For the best Hawaii fruit, stop at roadside stands and Kauai farmer’s markets to let their exotic flavors captivate you. You may also find fruit trees at our Kauai vacation rentals with ready to pick treats. Produce is an important part of Hawaiian history and culture that brings people together. While some fruits grow year-round, others are seasonal and dependent on Kauai weather.
This helpful guide is an excellent resource to tempt your taste buds. Be sure to stock up on all the fruit that you can for a healthy Kauai vacation. While some of these fruits are available on the mainland, those grown in Hawaii and eaten here are No Ka Oi (the best)! You can also find them available at Kauai grocery stores.
Hawaii Fruit Available Year-Round
Bananas – No tropical island is complete without these herbs. There are over 100 kinds in Hawaii and hundreds of variations. Some are large and creamy while others are small and tart sweet. You can add bananas to Anahola Granola, a favorite smoothie, or just peel and enjoy.
Avocados – Choose from hundreds of varieties in all shapes and colors. Some can even weigh up to five pounds each. After olives, these have the highest fat content of any fruit. Look for a buttery consistency and nutty flavor.
Breadfruits – This island staple provides a great deal of carbohydrates but many find the baked, boiled or fried fruit bland until seasoned. It is similar in some ways to potatoes. The National Tropical Botanical Garden near Spouting Horn has a Breadfruit Institute to teach our global community about the vital role this fruit has to food security and environmental sustainability.
Coconuts – Brought here by the Polynesians, they know no season and can be found at any time. Drinking “nuts” are large and green, and when shaken you can hear liquid inside. It takes skill to open one. Sometimes you’ll find vendors at Kauai beaches preparing them for visitors. Spoon meat is a custard-like gel on the inside of young nuts.
Papayas – While available all year-round, they are best from spring through September. As soon as yellow appears on a papaya, it is ready to pick. Unless used green in cooking, you want them soft before eating. Slice lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and drip lemon or lime juice for an unbeatable flavor.
Seasonal Favorites in Summer
Guavas – Abundant in the wild, they are considered a pest but taste great. Eat all you want of these small to medium sized round yellow or red fruits. A good source of vitamin C, they can be used in juice, jellies and desserts.
Lychees – Called nuts but really a small fruit with a thin red shell. Sweet and juicy with a white flesh. Peel the shell and pop in mouth but don’t forget there’s a seed.
Mangos – One of the most delicious fruits ever. They grow wild on trees up to 60 feet tall. Just peel off the thin layer of skin and slice around the large seed. It’s messy but so good to eat.
Passionfruits – Known by their island name of lilikoi, they make excellent juice and pies. This small yellow or purple fruit grows on vines. Slice in half and scoop out the seedy pulp with your tongue. You can also run the pulp through a strainer to save the juice for later use.
Hawaii Pineapple – If you find a good one, you can take it home to the mainland and enjoy later. It will clear agricultural inspection. Here’s a tip. Near Poipu you will find a pineapple farm where you can buy these fresh. It’s at 3210 Lauaho Road in Lawai near Waha Road. There is a pineapple stand out front. If you are looking for sugarloaf pineapple, get to the larger farmer’s markets when they open for your best chance of getting one. They can sell out within the first ten minutes or so.
Melons – Some of the best watermelon is grown in Hawaii. Look for the local label in stores or at markets. Other Hawaii grown melons include honeydew and cantaloupes.
If you find yourself at Kokee State Park in summer, you may find wild blackberries on paths and along the road. Even more seasonal and hard to predict are Methley Plums and mountain apples.
Fall and Winter Season Tropical Fruit
Star Fruits – Slice these across the smaller side and you’ll see the star shape. Best when bright yellow and with minimal bruising. These are somewhat citrus like in flavor.
Rambutans – These leathery skinned fruits with pliable spines may seem odd at first. Whatever you do, don’t bite into them. Score with a knife around the circumference and remove the top half or use your fingernail to open. Hold the other half and squeeze the fruit in mouth.
Longans – Juicy fruit with a sweet flavor and a single seed. These are grape like from the Lychee family.
If you have a favorite on our list or a Hawaii fruit to add, we invite you to comment below.