Ala Moana Center
Ala Moana Center is an open-air mall in the Ala Moana neighborhood, a short 5-minute drive from Waikiki. It’s the largest outdoor shopping mall in the world, an extensive maze of over 340 merchants including more than 70 dining options, surrounded by tropical gardens and koi ponds. There’s even four Starbucks on-site! It’s home to a superior collection of luxury retailers, major department stores including Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Target, and several Hawaii boutiques. Discount stores range from Ross Dress For Less to Marshalls, and Saks OFF FIFTH, the premium outlet off-shot of Saks Fifth Avenue featuring savings up to 70% off designer brands. American bookseller Barnes & Noble, along with the Disney Store and The LEGO Store have a huge retail presence. Apparel giants include Japanese clothing company UNIQLO, ZARA, and Banana Republic. The Foodland Farms Ala Moana store is one of the stand-out grocery stores on the island, make sure you stop for a drink at the bar in the center of the supermarket (it’s a local hit). Don’t miss Liliha Bakery where you can try the coveted coco puff, a must-eat Hawaii treat. For late-night entertainment hang out at Lucky Strike Social, a bowling alley and games arcade with food, drinks, and live music.
Costco is a membership-only warehouse club, anyone can join and membership extends to all Costco stores worldwide. Out of the four Costcos on Oahu, Costco Iwilei and Costo Hawaii Kai are the closest to Waikiki just 25-minutes drive away. It’s the best place to buy bulk groceries for long stays, pick-up super-size bottles of booze, and random items like electronics, vitamins, beach gear and so much more. You’ll find Hawaii show tickets and restaurant gift cards at discounted prices, and $1.50 hotdogs at the outside cafe.
Daiso is a famous Japanese discount chain store. With items shipped in from Japan (you won’t find many English words on the packaging) and Tokyo-inspired music piped through the store, it’s easy to forget you’re in Honolulu. Fill your basket with knick-knacks from stationery, art and craft material to beauty supplies, household products, and small toys. Everything is $1.50 unless a different price is marked.
Don Quijote is another discount chain store found mostly in Japan. It’s quirky and carries an eclectic mix of items from basic groceries, to electronics and clothing. On a side note, the AAA Local BBQ food window out the front makes great SPAM sandwiches on lightly toasted white bread with crispy lettuce, fresh tomato, and a fried egg.
Kahala Mall is an indoor shopping mall about a 15-minute drive from Waikiki. It’s perfect for a hot or rainy day, especially the on-site cinema complex. There’s great retail therapy to be had, highlight stores include Macy’s, the Apple Store, Ross Dress For Less, SoHa Living, Thinker Things, The Compleat Kitchen, and See’s Candies (seriously good chocolate). Choose from a variety of restaurants including chains California Pizza Kitchen and Chilis. Pick-up fresh bread from nearby BRUG Bakery and experience the drive-through Starbucks in the parking lot, just for fun.
Ohana Hale Marketplace
Ohana Hale Marketplace is Hawaii’s largest indoor marketplace, a warehouse in Kakaako filled with 200+ small businesses and thousands of made-in-Hawaii products. The food vendors are next-level, plan to eat at least one meal here. Dine on vegan crepes, authentic Italian cuisine, fresh poke, to name a few. Don’t have a set of wheels? No worries! The marketplace offers free round-trip pick-ups and drop-offs in Waikiki, call or text +1 (808) 797 2001 for more information and to book your ride.
South Shore Market
South Shore Markets is one of those insider shopping secrets. It’s Hawaii’s coolest collection of designer boutiques selling locally made threads. Every shop has interesting merchandise and it feels good to shop here and support up and coming Hawaii brand names. Peruse women’s clothing stores worth perusing include Eden in Love, Mahina, and Cameron Hawaii. Explore MORI by Art+Flea, a retail shop that showcases products from 150+ talented Hawaii creatives including hand-crafted products and cool vintage items on consignment. Add on a meal at Scratch Kitchen & Meatery, just around the corner. Note, South Shore Market is part of the larger Ward Village Shops area.
Walmart Honolulu is a 24-hour supercenter selling general merchandise and supermarket items. This American retail giant is known for selling more for less, and this particular store is stocked with cheap Hawaii souvenirs. Families can pick up car seats, strollers (prams), and portable travel cots for an affordable price here. It’s also one of the few places that sell official University of Hawaii merchandise.
Ward Village Shops
Ward Village Shops offer a small selection of shops, but there are some real gems. Shop big-box stores including T.J. Maxx and Nordstrom Rack, both pushing big names profoundly marked down. Our favorite shops are Hakubundo, a cute little Japanese stationery and made-in-Hawaii stuff store, Red Pineapple, a vibrant locally-owned gift shop with curated local and U.S. mainland goodies, and Hopscotch, the sweetest baby boutique around. Don’t pass up the opportunity to visit Na Mea Hawaii, Oahu’s best source of native Hawaii books and Hawaiian culture items. The Crazy Shirts Outlet is also worth the visit. Note, Ward Village Shops encompass South Shore Market.