An Oahu Farmers’ Markets Guide For Fresh Produce And Food

Oahu farmers' markets: Mililani farmers' market at Mililani High School.

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Hawaii is big on sourcing local so I’m lucky that there are so many farmers’ markets on Oahu. I frequent the ones near my home often and once in a while will visit the afternoon markets in different cities when I need a change of scenery. This guide to Oahu’s farmers’ markets will be updated as new ones are discovered, so check back once in a while for any updates.

Aloha with love,
Amy

About Oahu’s farmers’ markets

The farmers’ markets on Oahu fall under different organizations and management:

  • Hawaii Farm Bureau: Well-organized and large authority representing Hawaii’s agricultural community on Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island. These farmers’ markets are stable and any rules and regulations are well thought out and executed. Generally you’ll find produce and food goods at their markets.
  • FarmLovers: Also well-organized. In addition to small farmers and food manufacturers, they also aim to support artisans in order to grow that connection between small businesses and the community.
  • Individual farmers’ markets: Often managed by a shopping center or whoever the host of the location is. Can be a hit and miss since there isn’t a driving force behind the management of the farmers’ market. You’ll notice in the Oahu farmers’ markets list below that many of these individual farmers’ markets have shut down or have had bad reviews.
  • City and County of Honolulu: Runs the open markets (People’s open market). Slightly different atmosphere compared to an Oahu farmers’ market. Prices tend to hover at about 35% below retail and some places accept EBT tokens.

Local Tip: Always check the corresponding Oahu farmers’ market’s websites to check their hours and confirm any updates. For immediate notification, following them on their social media platform is best.

Hawaii Farm Bureau farmers’ markets

Oahu farmers’ markets run by the Hawaii Farm Bureau (check their schedules and updates before you go):

  • Honolulu farmers’ market: Located in downtown Honolulu with plenty of free parking available in the Neal Blaisdell parking structure (that doesn’t happen often!). The market is on the Ward Ave. side of the Concert Hall Lawn. Every Wednesday, 4pm – 7pm.
  • Kailua farmers’ market: Held in Kailua Town Center where there’s also plenty of free parking. Keep in mind that this is different from the KailuaTown farmers’ market organized by FarmLovers and the individually-run Lokahi farmers’ market. Every Thursday, 4pm – 7pm.
  • Kapiolani Community College (KCC) farmers’ market: Very popular among local residents and tourists as it’s close to Waikiki and right next to Diamond Head State Monument. One of the larger farmers’ markets on the island. Parking can get tricky so get here early. Every Saturday 7:30am – 11am.
  • Mililani farmers’ market: The one closest to my house at the Mililani High School parking lot and it’s where I go the most. It’s a smaller market, but managed very well. Even in the beginning of the pandemic they had a quick response time to sanitation and social-distancing procedures. Lots of free parking. Every Sunday, 8am – 11am.

Farmers’ markets by FarmLovers

Oahu farmers’ markets run by FarmLovers (check their schedules and updates before you go):

  • Haleiwa farmers’ market: Held in the lovely Waimea Valley, this market is covered and shaded (a plus for me!) and there’s a bustling excitement amongst the vendors and customers. Every Thursday, 2pm – 6pm.
  • KailuaTown farmers’ market: Different than the farmers’ market in Kailua organized by the Hawaii Farm Bureau, this one takes place in the Enchanted Lakes Center in front of the the Kailua Cinemas and has an open-air, country vibe. Every Sunday, 8am – 12pm.
  • Kakaako farmers’ market: Very large market with over 100 vendors and held at two locations (across the street from each other): 919 Ala Moana Blvd and 210 Ward Ave. You can park at 1050 Ala Moana Blvd (their old location) or Fisherman’s Wharf. Every Saturday, 8am – 12pm.
  • Pearlridge farmers’ market: Another Oahu farmers’ market that I’ve been to many times when I was still buying raw dog food for my dog. It’s on the smaller side and it gets hot fast, but there’s some shaded areas to sit and free entertainment (usually a man playing the guitar). Held in the Uptown Pearlridge parking lot off Moanalua Road (where Macy’s and the Uptown entrance to shuttle area). Every Saturday, 8am – 12pm.

Individual farmers’ markets

Oahu’s individually-run farmers’ markets are a grab bag of personalities, atmosphere and mission. Sometimes they’re very well organized while others quickly phase out without anyone noticing. I highly suggest you check their schedules and updates before you go because the individually-run farmers’ markets can suddenly change without notice. If you have a farmers’ market (must have a website) that you’d like to include on this list, just let me know!

