- ej Jan 9, 2006 09:38 AM
I haven't seen any Hana (not Hana Highway) recs on this board. Looking for delicious elegant and casual dinners and picnic and casual lunches. Going at the beginning of April. Also, are we going to have awful weather?
That's because there's not much to eat in Hana. As all of the guidebooks say, you're better off packing your own and taking it with you. A few places in Paia will help do this for you -- there's a place that used to be called Picnics that's now been renamed that is pretty decent and not too expensive -- including selling you a cooler if you don't already have one, or if you opt not to buy a cooler, they'll throw in enough ice to keep your stuff plenty cold.
writing from Hana on 11 Dec 07, toward the end of a three-night stay (probably a record for someone staying in Hana in a hotel or guest house who isn't writing a novel or surfing!)....had dinner our first night at the Hana Maui--the luxury hotel in the middle of town--and thought it was terrific. In fact, going back tonight. we've been in the Islands for almost 20 days, first visit, and this was the first meal where we wondered how we could cook one of the dishes (a savory waffle standing in for a crouton on a salad)...found the two grocery stores in town depressing...BUT got food to go from a roadside stand "below" the town--ribs plus macaroni salad and rice; steak plus the same sides--which did us for dinner last night and lunch today and we thought was really good. lad running the grill did ribs as well as anyone back home (Bay Area). we're staying at the place that has the Mermaid Cafe--I think it's just for the denizens of this hostelry (Hana Hale Inn), and just for breakfast.
side note: we took spa treatments at Luana Spa and really enjoyed same. the woman who runs it is a total fount of knowledge on local doings--told us that basically all the big entreprises in town (the hotel, both restaurants--that's the Hana Maui and the Ranch--gift shops, and ranch) are run by a single company. Makes stopping at the front-yard and roadside places more attractive. Next to the spa, someone sets up a Thai food concern several days a week ("we're open until we run out of food") which looked really good. e're speculating that this is the same Thai concern that does catering. we got some salad for our dinner, though, and it wasn't much. maybe sat in dressing too long, and fresher it would have been better.
One food recommendation: we picked up a loaf of Tutus Whole Grain bread somewhere along the line--probably in Kihei--and think it's very very good.
hello, if your accomodations include a kitchen and grill to prepare some of your own meals, you'll be o.k., the main market/hardware store in town has edibles including local produce and some simple Maui/Japanese prepared foods to go (I found decent inari sushi, which for me is a no-frills breakfast,w. fresh island fruit, fancy). Some of the better food at non-gouge prices is on the outskirts, still on the hwy., the stand that has grilled fish(local fresh catch) and meats next to a small coffee hut.It's deceptively close to town, and written up in many guidebooks.In town,we saw an informal backyard eatery one afternoon, but it was closed up when we looked for it the next day--the kind of business perfect for someone who doesn't want long, low-rewarding hours.Everything I heard about the conventional restaurants in Hana was a mix of "bad and tourist trap" to "sometimes o.k., it varies, but no bargain", and my impression was that things will fluctuate according to how the fancier hotels and resorts manage their affiliated eateries; they might be improved when you visit, almost a year after our trip. We had good to excellent eating-out experiences on Maui and didn't wish to risk diluting them with mediocre overpriced fare,so we didn't go out for dinner in Hana. You probably know about Maui having the most annual precip. in the U.S.; the Hana hwy. got washed out for a stretch when we had to drive back, but we found out about it at the coffee hut and took the long loop around the southeast side. It was a rougher go, which made us lose a small piece of chrome, and minor $ to replace it, from our rental car, but beautiful with very different vistas than the hwy. route, and much less travelled. Hana has been protected from becoming a theme park like some other parts of Maui by the same factors that limit dining out options. cheers.
There are only a couple restaurants in Hana, and in my opinion they are not very good. The best is the one in the Hotel Hana Maui, but even there I felt the food was mediocre. What a shame, since the more touristy areas of Maui have so many wonderful restaurants.
The best food item we had in our two days in Hana was the giant warm chocolate chip cookie at the restaurant across the street from the hotel (sorry I don't remember the restaurant name, but it's the only one there).
