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City Bites: Honolulu

Chinatown's Oahu Market market is where many local eateries wrangle for the best fruit and vegetables to be featured on that day's menu. The colors and aromas - and the bargains - also entice visitors...

Although most visitors think of sun, surf and beautiful beaches when planning a trip to Honolulu, there is also the excitement of city life in downtown Honolulu, the business center of Oahu.

Central is the state's government center including the state capitol building, Honolulu Hale (city hall), judiciary buildings and Washington Place (the Governor's official residence).

The Hawaii State Library also is located here, as well as Iolani Palace, the only palace on U.S. soil, and Mission Houses Museum, which contains the oldest existing house in Hawaii.

Eating venues are in abundance with countless plate lunch locations. Inland of downtown Honolulu, visitors will find the 20-acre Foster Botanical Garden, a popular place to enjoy a picnic while surrounded by exotic flora and fauna.

Filled with color, excitement and the hustle and bustle of vendors and shoppers, Oahu's Chinatown is a place of history, mystery and fun. Amidst the lei stands, noodle and dim sum factories; hole-in-the-wall Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants; and acupuncture and herbal medicine shops, there is a place called the Oahu Market. The market is famous for having the best “sashimi” (raw fish), fresh meats and produce.

Chefs from many local eateries and fine dining restaurants often visit the Oahu Market early in the morning to wrangle for choice cuts for their exotic island dishes. In the maze of vendors, local produce can be found -- including bok choy (Chinese cabbage), mustard cabbage, Manoa lettuce, mango, soy beans, papaya, avocado, Japanese cucumbers and lemon grass.

The best part is most of these items are bargains compared to major grocery store prices. If you keep walking mauka (toward the mountains), you'll come across the Kuan Yin Temple. This is the oldest Chinese temple in Honolulu and worshipers still come here to light candles, burn incense and offer prayers.

Another “oldest” is Wo Fat restaurant, around since 1882 and still a favorite among locals demanding good, authentic Chinese food.

More about Honolulu eats around the Web:

Kid Friendly Honolulu Restaurants

Honolulu Restaurants - TripAdvisor

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