Eating Local Starts at Maui’s Farmer’s Market, Honokowai Beach
The Farmers Market across from Honokowai Beach is among our favorite finds for wholesome, fresh, organic and locally-grown produce or homemade food that we can either takeout prepared or bring home to cook. The hours and location make it a convenient stop for travelers staying in the Lahaina area. The free samples including natural foods, smoothies, vegan and vegetarian dishes, and a variety of grocery products are unique and every bit worth the stop.
There is an indoor Farmer’s Market and an outdoor Farmer’s Market. The outdoor market is only open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7 -11 am. The indoor market is virtually the same, but with more variety and better hours…open 7 am – 7 pm, daily.
My first introduction to the market came from a local, who invited me to take an early morning walk along Lower Honopiilani Road from Kahana to Honokowai Beach. “Bring a shopping bag and we’ll make a stop at the Farmer’s Market,” she said. A good two miles of brisk walking and I was more than glad to see about a half-dozen shaded outdoor market stalls and tables lining one side of a narrow parking lot across the street from Honokowai Beach.
Pineapple was the first thing I saw and the first sample of something I tasted that had not been picked before it was ready and shipped miles away from where it was grown. Nothing like it and I eat pineapple all the time. It was helpful to get the merchant’s advice and tips for preparing some of things that were unfamiliar to me. It also helped that free samples of fresh produce, homemade baked goods, cheeses, salsas, sauces, jams and more were offered. I actually found enough delicious samples there to consider it breakfast. I also filled my shopping bag to the brim with a variety of locally-grown, organic fruits and vegetables, some familiar, some exotic, to enjoy quite a few delicious home-cooked meals. The prices seemed about right for the quality of the food, but I’ve heard squawking about the cost from others. Personally, I’d pay whatever for a couple ears of Kula corn, if I could get it on the mainland. From that day on, my morning walks were timed to the outdoor Farmer’s Market’s opening of 7 am.
It wasn’t until our next trip to Maui, that we discovered the Farmer’s Market indoors (and in the same location) has everything you can find outdoors, with as many free samples, plus a good bit more. Freshly made juices. Assorted cheeses, chips and homemade salsa and dips. Whole foods and specialty items. Fresh tropical flowers. They have a good-sized salad bar. And a bar for smoothies. There is a hot bar where we found bubbling pots of vegan chili, carrot ginger soup and an Asian-style dish that smelled delicious. We took home a small container of chili to add to our lunch and it was wonderful. From that time on, whenever we wanted to dine inexpensively and light, we were back at the Farmer’s Market for a little something. It usually was busy anytime we went. The return for more than one container of their out-of-this-world guacamole spurred more of our visits than our expanding waistbands should have indicated was advisable. But nothing we tasted there was less than fresh and good! In the end, we ate healthier overall and at less cost than if we had gone out to eat night after night.