Where to find crack seed on Oahu

Good news: There's more than you might think

We’re lucky that in Hawaii, drug stores, convenience stores and supermarkets sell crack seed. But the best kind come from crack seed stores and hole-in-the-wall mom-and-pop shops. If they let you sample, bonus. And if they sell Icee with li hing mui inside? That’s an unforgettable, only-in-Hawaii thrill.

These places on Oahu preserve the tradition.

Baldwin’s Sweet Shop

baldwin's sweet shop seedless li hing mui
— Photo from Baldwin’s Sweet Shop on Facebook

Baldwin’s is an Aiea institution known for its shave ice, but there’s a good selection of packaged crack seed among its savory snacks and gummies. — Mari Taketa

Waimalu Shopping Center • 98-040 Kamehameha Hwy. • Aiea • 488-0505

C-Mui Center

c mui center crack seeds
— Photo by Kelli Shiroma

Of the myriad variety of seeds in glass jars and sealed in bags, customer favorites include rock salt plum, sweet-salty li hing mui and crack seed. But the lady who runs the store will tell you every flavor is popular. If there’s a specific one you want, go early. During mango season, the owner is very proud of her pickled mango, which she makes herself. — Kelli Shiroma

1111 Bethel St. • Chinatown • 536-4712

Crack Seed Store

crack seed store glass jar selection
— Photo by Melissa Chang

From the era when every neighborhood had at least one crack seed store. Opened by Alice Wong sometime long ago, it attained legendary status in a tiny spot on Koko Head Avenue under 41 years of ownership by the amiable Young family, who retired this past New Year’s Eve. Now it’s in the hands of the Fang family of Chinatown’s Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery. Judging from the lines, Crack Seed Store is as popular as ever. — Mari Taketa

1156 Koko Head Ave. • Kaimuki • 737-1022

See also: Aloha, Mr. Young! Thanks for 41 years of Crack Seed Store

See also: Meet the new Crack Seed Store owners

Family Grocery Store

Inside a little building on Kamehameha Highway, this mom-and-pop has a small selection of prepackaged crack seed. This is my personal favorite stop for lemon peel gummy bears. — Jason Chin

45-1127 Kamehameha Hwy. • Kaneohe • 235-0028

Kay’s Crackseed

kay's crackseed store in manoa
— Photo by Thomas Obungen

Kay’s Crackseed has been serving up glass jar crack seed along with packaged gummies and savory snacks for 32 years. They’re one of the few that offer the trifecta of Icees (with lihing juice or powder, of course), shave ice and fresh buttered popcorn topped with furikake and kakimochi. Kay’s is one of the few businesses that you’re glad to know it hasn’t changed in decades. — Thomas Obungen

Manoa Marketplace • 2752 Woodlawn Dr. • Manoa • 988-4338

Lin’s Hawaiian Snacks

lin's hawaiian snacks
— Photo from @linshawaiiansnacks on Instagram

Dozens of varieties in glass jars and pre-packaged, plus milk teas, shave ice and sweet-sour-salty li hing mui blend drinks in the sleek newer part of Kakaako. — Mari Taketa

401 Kamakee St. • Kakaako • 597-8899 • linsmarkethawaii.com

Rainbow Crack Seed

crack seeds at rainbow
— Photo from Rainbow Crack Seed on Facebook

Kaneohe has a treasure trove of crack seed places. This longtime merchant has a great selection of crack seed, kakimochi, dried fruit, dried seafood, flavored popcorn, shave ice and much more. I really like their sweet li hing mui for when I make pickled mango. — Jason Chin

Windward City Shopping Center • 45-480 Kaneohe Bay Dr. • Kaneohe • 235-5553 • rainbowcrackseed.com

Samurai Snacks Aiea

samurai snacks crack seed and braddah pop
— Photo by Kelli Shiroma

Samurai is known for strawberry and vanilla soft serve, but the shop also has a wide variety of crack seed. Most popular is the Super Sweet Seedless White Li Hing Mui. Samurai’s Bradda Pops often sell out daily. At $3 each, they come in flavors like strawberry, grape and pineapple with a li hing mui seed inside. — Kelli Shiroma

Aiea Shopping Center • 99-115 Aiea Heights Dr. • Aiea • 484-2200

Seed City

Seed City
— Photo by Melissa Chang

Seed City sells seeds in jars and prepackaged seeds, plus li hing Icee, which they’re known for. You may want to note that due to the huge trend in lemon peel gummies, they’re currently sold out of lemon peel. — Melissa Chang

Pearlridge Center • 98-1005 Moanalua Rd. • Aiea • 488-9755

Seeds ‘n Things

seeds n things
— Photo from @seeds.n.things on Instagram

Walls and shelves of one of Oahu’s last mall crack seed shops are lined with glass jars and pre-portioned bags of seeds, old-school candies and tons of gummy options. Icee here comes with your choice of li hing powder or juice. — Mari Taketa

Windward Mall • 46-056 Kamehameha Hwy. • Kaneohe • 235-5050

Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery

sing cheong yuan bakery
— Photo from Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery on Facebook

Sing Cheong Yuan specializes in the preserved fruits served at Chinese New Year, all displayed in rectangular bins behind the pastry case. Now you can find their products in Kaimuki’s Crack Seed Store, which they recently took over. See the bins in the left-side window? Those are all crack seed. — Melissa Chang

Chinatown • 1027 Maunakea St. • Chinatown • 531-6688

Sun Chong Grocery

sun chong crack seeds
— Photo by Jason Chin

One of the hidden gems of Chinatown with maybe the biggest selection of crack seed items in the neighborhood. From nostalgic glass jars, you can get stuff like the football olive, dried passion fruit and all sorts of dried seafoods you’ve probably never heard of. Those that like to make their own lemon peel gummy bears can find the stuff already ground up and ready to go. Give yourself time to browse and you might find treasures you haven’t seen in a long time. — Jason Chin

127 N. Hotel St. • Chinatown • 537-3525

Wholesale Unlimited

crack seeds at wholesale unlimited
— Photo from Wholesale Unlimited on Facebook

Wholesale Unlimited get one wide assortment of pre-package crack seed kine snacks. Dey also known for own line of Betty’s Best Cookies das available in 23 flavors. Whaaaaat?! — Lee Tonouchi

Various locations • wholesaleunlimitedhi.com

See also: Local food is back