Nothing compares to biting into a fruit plucked off the tree, but as few hotels can boast of banana trees or coconut palms within reach, the next best option is to buy fruit fresh from a nearby farmers market. Kauai is known for its friendly people and spectacular landscapes, and at the island’s farmers markets, visitors can mingle with Hawaii residents and sample the land’s most delicious crops. Whether you are craving a papaya, mango or pineapple or want to enjoy a delectable hot-plate of kalua pig while listening to live music, you can get them at very reasonable prices at one of the many farmers markets on Kauai. Find out which location is closest to you, so you can savor Hawaii’s produce, foods and crafts to your heart’s content.
Hanalei Farmers Market: On Kauai’s north shore, the Hanalei Farmers Market is a must-visit for visitors in the area. Held on Saturday mornings at the soccer field beyond Hanalei town, the vendors sell items ranging from local fruits and veggies to dessert treats like chocolate-covered bananas and coconut chunks. Families can wander through the stalls, sip sweet spiced teas, sample smoked pork, drink fresh-squeezed juices or buy free-range chicken or quail eggs. With over 40 vendors, there are plenty of dishes to sample, baked goods to snack on as well as crafts to collect as souvenirs.
Waipa Farmers Market: Open every Tuesday afternoon at 2 pm, the Waipa Farmers Market is west of Hanalei and the Waipa bridges. The booths offer an abundance of organic produce, fresh vegetables, eggs, homemade granola, cookies, savory meats, herbs, flowers and other tropical plants. Leave with a Waipa Farmers Market produce bag or t-shirt to remember the occasion.
Kapa’a Farmers Market: Visitors to the Kapa’a Farmers Market are certain to find a wide variety of produce, including starfruit, dragon fruit, bok choy, avocado, ginger and even jackfruit. Though these unusual, prickly fruits might being on the smellier side, ask the vendor for a sample of jackfruit and you will be blown away by its sweetness. If you find yourself free on a Wednesday afternoon around Kapa’a, be sure to stop by this farmers market.
Coconut Marketplace Farmers Market: The Coconut Marketplace is an outdoor shopping area that holds a market on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Though this farmers market has a select number of vendors, the nearby shops, hula dancing and live music make this an enjoyable place to meander through.
Kukui Grove Farmers Market: Open every Monday afternoon, this market sells rare tropical fruits such as rambutan, lychee, eggfruit and chiku. There are between 30 to 40 vendors and visitors can purchase fares such as candied pineapples, dried fruits, mango pie and fresh coconut milk.
Kauai Culinary Market: A different flavor than simple overflowing tables of fruits and vegetables at community farmers markets, Kauai’s Culinary Market centers more on unique products. Here customers can purchase local honey, gourmet table salt, spices, jams, baked goods and kitchenware while witnessing live cooking demonstrations. This market would be an inspirational stop for homemakers everywhere.
Kauai Community Market: Like the Kauai Culinary Market, this community market of Kauai works in conjunction with Kauai County Farm Bureau to provide not only fresh produce, but hot meals on site. They also offer special events such as live concerts and cooking demonstrations.
Sunshine Markets of Kauai: These county-sponsored open-air markets provide only fruits, vegetables, flowers and plants grown by local farmers of the Kauai Grown organization. At the sound of a whistle, the booths open and tropical produce and plants begin selling like hot-cakes. These brief sunshine markets seldom last longer than a few hours, so be punctual. The markets and days of operations are as follow: Kalaheo Sunshine Farmers Market on Tuesdays, Hanapepe Sunshine Market on Thursdays, Kekaha Sunshine Market on Saturdays, Koloa Sunshine Market on Mondays, Vidinha Stadium Farmers Market on Fridays and Kilauea Farmers Market on Thursdays.
Whatever part of the Garden Isle you are visiting, prioritize stopping by one of the farmers markets on Kauai and delve into the deliciousness of foods made and produce grown here.