  • Ala Moana farmers’ market: Closed.
  • Ka Makana Alii farmers’ market: A small farmers’ market that is a hit or miss. Held at Kapolei’s Ka Makana Alii, it can be worth checking out to see if they’re around if you happen to be at the Center. Every Wednesday, 3pm – 7pm. Every Sunday, 11am – 3pm.
  • Lokahi Kailua market: Founded by Michelle Horton of Kailua, this market on Uluniu St. is excellently run and under a covered lot so you aren’t burning from the hot sun. Foodies will want to try this one out since there are many unique things to eat here. The live music is a plus, too. Every Sunday, 9am – 1pm.
  • The Makiki farmers’ market at St. Clement’s: Shop for fresh produce and an evening meal in the parking lot of St. Clement’s. Every Thursday, 4:30pm – 7pm.
  • Manoa farmers’ market: On the smaller side, but you can find the vegetables you need if you’re in the area. Located in Manoa Marketplace parking lot. Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, 6am – 2pm. Thursdays and Sundays have more vendors.
  • Waianae farmers’ market: Great market that’s set up for the local community in West Oahu’s Waianae Mall. It’s not gigantic, but it’s a great place for ethnic produce and very local and cultural foods.
  • Waikiki farmers’ market: Closed.
  • Waikiki Specialty farmers’ market: Closed.
  • Waipahu Festival Marketplace: Unlike most farmers’ markets, this one takes place in a large building and is managed by the Waiphau Community Association. It reminds me of Downtown Honolulu’s Chinatown with all of the fresh produce, seafood and wide variety of Filipino and cultural foods. Open everyday.
  • Windward Mall farmers’ market: On the smaller side but managed by Hanawahine Farms, which is a huge plus since they have a vested interest in keeping it going. Located in the Windward Mall parking lot. Every Sunday, 9:45am – 2pm. Every Wednesday, 2pm – 6pm.
Amy with aquaponic zucchini.

Learn more about living in Hawaii!

    About Oahu’s open markets

    Oahu’s open markets are run by the City and County of Honolulu (check their schedules and updates before you go). There are currently 24 open markets on Oahu and each one runs only for about an hour (hour-and-a-half at the most) from as early as 6:30 am and running until 12:30 pm. You can find an open market on Oahu every day of the week, but they are closed on all city holidays.

    • Monday: Honolulu City
      • Manoa Valley District Park
      • Makiki District Park
      • Aina Moana (Magic Island)
      • City Hall
    • Tuesday: Leeward – central area
      • Waiau District Park
      • Waipahu District Park
      • Wahiawa District Park
      • Mililani District Park
    • Wednesday: Honolulu City
      • Palolo Valley District Park
      • Old Stadium Park
      • Kapiolani Park
    • Thursday: Windward area
      • Waimanalo Beach Park
      • Kailua District Park
      • Kaneohe District Park
    • Friday: Leeward area
      • Halawa District Park
      • Ewa Beach Community Park
      • Kapolei Hale
    • Saturday: Kalihi and Hawaii Kai area
      • Kamehameha Community Park
      • Kaumualii Street
      • Kalihi Valley District Park
      • Salt Lake Municipal Lot
      • Hawaii Kai Park-n-Ride
    • Sunday: Leeward area
      • Kapolei Community Park
      • Royal Kunia Park-n-Ride
      • Waikele Community Park

    What are open markets like?

    How are open markets different from Oahu farmers’ markets?

    Oahu’s open markets (often called people’s markets sometimes) is something I grew up with. I remember Mom waking me up in the mornings so she could take me to the Wahiawa open market once a week to carry her bags of vegetables, fresh shrimp and live crabs for her. It was the cheapest place for vegetables back then because the open markets were originally a place for farmers to sell their off-grade or surplus produce. Although these days, open markets more closely resemble farmers’ markets where first-grade produce is sold, albeit at a discount (usually 35% below retail).

    You can find a lot of ethnic and uncommon vegetables at the open markets, so I recommend taking a look if you’re looking for something in particular that your local grocery doesn’t have in stock. The coolest thing about the open markets that I remember was the loud airhorn that blew when it was time for shopping to begin. Mom would usually get to the open markets about 15 – 30 minutes before the start time and would visit every stall to compare vegetables and fruits vendor to vendor. Of course, everyone else was doing the same and lines began to form a few minutes before the airhorn was expected to blow.

    The airhorn blasts and there’s a mad rush as people hunt down their mental shopping lists . Money jumps from hand-to-hand and there’s a chatter of cultural murmurs as vendors recognize the regulars and shout out greetings. It’s certainly a different experience compared to your average farmers’ market; in fact, there’s a certain urgency with open markets that make them fun and challenging at the same time. If you’re an early riser, try to go to an early open market (the ones that begin before 7 AM) – it’s so much fun to see so many people rushing about to buy their groceries!

    These days, Oahu farmers’ markets often have a artisanal feel to them. They’re often the perfect place for small businesses to thrive as it gives them an outlet to showcase their creativity and speak directly to the community. They can share their mission and morals and will often find social media followers that will boost their popularity, which is essential here in Hawaii as most everything is word-of-mouth.

    Other Oahu markets

    • Aloha Home Market: A premiere pop-up market in Kailua that markets themselves as an artisan marketplace. There are some food stalls to staunch your hunger, but the highlights are the artisan shops that range from jewelry to home decor – all locally made in Hawaii.
    • Aloha Stadium Swap Meet: One of the more popular things to do on Oahu if you’re shopping for Hawaii souvenirs. The swap meet is huge and you can find souvenirs, snacks and food, but usually no produce. Every Wednesday and Saturday, 8am – 3pm. Every Sunday, 6:30am – 3pm.
    • Kailua night market: An evening pop-up market held in different locations in Kailua. You won’t find fresh produce here, but there is delicious food, entertainment, and local businesses that are integral to the community. Every 3rd Friday and 3rd Saturday.
    • North Shore Country Market: Located across of Pipeline (Ehukai Beach) at Sunset Elementary School. This is a small market that focuses more on local artisans and food. But they do have some fresh produce available, too. Every Saturday, 8am – 1pm.
    Amy with aquaponic zucchini.

    Learn more about living in Hawaii!

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