If you’re staying on Kauai and want to know about local farmers’ markets, you’ve come to the right place.
Although the island of Kauai is the smallest, both in size and in population, of the 4 “main” Hawaiian islands, it is still a place rich in variety and opportunity when it comes to local produce. No matter where on the island you’re staying, or what time of year you’re visiting, there is an inevitable wealth of options - so long as you know where to look.
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Unfortunately, according to the County of Kauai website, all of the island’s traditional “Sunshine” markets are closed due to COVID-19 until further notice. You can stay updated on their status by checking the site here or by calling the number listed at (808) 241-4946.
That being said, there are still some excellent options that, as of this writing, that are still ongoing and eager to see you.
Koloa, South Shore
Every Wednesday from 3:30 pm - 6 pm, The Shops At Kukui’ula host the Kauai Culinary Market. This is quite a varied display in terms of the produce; you’ll likely find not just fruit and flowers but coffee, cheeses, jams, and more. There is also live music, a wine and beer garden, and live (sometimes interactive) chef demonstrations starting at 5 pm - just in case you weren’t convinced already!
Hanalei, North Shore
Every Tuesday from 3 pm until dusk, the peaceful northern town of Hanalei hosts the Waipa Farmers’ Market. Waipa is an environmental foundation that promotes sustainability and describes itself as a “living learning center that teaches, shares, and inspires Hawaiian values.”
The market offers plenty of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. You’ll also find local crafts.
Some of the best produce on the island comes from rural neighborhoods along the famed Kuhio Highway that leads to Hanalei; so the visit is worth your while for that reason alone. However, they have recently been struggling after the massive landslide earlier this year, which destroyed property and cut off vital supply chains.
Thankfully, the highway is now reopened, so visitors can now rediscover the delicious and beautiful things Hanalei producers have to offer; and in doing so, it will also support hard-working communities that have been quite hard-hit.
Kilauea, North Shore
Just west of Hanalei, the Kilauea Farmers’ Market (or Namahana) is held at Anaina Hou Community Park on Saturdays.
Although relatively new, this is one of the larger markets you’ll find, and you’re bound to see many locals shopping here. In addition to the usual fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers, you’ll also find meats like beef and pork, with herbs and spices to go along with them.
Despite some ongoing restrictions, Kauai is still more than equipped with locations to buy local and buy fresh. Visiting these markets is about more than just the goods, too; it’s also a chance to encounter local culture, soak in the glorious sunshine, and turn what is often the very embodiment of mediocrity (grocery shopping) into an idyllic and memorable experience.