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Dec 23, 2012 02:56 PM

West Maui Trip Report with school-age kids

Hi all,

First of all, a big MAHALO to you Chowhounders for your recommendations. We definitely had some great eats on this trip!

We spent 1 week in west Maui (Kahana) and then 12 days in Oahu (trip report for Oahu to be posted separately). Our kids are pretty adventurous so we hit quite a few different places (mostly lunch or dinner as we had brekkie in the condo). Their new favourite snack is spam musubi! I don't think we will be finding that in our Canadian city! My one regret is we never made it to Star Noodle (closed exceptionally for a staff Xmas party the one day we tried to go which was also our last day!).


Honokowai Okazuya & Deli
• good for take-out for the condo or to take across the street to the Honokowai beach park for a picnic and swim

Farmers' market every M,W,F a.m. Got good fruits, local jams, banana bread, fresh coconut water, etc. A bit $$.


Ululani's Shave Ice
• fave shave ice on Maui (note second location next door to Sure Thing Burgers)

Sure Thing Burger
• best burger I can remember eating ever!

• inexpensive Vietnamese lunch at Lahaina Cannery Mall before the keiki hula show (bahn mi, noodles, thai iced coffee was good)


• Our BEST meal on Maui but pricey
• Note that it is very kid friendly – they even have toys for the kids to play with! The wok-charred ahi was amazing.

Sansei Sushi
• enjoyed our rolls (some kind of ahi tempural roll) and the miso-glazed butterfish. We went at 5:15 for the happy hour pricing -- note that rolls are cut quite thinly so you end up ordering more than you would normally. The kids liked the maui tempura onion rings
• Tip: we made a reservation for 515 and walked right in. There was a loooooong line of people waiting without reservations although they were seated quickly enough

Upcountry Maui

• Did the O'o Farm tour which was lots of fun and delicious too (kids enjoyed picking their veggies and salad as well as feeding the chickens!)
• Stopped at Ali'i Kuli Lavender farm for kids treasure hunt, gifts and yummy lavender iced tea
• Stopped at Kula Farms roadside stand for fruit for condo (great kula strawberries, apple bananas and mangoes)
• Stopped in Makawao at T. Komoda General Store for malasadas


• We booked the Royal Lahaina luau knowing the food would just be so-so (it was the least expensive one -- booked through expedia and kids were free). Hubby and I have been to more authentic/upscale luaus on previous trips. Food was average but show was quite good - okay value for money considering….
• Brought kids for picnic dinner to watch torch lighting ceremony at Black Rock (picked up spam musubi and poke from Foodland). Tip: if you buy something at the Sheraton (got a glass of wine to go with my picnic dinner on the beach) they will validate your stub and valet parking is only $5.
• We had one disappointing breakfast at Java Jazz (very expensive and food so-so). The coffee was really good though. I bought some vanilla macadamia nut coffee for the condo.
• Also, it was not fancy but our first night we stopped at L&L BBQ and brought our food across the street to Honokowai beach park for a picnic. The saimin and garlic shrimp and macaroni side salad was actually pretty good!
• One other random meal was the Iron Imu BBQ truck that came to our condo. We enjoyed the southern-style BBQ

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  1. Thanks for sharing, Jacolis! I'd love to hear what you had at Merrimans and what made it your best meal on Maui. Can you also tell what you liked at Honokowai Okazuya & Deli? Those are two places that we haven't tried yet and are on our list of maybes for next month. Thanks!

    2 Replies
    1. re: terijoy

      Hi there,

      At Merriman's we had the kalua pig quesadilla and tomato/beet/papaya salad as starters (both very good). The kids shared with us. There is a separate kids menu but it is quite pricy. We ordered the full size portions because we were all sharing. Note that portions are not huge (it was enough for the four of us but only because we got the full size portion). The best two dishes on my plate were the wok charred ahi and the steak. It also came with the mahi mahi which was good but the ahi was even better. My husband had the macadamia nut encrusted ono (i think it is called wahoo elsewhere). It was also good but really the ahi and the steak were the standouts.

      At honokowai I liked the mahi mahi in lemon caper sauce and the chicken katsu. i have read that almost anything is good there -- it is kind of a strange menu as they have everything from Asian specialities to sandwiches (like tuna salad) to spaghetti!

      I should note that on a previous trip to the BI (before kids) we had eaten at the Merrimans there and it was one of teh most memorable meals of my life! The Merrimans in Kapalua was good but not as good as the one on the BI. What really surprised me is how kid friendly Merrimans was considering the price point (i.e., they invited the kids to come and select a toy to play with at the table!!). Both of these places have menus that you can check out online. At the very least, you can go for drinks and pupus and watch the sunset. I thought Kapalua beach was beautiful (and there is a cool lava formation/black rock type thing that you can walk out to before dinner). Enjoy!

      1. re: jacolis

        Thanks for the details. We will do Merriman's at least for a sunset drink and pupus. I think I may call first, though. A year ago we stopped by when they open at 3:00 pm, but that day they were closed for a private party. We never made it back.
        Oh, and we loved the O'o Farm lunch tour as well. Here's a picture of the outdoor kitchen complete with chickens!