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The Farmers' Markets of East Hawai'i

 

East Hawai'i has several Farmers' Markets that offer opportunities to buy fresh Hawaiian produce, specialty food items, and tropical flowers. Some of the produce available year around include organic lettuce, tomatoes, Romano green beans, Japanese egg plant, purple sweet potatoes, many varieties of avocadoes, papayas, rambutan, white pineapple, and fresh Hawaiian ginger. Besides being an excellent place to buy produce, ready to eat food, and souvenirs the East Hawai'i Farmers' Markets present an interesting cultural experience for the entire family. Come for the produce but take time to meet the people who live in Hawai'i and soak up some of the Aloha.

 

Hilo – historic down town Hilo has a large market every Wednesday and Saturday with upwards of 100 vendors but has some vendors every day. It begins at 7-8am and goes until 3pm or so. Besides great deals on fresh produce you can also pick up unique snacks for a picnic. The Hilo market on Wednesdays and Saturdays includes a large section of artists and crafters where you can pick up gifts for family, friends, and your self.

 

Maku’uis our personal favorite and is open on Sunday’s from 8am – 2pm. It has produce, artists, flea market items, several food vendors, and live music. Be sure to check out the Hawaiian Rare Fruit Company for samples of some unusual fruit. This extremely popular market is close to the house. Drive out Maku’u Drive to highway 130 and turn left. After approximately a mile you will see the market on your left – follow the traffic into the lot and allow yourself to be guided to a place to park. It is most crowded at mid-morning.

 

Kea’au – located on the main drag is a small market that has a few vendors that sell produce, specialty foods, and ready to eat food most days of the week. The best day is Friday when the official market occurs but any day is good to pick up fresh produce or get lunch. Hours are approximately 7am–5pm.  

 

Pahoa – this market is currently closed.

 

Uncle Robert’s Awa Bar and Farmers Market in Kalapana - is the worst kept secret in lower Puna. The market is held every Wednesday night from 5-10 p.m. at the end of Kapoho-Kalapana Road and is more a festival than a market. It’s the only nighttime farmers market on the island and is also one of the busiest with vendors offering locally grown produce, baked goods, handmade jewelry, gifts, freshly cooked food, and great live music. This is the place to go in the hope that you will hear some great Hawaiian Slack Key guitar. As you approach the area drive slowly and watch out for people walking along the narrow road that leads to the market. You can park on the side of the road before you get to the market but it may be easier just to drive to the lava lot at the end of the road ($2) to park. Plan on eating dinner here while enjoying the live music. Bring a flashlight for the walk back to the car. There is a lesser version of the same market on Friday nights.

 

Stop by and say hi to Mal - he sets up at both the Maku'u and Hilo markets. Between my wife and I we have at least a dozen T-Shirts (only $15 each) plus a couple of his prints framed which you will see at our house. Ask him how he creates and prints his designs.

 

You can click on any of the pictures below to enlarge.

Hilo Farmers' Market right downtown - open Wednesdays and Saturdays

Hilo Farmers' Market - loads of ready to eat treats

Hilo Farmers' Market - many kinds of papayas available year around

Hilo Farmers' Market - best place to buy souvenirs for friends and family

Hilo Farmers' Market - many unusual items

Maku'u Farmers'\Flea market - drive out Maku'u to the main drag and turn left towards Pahoa - you can't miss it - Sunday 8am - 2pm

Kim Chee and pickled vegetables - I've been buying from this woman for years.

Maku'u Farmers'\Flea market

Kava, an acquired taste is supposed to cure whatever ails you

Maku'u Farmers'\Flea market - largest avocadoes

 

 

 

 

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