Aloha Juice Bar
Ching Young Village Shopping Center, Hanalei
No question, this shack-stand at Ching Young Village Shopping Center in Hanalei serves the best acai bowls on the island. Also in Aloha’s line-up: juices, smoothies, teas, small treats, nuts, and bars. And attached to the juice bar is a produce stand with fresh fruit to-go. Photo: Brave Heart
Banana Joe’s Fruit Stand
5-2719 Kuhio Hwy., Kilauea
On the road to Kauai’s North Shore, before Princeville and Hanalei, and just past the town of Kilauea, look for the yellow hut on the side of the mauka (mountain) side of Kuhio Highway (between mile marker 23 and 24 if you’re headed north). This old-fashioned fruit stand has been in business since 1986, specializing in exotic fruits like atemoya, rambutan, and starfruit, and classic tropical fruits like banana (several varieties), Kauai’s strawberry papaya, and mango. Get one of their entirely fruit frosties (pineapple, banana, or pineapple-banana mix—can’t go wrong on flavor) that they press through a Champion Juicer. Easily rivals most soft-serve. Photos: Peter Burka, e.t.
Da Poke Shack
76-6246 Alii Dr., Kailua-Kona
This tiny and long-standing Kailua-Kona joint offers endless poke varietals—sweet, spicy, shoyu, Hawaiian, mixed with avocado—all delicious, all incredibly fresh. which are all surpre hit all the high notes at this long-standing Kailua-Kona joint. The sides are also stand-out, including a traditional wakame seaweed salad, kimchee mussels, and a standard Hawaiian potato salad. It's a perfect lunch for a picnic at the beach.
2665 Wai Wai Place, Kihei
With a few locations, on multiple islands, Eskimo Candy is one of the best places in town for off-the-docks fish. They're famous for a hearty seafood chowder, but all the seafood on their menu is great, from battered fish- and shrimp-and-chips to fresh grilled shrimp tacos with coleslaw. The kitschy décor, like the pirate mannequin coming out of the bar tables or the shark swimming out of the counter, just add to the appeal.
345 Keawe St., Lahaina
Ok, so Foodland is really just a plain old regular grocery store, but locals told us that this is actually where you can get the best poke on the island—we recommend picking up an order of the fresh ahi for a quick pit-stop on your way to the beach. Bonus: There are locations all over the island, and many of them have space devoted to Beard Papas, which specializes in made-to-order cream puffs.
Green Flash Coffee & Cafe
75-6000 Ali'i Dr., Kailua-Kona
We love the fresh smoothies at this family-owned café near Kailua-Kona Village. They also serve breakfast, lunch, and have kombucha on tap (you can take a growler with you). Most importantly, their Kona coffee selection—sourced from local purveyors Buddha’s Cup and Daylight Mind—is not to be missed.
66-082 Kamehameha Hwy., Hale'iwa
For a healthier option than Matsumoto, head across the street to the tiny little grass shack Hale’iwa Bowls. The North shore is home to a lot of farmers, and the locals who run the stand source their apple bananas and other fruits and vegetables locally. Big bonus: They also serve kombucha on tap.
Hanalei Bread Company
5-5161 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei
This brand-new, open-air coffee shop café—from the same people as Bar Acuda—is one of those spots that's perpetually packed, though you can generally always snag a spot (they also do a lot of perfect pre-packed beach picnic fare). While it's not exclusively allergen-free, there are tons of options for the gluten- and dairy-averse, including really good almond milk lattes and delicious rolls and breads. Brunch-time is particularly prime (consider a stop on your way to hike the Napali coast), as they offer very kid-friendly crepes, as well as lots of egg dishes.
Hilo Farmers Market
Mamo St. & Kamehameha Ave., Hilo
There is no shortage of markets on the Big Island, but if you only have time for one, make it this farmers market in historic downtown Hilo, at the corner of Corner of Mamo Street and Kamehameha Avenue. The Hilo Farmers Market began in 1988 with four farmers who sold their harvest out of parked trucks. Today, it’s open daily year-round (but the main market days are Wednesday and Saturday), and more than 200 farmers and crafters come to sell a variety of produce, tropical flowers (orchids and anthuriums are the main draw), and giftable items like handmade jewelry and artisanal wooden bowls. Be sure to sample the in-season fruit, be it coconuts, strawberry guavas, white pineapples, or thimble berries. Other specialties include island jams, jellies, hot sauces, honey, macadamia nut butter, and (of course) Kona coffee. There are also a number of vendors serving breakfast and lunch, from breads and pastries to Thai and sushi.
Island Naturals Market & Deli
1221 Kilauea Avenue, Hilo
This local grocery has the most comprehensive selection of healthy eats on the island. It also conveniently has multiple locations: in Hilo and Pahoa on the east side of the island, and Kailua-Kona on the west, plus a kiosk at the University of Hawaii. The stores are a nice option if your hotel suite/Airbnb is equipped with a kitchen, and you’re looking to eat/entertain there for a meal or two. Each Island Naturals Market & Deli store sells an array of organic groceries (including many gluten-free and vegan-friendly products) from shelved goods like pastas and sauces, to fruits and veggies from nearby farms, line-caught fish, and grass-fed beef. You can also stock up on breakfast items and organic wine and beer here. If you’re not interested in doing any cooking, the deli has easy already-made meals, or you can order custom sandwiches, smoothies, and juices, or grab a treat and Kona coffee from the in-house bakery.
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