Maui Dining and Food Shopping Recommendations
I'll be heading to Maui in August and would love any recommendations for dining and food shopping - from casual to fancy.
Well, not really food shopping, but I usually do Costco, about a mile from the airport for wine, then stop at Mr. Wine, in Lahiana for the specialty juice. With those two outlets, I cover all of my wine-bases for the week.
For dining, if in the Ka`anapali Area, there have been a ton of great posts here lately. You really should do a search, as the recs. are up to date, and filled with detail.
We always dine out, so our shopping for food is very limited. I cannot offer anything, that might help you, sorry.
Yes, the Costco is not far from the airport property, in a small industrial park, 540 Haleakala Highway, Kahului (Maui), Hawaii, 96732. http://www.costco.com/Warehouse/locat..., and MapQuest: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?.... It's been some years, but predicated on other Hawaiian Costcos, the wine selection is not bad and the prices are good. I used to always get my daily wines there, and my higher-end ones at Mr Wine. Between the two, all of our bases were covered. Last time we went to Lana`i, we did a case from Mr Wine for the week. I hope that they are still in business, as they had a very good selection, some of it higher-end ecclectic, and the prices were not out of line with Mau`i.
I am going in August as well and I plan to hit the Costco as soon as we get the rental car. Mainly for water and beer and whatever else looks good there. I have not thought about the restaurants but I know we will go to the Old Lahaina Luau (my brother in law really wants to go) and we will go to Mama's Fish House (there are debates about this one but I would like to try it).
Hi there -- just got back two weeks ago, and had a few really great dinners! On the whole, I noticed that everywhere we ate and drank, the portions were HUGE. I wish we'd planned ahead and split entrees -- we left every meal stuffed. I suppose some would call this "good value." :)
1) Mala Ocean Tavern -- Lahaina -- Good salumi & cheese plate; amazing burger; great fish; upscale casual; loved the deck (we were splashed by the ocean!)
2) Pacific'O -- Lahaina -- Gorgeous spot - eat outside if you can! This is a very Maui restaurant -- upscale, but still quite casual (patrons in hibiscus shirts and shorts mixed with women in black dresses; servers in khakis and polos). The fish was fantastic. I also love their commitment to local agriculture.
3) Kihei Caffe -- Kihei -- RIDICULOUSLY huge breakfasts -- the best hangover cure ever. Dare someone in your group to order the 'special' of pork fried rice, eggs and a beef patty with sauce -- totally mind-blowing. Fantastic omelettes and burritos, too. This is outside on a concrete patio -- no servers (counter service) -- a must-do. MUST-do.
We had mediocre meals at Sensai (Ritz Carlton Kaapula), Cheeseburger in Paradise (Shops at Wailea) and Leilani's On The Beach (Whaler's Village). Skip all three.
We had an OK meal at Polli's in Makawao -- fish tacos were salty but not terrible.
I wish we'd had time to go to Cassanova's in Makawao. That town was just lovely, as was the drive there from Kahului.
And a few places we skipped:
1) I'O -- same prices as Pacific'O, but less refined -- the attempt at trendy falls flat
2) Kula Lodge -- waited 20 minutes for a hostess to seat us -- and breakfast ends at 1 p.m.! Oy! Go early or skip it.
Pacific'O's was high on our list, last visit, but that was 5 years ago. I gave it 1 solid (Michelin-type) star.
We did other spots at the Ritz, and they were mediocre, at best, and their Anui`niu` Room was downright bad, especially as it was $$$$$. Big disapointment. Sensai was not then open, IIRC.
I've gotta' go back, as so very much has changed.
Let me add a bit more information to this thread.
My wife and I spend a month each year in December on Maui. This year not only will we be there the entire month of December, we are going down for a couple of weeks in the beginning of July as well.
Grocery Stores: As mentioned, Costco is a can't miss place. it is the first major store you will see coming out of Kahului Airport. It is next to the K-Mart on the corners of Dairy Road and Hana HWY. Other grocery stores on the island are Safeway, Star Markets, and Foodlands. There are other little mom and pop stores also feature a lot of local fare. The Safeways honor your mainland Safeway cards, Foodland has a Makai'i Card and you do not need any type of savings card for Star Markets.
