By Lisa Scontras | Photos by Davin Iyamatsu
Located at the Palolo Valley District Park, the People's Open Market is open every Wednesday morning from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.
The People's Open Market was formed in 1973 to provide the opportunity to purchase fresh agricultural and aqua cultural products and other food items at low cost. Additionally, the aim was to support the economic viability of diversified agriculture in Hawaii by providing a place for local farmers' and fishermen to gather weekly to sell their produce direct to the public. Over the years, this has become a popular way for growers to market and sell their harvests and a ritual for the community to find the best deals and the sweetest, juiciest produce on the island.
More than a million people shop at 25 farmers' market sites across Oahu each year. Shopping for freshly picked fruits and vegetables while socializing and connecting with neighbors is what has made farmers' markets like this one in Palolo so successful.
Produce includes garden fresh fruits and vegetables, a variety of foods associated with different ethnic groups, fresh ocean and pond fish, and Hawaii grown flowers, such as ginger, orchids and anthuriums.
Drive mauka on Palolo Avenue. The market is on the right just past Jarrett Intermediate School. There is on-street parking. Bring a flashlight during the winter months. For more information about its assortment of local specialties, produce, organic food and crafts.
Tamura's Fine Wine & Liquor
Tamura's is the go-to place for the best selection and the best prices for beer, wine and any of your pau hana snacks. The local-style flavor is what makes Tamura's so easy to stop in for whatever you need - with reasonable prices and great service.
In addition to a wide variety of wine and beer, customers enjoy boiled peanuts, edamame, ahi, taro chips, and the highly recommended King Crab Poke or the to-die-for Jalapeno Pipikaula.
On your way to a BYO gathering or restaurant? Tamura's great location on the corner of Waialae and 10th avenues is convenient to area restaurants or simply a quick stop on the way home.
North Shore Grinds
You don't have to live in Palolo to crave the ono-licious plate lunches from the kitchen at North Shore Grinds on 10th Avenue. The restaurant's owner grew up in Palolo, moved to the North Shore and then came back to Palolo.
Chow down on Hawaiian plates including laulau, kalua pig or both, served with chicken long rice and mouth-watering lomi salmon, rice and mac or tossed salad. Other favorites include the hamburger steak with onion gravy, teri steak and chicken, breaded pork with an apricot glaze, garlic calamari, or herb-crusted mahi embellished with a lemon cream sauce.
Menu items also include a selection of salads, sandwiches, fresh fish and mini plates.
"I recommend their grilled ahi with veggies salad and tangy dressing," says Elaine Shinagawa, Realtor Associate at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. "The restaurant is almost always full."
Prices for sandwiches start at $4.95, mini plates start at $5.95, and plate lunches are priced from $7.95. Residents say this is one place they can't live without.
Palolo Drive Inn
Palolo Drive Inn has a diverse menu selection sure to satisfy your craving for inexpensive, large portions. Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Choose from walnut shrimp, egg fu young, kung pao chicken, a prime rib steak or New York steak with garlic shrimp. Also recommended are the seafood combo with mahi mahi, fried shrimp and your choice of barbecued short ribs, barbecued chicken or barbecued beef; loco moco; or a bento, with katsu, barbecued beef, mahi and spam.
Other food groups at Palolo Drive Inn include burgers, saimin, and musubi, and popular side orders of kim chee, egg rolls, and cheese wontons - comfort foods that soothe the soul.
For parties, don't forget that Palolo Drive Inn has catering options. Depending on the size of your group, order a small pan (6-8 people), half pan (13-15 people) or full pan (20-25 people) from the catering menu, which includes favorites such as chicken katsu, orange chicken, chicken wings, meat jun, barbecued short ribs, hamburger steak, Hawaiian lau lau, kalua pork, or fried mahi mahi.
When you're in the mood for take-out that is just as delicious as it is convenient, Palolo Drive Inn will not disappoint.
One of the great things about Palolo is the conveniently located neighborhood businesses and restaurants peppered up and down 10th and Palolo avenues to make life easier. And Your Kitchen is one of those gems.
Your Kitchen is just that, it is your home away from home kitchen, ready with home-cooked meals when the day's busy schedule took up more of the day than was intended. Stop in on Tuesday or Wednesday for homestyle beef stew or Thursday or Friday for the finger-lickin' pork spareribs.
"My favorites are the unique shave ice - mango and green tea - and Japanese food," says Vina Marcello, Realtor Associate at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties.
Other specialties include the Japanese loco moco, oyakodon, miso salmon or miso pork - generous servings that are priced right. Everything is under $10.