Best Grocery Stores on the Kohala Coast: Shop Where the Locals Shop

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Produce Section Foodland Waimea Grocery Store

The Kohala Coast is one of the best places for a Big Island vacation. It offers stunning beaches, luxury resorts, and a variety of recreational activities. However, one thing that both locals and visitors quickly notice is the high cost of living, particularly when it comes to food prices. This can make dining out an expensive option for families and travelers. Fortunately, there is a way to enjoy the best of the Kohala Coast without breaking the bank: by shopping at local grocery stores and cooking your own meals.

Staying in vacation rentals with full kitchens can be a great way to save money. Not only do you have the convenience of preparing your own meals, but you also get to experience shopping where the locals shop. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the best grocery stores on the Kohala Coast that will help you stock up on everything you need for your stay.

KTA Waikoloa Village

Located in Waikoloa Village, KTA Super Stores is a well-known chain in Hawaii that has been serving the community since 1916. KTA Waikoloa Village is a favorite among locals for its wide selection of groceries, fresh produce, and friendly service. The store prides itself on offering a variety of local products, which gives visitors a taste of authentic Hawaiian flavors.

Local Produce: KTA Waikoloa Village offers a great selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, many of which are sourced from local farms. This is a fantastic way to enjoy the unique flavors of Hawaii while supporting local agriculture. They have a good organic section with local greens and vegetables and plenty of local fruits like papaya, pineapples, dragon fruit, and apple bananas, to name a few.
Seafood: Given its proximity to the ocean, it’s no surprise that KTA has a wonderful seafood section. Here, you can find everything from fresh ahi tuna to local favorites like poke. For local white fish, try ono or marlin, which are firm-fleshed fish great for grilling, or mahi-mahi, a tender soft-fleshed fish that you can bake or pan fry.
Prepared Foods: If you’re looking for a quick meal or something ready-to-eat, KTA’s deli section offers a variety of prepared foods, including sushi, bento boxes, and Hawaiian plate lunches.

KTA is also known for its friendly and helpful staff, making it a pleasant shopping experience for both locals and visitors.

The prices are much lower than in the stores located within the resorts, so you will definitely find some savings there.

Foodland Farms Mauna Lani

Foodland Farms Mauna Lani, located in the Shops at Mauna Lani, is part of the Foodland chain, which is another well-loved supermarket brand in Hawaii. Foodland Farms is known for its high-quality products and excellent customer service.

Gourmet Groceries: This store offers a wide range of gourmet groceries, including organic produce, specialty items, and a fantastic selection of wines and cheeses. It’s a great place to find unique ingredients and high-quality products. The wine and cold-cut meats section will surprise you. They also have many hard-to-find in Hawaii imported products and a small, but well-stocked vegan food section.
Local Products: Foodland Farms Mauna Lani also places a strong emphasis on local products. From freshly baked Hawaiian sweet bread to locally made jams and sauces, you can find a variety of items that are distinctly Hawaiian.
Prepared Foods and Poke Bar: One of the standout features of Foodland Farms is its poke bar, where you can find an array of fresh, delicious poke made daily. The prepared foods section also offers a variety of ready-to-eat meals, making it easy to pick up a quick lunch or dinner.

Shopping at Foodland Farms Mauna Lani is a delightful experience, with a focus on quality and local flavors. Be sure to enroll in their customer loyalty program for additional discounts.

Foodland Farms Waimea

Located in the charming town of Waimea, Foodland Farms Waimea is another excellent option for grocery shopping on the Kohala Coast. Like its sister store in Mauna Lani, this location offers a great selection of high-quality products and local goods, and it is a larger store with a more extensive selection.

Fresh Produce and Local Products: Foodland Farms Waimea boasts a robust selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, many of which are sourced from local farms in the area. The store also carries a variety of local products, including honey, coffee, and snacks.
Deli and Bakery: The deli and bakery sections are not to be missed. You can find freshly baked bread, pastries, and a variety of deli meats and cheeses. The store also offers a range of ready-to-eat meals, snacks, and an olive bar for antipasto lovers!
Community Focus: Foodland Farms Waimea has a strong connection to the local community, often hosting events and supporting local initiatives. Shopping here gives you a sense of the close-knit community spirit that defines Waimea.

