One of the first things I do when I plan for a vacation is to look for local places to eat. EJ and I love to try new foods, and Maui definitely provided us with lots of opportunities for that. Read on to see what we ate, and here are links to the other posts in the Maui Series:
Maui – To Do and See
Maui – Old Lahaina Luau
Da Kitchen Cafe
This was our first stop from the airport. Main item we loved: DEEP FRIED SPAM MUSUBI. It was basically a regular musubi, then seemed like a type of sticky rice outside of the seaweed, then breaded in panko crumbs and deep fried. This is all you need to order. It’s filling. One order has four pieces. EJ and I got greedy and each ordered one. No wonder we got so full.
We heard a lot of people rave about this place so we thought to try it out for ourselves to say we went. We got kim chee, pork buns, one Vietnamese crepe, and one full plate of garlic noodles. Total came out to $41.15. Not bad. I LOVED the garlic noodles, but EJ said nothing stood out to him as amazing and that he wouldn’t mind not returning here. Tip for next time: skip pork buns and order half plate of garlic noodles. We only finished half and took the rest to go.
Geste Shrimp Truck
I believe some reviews compared this to Giovanni’s on Oahu, though I’ve never had Giovanni’s, this was SUPER TASTY! There was only one person in front of us, and they cook by order. We waited about 10-15 minutes. A lot of people took their food behind the truck to eat by the water, but my legs were attracting serious bug bites the last two days, so EJ suggested we not go in a grassy area. We ended up eating on the trunk of our rental car haha. It comes with one scoop rice, one scoop mac salad, and 12 pieces of shrimp on a bed of cabbage. I should’ve taken a picture of the menu to post, but I’m sure it’s on Yelp somewhere. I got Lemon Pepper, EJ got Hawaiian Scampi. I liked his better because it had more garlic, and I LOVE GARLIC!
Coconut’s Fish Cafe
MUST TRY! Home of the best fish tacos I’ve ever had! Most of the fish tacos I’ve had were fried, but at Coconut’s, they’re grilled. When the waiter or waitress brings your order, they always ask if it’s your first time, then I think they’re trained to tell newbies that each taco contains 17 fresh and local ingredients, and that the best way to get a taste of all the flavors at once is to eat with your hands. The only ingredients I could tell were tortilla, fish, tomatoes, mango, cabbage, of course shrimp. So that leaves 11 more ingredients that I can’t pinpoint. But that first bite was like a seafood party in my mouth. DELISH. The first time we came here, we already decided we would have to stop by again on our last night. So we did.
Aloha Mixed Plate
Heard about this place from a coworker that went during his honeymoon. Mostly outside seating with umbrellas for shade. Right near the water and the view is beautiful. It’s also next to Old Lahaina Luau. For dinner, my coworker said you can see parts of the luau through the breaks in the bushes. Between EJ and I, we ordered kim chee, furikake garlic fries, and the “Aloha Mixed Plate” plate to share. My favorite was the furikake garlic fries. It was such an unusual combination that I never thought of! I love garlic, and the mix of furikake gave it that Hawaiian taste. It also tasted good dipped in the sauce of the kim chee!
We decided to get breakfast there last minute and didn’t have anything planned for the day. When we got there the line was out the door and almost to the steps of the restaurant next door. Felt like Disneyland because once we got inside, the line zigzagged to the register. No worries though, the line moved fairly quickly. First trip: pork fried rice and custom omelet. Second trip: salmon lox and banana mac nut pancakes! All their portions are huge, so if you don’t have an appetite, I suggest you share. I didn’t see anyone leave the restaurant having finished their pancakes. There was always at least half or 3/4 left over.
We came here on a whim after finding it on Yelp, and I’m glad we did. Found lots of good reviews mainly for the ahi tacos. We ordered ahi tuna tacos, lobster scallop potstickers, and halved an ahi tuna steak. Complementary (foccacia) bread was served, and they had a “Pepper Water” dipping sauce (like balsamic vinegar) to mix with olive oil. The tacos and steak looked and tasted mouthwatering! I wasn’t too fond of the potstickers though. Couldn’t taste any local flavor.
Wow Wow Lemonade
Very close to Da Kitchen, is this local lemonade stand with unique flavor combinations. The mason jar pictured on the left is EJ’s Island Sparkling Lemonade, on the right is my Strawberry Mango Lihing Lemonade. It tasted so refreshing! I loved mine better than EJ liked his because he ordered it not reading that they use sparking water. I finished both of ours!
*Confession: We were in Maui for eight days, and six out of those eight days we stopped by Wow Wow Lemonade in Kahului. Unfortunately, no one offered us a loyalty card until our last day there *insert frustrated sad face*. Make sure you ask! I ordered strawberry mango lihing (twice), watermelon basil (twice), local lychee, and local lilikoi. The first two were my utmost favorite! And the week after we left Maui, they opened a truck in Kihei! Talk about bad timing. Maybe that was for a reason though. I would’ve wanted to go there ALL. THE. TIME!
Ululani’s Shave Ice
We got offered a loyalty card at the Kihei location the first time we visited. Sucks because we were only three short of a free cup! We tried, but sadly failed. STOMACH. TOO. FULL! After a couple tries, I found my perfect combo: mac nut ice cream on the bottom (which became my new craving the last three days of our trip), coconut, pineapple, strawberry, and snow cap. BOMB DOT COM! I liked the Kihei location better than Kahului only bc the workers in Kihei were so much friendlier and made small talk with us. They even recommended places for us to go when we asked. At the Kahului shack, they didn’t seem very friendly. No small talk. No recommendations. They even left bald spots in my ice, and I went back once for more syrup, and yet there were still bare ice spots the second time!
Home Maid Bakery
The malasadas at this location were delicious, and apparently very popular. So, as gluttonous as we are, we bought a dozen around 915am, right before we went to the airport. Our flight was at 2pm and we didn’t know where we were going to put the box since we had absolutely no more room in any of our luggage or carry-ons. Our solution to that problem was to eat them them on the way to the airport. By the time we got in terminal, we just transferred the last six to a bag from Burger King and shoved it in the crevices of my bag!
While in Hana, we drove around and found a Shaka Pops cart! This was on my list and I couldn’t wait to try it. I wanted to try at least 3-4 flavors, but one pop is about $4.75, so EJ and I just got one each. I got Maui Mocha, and he got Strawberry Banana.
T Komoda’s Store and Bakery
Since we were in the Makawao area after Haleakala, we stopped by Komoda’s for some breakfast donuts! My favorite was the mac-stick donuts, EJ liked the plain mac-stick. There isn’t any place to eat them around the store, so we drove and ate them at Ho’okipa Beach while watching the surfers and getting my tan on at 830am. I wish I got a whole box of mac-stick donuts instead! All for me =D
Old Lahaina Luau
Read about our luau experience in a separate post here. We bought our tickets after purchasing our flight. They assign seats as tickets are bought, so the earlier you reserve the better the view for the show. We were pretty close to the stage on traditional seating (floor seats with a pillow), and I got our tickets about 2-3 months ahead.
Have you been to any of these places? What did you like or dislike? Which places did I forget to add? Let me know in the comments for my next trip!