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Grocery shopping on Maui

Suzie4399 Dec 10, 2013 05:06 PM

Hello all,
We are looking forward to our visit to Maui in March!
We will be arriving on a Wednesday night at 6:35pm, renting a car, and heading to our vacation rental in Hana.
Will there be any grocery stores open at that time? How about Costco? Ideally we would like to stock up on groceries before we make the 2 hour drive.
I also love farmer's markets and bakeries... Any can't- miss places on Maui?
Thanks in advance!

  1. Jacquilynne Dec 10, 2013 05:22 PM

    Costco is open to 8:30. There's a Whole Foods in Kahului that's open til 9pm. There's also a WalMart that's open later -- til 11, I think, but you could check their store locator to be sure.

    I'm not normally a fan of WalMart but everything is so expensive on Maui, that I tend to suck it up and shop there just because the prices are more in line with what we pay back home.

    1. cookie monster Dec 10, 2013 05:39 PM

      I'm with Jacquilynne on the expensive part. I nevertheless go to the Whole Foods in Kahalui for meat, produce, cheese, wine and such because I like the quality and I can sort of justify the expense by saying I am on vacation after all, and I'm still spending a lot less on groceries to cook for myself at my vacation rental than I would if I were staying at a hotel and eating out every meal. But then I do go to the CVS next door to Whole Foods for basics like bottled water and soda and the sundries like paper towels, ziplock bags, aluminum foil, etc. that I find I always need at a vacation rental.

      In terms of farmers' markets and bakeries, Hana is pretty far away from the areas of Maui that I'm familiar with, but if you're around Kahalui on a Saturday morning the swap meet is worth a visit. Yes, it has a lot of the touristy junk that I think of when I hear swap meet, but also some decent (and cheap) produce, nice baked goods, and a woman who makes her own tea blends that I really wish I had bought more of.

      1. b
        Bellachefa Dec 10, 2013 08:44 PM

        Lucky you!!!

        How long are you staying in Hana? Although I haven't been to this location, I would likely choose to stop at Whole Foods to provision up. That or we have done so at Foodland and Safeway. Costco and Walmart would not work for me for a one stop shopping trip to provision special home cooked meals in Hana.

        Driving to Hana in the dark will be quite the adventure! As well as arriving and finding your rental. Make sure they leave outdoor and indoor lights on for your arrival. Always good to bring a flashlight in your luggage!

        Oh how I envy you. It's been far too long since I've laid my head to rest in Heavenly Hana.

        1. h
          honu2 Dec 10, 2013 09:02 PM

          Have you done the road to Hana before? It's a narrow and winding road with lots of vegetation, which is best enjoyed in the daylight. I can't imagine starting on it after 8 p.m..-- or maybe I can because I live on that type of road. A better plan might to stay overnight closer to the airport and do the shopping and driving the road to Hana next day. Mama's Fish House in Paia, which is on the way to Hana, would be a perfect spot to enjoy a great dinner and they have some rentals too.

          1. k
            kathryn Dec 13, 2013 05:58 PM

            Lots of produce stands & bakeries on Maui but why stay in Hana? Hana is quite remote. Maui is easy to get around except for the road to Hana with its one lane bridges and blind curves...and that road will be clogged with tourists during the day.

            I would recommend changing your lodging to West Maui or South Maui for your trip if you want to be close to farmers markets & bakeries & groceries & restaurants.

            3 Replies
            1. re: kathryn
              Bellachefa Dec 13, 2013 08:29 PM

              I would suggest you don't listen to the previous post. Clearly if Suzie knows to provision up, she knows what she is getting into. Hana is wonderful. I've been blessed to stay there a few times. It is one of my favorite places to visit in all the islands. I've only stayed there 3 nights at a time. Next time I hope to spend at least a week.

              Provision up, and take the drive slowly. Be aware of your high beams and click them off as necessary. By then traffic will have mostly passed. Just make sure to pull over for the locals that know the road like the back of their hand. Hana does have better provisions then a few years ago. So if you forget something, Ask locally if there are any boats fishing, and meet them for a fresh catch.

              I love driving the road, so when we stay a week or more we will likely head to Haillimaile General Store and Paia and provision up if necessary. Just go against the blue book tourist train traffic.

              1. re: Bellachefa
                kathryn Dec 14, 2013 06:03 AM

                Just pointing out how the request for "can't miss farmers markets and bakeries in Maui" might not work so well if Hana is your home base. I'm not sure how familiar OP is with Maui and how much driving they want to do. Perhaps they are only spending a few nights there and switching venues later on to elsewhere on Maui.

