Hanalei Center

Hanalei Center - Diverse Shopping Mall Housed in a Converted Schoolhouse
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

The Hanalei Center has served as a thriving business location in Hanalei since its first opening in 1989. A great array of restaurants and shops call this converted schoolhouse home, making it an ideal place to go for those who want to see a good slice of what the island of Kauai has to offer. 

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Located in the heart of Hanalei on the island of Kauai, the Hanalei Center is seen by many as the thriving business center of the village. You might think of this as their primary shopping center, only a shopping center that is done Hawaiian style.

While this part of the village is sometimes generally referred to as Hanalei Center, the actual Hanalei Center is a specific building in which multiple businesses are housed. This building was once a primary schoolhouse but when the school for the Hanalei area was built, a visionary opted to buy and convert the schoolhouse to house multiple businesses. That happened in 1989 and, initially, the converted schoolhouse stood alone as a central business shop along the main road. But over the years others saw benefits and more and more businesses were built nearby until this whole area became a thriving business district. 

Today, you will find all types of shops when you meander down the halls of this unique location. When you need to take a break from shopping, relax on the massive lawn in front of Hanalei Center that is equipped with picnic tables and partially shaded by palm trees. The Hanalei Center is a good place to go whenever you want to buy souvenirs, check out locally made souvenirs, or feast on local foods and drinks. 

A few businesses in the Hanalei Center we suggest all visiting include:

Harvest Market Hanalei
A family-owned and operated business, the Harvest Market Hanalei is the largest natural foods store on the island. They source many of their groceries from local farms and craftsmen and women, and they make a point to prioritize organic products. This means organic beer and wine as well as organic fruits and vegetables. You will also find refrigerated and frozen foods alongside household supplies, herbal products, and a nice array of general gift and souvenir items. 

Yellowfish Trading Company
Some people hate knick-knacks, trinkets, and vintage items. For those people, the Yellowfish Trading Company will hold no value. But if you love seeing unique items and enjoy spending time browsing vintage, rare, and antique pieces, then this is just the shop for you located in the Hanalei Center. 

Bar Acuda
Bar Acuda is an innovative restaurant that serves excellent food and cocktails. This place is best known for its menu full of small plates and personable service. The atmosphere is casual chic, but you probably won’t want to take children here. That’s because the menu gets rather pricey and most of the items are a bit more, complex. In other words, this is not your cheeseburger and fries type of dining spot. But do make sure you save room for dessert if you go. The Vanilla Ice Cream is particularly delicious. Think the freshest ice cream served with grilled pineapple and drizzled over with coconut caramel sauce.  

Black Coral Yoga & Movement 
Many cite the Black Coral Yoga & Movement business as the best yoga studio on the north shore. This studio at the Hanalei Center offers private, duet (two-person), and group sessions both on-site, and you can even request an in-home private session from one of the school’s highest qualified teachers. Likewise, visitors can choose just to go for one class or buy a packaged deal. This flexibility combined with a ton of different classes makes it so that everyone interested in yoga will find something just right for them at Black Coral Yoga & Movement. 

Insider Tip:
For the full experience of the Hanalei Center, go on mid-day on a weekend date. This is when not only the shops are at their busiest, but also when entertainers are often in the area, making the location even more lively. Of course, the opposite is also true. If you don’t like shopping amidst crowds, go during odd hours (before or after lunch hours) on a weekday.