One of my favorite small mom and pop supermarket is Takamiya's in Wailuku in Happy Valley. They are located on Market Street off of Main Street in downtown Wailuku. This is where we always get our Ahi and Tako Poke (ahi is tuna and Tako is octopus). If you are unfamiliar with Poke, basically its usually raw seafood as in Ahi mixed with Maui Onion, Hawaiian Chilli Salt, and Shoyu (Soy Sauce). There are many varieties at Takamiya's and they are all so ono (good). Another don't miss here is what they specialize in....Beef Teriyaki. It is simply the best on the island. They have 3 different grades (A, B, and C). Grade A is the center cut of the beef, grade B is adjacent to the center and grade C is the end cuts. All of their teriyaki is sliced paper thin and marinated in their own teriyaki sauce. Ready to take home and cook on the grill. No Ka Oi (the best). Also since Azeka's is no longer on the island, the best marinated short ribs can be found at Takamiya's. I find them to be just as tasty as Azeka's.
Next on my favorites list is Komoda's Bakery in Makawao. Makawao is a little cowboy country type town and Komoda's is located at the corner of Balwin and Makawao Avenues. It is a little mom and pop grocery store but what thy are famous for are their malasadas and other baked goods. Malasadas is nothing more than a doughnut but they fill them with guava jelly that just melts in your mouth. Othe don't miss items at Komoda's is the creme puffs, stick doughnuts, and their buttery rolls. Their bread is really good too as their azuki (red bean) pies.
OK now for some cheap eats that I have not found people mention other than Da Kitchen. There is Fred's Cantina located on South Kihei Road. They are partners of Moose McGillicuddys that are located upstairs. In anycase, between 7 and 7:30am, you can get 2 scrambled eggs, bacon, and potatoes for $1.99. Tuesdays at Fred's is Taco Tuesdays where all their tacos are only $2.00 or $2.50 each...they are the best.
Then there is Da Kitchen...huge potions for little money. This is a local plate lunch place located in Kihei and they now have another location in Kahului. Some of the best Katsu, Lau Lau, Kahlua Pig, and BBQ Chicken can be had here. They also do a great Loco Moco too. Be prepared the portions are huge with 2 scoops rice and Mac Salad.
For fruits and vegetables, please support the local farmers rather than purchasing them from the grocery store. First of all you will be helping the locals out and getting much better produce than at the supermarkets. Almost everyday on Maui there is a farmers market in different areas on the island. The big one is on Saturdays from 7am until noon at the Kahului Swap Meet on Puunene (next to the Kahului Post Office). At the swap meet, there are approximately 2 dozen different farmers that sell local produce. This is the place to get your fresh flowers, pineapple, apple bananas, papayas, etc. Some of the Filipino farmers also seel home made lumpia made with either pork or banana. So wonderful. This would also be the place to pick up any souvenirs to friends and family back on the mainland.
I have many more recommendations of where to go on Maui except I have already created this long winded post. I will be glad to post more information for anything specific.
Thank you so much!
ummm, are any of the areas you've mentioned - such as cheap eats and the grocery stores - around Wailea? We (meaning allllll of my in-laws and I) will be there this month for 10 days and we'll have a kitchen that will get used for breakfasts and lunch. Not to mention that we don't want to stay at the hotel the entire time for dinner.
Do you know of a really special place to take a group of 13 for a 50th anniversary dinner? I'm thinking of talking to the concierge at the hotel and asking if there is something they could do or could recommend.
Again, thank you for the information!
I really liked Aloha Mixed Plate for casual and quite good island food (very cheap, as well). Good drinks too. In Lahaina, right next to the Old Lahaina Luau. I think they even have a happy hour.
When I was there a couple of years ago they had a farmer's market in Honokowai (just north of Lahaina) on some mornings - worth checking on. They also have a good fish store in Honokowai (there is just one real road, so it's hard to miss) and a delicatessen in the same tiny little strip mall. Enjoy!
Yee's Orchards' stand on the west side of So. Kihei near Lipoa in Kihei has the best fruit I've ever had in my life. Mr. Yee specializes in mangoes, and they're unlike any mango you've ever tasted. It is a wooden shack in the middle of a dirt parking lot. Buy as many as you can. The flavor explodes in your mouth. He also sells Haden mangoes, apple bananas, papaya, chicos, sugar cane and prepared mango chutney.
The Fish Market in Honokowai on Lower Hono... Road has some great fresh fish, crabcakes, and other seafood if you like to cook for yourself. We loved their walu, opah and ono.
Costco is a must for bulk purchases of bottled water.
For dining, we enjoyed The Gazebo for breakfast (banana/mac pancakes, fried rice & eggs), Paia Fish House (went twice!), and thought Kimos was...okay.
Mainly, I did the cooking, because it is what I enjoy. The mainstays for us were:
--Safeway (ahi poke, Maui onions, Home Maid Bakery bread, portugese sausage and booze)
--Long's Drugs (Maui grown beef)
--Costco (salad, Maui tomatoes, Italian cold cuts for sandwiches)
--The Fish Market (fresh fish)