                Looking at her previous posts, first visit to Hawaii was earlier this year, to Oahu's North Shore.

                1. re: kathryn
                  susancinsf Dec 14, 2013 06:28 AM

                  yes, OP is either very familiar with Maui or a bit naive: I'd more than happily spend a week in Hana but I wouldn't expect any 'can't miss' bakeries, nor would I be driving around the island to find them with Hana as a base. I was last there in 2010, but local food was not the highlight. Want to go back anyway, and yes, for a week next time.

                  Assuming that OP will in fact stock up and enjoy what Hana does has to offer (or doesn't mind long drives to get food), I like Foodland. Great poki. Good fish selection. There is one in Kahului, open until 11 pm, per their website.

                  Speaking of fish, while I didn't see this in Hana, there was a recent post here that mentioned buying fish from local fishermen, so would be worth keeping an eye out. However, several local food stands were closed when I was there, and I had the impression that several were seasonal, as in open only at high tourist season times. No idea if that would include March.

            2. b
              Beach Chick Dec 14, 2013 06:19 AM

              Whatever you do, do not drive at night after a long flight to Hana..get a room near the airport and then hit up Costco.
              Hana is a long haul and secluded...takes hours to go each way into town.
              Personally, I would enjoy my time in Hana and maybe pick one day to venture out..start early and make sure your not driving in the dark.

              The road to Hana is a narrow 2 lane windy road along cliffs with no guard rails..dark, no lights and you wouldn't want to miss the beauty going at night.


              1. s
                Suzie4399 Dec 14, 2013 07:30 AM

                Thanks all for your help!
                We are absolutely looking forward to Hana... Seclusion and low key living was at the top of our priorities list, and Hana fit the bill perfectly! We will stock up as per your suggestions, then hunker down and enjoy the solitude :)
                If there aren't many bakery/farmers markets nearby, that doesn't make or break it- I would just hate to miss out on a hidden gem :)

                3 Replies
                1. re: Suzie4399
                  honu2 Dec 14, 2013 07:28 PM

                  Appears you may enjoy the hunt for Julia's banana bread, taro chips and coconut candy in Kahakuloa.. See www.juliasbananabread.com

                  1. re: honu2
                    terijoy Dec 15, 2013 06:43 AM

                    Honu, I just received my order of coconut candy and lilikoi butter from Julia's. Delicious! But I wouldn't drive there, yikes!

                    Best quote ever << Oh and the reason why the bread tastes good is because you are alive. Don't let anyone fool you. It's the taste of cheating death and it tastes like bananas.>>

                    Suzie, try Thai by Pranee and Coconut Glen's ice cream made from coconut milk, dairy free and delicious. Both will be open or closed sporadically, like most places in the Hana area.

                    And please consider listening to Beach Chick and others who tell you not to drive the Hana Highway in the dark especially after a long flight. Where are you coming from? Remember if from the mainland your body clock will be several hours later than Maui time.

                    If there is a storm, not unlikely in March, Hana Highway could even be closed with downed trees and rock slides. That is exactly what happened last March.

                    Please make a reservation for your first night near Kahului. The Inn at Mama's Fish House would be great. Then you could start with a fantastic dinner and a safe and peaceful first night, picking up groceries in the morning. You might want to check out Mana Foods in Paia, lots of nice local produce and other great foods.

                    We'll be in Kapalua and Makena in March. I'd love to do a long stay in Hana sometime too.
                    I hope your week in Hana is fantastic, peaceful and safe.

                  2. re: Suzie4399
                    kathryn Dec 15, 2013 07:29 AM

                    I would also make a backup plan if your flight is delayed.

                  3. c
                    cobpdx Dec 16, 2013 08:53 AM

                    I would echo what many have said already - if it is at all possible to stay near the airport the night you arrive and re-group in the morning, I would also strongly recommend that.

                    That being said, if you are spending your entire vacation in Hana, enjoy it for what it is...secluded, quiet, and with some beautiful places to visit that you otherwise would not want to drive to if you were staying on another part of the island. See as much of the stuff in/near Hana as you can (particularly the areas past Hana), so you don't feel like you have to return to it on a future trip. There are some fruit stands, etc. scattered around, so I think you will still find some of the things you are looking for.

                    1. b
                      Bellachefa Dec 16, 2013 08:33 PM

                      I should disclose that I like challenging driving. I once flew from Boston and did a 1 1/2 hour drive to our east end lodging on Molokai in the dark. However, if I were flying from Boston to Maui, the road to Hana would be too challenging with all the one lane bridges. You need to have all senses at %100. Now if I was coming from the west coast, I'd have no problem doing the drive in the dark.

