World's Best Food Markets
Andrew Zimmern names his favorite food markets around the world: “Through all of my travels, I’ve found that there’s no better way to feel the pulse of a city or to understand the local culture than to visit a market. I can learn more about a people and their way of life here than I can in the local museum, that’s for sure. Locavore bazaars—where merchant’s hawk the region’s specialties, artisans sell their wares and residents shop for dinner—offer the most authentic and honest experience.”—Andrew Zimmern
Nearly 40 percent of Hawaii’s population is of Asian descent, more than any other state. It’s a true melting pot of Chinese, Southeast Asian, Indonesian, Filipino and Japanese cultures and cuisines. Honolulu’s historic Chinatown is reportedly the oldest in the United States, dating back 120 years, and it should be on the top of your list for an authentic (although often gritty) food experience in this island state’s capital. Wake up early on a Saturday morning and peruse the market’s stands hawking roasted pig’s heads and offal, fresh octopus, salted jellyfish, roast ducks and povi masima, a Polynesian-style salted beef brisket. All that being said, I always load up at the old fish stalls selling poke and other fish salads, fresh and pickled fish, or my favorite, the dried aku. Similar to a small jack tuna, ask for it at any fish vendor and they will sell you a few sticks, it’s the best fish “jerky” on the planet. A few blocks away you will find the Maunakea Market Place and Kekaulike Market, lively gathering spots for locals with great food courts, but it’s the fresh fruits and vegetable from all over the island that are the star here.