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Jan 13, 2011 07:56 PM

best places to buy produce and seafood on Kauai?


I'll be staying in a condo near Poipu Beach and am wondering where we should go to get the best produce and seafood (doesn't have to be the same place). I've never been to Kauai, but my understanding is that there aren't a lot of grocery stores, especially in the Poipu area.

Is my best bet to load up at Costco when we first arrive? Is Papaya's Natural foods market good?


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  1. Papaya's has ok organic produce and a great selection of bulk items and Whole Foods-type items, but a better choice for produce is the local farmers' market, called Sunshine Markets here. There's one somewhere on the island nearly every day, and it's great fun. Go to the site:
    In addition to these official markets, there's one at Kukui Grove Shopping Center in Lihue on Mondays at 3.
    to find the schedule. Arrive ten to fifteen minutes before opening time to scout out the best stuff. You are not allowed to exchange money until the whistle blows, then prepare for a frenzy of activity. The markets have produce (and flowers) only--no meat or seafood or prepared foods--but you will get great local produce at fairly decent prices, and you know you are supporting local farmers, many of them pretty small. Much of what Costco has to offer is from the Mainland--boooo!
    Sorry I can't be of help with seafood near Poipu, but in Lihue, people like Fish Express, and the local supermarkets (especially Foodland in Wailua and Princeville) get a pretty decent selection.

    Kukui Cafe
    100 N Beretania St Ste 178-6, Honolulu, HI 96817

    Fish Express
    3-3343 Kuhio Hwy, Lihue, HI 96766

    2 Replies
    1. re: dimsummama

      Wonderful, thank you!

      Also, re: produce - I'm concerned about getting enough green vegetables like broccoli and kale (I know that sounds weird, but it's a medical thing). Are those things abundant at the farmers markets?

      1. re: icecreamgal

        Yes, I have found good broccoli there, and you will find several types of fantastic kale.

    2. icecreamgirl:

      You will be astounded by the variety of fresh green vegetables, exotic fruits and flowers at the farmers' markets. Every day 'cept Sunday somewhere on the island.

      For fish, the closest good place is the fish market in Old Koloa Town, then Fish Express in Lihu'e, then Kilauea Fish Market, then Hanalei Dolfin. I like these last two best. Actually, BigSave groceries also sometimes have good fish. Also watch for roadside stands for opelu, akule. Finally, I know you don't like Costco (me either) but they gets good local fish, too, especially ahi.

      There is a "health food" market in the new shopping center at Po'ipu. They are good, but quite expensive (e.g., $34 for an organic free-range chicken!).

      Fish Express
      3-3343 Kuhio Hwy, Lihue, HI 96766

      2 Replies
        1. re: icecreamgal

          icecreamgal: A'ole pilikia (You're welcome). Now is the season when more opakapaka are available, so if you like snapper, it's dakine. Also ask if anyone gets black ulua (Japanese: buta guchi)--tastes cross-between lobster and halibut, but much better than either. Aloha.

      1. The North side is so beautiful and if you have not been you are missing out. if you take a drive over there in go to Hanalei Dolphin Fish Market, excellent seafood and if you go on a Saturday check out the farmers market. Both will provide local freshness of the island.

        Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant
        5 5016 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI

        1. Costco is near the airport on the way down to Poipu and they great seafood, produce and I fill up the tank too since Kauai is expensive.
          Stayed a week at the Grand Hyatt, our suite had a refrig and I stocked up and I'm glad we did..(pineapples, Hinano beers, POG and vodka is delicious ; )
          Poke is the best at Foodland!
          Hanalei Dolphin fish market is great and local but its way up in North Shore, so if you buy fish, have them pack it in ice, since its a good hour, depending on traffic to Poipu.
          Kauai is a lovely island with so much Aloha spirit...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Beach Chick

            Kauai is a lovely island with so much Aloha spirit...
            so true. was only there once, about 10 years ago, but fell in love with the place. when they opened the short-lived outpost of Java Kai at Del Mar Plaza, i used to go in there for coffee hoping to soak up some of that wonderful Aloha spirit...wasn't quite the same ;)