May 7, 2019
If you haven’t checked out PART 1 of my Maui Tips and Recommendations blog, you can hop over HERE to check that out!
Now let’s talk about FOOD!!! We ate so many delicious meals and had so so many amazing food experiences on Maui. I’m so excited to share them with you! Let’s just jump right in!!!
Consider splurging one evening to do a food EXPERIENCE of some sort.
The first time we visited Maui, we splurged on a dinner at Mama’s Fish House, which came highly recommended by pretty much everyone in the world. It’s a famous, popular spot for celebrities and normal people like us too :)
This trip, we decided to try something new, so we booked an unforgettable experience at Maui Chef’s Table. Delicious food, great conversation with our table-mates, super interesting interactive/educational experience… worth every penny! We highly recommend splurging on this experience, if you get the chance!
We also did a sunset whale watching dinner cruise with Pacific Whale Foundation on our last night because we still had some money left in our food budget, so why not? We wanted to go out with a bang, so at the last minute we booked it and we’re happy we did! We got to eat yummy food, watch the gorgeous sunset from the ocean, we also got great views of the island (stunning!), and we got to see more whales. Win Win!
*Quick tip: If you decide to do the cruise, we recommend going with the earlier cruise departure time instead of the later time. I believe our options were 5:30pm or 6pm departure and we chose 6pm. Next time, I’d go with 5:30pm because the sun set just 45 minutes after we left, so we had a little over an hour out on the water in the dark, which was cool but I would’ve preferred to have more time during daylight than at nighttime. Also, the food was good, but not mind blowing. Even still, we did the cruise for the experience, not just for the food. Everything combined together still made it worth it to us. Plus, you get unlimited free drinks! So, that’s a plus! ;-)
First of all, shave ice is a must when you’re in Hawaii, so make sure you plan time to get some at least once (or 5 times). We loved Ululani’s and ate only their shave ice simply because they are the highest rated shave ice place on the island… and I can see why! When you go, we recommend ordering a medium size per person (you’re not going to want to share this!), getting macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom is a MUST, pick your favorite flavors, then get it snow capped (a drizzle of a sweetened condensed milk mixture), with toasted coconut sprinkled on top. YUMMMMM!!!!!
Food Trucks by the airport.
We visited this cool food truck park right by Kahului airport (and Costco) and got the Thai panang curry from the Thai Mee Up food truck and it was AMAZING! If you like Thai food, this is a must!
PERIOD. END OF STORY. Our favorite favorite favorite place to eat on the island is Paia Fish Market! We LOVE this place!!! We have eaten there about 4 or 5 times now over the course of our 2 trips and every single thing we’ve ever ordered has been spectacular. There is a reason why the line is always out the door (don’t let that scare you! It’s worth it, I promise!) We would eat there for lunch and dinner every day if we weren’t such believers in trying as many different local food/restaurants as possible.
Will’s favorite is the grilled fish burger and my favorite is the grilled fish tacos with cole slaw (I order it without the cheese, lettuce, and tomato, add extra cole slaw on the top of the tacos. YUM!) It’s seriously so so good, you guys! (If you didn’t know, I am a huge fish taco girl as of the past 2 years. It’s probably one of my favorite foods! Pretty crazy considering I used to hate seafood until 2 years ago!)
This place gets a big thumbs up from us! Will loves Maui Brewing Company’s beer, but we can’t get it in Alabama, so he has basically been dreaming of this beer since he first had it 2 years ago. When we saw that Maui Brewing Company did brewery tours, we signed right up! We got there early and grabbed lunch on the lanai on the most beautiful afternoon. Ya’ll. Not only was the beer great, but the food was really really good too!!! Will ordered the fish and chips (YUM!!!) and I ordered — you guessed it — the fish tacos. YUUUUMMMMM!!!! So so SO good!!!! We will definitely be back again next time we visit! We highly recommend this place for it’s atmosphere, drinks, and food!
The brewery tour was really cool too! It’s wasn’t super long or too elaborate as far as visuals go, but it was informative, the tour guide was super cool and fun to chat with, and you get to taste 4 of their flagship beers at the end. Overall, we weren’t blown away by this tour, but I’d recommend doing the tour if you’re into craft beer and you have a little bit of extra time to kill! But be sure to make an afternoon if it and get lunch or dinner while you’re there!
