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Shop local at these 7 farmers markets in Hawai‘i

You’ll find plenty of fresh fruits, such as pineapples, at farmers markets throughout Hawai‘i. Photo courtesy Maui Visitors Bureau

There’s a farmers market happening somewhere in Hawai‘i just about every day, year-round. That’s no surprise, as there are many reasons to love them.

For starters, you’ll find a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, meats, and dairy. Produce might have been harvested just hours before, perhaps only a few miles away, instead of on the mainland or in another country. Supporting local farmers also boosts Hawai‘i’s economy and, with no middleman, prices are apt to be less than you’ll find at a grocery store.

Farmers markets often offer classes, activities, and entertainment, so make it a family outing. You’ll likely bump into old friends and make new ones. Here’s a look at 7 of the top farmers markets in Hawai‘i and suggestions for items to try.

Jump to markets on: Hawai‘i Island | Kaua‘i | Maui | O‘ahu 

Jump to: Farmers market tips

Hawai‘i Island

1. Kamuela Farmers Market, Kamuela

Customer's hand stamped "I love farmers markets"

It's clear where this Kamuela Farmers Market customer loves to shop. Photo by Sarah Anderson

Year founded: 2015

Open: 7:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Saturdays

Number of vendors: 55

Must try: Shirl’s shiitake mushrooms and fresh vegetables; 100% Kona coffee and roasted cacao from Makua Coffee Company; freeze-dried fruits from Wild Harvest Hawai‘i; Double D Ranch’s beef, pork, lamb, and goat; teas and beauty and healing products made from Star of Roses’ organic herbs.

Enjoy live music every week at the Kamuela Farmers Market. The market is held inside the historic Pukalani Stables and is adjacent to the Paniolo Heritage Center, which spotlights Hawai‘i’s ranching history through old photos, saddles, spurs, and other artifacts. Admission to the center is free.

You may also like: Renew mind, body, and soul at 3 flower farms in Hawai‘i

2. Kekela Farms Market, Waimea

Kekela Farms fresh vegetables for sale

A bounty of fresh vegetables are available at Kekela Farms’ twice-weekly market in Waimea. Photo courtesy Kekela Farms

Year founded: 2003

Open: 2–5 p.m. Tuesdays; 8 a.m.–noon Saturdays

Number of vendors: Primarily Kekela Farms, along with 3 or more outside vendors.

Must try: The 22-acre family-owned-and-operated farm grows more than 100 kinds of vegetables, including Romanesco, celeriac, and sunchoke. Among the varieties available year-round are baby romaine and rainbow chard. Summer favorites include radicchio, Chinese cabbage, and pattypan squash. They also sell shade-grown organic coffee beans from Hawaiian Cloud Forest Coffee, ali‘i mushrooms from Hamakua Mushrooms, and avocados from Nibecker Farms.

The Kekela Farms Market is held on the lanai of the farm’s barn, beside the fields where vegetables are grown and harvested. Owners Amit and Tammy Singh are often on hand to talk story and share recipes with customers.

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3. The Farmers Market at Hāmākua Harvest, near Honoka‘a

Vendor and shopper at a booth for Ukranian food

Shoppers can find prepared foods, in addition to fresh produce, at The Farmers Market at Hāmākua Harvest. Photo by Sarah Anderson

Year founded: 2015

Open: 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Sundays

Number of vendors: 17–30

Must try: ‘Ulu sourdough loaf from Ka‘ai & Soo-Ling Delights; Gelato Ono’s vegan coconut cream gelato; Magenta Hands’ beet and ginger kvass (a fermented drink); Kalopā Makai Farms’ pesticide-free and herbicide-free soaps; Hāmākua Agricultural Cooperative’s (small, family-operated farms) eggs, produce, and products such as co-op T-shirts.

Toddler reaching into a cardboard tray with food

Even tiny tots can enjoy a day out at The Farmers Market at Hāmākua Harvest. Photo by Sarah Anderson

The market is run by Hāmākua Harvest, a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to promote regenerative agricultural ventures in the Hāmākua Coast area. Additional draws might include live music; hula performances; and classes on yoga, beekeeping, canoe crops, composting, Hawaiian language, and playing the ‘ukulele.

You may also like: Can't-miss food experiences at 4 Hawai‘i hotels


4. Grove Farm Market, Līhu‘e

Woman holding up fresh carrots and raddishes

A vendor at Grove Farm Market in Līhu‘e. Photo by Beau Acoba/Grove Farm

Year founded: 2020

Open: 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m. (or while supplies last) Saturdays

Number of vendors: 40–50

Must try: Ginger beer from Aloha Ginger Beer; amaebi (sweet shrimp) from Kainoa Fishery; banana chips from farmer Preeda Panyamee; any kind of bread from Midnight Bear Breads; Paulie’s Pineapple Phrosty (akin to soft-serve) from Hole in the Mountain Farm.

