Food can make or break a vacation. Your food experience could be as powerful as bringing you back to that point in time when you ate that freshly made loco moco from the shop down the street. Over the past 10 years, I have tried some unbelievably good loco mocos while visiting the Hawaiian islands, all thanks to my mother working for Hawaiian Airlines.
She recently moved to Maui over the summer and best believe you did not have to tell me twice to come out and visit. During my last adventure in Maui, I tried a some of Maui’s hidden food gems after receiving recommendations from her roommate, friends, and coworkers. Here are a few of my fave local Maui restaurants that will turn your vacation into one filled with food you can trust.
1. Kula Bistro
Kula Bistro is one of my favorite Maui restaurants that is luckily just down the street from my mom’s house. Be sure to get there early for their delicious white chocolate macadamia nut pancakes before they run out. Your eyes will want to be bigger than your stomach (like most of the time when faced with the hearty Hawaiian portions), but two pancakes are plenty.
Also, ask for their coconut syrup, it makes the pancakes even better. If you’re not in the breakfast mood, Kula Bistro also makes a BOMB loco moco dish with hamburger meat drenched in sauce, paired with both potato salad and macaroni salad.
2. La Provence
La Provence is known for their fresh fruit, palmier pastries, and almond croissants. Lines form as soon as the doors open, so go early to see all the options. If you’re feeling a little hungrier, they have a variety of eggs Benedict and breakfast crepes to choose from. Whether you’re in a ham and cheese mood or a strawberries and Nutella one, La Provence has mastered the art of crepes.
#SpoonTip: La Provence is cash or check only.
3. Sip Me
As a lover of hole-in-the-wall coffee shops, my radar was immediately drawn to this European-style coffee shop in the small town of Makawao. Sip Me will give you the energy you need to start your day with their variety of local Maui organic teas and coffee as well as homemade fruit juices and smoothies. Accompany your beverage with one (or three) freshly made organic treats.
Grandma’s Coffee House is a local Maui gem found in Kula. My mom and I found this restaurant as we were heading out to drive the Road to Hana from her house. The small green house caught our eye and we immediately pulled over to check it out.
Grandma’s Coffee House began business in 1918, selling Organic Maui coffee to locals. After several generations, the coffee house continues producing some homemade dishes, including Kalua Pork and meatloaf loco moco. After our coffee craving was fixed, my mom and I grabbed some macaroni salad to go as a treat on our Maui road trip.
I either worked up a great hunger for this meal, or this was the best chicken sandwich I have ever had. Hali’imaile General Store has great lunch options as well as dinner. My mom and I love to come here for lunch and share the chicken sandwich and Chinese chicken salad to save just enough room for the iconic pineapple upside-down cake.
6. Maka by Mana
Not to worry, my vegan friends, there are plenty of vegan options available on the islands of Hawaii. There are so many different types of tropical fruits available for you to try. This local restaurant will become one of your favorites, as they serve completely plant-based food options. Whether you just want to satisfy your homemade kombucha craving or looking for a full meal, Maka by Mana has got it.
7. Da Kitchen
Why not make your wallet happy as well as your taste buds? This local restaurant features plate lunches galore for an awesome price. Chicken Katsu, spam musubi, you name it—your hunger will be satisfied at Da Kitchen.
Take some time to enjoy your authentic Hawaiian food to go. Lounge on the sand and embrace the salty breeze of the beautiful island of Maui. Now that you have “eating like a local” down with these Maui restaurants, feeling like a local just got a whole lot easier.