Oh my goodness you guys!! We loved this place! If you’re on the West side of the island, you MUST check out Star Noodle! It came highly recommended not only online, but also by several tourists we encountered on our trip. And let me tell you, it lived up to all of the hype! SO SO GOOD! Now, we like Asian food, so if you’re not a fan, you may not like this place. And if that’s you, then I feel so bad for you! This food is so good! We ordered the Hapa Ramen, which I think is one of the most popular dishes there (and I can see why!). It was incredible! But the dish I ordered was even better! It isn’t always on the menu, and it wasn’t when we went, but I had seen a particular dish on their instagram that I really wanted to try, so I asked the bar tender if they had the Khao Soi. He said that they don’t always have it because it’s a special dish that an old Thai lady comes in and makes only every so often. He said he thought that they might have enough left over to make me a bowl. Thank God they did because OH MY GOODNESS it was DELISH! One of our favorite things we ate on this trip!
I know, I know. Luaus are cheesy and super touristy and over rated. And to be honest, I might agree with that a little bit. However, I think I would still recommend it if for no other reason than to say you’ve experienced a luau! Per the reviews, the Old Lahaina Luau was the best on the island, so we decided to do it! Overall, I would say that if you’re doing it just for the food, you might be disappointed. But we didn’t do it just for the food… we did it for the experience. That’s what we’re all about when we vacation. So because the experience was a really cool one, we recommend doing it! While the food wasn’t anything spectacular, you do get unlimited drinks and a really cool show and, not to mention, a b-e-a-utiful sunset! I really enjoyed the hula dancing and the atmosphere. We enjoyed the overall experience, so we would recommend this specific luau if you are ok with a little splurge, just decent food, and you have the extra time :)D
Create a food list in advance
This is something that I’ve never done before until this trip and now I think I might always want to do it when we vacation! I knew that we would be driving all around the island and that depending on when we got hungry and where we were, we might end up wasting alot of time googling different restaurants close to where we were at the moment and trying to find places with good reviews. I know from experience that this often happens to us! SO, what I did this trip was I researched different highly rated restaurants in all areas of the island in advance. I created a list based on region and then tried to give us a few options in each part of the island. That way, we would never be scrambling to figure out where we should eat at the last minute. It actually worked out really well for us!
Here is the list I created (it’s nothing fancy, but it got the job done!). We only got to try a very very small fraction of this list, but I’ll note with an * the places we tried and whether we recommend it or not:
ROAD TO HANA:
Coconut glens (Ice Cream) — *Not mind blowing, but it was pretty good, so I’ll still recommend it… especially because it was a dairy-free ice cream option, which I appreciated
Braddah hut (ribs; in Hana) — *Not our favorite
The Pint and Cork
Monkey Pod Kitchen
PAIA (AND SURROUNDING AREA):
Paia Fish Market (They have multiple locations) — *1000% HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
Ululani’s — *Highly recommended!
Paia bowls (açaí bowls) — *Recommended
Island fresh cafe
Tin Roof Maui (mochiko chicken bowl is highly rated)
Da Kitchen (highly rated) *We tried this place and actually didn’t like it at all:(
Mo Ono Hawaii (açaí bowls)
Coconuts Fish Cafe
Kihei Caffe (voted best breakfast)
South Shore Tiki Lounge
Fork and Salad
Paia Fish Market — *HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
Brekkie Bowls (açaí bowls)
Ululani’s — *Highly recommended… though we’d recommend going to a different location because we waited in line for about 45 minutes mostly in the hot sun. We liked the Paia location the best because it was indoors!
Sam Satos Noodles
T Komoda Store and Bakery
Leilanis on the Beach
The Hula Grill
Aloha Mixed Plate
Leodas Kitchen and Pie Shop (on the way to Lahaina near mile Marker 14)
808 Grindz Cafe (breakfast and lunch)
Paia Fish Market — *HIGHLY Recommended!
Down the Hatch (long happy hour, artist showcases, etc)F
Star noodle — *Highly Recommended!!!!
Kimos — *Recommended!
The Lahaina Grill
Baileys Cafe Food Truck
The Gazebo (breakfast)
Dukes Beach House
Maui Fresh Streatery
Thai Mee Up — *Recommended
South Maui Fish Co.
I hope you found this Maui food blog to be helpful. And I hope that you found this 2 part blog series helpful overall! If you have an questions, thoughts, or recommendations you think we should add, leave a comment and let me know! :)