Tucked away in sleepy Happy Valley, an old-time neighborhood in Wailuku, Takamiya Market lies hidden in the shade of a few gently swaying palm trees. However, don't just pass it by—your taste buds will thank you later. This small, family-owned grocery store has been selling yummy local grub to Maui residents for over 60 years, and the result is a long history of many very happy opus (pronounced OH-poo, the word 'opu' means 'tummy' in Hawaiian).
In 2006, Takamiya became the SBA Family-Owned Business of the Year, and the shop's loyal customers and first-timers agree that Takamiya continues to live up to its reputation as marketing some of the most mouth-watering eats on the island.
Aside from a wide variety of local delicacies, including specialized bento boxes, hand-rolled cone sushi, pickled veggies, giant tubs of kim chee, and mochi (a sweet, Japanese rice creation akin to tapioca), Takamiya boasts some of the best fresh poke in all of Hawaii, especially the salt ahi and spicy tako (octopus) varieties. Further, locals trust the market's excellent butchers to deliver fresh, delicious cuts of Hawaiian specialty and standard meats. The marinated teriyaki and the Korean Kalbi ribs, both also sold by container, come from special family recipes that – as the locals would say – are so tasty they "brok da mout."
Most of Takamiya's food comes individually wrapped and in portions of all sizes, which makes this local gem a perfect pre-beach spot to grab a picnic lunch. Most of the ready-made lunches cost under $5, and the market's fresh veggies are usually priced well under a dollar – try two giant avocados for only $.89. Also, the sale table is usually full of decent $2 treats, like breakfast plates and rice curries.
Don't let the lack of parking or the nondescript exterior deter you. When in Wailuku, Takamiya Market is a spot you won't want to miss. Bursting with local flavor and friendly, helpful service, you'll feel like a local after just one bite of one of Takamiya's authentic Hawaiian creations.
- Monday through Saturday: 5:30am to 6pm
- Closed Sunday
- Location: 359 Market Street, Wailuku, HI
- Phone: 808-244-3404