As I recall our two days in Hana the responses are all true. Hana is not about food. To most it is the road to Hana that is the draw. To others it is the feeling that you are lost someplace in the middle of the pacific far from civilization. That reality will help add some good flavor to the food you do find in Hana. Fortunately you still have time to post a request for what stores you might be able to buy some good stuff to pack before you hit the road. When we went we made it a point to buy two pies at Tasty Crust in Wailuku. Those pies saved our family. On every drive we take a ice box full of drinks and things to make sandwiches. We bought four cases of Hawaiian Sun drinks - Guava & Pas-O-Orange were our favorites. When we find Hawaiian Sun in Cal we buy as much as we can. One can of it and we are back in Maui. See the link below for my prior post. Get the book mentioned because it will lead you to the best banana bread in the world found only near Hana.
Tasty Crust Restaurant
1770 Mill St
Wailuku, HI 96793-1298
Late or no, I'll chime in for the next person.
We traveled and stayed at Hana Hale Malamalama some years back. The thing to do on Maui is to book lodgings with a kitchen. Yes, you can have a few meals out, but you won't find anything that makes you swoon and moan. (Which is fine: you don't want to embarrass yourselves, do you?)
Hana Hale Malamalama and the Bamboo Inn has places with full kitchens, and there is also now the Mermaid Breakfast bar (on one side or the other, I'm actually not sure). It's a very special place. VERY.
The reason to go to Hana is to escape the high-rise condos and Blockbusters and fast food idiocy on the west side of the island, and even more, to be free of all the tourists who just want to be photographed in front of something to say they've been there.
Go look at the website and read "What Is Hana."
(The personal chef thing looks good! I'll keep it in mind for traveling friends.)
Hope that helps.
Better hire a chef-nothing to do or go to in Hana!!! Its a place to go , relax and maybe fast.
Take it from a Hana Local-
BEST FOOD IN HANA:
SUNDAY- Islands best Thai Food- by Prawnie open 10am-3pm across from Ball Park
MONDAY- Troy's- 1 minute past Hasegawas on ocean side of the road- Hotel Chef
Prawnies Thai Food- above Hana Bay, across from Ball park
Tuesday- Bruddah Huts BBQ- best BBQ on island- huge servings, just past town
Wednesday- Nahiku Tacos- smoked local pork and fish tacos- Nahiku strip mall mile 29
Thursday- Hana Farms Ajas magical everything salads- mile marker 31 "welcome to hana"
Friday- Coconut Glens famous Ribs and local grinds- Big DUmb coconut stand mile 28
Saturday- Best home-made Italian Pizza- right past the Hana school- made to order
So.....whomever keeps saying there aint much to eat is wrong. There is plenty to choose from, you just need to know where to go. Still, many of us eat from the land. So, it is smart to get a rental that has a kitchen facility- so you can do as the locals do and buy fish fresh off the boat, and fresh vegetables right off the land.
By far, the must stop places are:
Hana Farms for best banana bread in the world- they also have amazing hot-sauce and this salad that I could eat every day. Plus the business supports our small community- which is rare, and should be applauded during these economic hardships.
Coconut Glen's wide array of dairy free ice-creams- he is a classically trained chef- and his combination of toasted coconut, and avocado cream ice-creams are to die for. He also makes amazing dinners, and is available as a personal chef for travelers coming through Hana. I hire him whenever we have big events or parties, and all of the celebrity residents of Hana have him cook for them as well. His prices are quite reasonable, and he will even do romantic candlelight meals on the ocean for you- all you have to do is show up:)
Bruddah huts has been a local favorite for year- LARGE LARGE portions, I always split an order between two. Amazing BBQ chicken, and great shrimp pasta.
Prawnies is the most amazing Thai food I have ever ever eaten since I was in Thailand. Don't miss her, and get there early, as she usually sells out by 2pm or so. She makes the best pad thai you have ever eaten...
Hana is full of magic at every turn, embrace it, surrender to it- and appreciate all the ways that it is different from everywhere else in the world. Tread lightly, and let locals pass you on the roads and you will be in for memories that will stay with you forever. Aloha.