The combination of high-quality products and a welcoming atmosphere makes Foodland Farms Waimea a top choice for grocery shopping.

Costco Kona

Though not quite in Kohala, Costco Kona is an excellent option for visitors looking to stock up on groceries and household essentials. Located just a short drive from the Kona International Airport, Costco is a convenient first stop for families and travelers who want to buy in bulk and save money.

Bulk Buying: Costco is known for its bulk items, which can be a great way to save money, especially for families or groups staying in vacation rentals. You can find everything from non-perishable goods to fresh produce and meats.
Seafood: Costco always has fresh, local seafood, such as Ahi, ono, marlin, or mahi-mahi. The selection depends on the season and availability, of course, but you can always find something to throw on a grill.
Local Products: You can find many local products at Costco, from produce to chocolates. This is a great place to buy gifts in bulk, such as macadamia nuts in chocolate and other Hawaiian-made sweets.
Gas: Costco has the cheapest gas on the island, so you can fill up your car while there.

Costco Kona is a great place to start your grocery shopping, especially if you’re planning an extended stay on the island. The savings on bulk items can make a significant difference in your food budget.

Island Gourmet Markets

Located in the Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort, Island Gourmet Markets offers a unique shopping experience that combines the convenience of a grocery store with the charm of a local market. This store is particularly popular among tourists and residents in the resort area.

Convenient Location: Island Gourmet Markets is conveniently located in a popular shopping area, making it easy to combine your grocery shopping with a day of exploring the shops and restaurants in Waikoloa Beach Resort.
Wide Selection: The store offers a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meats, seafood, and a variety of local goods. It also offers a great selection of wines, beers, and spirits.
Deli and Hot Foods: Island Gourmet Markets features a deli with various sandwiches, salads, and other prepared foods. The hot foods section offers a rotating menu of delicious, ready-to-eat meals, perfect for a quick lunch or dinner.

Though quite expensive, Island Gourmet Markets provides a convenient and enjoyable shopping experience, making it a great option for picking up groceries and specialty items.

Tips for Shopping and Saving on the Kohala Coast

Shopping for groceries on the Kohala Coast can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially if you know where to go. Here are some additional tips to help you save money and make the most of your grocery shopping:

Start at Costco

When you first arrive on the Big Island, consider making Costco Kona your first stop. It’s conveniently located near the airport, making it easy to stock up on essentials right away. Buying in bulk can save you a lot of money, especially on items like snacks, beverages, and non-perishable goods.

Explore Local Farmer’s Markets

In addition to the grocery stores mentioned above, don’t miss the opportunity to visit local farmer’s markets. These markets offer an excellent selection of fresh, locally grown produce, handmade goods, and unique food items. Some popular farmer’s markets on the Kohala Coast include the Waimea Town and Hawi Farmers Market.

Take Advantage of Store Memberships and Discounts

Many grocery stores in Hawaii offer membership programs and discounts that can help you save money. For example, Foodland offers a Maika’i Card, which provides discounts on various products. Be sure to ask about any available savings programs when you shop.

Plan Your Meals

Planning your meals in advance can help you avoid unnecessary purchases and reduce food waste. Make a shopping list based on your meal plan and stick to it. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you have everything you need for your stay.

Enjoy Local Flavors

Hawaii is known for its unique and delicious cuisine, so take the opportunity to try some local specialties. From fresh poke to tropical fruits, there are plenty of tasty treats to discover. Shopping at local grocery stores allows you to experiment with new ingredients and flavors you might not find back home.

Shopping for groceries on the Kohala Coast is not only a practical way to save money, but it also provides a wonderful opportunity to experience Hawaii’s local culture and flavors. Whether you pick up fresh produce at KTA Waikoloa Village, explore the gourmet offerings at Foodland Farms Mauna Lani, or stock up on bulk items at Costco Kona, you’ll find everything you need to enjoy delicious meals during your stay.

By staying in vacation rentals with full kitchens and shopping at local stores, you can enjoy the best of the Kohala Coast while keeping your food budget in check. So grab your shopping list, head to these fantastic grocery stores, and start cooking up some Hawaiian-inspired dishes. Happy shopping and aloha!


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