Since its opening in 2015, Hukilau Marketplace has steadily grown and added a variety of different food choices. Visitors and students say it is exciting and the area is a popular destination to dine.
“When I first arrived here in 2016, there wasn’t a big range of food options there, said Hong Dong Yeon, a junior majoring in biochemistry from South Korea. Of the choices offered at the Hukilau Marketplace, he said, “It has grown so much in a few short years with many different things to choose from that I find myself there more often than I probably should be.”
Hukilau Marketplace, located adjacent to the Polynesian Cultural Center, provides visitors with a range of options to eat at, including local Hawaiian dishes, Thai food, New Zealand food, Mexican food, a dine-in restaurant, crepes, malasadas, smoothies, special-made ice cream, shave ice, gourmet hot dogs, and mixed sodas.
Iwingaro Kaonohi, a senior majoring in political science from New Zealand, said, “I like the food options. There’s a wide range of choices, there’s Pounders restaurant if you want to be a bit more fancy. [Hukilau Marketplace has] crepes, smoothies and there is a lot to choose from. Whether you are a student or a visitor, there is something for everyone.”
As a tour guide for the Polynesian Cultural Center, Kaonohi said people often ask her locations of specific food trucks at Hukilau Marketplace. “It’s becoming a very popular destination for tourists and people are coming to Laie just to eat at the food trucks.”
Garnet Ezra, a junior majoring in business management from Indonesia, said, “There have been a lot of changes which I’m happy about. I’ve only been here for two years but since then there is a lot more variation in options. You can get food from all over the world at the Marketplace.”
Kaonohi added, “They’ve been adding a lot of food trucks. Being from New Zealand, I liked seeing the New Zealand truck come because it reminds me of home and it brings Polynesia to the food options.”
As well as a range of food to choose from at Hukilau Marketplace, visitors can also enjoy free WiFi and live music most nights from local musicians. Hong remarked, “There’s a nice vibe going to eat at Hukilau Marketplace. It’s a good place to relax, take a date, or enjoy some local music at night.”
Ezra said he hopes more food trucks and options come in the future. “I’ve been excited by the different kinds of foods that I can get at the Marketplace, and I’m excited to see what comes in the future.”
Hukilau Marketplace is a vintage throwback to 1950s Hawaii, offering nostalgic food, local goods and hospitality, according to hukilaumarketplace.com. As well as being an increasingly popular place to dine, there are several shops and events that happening throughout the year.