The Ultimate Maui Food Guide
In case it wasn't blatantly obvious, Maui is possibly my favourite place on Earth. It's got gorgeous beaches, friendly Kama'aina (ka-ma-eye-nah - "locals"), and some BOMB places to eat. After 5 years, I'd like to think I know some pretty great spots for whatever cuisine you may be craving. Today's post will be my master guide to eating out on Maui, and I've barely scratched the surface! While these are my favourites on the island, there are tons more left to be discovered.
1. Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice - Located in Lahaina Town, among a number of other favourites, Ululani's has the best shave ice I've had on the island. Watch your shave ice being made through the cute store front window, and choose from almost 50 flavours that you can mix and match! My fave is POG or passion (fruit), orange, and guava. Don't forget to add vanilla ice cream on the bottom and "Ululani’s Snow Cap", a generous topping of sweetened condensed milk.
2. Da Kitchen - Recommendation courtesy of Guy Fieri, this place is making island food right. With two locations, one in Kahului and one in Kihei, Da Kitchen combines Hawaiian classics like Loco Moco and Kalua Pork, with your quintessential American steaks and burgers. Let's just say, their homemade Teriyaki sauce is so good that I made my mum bring me an order of Teriyaki chicken to the airport when I touched down a few days ago.. I don't have a problem, you have a problem..
3. Foodland - It may come as a shock to some, but some of the best poke can be found in Foodland's all over the island. This Hawaiian grocery store chain has mastered the art of raw fish, providing shoppers with a to-go lunch ready for the beach, or dinner fit for the entire family. They offer varieties such as "Ahi California Roll" and "Secret Ahi Spicy", but be sure to try the classic Ahi Hawaiian Style for a true taste of this fresh fish fave.
ASIAN (THAI, VIETNAMESE, JAPANESE)
1. Sansei - Also boasting killer fresh fish, Sansei has some of my favourite sushi on Maui. This contemporary sushi and Asian inspired chain has 5 locations, 2 on Maui, 1 on Oahu, 1 on the big island of Hawaii, and one (surprisingly) in Seattle! Some to-die-for dishes I can't live without include the Mango Crab Salad Hand Roll and the Panko-Crusted Fresh Ahi Sashimi.
2. Tiki Tiki Thai Cuisine - This one is a new discovery for me. The second Thai place I've eaten at on the island (the first one is now permanently closed..), Tiki Tiki Thai is a little gem hidden away in the Lahaina Wharf Cinema Center Shops. Sample a wide range of authentic Thai dishes like Fresh Summer Rolls, Panang Curry, Sticky Rice with Peanut Sauce, and some of the best Pad Thai I've ever had!
3. Ba-Le French Sandwich & Vietnamese Foods - That one is a mouthful, and so are the fresh rolls so big you'd think they were baseball bats. This place is another Maui hidden gem, and one of the places I can't leave the island without visiting. Situated within the Lahaina Cannery Mall, Ba-Le makes the best peanut dipping sauce and lemongrass chicken that I've had on Maui. Their portions are huge and super reasonably priced. Coming in at around $13 and under, this place is great for those pocket conscious travellers such as myself.
BBQ & BURGERS
1. Fat Daddy's - If you were planning to splurge on some good food while in Maui, this is the place to do it. Fat Daddy's in Kihei is easily my favourite barbecue joint for miles. They make margarita's with their dry rub on the rim (as seen on my Instagram story), classic sides like mac and cheese (duh) and slow cooked chili garlic beans, and major meat platters that can satisfy any carnivore. Be sure to try their Texas Hot Links, Burnt Ends, and Pulled Pork.
2. Cheese Burger in Paradise - If you're craving a burger the size of your face, you've come to the right place. Cheese Burger in Paradise has got some of the most wild and wacky burger combinations I think I have ever seen. Grab yourself a cheese burger "Island Style" topped with fresh Kalua Pork, Grilled Pineapple and Teriyaki Sauce, a "Royal Ali’i" topped with a Fried Egg and Bacon, or one of my personal favourites the BBQ Bacon burger drenched in BBQ Sauce, topped with bacon, and one of their famous onion rings!
3. Cool Cat Cafe - Also tucked away in the Lahaina Wharf Cinema Center Shops, Cool Cat's boasts the best burger on Maui. Being across the street from Cheese Burger in Paradise, competition gets pretty hot, so be sure to try both burgers and choose your winner! Be sure to also check out their daily fish, massive Chili Cheese Dog, and killer barbecue plates.
1. Ohana Tacos - Two words: SHRIMP. TACOS. These tacos are kill-er. I honestly don't have anything else to say, other than - sometimes they are sold out (they're just that good) so be sure to call ahead and save yourself the trip.. and the disappointment.
2. Lahaina Fish Company - There is nothing quite like dinner with a view, and the Lahaina Fish Company is serving it straight up. This open-air restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy all of the fresh fish and seafood that Hawaii has to offer. Check out their Lobster Ceviche, Kula Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad, and Macademia Nut Crusted Mahimahi. There's even a live webcam feed on their website so you can pretend you're there, even when you're on the other side of the world.. (*sigh*)
3. Haliimaile General Store - Or as my mum's cousin would call it, the "Huli Huli General Store". Hanging out near Paia never tasted so good. Totally worth our drive to the other side of the island, the Haliimaile General Store has got some of the best seafood dishes we've had. A little on the pricier side, some highlights include: Sake Clams and Mussels, Miso Seared Salmon, and Bev's "Famous" Crab Pizza, but their menu changes all the time depending on what's fresh so you may discover a new favourite!
As I'm sure you'll all note, these are just a few of the amazing options that this beautiful island has to offer. Some of my other Maui faves (that I either visited after this post was written or did not have enough space to include!) are as follows:
- Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop
- The Seahouse Restaurant
- Star Noodle
- The Gazebo
- The Plantation House Restaurant
- Slappy Cakes
- Duke's Beach House
And a whole lot more! I guess you'll just have to visit the island to discover them all.
Have you been to any of these hot spots? Are there any you think I missed? Let me know in the comments!