh produce, fish, meat, manapua (a type of meat-filled, steamed dumpling), candied fruits and vegetables, noodles, tea, duck eggs, and other Asian delicacies. Here are a few must shop locations while you are in Chinatown:

    • Bo Wah Store, 1031 Maunakea St., 808-537-2017, Asian gifts and Chinese household supplies
    • China Arts, Inc., 94 N King St., 808-538-1628, Chinese porcelain including teapots and cups
    • Fook Sau Tong, 112 N. King St., 808-531-6680, Chinese herbs, bowls and figurines
    • Kim’s, 1123 Maunakea St., 808-545-5088, oriental gifts, carved beads, jade, and semi-precious gemstones
    • Kekaulike Market, across the street from the Oahu Market, fresh fish, meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables
    • Lai Fong, 1118 Nuuanu Ave., 808-5373497, oriental antiques, silk, brocade, curios, ivory and jade jewelry, teakwood and rosewood furniture
    • Maunakea Market Place, 1120 Maunakea St., fresh vegetables, exotic herbs, tropical fruits, pig’s heads, chicken feet, live eel and fish
    • Oahu Market, on the corner and King and Kekaulike streets, 808-841-6924, roasted pork, fresh fish and spicy pickled cabbage
    • Shung Chong Yuein Chinese Cake Shop, 1027 Maunakea St., moon cake, wedding cake, almond cookies and candied vegetables
    • Wing Loy Market, located on Kekaulike St., 808-523-5464, char siu and roast pork

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