The fresh produce of the Hawaiian Islands is incomparable. Regular rainfall, mineral-rich volcanic soil, and abundant sunshine create the ideal climate for farming, as proven by the long list of tropical fruits in Hawaii. Though most of us enjoy taking a vacation from the kitchen while we travel, we wouldn’t want to pass up a chance to sample some of the delicious and unique types of Hawaii’s fruits, veggies and traditional snacks found at local farmers markets. Plus at a farmer’s market, you can also buy many of them at some of the best prices to be found in the entire State.
On every island, there is an opportunity to mix with Hawaii’s residents and enjoy some of the unique wares that make the Aloha State the magical place it is known to be. On the island of Oahu (which is also known as the “gathering place”) visitors can meet local farmers, artists and crafters all over the island. A sample of these markets are listed below.
If you have scheduled a Saturday morning hike of this famous crater, end your journey by stopping for brunch at the Kapiolani Community College Farmers Market, Hawaii’s largest farmer’s market, located on the mauka side (in this case north side) of Diamond Head crater. You and your friends can dine on plates of kalua pig, fried rice and garlic shrimp before heading to the flower and fruit booths. The vendors open from 7:30 am to 11:00 am, so the earlier you arrive, the greater the selection will be. Besides being popular among local residents, this market has become what some consider a major tourist attraction and is conveniently located near Waikiki.
Open on Wednesday evenings the Honolulu Framers Market, located next to the Blaisdell Concert Hall, is place where visitors can stock up on scrumptious dishes and then have an impromptu picnic on the large lawn area. Another great option is the Fort Street Mall Farmers Market which is open every Tuesday and Friday from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm. Known for an expansive variety of fresh fruits and local dishes, this market is a good place to grab lunch-on-the-go in downtown Honolulu.
The King’s Village Farmers Market in Waikiki is open several evenings a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The market is a prime place for visitors to meander through the stalls, talk with local vendors, sample a wide range of delectable fruits and vegetables and peruse Hawaii-crafted wares. Other notable farmer’s markets in the greater Honolulu area include the: Makiki Farmers Market, Kaka’ako Farmers Market, Manoa Farmers Market, Kaiser Farmers Market in Hawaii Kai, Hyatt Farmers Market in Waikiki and People’s Open Market in the Honolulu Stadium Park
Open every Saturday morning from 8 am to12 pm, the Pearlridge Farmers Market is located between Pali Momi Street and the Kamehameha Highway. Meander through the booths while listening to live music and sampling goodies like authentic Japanese mochi and exotic lemonades flavored with lilikoi, strawberry or blackberry. It’s a scrumptious way to introduce your taste buds to Hawaii.
The Haleiwa Farmers Market is situated in the North Shore of Waimea Valley, this market can be found just off Kamehameha on Thursday afternoons, from 2:00 to 6:00 pm. Fill a bag with fruits, trail mix and Hawaiian treats before you go scouting out the picturesque waterfall at Waimea Falls Park.
If you are searching for primarily produce-only markets, the Waialua People’s Market open on Wednesdays from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm and Saturdays from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm might be just the place for you. These vendors are also happy to offer food preparation advice and tips about how to pair drinks with native foods. This is an overall great cultural experience for newcomers traveling to Hawaii.
In Kailua there are two farmer’s markets each week, the Kailua Town Farmers Market at the Kailua Elementary School held on Sundays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and the Kailua Farmers Market on Kailua Road by the Whole Foods on Thursdays from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Here visitors can find everything from locally grown vegetables and taro root to lotions, honeys, candles and hand-carved wooden cutting boards and kitchen utensils.
In the Kaneohe area, you should stop by the Windward Mall Farmers Market located within the air conditioned comfort of the Windward Mall. Besides being one of the top farmer’s markets in Hawaii as recognized by local publications, this market, as it is totally enclosed within the mall, is a great place to shop for fresh fruits, vegetable and local arts and craft especially on rainy or hot days. Other good farmer’s market options outside Honolulu include the: Mililani Farmers Market, Makeke Kapolei farmers market, Mahiku Farmers Market in Ewa Beach, North Shore Country Market near Sunset Beach and the BYU Hawaii Farmers Market in Laie.
At Oahu’s farmers markets so much more than just food and crafts await. Travelers can meet local artists, listen to live music, see how traditional dishes are prepared as well as try fresh fruits and vegetables picked fresh from nearby farms. On your next trip to Hawaii’s main island, try one of the farmers markets on Oahu for a few hours of excitement, great shopping deals and fun.