                      So, do give the cautionary posts due thought.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Bellachefa
                        Suzie4399 Dec 28, 2013 05:42 PM

                        Thanks everyone! You all have convinced us to leave the drive to Hana until the morning... Any suggestions on where to stay near the airport the first night? I looked into Mama's Fish House Inn, but it's pretty $$$. Somewhere <$250 would be great. And somewhere near delicious eats would be great as well :)

                        1. re: Suzie4399
                          kathryn Dec 28, 2013 06:16 PM

                          Do you have a guidebook like Maui Revealed or similar? A good map or smartphone app for Maui?

                          There aren't a huge number of lodging options near the airport. Most tourists stay in West or South Maui so that's where the majority of options are. You can probably find something adequate for your budget near OGG since it is just one night, just warning you there aren't tons of options.

                          Check out this web site:

                          When you click on Kahului or Paia, the red dots will show you what hotels etc are there. As you can see, not that many to choose from. Lots of delicious eats in Paia though.

                          Try to post on an all purpose travel site like TripAdvisor if you need more help. Lodging advice is usually outside the scope of Chowhound.

                          Also I would bring a collapsible cooler from home to store perishables in before you make the drive to Hana, just in case.

                          1. re: Suzie4399
                            kathryn Dec 29, 2013 02:25 PM

                            One more thing, coming from the Mainland, you will probably wake up early the next day, like 4am or 5am. Sunrise isn't until around 6:30am in March.

                            I'd look up the opening hours of various grocery stores and figure out when you want to depart for Hana, trying to beat the morning rush or time it to go after the day trippers. Safeway is 24/7 btw. Foodland Kihei is 24/7 but the Kahului one opens at 6am. Whole Foods, 7am, but Costco is 9:30/10am.

                            1. re: Suzie4399
                              autumm Dec 30, 2013 10:32 PM

                              I'm so glad you made that decision. The road to Hana is beautiful but stressful. The locals seem to expect others to defer to them on the bridges, but there is not a blinking "I"M A LOCAL" driver sign so it's chicken driving . Aka who's more chicken. . . We wound up behind a tour mini bus for half the trip which was very stress relieving for me.

                              1. re: Suzie4399
                                Beach Chick Jan 3, 2014 02:21 AM

                                Aloha. .
                                Excellent you are leaving next day.
                                Courtyard Marrioitt close to OGG is in your price point.

                            2. b
                              Bellachefa Dec 29, 2013 10:41 AM

                              Honestly, if you are heading straight out in the morning, I would stay at one of the convenience hotels nearby like Maui Seaside, and then have a nice meal at Halliamaille General Store or in Paia. Get a quick night sleep and head out before the day trippers. Or get an affordable place in Kihei and shop in the morning before heading out.

                              1. r
                                rexster314 Dec 29, 2013 08:18 PM

                                There's also a Courtyard by Marriott almost across the street from Costco

                                1. k
                                  kathryn Apr 2, 2014 07:48 PM

                                  How was the trip?

                                  1. s
                                    Suzie4399 Apr 2, 2014 09:15 PM

                                    Hello all,
                                    Thank you so much for the advice! We had a wonderful 2 weeks in Maui. It was a studycation for me, as I just completed my Pediatrics board exams today (wow, the relief!), so staying in Hana was an excellent plan for us.
                                    Because of the location (and because the drive to Hana made me horribly carsick), we did a lot of cooking at home with groceries we got at Costco/Safeway as you all suggested.
                                    We did have a very enjoyable meal at Mama's Fish House the first night. We also had an enjoyable lunch at Thai Food by Pranee in Hana. It was a bit greasy, but the flavors were nice.
                                    I really enjoyed the delicious chocolate peanut butter mochi from Maui Specialty Chocolates... Dreaming of that right now. Other treats included Shaka Pops (pineapple ginger was my favourite) and banana loaf and fresh fruit from the numerous farm stands around Hana.
                                    Another highlight was Mana Foods in Paia... What an amazing little grocery store!
                                    Thanks again everyone! We can't wait to return to Maui!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Suzie4399
                                      kathryn Apr 3, 2014 05:34 AM

                                      Congrats on your exams and thanks for the report!

                                      1. re: Suzie4399
                                        Beach Chick Apr 4, 2014 06:01 AM

                                        Aloha and Congrats!

                                        The banana loaf is so good..

                                        Maui will be calling us in a couple of months and been jonesing for some Mama's Fish House..

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