To market, to market, to buy….more papayas and anything else that looks plucked right off a tree. This was one of the best things about being back in Hawaii, and we didn’t let a day go by without eating some kind of tropical fruit that actually tasted like how it’s supposed to and not ripened in a warehouse. Kauai has farmers markets scattered all over the island but we chose the south shore locations as they were the nearest ones to get to. We enjoyed each of the 3 visited, but of course there has to be one that we just LOVED. If you’re lucky to find yourself at any of the following, remember to bring your own shopping bags, small bills, and someone with strong arms to carry the loot. And get there early!
Koloa Farmers Market: Mondays @ 12 noon
Held at Koloa Ball Park, and as I remember it, is a very busy market frequented by locals and visitors alike. That didn’t seem to be the case in November as the crowd looked half of what I expected. Mainly fresh produce, and oh the strawberry papayas! They were the best we had during our stay. Great prices and friendly vendors. The Man of The House (MoTH) tried his first soursop. It was a tad overripe. I think he’s gonna sit on the fence for that one.
Kauai Community Market: Saturdays @ 9:30am to 1pm
Website: http://www.kauaicommunitymarket.org – Held at the community college in Puhi. Beautiful selection of fresh produce, tropical flowers, prepared foods to go (I spied a vendor selling kimchi rice), and even a foodtruck or two depending on the weather. Definitely not one to miss for market lovers.
We especially liked the baked goods from Midnight Bear Breads (amaaazing macadamia nut cinnamon Rolls and olive ciabatta) and the goat cheese from Kunana Dairy (omigod the lilikoi is broke da mout’). The cheese vendor also gave us tastings of artichoke, pepperjack, chive, and herbed goat cheese. Her table had many other goodies too; so hard to choose!
Kauai Culinary Market: Wednesdays @ 3:30pm to 6pm
The Shops at Kukui’ula
Hands down our favorite market. Geared for visitors since it’s in the resort area of Poipu, but the gorgeous setting at The Shops at Kukui’ula is hard to beat especially when you can buy fresh produce and touristy things like Aloha shirts (we bought a Jungle Bird Tom Selleck Magnum PI Hawaiian Shirt for a friend) at the same time. Free tastings at Monkeypod Jams table (the mango jam is divine!), fresh pies from The Right Slice, prepared lasagne and soups to go, chef demos, and much more at this market.
And when you’re all tuckered out from shopping, get a cone at Lappert’s. The place is known for ice cream, but there’s a small selection of gelato flavors as well. We ♥ the chocolate and chile pepper gelato. MoTH gave it a big thumbs up.