We have always relied on restaurants to do the cooking, but Umeke Market’s bright new downtown space (the original is in Kahala) is part of a new breed of eateries that do the research for us, too. Open for breakfast and lunch, Umeke Market offers a rotating menu of creative, local-style fare, while keeping an eye on the glycemic index, nutritional balance and ingredient sourcing so you don’t have to. Examples? Plump spirulina or organic salmon/lentil musubi, both made with organic brown rice, or a grass-fed, hormone-free Kamuela beef burger with plenty of veggies on a whole wheat bun. Umeke Market and Deli Downtown, 1001 Bishop St., Suite 110,, Honolulu, HI 96813, Tel: (808) 522-7377
If scrutinizing food labels for maltodextrin and FD&C Red No.3 makes your head spin, walking into Hawaii’s first Whole Foods Market location in Kahala will be a breath of fresh air. All the produce you see is either locally grown or certified organic, or both. Everything on the shelves is made without artificial preservatives, sweeteners or colors. “You can pronounce everything that’s on the label,” says Claire Sullivan, community and vendor relations coordinator for Whole Foods. “It’s like we’ve done the homework for you.” Kahala Mall, 738-0820.