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BUY LOCAL: 11 GO-TO FARMERS MARKETS ON OAHU

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KATHERINE GALLAGHER

AUG 15, 2019

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IMAGE VIA @FOODIESFEED | UNSPLASH

Living on an island has some pretty awesome advantages. Aside from being surrounded by beaches, Hawai'i’s tropical climate means fresh produce is never hard to find.

Thanks to Oahu’s dedicated farmers markets, you can stock up on some healthy groceries no matter what day of the week or month of the year. So grab your reusable tote, and hit the road —all you need for your next delicious meal is right around the corner.

By far the most popular farmers market on the island, this bi-weekly setup boasts a huge selection of local produce and food stands offering filling meals (make sure to try the grilled portobello mushroom burgers). Set up at the base of Diamond Head Park, and stop by before or after tackling the famous hike to the crater — a freshly-cracked coconut (do not try at home) is the perfect post-sweat refresher. The best part? You’ll also find Aloha Harvest here, a non-profit that donates leftover produce to the less fortunate in Hawai'i.

In a city where parking is always limited (and often frustrating), the convenient parking at the Honolulu Farmers Market is a welcome exception (just make sure you mention that you’re there for the market). You’ll find this market on the lawn outside the Blaisdell Concert Hall on the busy corners of Ward Ave. and King St. On Wednesday evenings, they open up the venue parking for market-goers. Grab some produce from local farmers, as well as Hawai'ian-grown teas and gourmet mochi treats. Come for the food, stay for the music!

If you’re looking for an early bite to eat in the Makiki area, this farmers market at St. Clement’s School is an ideal option. Take it from the dozens of neighborhood residents who flock to this market every Thursday evening— these vendors are not to be missed. While the market is made up of mostly food stands, featuring everything from traditional Hawai'ian food to savory crepes and watermelon iced tea, you can pick up your staple fruits and veggies here, too. A one-stop-shop where you can grab dinner for the family and load up on local, farm-fresh produce for the week? What’s not to love?

It's no surprise that Kailua is a haven for the health-conscious residents of Oahu— it’s where Hawai'i’s first Whole Foods opened up, after all. Ulu (Hawai'ian breadfruit), hummus, hormone-free beef, and even locally-grown catnip for your furry friends — there isn’t much you won’t find at this Thursday night market at the Kailua Town Center. Health nuts will go crazy for the Beet Burgers and handmade pickles. And if you’re looking to try something new (and possibly terrifying), the homemade salsas made with Kailua-grown ghost pepper won't disappoint.

The Mililani Farmers Market takes place every Sunday right in the middle of the island (in the Mililani High School parking lot C), making it a convenient stop on your way to the North Shore. Here, you can stock up on an incredible selection of Hawai'ian orchids, local honey, healthy snacks, vegetables, and fruits. Since the market is backed by the Hawaiian Farm Bureau, you can check out the weekly vendor lineup on their website to plan ahead before you swing by.

This market is on the smaller side, but the quality of produce can't be beat. The Mānoa Farmers Market is situated within the Mānoa Marketplace. This neighborhood is known for its waterfalls, botanical gardens, mountains, and overall Jurassic Park-like ambiance. So if you get through all the vendors quickly, there is plenty more to see around the area.

The Hale’iwa Farmers Market recently moved locations from the center of Hale’iwa to the beautiful Waimea Valley nearby. A major plus of this market is that it is mostly covered, a definite perk during those hot Hawai'ian days. The market is also right across the street from Waimea Bay, a local favorite beach, making it a great spot to relax after a day of exploring the botanical gardens and waterfalls in the area.

If you’re looking for people who are truly passionate about produce, this seasonal Saturday market is the place to go. You won’t find many crafts or food booths at the Waialua Farmers Co-op Market, as it is almost exclusively fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs. Fans of this market return every week for the low prices, friendly faces, and ample parking.

The North Shore Country Market is all about maintaining good relationships between the community and local farmers. So it only makes sense that you’ll find some great local artwork, as well as the usual fresh produce and baked goods. Stop by on Saturday mornings to grab a snack, shop for gifts, and bring some ingredients home for a healthy farm-to-table dinner. This market’s vendors set up right across from the famous Banzai Pipeline at Ehukai Beach Park, so don’t be surprised if you see the area flooded with surfers in the big wave winter months.

Set up at Kailua Elementary School, this Sunday market in the iconic beachy town of Kailua is not to be missed. Order one of the delicious breakfasts cooked by local chefs and made with Hawaiian ingredients, and enjoy your meal in the open-air seating areas. Before you leave, be sure to drop by the Hawai'ian Fresh Farms booth for some home-brewed kombucha, Hawai'ian honey, and sweet treats like mango lilikoi cheesecake made with local goat cheese.

If you find yourself in the Aiea area, stop by the Pearlridge Farmers Market on Saturdays for a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. Peruse the booths while you sip on a holistic smoothie made with fresh fruit, or snack on a cherry turmeric energy bar from the Green and Fit Mama booth. There’s really nothing better than supporting local businesses while stocking up on healthy products.

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