Bathing suits, sand-covered feet and flip flops seem to be the dress code at Ala Moana’s food court, which makes sense, since the shopping center is right across from a beach. Customers walk in, parched and hungry after a day in the sun, to grab a quick bite to eat. Now that’s what you call convenience.

This food court, though, is much more than convenient. It’s a mishmash of foods to fit any craving. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s one of the only places in Hawaii that you can sample Hawaiian, Mexican, Chinese, Italian and Thai cuisine all in one stop. With that said, it’s guaranteed you’ll find something to tickle your taste buds.

I debated on whether a post about the food court would be worth my time. When you think “food court,” you think fast foods (a.k.a. junk food). But the Makai Market Food Court goes against this stereotype by not having any type of fast food, like McDonald’s or Burger King. There are actually some pretty healthy choices, like a huge salad bar and freshly-made sandwiches. It’s also one of the bigger food courts I’ve seen.

However, I would avoid going there during peak hours. Finding a table will be pretty rough, if not, impossible, because of how crowded it gets. You seriously need to stalk people from the outer rim of the food court to find a spot. Otherwise, why not grab your meal to go and eat across the street at the beach. Ala Moana Beach Park has a lot of shaded picnic tables to choose from.

Wanna know one of the food court’s best kept secrets? There is an amazing mochi stand hidden amongst the hoard of hungry people. It’s located near the bikini shop, Diamond Head side of the food court. To be honest, I don’t even know the name; from what I recall, the sign is written in Japanese characters? All I know is that they have the most authentic mochi around.

MAKAI MARKET FOOD COURT • Ala Moana Shopping Center, downstairs from the main stage, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu HI 96814 • 808-955-9517 • Free mall parking

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