Hale‘iwa Farmers Market: One More Reason to Head to the North Shore Now
Left: Fish tacos from Hawaiian Fresh Farms. Right: Spicy Italian beef sausage sandwich from Link.
’Tis the season for North Shore wave riding and wave spectating. And if you’re in country on Thursdays, make sure to stop by the Hale‘iwa Farmers Market. Which is actually no longer in Hale‘iwa, but in Waimea Valley. The major upsides of the new location: beautiful scenery and booze.
The park makes a gorgeous backdrop for the market—all lush greenery, tree canopies and an almost guaranteed peacock sighting in the parking lot. Held during early dinner hours on Thursdays (3 to 7 p.m.), it makes a good post-beach stop for a quick dinner and drink. This is the only farmers market on O‘ahu to serve alcohol. Local beers, including Aloha Lager and Maui Bikini Blonde ale, are available for $5.
The actual market is held in the pavilion, which gives welcome cover from the sun and rain. If you’re looking for vegetables, Waialua’s Mohala Farms has an attractive selection of organic veggies and fruit, including kale, Swiss chard, limes and avocados. A handful of other vendors round out the produce selection with bananas, papayas and other seasonal fruit.
But the market mostly functions as something of a gourmet food court, with most booths selling made-to-order snacks and hot meals. Round tables with chairs are interspersed among the stands for those who want to sit with their food, or consider bringing a picnic blanket to sit on the adjacent lawn.
Choose between an array of stands for dinner, which span the range from Thai, pizza and poke bowls. If you’re familiar with island farmers markets, you’ll recognize a few of the vendors, including Hawaiian Fresh Farms, which serves grass-fed beef burgers and fish and chips. Try the fish tacos, made with crispy fried battered fish and mango salsa ($12).
Link, the new locally-made sausage project from Robert McGee, which sells packaged charcuterie and bacon, also makes hot food at this market, including a kombucha and scallion-steamed bratwurst ($11) and a spicy Italian beef link sandwich served with marinara and topped with grilled peppers, sweet onion and parmesan cheese ($11).
Thursdays, 3 to 7 p.m., Waimea Valley, 59-864 Kamehameha Hwy.