The KCC Farmers Market has a great selection of vendors and amazing local grinds. (Photo by Cameron Enomoto)

By Cameron Enomoto | Staff Writer

If you’re looking for something new to switch up your weekend routine, the KCC farmers market is open every Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. There are fresh produce stalls, food vendors, and live music to enjoy while walking around. Not only is this a great way to support local, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to reconnect with the community as we readjust to in-person events.

The vendor with one of the longest lines, Daizu Tei Mochi, attracted customers with premium strawberry mochi. In addition to their signature flavor, Daizu Tei Mochi also offers pineapple, banana, honeydew, mango, and raspberry. Additionally, customers can choose between mochi with or without beans. Some of the bean types include azuki, lima, koshi an (red bean paste), and tsubu an (sweet azuki paste).

It’s best to eat it right away to get the taste of fresh fruit and soft mochi and they can be purchased in packs of 4, 6, or 9. Though be prepared to pay up to $5 for just one. If I had a larger income, I would consider stopping by Daizu Tei again, but for now, I will stick to my cheaper favorites from Foodland.

When walking around the parking lot, sometimes it’s difficult to tell where a line begins and what you’re actually standing in line for. There are people constantly moving about, so don’t be afraid to ask others what they’re in line for or where you can find a certain vendor. 

Growing Roots Hawaii, had an assortment of vegan slushes, drinks, and tasty snacks. Some of their drinks are even served in a pineapple or coconut, which adds a unique twist to the experience. The slush I tried was a mixture of guava and pineapple. From my own experiences, it has been difficult to find a slush that can bring out the fruit essence while also having a good consistency. Some slushes are heavy on the ice, while others seem to be entirely liquid. However, the slush from Growing Roots Hawai‘i was perfect when it came to taste and texture. The guava flavor was blended equally with the pineapple rather than being overpowered by it, and the overall consistency was smooth and refreshing. For $6, this was an awesome find. Next time, I plan to try one of the acai bowls and the locally harvested coconut meat since it normally sells out within the first hour. 

The Pig and the Lady, a Vietnamese food vendor from the same restaurant, serves appetizers, rice plates, and of course, Bahn Mi. The farmers market menu can be found on their website, and while it is more limited than the in-store menu, there are always weekly specials to keep an eye out for.  I tried the pho French dip, which was around $16, and I was amazed that it met all my expectations. The 12-hour roast brisket paired with the pho au jus created a flavorful and savory taste. In addition, the Thai basil chimichurri, sauteed bean sprouts, and cilantro complemented the flavor while bringing out the Vietnamese aromatic aspect of the dish. 

Aside from food vendors, the KCC farmers market has many vendors with fresh produce available from all over the island. For a list of all the vendors at the farmers market visit the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau website. The market is held every Saturday in parking lot B at KCC. Free parking is available in lots A, C, and E, though stalls fill up quickly and it’s better to get there early.