Explore the New Hukilau Marketplace at Polynesian Cultural Center
Photo Credit: Hukilau Marketplace
Looking to experience old Laie? Huli on down to see the new Hukilau Marketplace, designed for visitors to experience a traditional hukilau (a gathering place, for old-fashioned fun and delicious food).
The new marketplace at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie opened earlier this spring, and features more than 40 retail, dining and entertainment options.
Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., the 119,000 square-foot Hukilau MarketPlace offers stores representing Laie, Oahu’s North Shore and Polynesia with many items that aren’t available anywhere else. Admission and parking are free, so you can put your budget towards omiyage (gifts) for friends and family back home.
The Hukilau Marketplace’s stores and attractions are named and designed to pay homage to Laie landmarks and community members. One such eatery is Pounders Restaurant – named after Pounders Beach, a popular Laie bodysurfing spot. Another destination, the Laie General Store, brings together three of the community’s most beloved businesses and features souvenirs and gifts, convenience-store items and cracked seed snacks, set amidst plantation-era décor.
If exploring the Polynesian Cultural Center has you peckish, the Hukilau Marketplace has an assortment of snacks and popular local treats. Hit up Aunty Emily’s Bakery for Polynesian baked favorites like meat pies, malasadas (Portuguese fried donut), and panipopo (a Samoan dessert of bread smothered in coconut milk) or the Roulotte Court, a mini food truck row, influenced by the street scene in Pape‘ete, Tahiti. For kamaaina (local) favorites, visit Tita’s Grill at Roulette Court. Run by the Ah You family, visitors can scoop up their menu of generous plate lunches, loco mocos, kalbi ribs, Tahitian steak frit and more.
Before you head home, flash a shaka at the Hamana Kalili Statue. Believed to be a descendent of Hawaiian royalty and a much-loved leader in the Laie community, Hamana Kalili is also attributed as the creator of the shaka sign. As stories go, Kalili who lost his three middle fingers in an accident at the sugar mill was known for his distinctive wave with just his pinky finger and thumb showing.
If you’re feeling a little down about your visit coming to an end, it may be time to indulge in some retail therapy! The selection of local retailers includes Nona’s Tropic Threads, named after PCC’s retired seamstress. The store offers island-style fashions for men, women and children. At Hapa Home, you can even bring home a taste of the islands with island-inspired home and lifestyle products like throw pillows, ceramics, art, quilts and more.
Get a taste of what the Polynesian Cultural Center has to offer with any of Robert’s Hawaii’s three Polynesian Cultural Center packages, which includes round-trip transportation to and from Laie.