The year-round growing season and diverse culture of Oahu means those of us who are fortunate enough to live here can enjoy fresh produce and locally-inspired culinary creations any day of the week. And our Windward markets are the perfect place to do some grocery shopping and keep your kitchen clean for an evening!
Below is a sampling of Windward markets with a huge variety of local produce, delectable prepared food, and handmade goods.
Kailua Farmers’ Market
Thursdays 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
609 Kailua Road
Kailua Town Center
If your family is one of those that can never decide where to go for dinner because everyone wants something different, the Kailua Farmers’ Market is an excellent Thursday night meal alternative! And you can pick up some fresh produce and homemade goodies while you’re at it.
For meals, choose from Turkish fare, burgers made of grass-fed beef, Thai and many more vendors. The food lines can be long: stop by Pacifikool for a drink made with their signature Hawaiian ginger syrup, fruit and herbs to sip while you wait. Customers can stand at a few cocktail tables, and there area a few sitting tables for Pig and the Lady customers only. If you want to ensure you can sit and eat, bring a mat or blanket from home.
For produce shopping, HS Farm sells a variety of vegetables, cucumber, papaya, pineapple and melon and Otsuji Farm of Hawaii Kai brings lettuces, green onion, cilantro and papaya soft serve ice cream that is to die for! There are several other farm vendors to choose from as well.
The Kailua Farmers’ Market is run by the Hawai’i Farm Bureau, whose mission it is to protect, advocate and advance the social, economic and educational interest of the state’s diverse agricultural community.
Kailua Town Farmers Market
Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
315 Kuulei Road
Kailua elementary school
The Kailua Town Farmers Market offers an exceptional variety of food and locally- made goods. On a recent sunny Sunday morning, the venue was bustling with families, tourists and fitness buffs enjoying a post-workout snack.
Vendor Nadia Fairlamb Art sells wood framed mirrors. Fairlamb, who works out of her studio in Waimanalo, specializes in wood sculpture using a jigsaw and select woodworking tools. On a recent visit, she showcased wood framed mirrors, some natural wood colored and some painted ombre blue to resemble the colors of our local beaches. Many featured wave patterns.
Stroll down the aisles and grab a coffee from Nic’s Island Cafe. Nic’s menu includes cups of hot or iced Kona coffee, traditional hot and cold lattes, a smattering of chai varieties, milks, hot chocolate and Bullet Coffee. Bullet Coffee is favored by those who follow a high-fat, low-carb diet and consisting of brewed coffee, grass-fed unsalted butter and coconut oil.
Breakfast and brunch choices abound. Arnaud Jager of Chef Arnaud LLC flips savory omelets and berry topped French toast.
Baker Dudes’ offers sweet and savory breads, stuffed croissants and other pastries. At the end of the day on a recent Sunday, they were offering three items for $10. I nabbed a sour dough, rosemary olive loaf, a fragrant coconut sweet bread and three large, soft snickerdoodle cookies to share with my boys.
There is always plenty of fresh produce, handmade jewelry and clothing and more food choices. There are tables for which you can sit down and eat, but they are often busy and full, so bring a picnic blanket and be prepared to sit on the grass or on the pavement outside of Kailua Elementary.
The Kailua Town farmers market is run by Farmlovers Farmers’ Markets, whose vision and mission is to “create a business incubator for small farmers, food manufacturers and artisans, by creating a supportive and nurturing environment, which will cultivate economic growth, community health, and cultural awareness.”
Kailua Night Market
Third Friday of every month from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Public parking at Goodwill
41 Kihapai Street
This newer offering includes musicians, about 40-50 vendors such as clothing, handmade jewelry, local food trucks, and even pet adoption. The Night Market is located inside a renovated warehouse called the “Secret Zone” and outside behind the Olive Boutique and Calhau Building.
Kailua Night Market stands out for its local entertainment. A light show is projected on the walls inside the Secret Zone, and on any given night you might see a fashion show, aerial performers, yoga practitioners or belly dancers.
This independent market’s mission is to create “diverse cultural and food offerings and welcome visitors to the Kailua District.”
The Farmers Market at Windward Mall by Nalo Farms
Wednesdays 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays 9:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.
46-056 Kamehameha Hwy
Inside Windward Mall - center court, lower level
This market includes about 60 vendors peddling a diverse array of foods (both prepared and fresh) fish, local beef, artisan bread, local fruits and jams, prepared food, flowers, gourmet balsamic vinegar.
This market is the perfect place to go when you need to restock your refrigerator or get your staples. And, the indoor mall location means there is always plenty of parking and no rain!
So, it's time to go check out a Farmer's Market you have not tried before, or venture out and try a new product!