Have you ever been to the world’s largest outdoor mall? O’ahu is home to Ala Moana Shopping Center, the world’s largest outdoor mall. Shopping in Hawaii at Ala Moana Shopping Center is the premiere shopping experience. It’s the seventh largest shopping mall in the nation and the largest shopping mall in Hawaii. If you’re in for the ultimate Hawaiian shopping experience, Ala Moana is the place to go. It’s been consistently ranked as one of the top ten most profitable malls in America, and in 2009 it was the 2nd most profitable right behind The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas. Ala Moana attracts a lot of tourists. I used to work a this mall in high school so I saw all of them. Tourists on vacation from all different places and countries love to shop here. The great part about Ala Moana is there are so many different shops. There are the common anchor stores like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s in addition to the local favorites like San Lorenzo bikinis and Splash! Swimwear.


Ala Moana’s Center Stage is known for its busy schedule of performances.
by 15132846@N00 is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Image may have been resized or cropped from original.

Makai Food Market

Ala Moana also has the Makai Food Market food court and a wide variety of upper scale restaurants and dining experiences. My personal favorite is Macaroni Grill on the top level of the East wing of the shopping center. Macaroni Grill’s cheese ball appetizers are the best things in the whole world. I could eat 3 servings of those.


The popular shopping center has been known for always being under construction and doing new improvements. For example they recently completed the construction of the new Bloomingdale’s and lots of new parking spots. Several new stores have also opened up on that wing, and restaurants as well. Cafe Lani is one of those new restaurants. It’s rapidly gained popularity on the island and every time I walk by it, it’s always packed. It’s an Italian-inspired casual dining restaurant featuring modern Hawaiian-themed decor. It’s located on the second level of the west wing. I’ve never been there myself, but I’ve only heard good things about it so I would highly recommend it!


Ala Moana from the outside. Ala Moana from the outside.
Nieman Marcus Ala Moana by TastyPoutine is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. Image may have been resized or cropped from original.

Ala Moana can get really packed on the weekends. Luckily there is a lot more parking there now than there was a long time ago. However during the holiday season, it can still be difficult to find parking so if you’re vacationing here for the holidays, I would try and make it to Ala Moana on a weekday to avoid the crowds. Of course, Hawaii is always crowded everywhere, but shopping on a weekday is going to be a lot better than shopping on a weekend. Sometimes Ala Moana has these awesome sidewalk sales that are mall-wide. Not every single store participates in the event, but most choose to do so. Those sidewalk sales can offer some awesome deals and I always make it to those. Black Friday sales are also the best at Ala Moana. If you’re looking for the ultimate Hawaii shopping experience, Ala Moana is the place!