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Eat fresh at Hawaii farmers markets

Get a taste of the local life at Hawaii’s public farmers markets, where supporting local agriculture is always in season.

Hawaii farmers markets are your chance to try the unique fruits of the Islands and meet the farmers who grew them.

It’s easy to add some color to your diet at Hawaii farmers markets — the entire rainbow is on display. Fuzzy red rambutans pile up in the spring, while come summertime, mangos ripen to orange and papayas turn yellow. Fresh lettuce greens are around every corner, as are potted herbs ready for planting. Look for eggplant nearly year-round or cut into uala to find the potato's sweet purple insides. For a multitude of colors, order hot food from a booth; the plate lunches and smoothie bowls will delight your eyes as much as your taste buds.

Whichever Island is your base camp, there’s a local farmers market nearby that will help fill your grocery list with a spectrum of fruits, vegetables and even flowers, plus dazzling packaged foods and crafts to bring back home.

Hilo Farmers Market

Hilo Farmers Market is open seven days a week, with the biggest attendance on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Big flavors on Hawaii Island

Your first stop after landing at Hilo International Airport (ITO) might be Hilo Farmers Market in the heart of downtown. The market is open daily, but more than 200 vendors set up shop on Wednesdays and Saturdays, showcasing the fruits of this region like macadamia nuts, papayas and endless handcrafted Hawaiian-style clothes and art. North of Hilo, Hamakua Harvest, held rain or shine on Sundays, overlooks the ocean and is an ideal spot to pick up fresh produce, artisan bread, local honey, smoked fish and more. About halfway between Hamakua and Kona, Waimea Town Market makes a splash on Saturdays with dozens of vendors satisfying every craving under the sun, from locally grown coffee beans to goat cheese to gourmet chocolate. Local is key in Kona, where the Saturday Keauhou Farmers Market only features agriculture products grown on Hawaii Island and the Sunday Pure Kona Green Market keeps vendors to 100% made in Kona.

Kakaako Farmers Market

Kakaako Farmers Market is one of the biggest farmers markets on Oahu, with some 120 vendors across two blocks.

Gather with friends on Oahu

Visitors staying in Waikiki don’t need to venture far to find farm-fresh food, with Mahiku Farmers Market popping up at Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa on Mondays and Wednesdays and International Market Place on Thursdays. Locals tend to frequent Kapiolani Community College Farmers Market near Diamond Head on Saturdays, where some of Oahu’s most famous restaurants — including The Pig and The Lady, Feast and Olay Thai — and specialty food businesses have booths adjacent to those of farms and plant nurseries. Look both ways at Kakaako Farmers Market at Ward Village on Saturdays, where some 120 talented vendors sprawl out on both sides of Ala Moana Boulevard. Late-risers might prefer Honolulu Farmers Market at Neal S. Blaisdell Center on Wednesday afternoons or Kailua Farmers Market on Thursday afternoons, both just as exciting as their morning counterparts.

Papayas at a Kauai Farmers Market

Hawaii’s most popular fruits are ripest in the summer — May to October, that is.

Tight-knit communities on Kauai

Kauai Community Market in Lihue is the place to be on Saturdays, where tables overflow with fruit, buckets brim with native plants, barbecues are grilling made-to-order skewers and artists dance around their temporary enclaves. The market’s intimate appeal lets visitors conversate with farmers and chefs as if they too were part of the neighborhood. Also on Saturdays, Princeville Farmers + Art Market is a happy outcome of 2020, with scores of small businesses having a place to showcase their unique works — you’d be hard-pressed to leave empty handed. Come Wednesday afternoons, Kauai Culinary Market takes over the Kukuiula Shopping Village in Poipu with booths scattered throughout the Hawaii plantation-style property leading you to cafes, a wine and beer garden, and live music.

Support Local Agriculture

Visit Hawaii farmers markets and farm stands to support local agriculture and get a taste of what’s in season.

Creative makers on Maui

Celebrate 40-plus years of Upcountry Farmers Market, now held at Kula Malu Town Center in Pukalani every Saturday. Here you'll find an abundance of Maui-grown veggies and fruit, plus inventive global and vegan cuisine, all while knowing this organization gives back to local communities. Lahaina's small but mighty Napili Farmers Market hosts up to 20 vendors on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, boasting a strong selection of organic produce, gluten-free sweets, locally made hot sauces and fermented foods. Vegetable-loving weekday wanderers are rewarded with Farmers Market of Maui’s three-times-a-week market in Honokowai and another in Kihei Monday through Friday. For more Maui farmers markets, check out Go Hawaii. Not to worry if you can’t make it to the markets, Maui also has many farm stands open year round like Kula Country Farms, famous for its strawberries, onions, honey and jams.

 

Story By Sachie Yorck

April 15, 2022