Craft fairs are held in conjunction with the Grove Farm Market on the first Saturday of February, April, June, August, October, and December.

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5. Upcountry Farmers Market, Pukalani

Shoppers sorting through long beans

Shoppers select long beans at the Upcountry Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Maui Visitors Bureau

Year founded: Mid-1970s

Open: 7–11 a.m. Saturdays

Number of vendors: 100-plus

Must try: Maui Mountain coffee; vegetables from Honey Lynn; Jamie’s Fish (fresh ‘ahi, ono, and mahimahi fillets); Aunty Pi‘ilani’s kūlolo, haupia, and cooked taro; Maui Cones’ mochiko chicken cone, ‘ahi poke bowl, and laulau and panko-crusted fish plate lunches.

Stack of dragon fruit

Bright-pink dragon fruit is hard to miss at the Upcountry Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Maui Visitors Bureau

The Upcountry Farmers Market will celebrate its 13th anniversary under its current management at its current location, Kulamalu Town Center, on July 8. There will be live entertainment and prizes, and the first 100 shoppers will be given $13 in scrip per patron. Shoppers who are at least 65 years old receive $1 Senior Bucks at every market.

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6. Kaka‘ako Farmers Market, Honolulu

Assortment of fresh lychee, passion fruit, guava, and other fruit

Sugah Papi Farms' fresh fruit are top sellers at the Kaka‘ako Farmers Market in Honolulu. Photo by Melissa Chang

Year founded: 2011

Open: 8 a.m.–noon Saturdays

Number of vendors: 150

Must try: O‘Mao Man smoothies; Puchies shave ice; Sugah Papi Farms’ fresh fruit; tropical flowers from Hiraoka Farm; Paradise Paws dog treats made from local fish and meats.

In 2022, the Kaka‘ako Farmers Market was ranked 7th in the Best Farmers Market category for USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards. The market is set up on 2 sections of the makai (toward the ocean) side of Ala Moana Boulevard near Ward Avenue.

You may also like: 7 of O‘ahu’s best plate lunch spots

7. KualoaGrown Market, Kāne‘ohe

KualoaGrown fields

An aerial view of KualoaGrown’s verdant fields in Windward O‘ahu. Photo courtesy KualoaGrown

Year founded: 2021

Open: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Thursdays–Sundays

Number of vendors: About 20, the primary one being KualoaGrown—the agricultural arm of Kualoa Ranch, a 4,000-acre private nature reserve that’s also a working cattle ranch and popular visitor attraction and filming location.

Must try: KualoaGrown beef, pork, shrimp, and oysters; seasonal fruits, such as rambutan, mangosteen, dragon fruit, and star apple; seasonal preserves including cacao jelly, star fruit jam, and mountain apple chutney; beef jerky; ‘ulu (breadfruit) chips and ‘uala (sweet potato) chips.

KualoaGrown Lettuce

Fresh lettuce at KualoaGrown Market. Photo courtesy KualoaGrown

KualoaGrown grows 60 kinds of fruits and vegetables and about 20 varieties of tropical flowers. Unlike most farmers markets, which are outdoors, this market is indoors in Kualoa Ranch’s spacious, air-conditioned Ranch House.

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How to maximize your farmers market experience

Maui resident Dania Novack is a farmers market regular. She’s also publisher of Edible Hawaiian Islands, a quarterly print and digital magazine that focuses on delicious, nutritious food and the people who produce it.

“We all need to eat, and getting food directly from sources—farmers, ranchers, and fishermen—is the best way,” Novack says.

“When I travel, the first thing I do is look for farmers markets because I know they’re going to have plenty of excellent choices and I’m going to discover or learn something new—maybe both. Food not only nourishes people, it connects and inspires them. Seeing what’s available at farmers markets, listening to shoppers and observing what they’re buying reveals a lot about a community.” 

Be aware that some so-called farmers markets have just as many crafters, and there are some vendors who may repackage produce from big-box retailers like Costco and pass them off as locally grown.

The statewide Farm Guide that appears in Edible Hawaiian Islands includes about 40 “true” farmers markets—so-called, according to Novack, because all the food they sell is Hawai‘i grown. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the guide.

Here’s how to make the most of your farmers market experience:

  • Wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Bring a hat and jacket in case of rain.
  • Bring bags, baskets, or a cart with wheels to carry your purchases. Keep a cooler in your car for items that must be chilled.
  • Go early to get the best selection. Go late to take advantage of possible discounts.
  • Allow ample time for browsing. Scope out the entire market first to see all the offerings and compare prices before buying.
  • Bring cash, as most vendors accept cash only. For quick and easy transactions, be sure you have small denominations (nothing larger than a $10 bill).
  • Talk story with farmers. Ask about growing techniques, the health benefits of their crops, and their favorite ways to prepare them. Strike up a conversation with the person standing in line next to you. Enjoy the camaraderie!

Self-described “city girl” Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi loves getting a taste of the country at Hawai‘i’s farmers markets.

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