One of my favorite places to shop on Kauai is Warehouse 3540. The unassuming warehouse comes alive a few times a week, when it is filled with local farmers and merchants, food truck vendors, vibrant music, and is a gathering place for our community. The market is open on Fridays from 10-2, and is a fun way to spend “Aloha Friday.” It is also open Tuesday mornings for Keiki Story Time at 9:15 am, and the shops are open from 10 am – 2 pm Tuesday – Thursdays, and 11 am t0 2 pm Saturdays. The second Saturday of the month it opens up in the evening from 6-9 for live music, food, and shopping. You can find the events calendar here.
Food and Drinks
Picnic tables provide a nice spot to sit and enjoy your food outside at Warehouse 3540. There are also long tables inside the Warehouse if you prefer more shade.
Last Friday I had friends visiting from out of town, and I wanted to show them this local’s favorite spot. We stopped by at lunchtime and had a hard time making a decision on what to eat — everything looked sooo good! Food trucks on site include Roots in Culture, which is local comfort food. They have amazing crispy pork belly and fried brussels sprouts that are to die for! Here is a link to their Yelp reviews.
Kickshaws offers gourmet food at diner prices. They were recently mentioned in the LA Times as one of the top 3 places to eat in Kauai. The Awesome Burger is truly just that. The owner grinds his own meat and it is seasoned to perfection. I am a sucker for locally caught fresh fish, and they always have some kind of fish taco with an unexpectedly delightful sauce and slaw accompaniment. I stayed true to form and ordered a taco last Friday. You can read their reviews here.
Chipwrecked is new to the Warehouse 3540 line up and offers specialty nachos. They look and smell amazing, and are made with homemade chips. I will try them on my next visit. For dessert, The Fresh Shave is hands down the best shave ice on the island, in my humble opinion. There is nothing artificial here. The flavors and colors are straight from real food that grows here on Kauai, like mango and oranges. This is handcrafted organic shave ice that you will feel good about feeding to your children. The handlebar is my kids’ favorite — it is like a super fresh creamsicle. See what other people had to say here.
Aloha Juice is set up inside the market and has — you guessed it — fresh local fruit, smoothies, and my favorite – Hibiscus tea. And if you are in the mood for a well-crafted coffee or espresso beverage, you are in luck.
Dark Roost serves up a very fine cup of coffee. I love coffee and actually enjoy the taste of it. Maybe that is the Seattle native in me. But I don’t mask it with sugary syrups, and no judgment if that is your thing, but you can’t hide bad coffee in its simplest, purest form. Dark Roost makes the best coffee ever. Sorry Starbucks. But don’t take my word for it, even Cosmo Magazine says it is the “best coffee in Hawaii.”
If you are looking for something unique and handcrafted, you will be happy with the selection at Warehouse 3540. There is a wide variety of clothing, jewelry, art, essential oils, soaps and lotions, greeting cards and so much more. Each time I visit I discover more that I love and enjoy meeting the local artisans who own the shops. One of my favorites is WORKSHOP, which features the beautiful handcrafted work of Machine Machine.
Seamstress and owner Shannon Hiramoto started a line of dresses in 2007. “The handmade movement which machinemachine is proud to be a part of seeks to dress the world in happily and ethically made, non-sweatshop, human-centered manufacturing processes.” What is awesome about her dresses are that no two are alike. She is also expanding her business to include small-craft advisory workshops, which allow community members to try their hand at handcrafted goods in a workshop, hosted at Warehouse 3540.
Original Apparel by Machine Machine, available at Warehouse 3540.
Other small businesses that anchor the retail shops are not limited to, but include:
- Ivy & Co. – My favorite is their line of clothing featuring the slogan “happy girls are the prettiest.”
- Salt + Sea – Featuring a curated collection of undiscovered island originals as well as the hottest trends of beachwear and accessories to complete your beachy-boho style.
- JANE – Offering a thoughtful selection of beautiful gifts, fine stationery, and unique home accents to inspire your home and lifestyle.
- Lily Koi – The Lily Koi lifestyle is about taking the little things in life and putting them together to make something fabulous! Pearls, leather, crystals, jade, agate.
- Live Hawaii Gallery – Featuring artwork by Mical Kit Owen (owner), Iho Hose, Lyon Hamilton, Garret Kojima, Ronald Lhamon, & Tyme Ventura.
This place is truly worth visiting. I feel fortunate to have it as a community gathering space. Be sure to check out the live events happening on the 2nd Saturday of every month at Warehouse 3540. You can also follow them on facebook.
Go check it out for yourself!