Travel Tuesday: Where to Eat Out in MauiOctober 30th, 2012 by Michael Kwan
Just as I wrote a post on what you must eat in Australia, like the bay bugs along the Cairns Esplanade, I’ve put together this short list of restaurants in Maui for you to consider on your next trip. They’re located mostly along the west coast between Lahaina and Napili.
Maui Sunrise Cafe
I love great breakfast spots and this is one of those hidden gems off the main road in Lahaina. The breakfast here is pretty decent and it’s reasonably priced (from a Hawaiian point of view).
Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice
If you’re going to visit Maui, you’ll need to get yourself some shave ice (it’s not shaved ice). You pick three flavors of syrup and the ice is shaved on top of some fresh ice cream. Get the small (pictured), as the large is way too large.
Honu is one of the places that is probably closer to being “fine dining,” but the dress code is still very casual and the oceanfront location can’t be beat. The portions are generous and the dishes are quite tasty. Food isn’t cheap on the island, though. That pork shank with red wine demi glace is $37.
This is far more affordable fare, but it’s also much closer in scope to being a fast food joint. I’ve had better tacos in Vancouver at places like Sal y Limon and Dona Cata, but these fish tacos aren’t bad either. The salsa bar is pretty decent too.
Old Lahaina Luau
When you come to Hawaii, there are a couple things that you have to do. You have to go snorkeling (or some other water activity) and you have to go to a luau. Yes, these tourist traps are overpriced and the drinks are watered down, but the food at Old Lahaina Luau was quite tasty and varied. The kalua pua’a is particularly notable, because you can watch them get the whole pig out of the Imu underground oven.
Hidden at the top of a hill in some industrial area is this relatively new noodle restaurant that can’t really decide what it is. They have everything from Pad Thai to Soba, but I decided to go with the Hapa Ramen. The broth reminded me a little of the charcoal broth at Motomachi Shokudo, but the noodles didn’t have the same kind of texture as I’m used to having with ramen. Even so, if you’re hankering for a soup noodle fix in Maui, Star Noodle isn’t such a bad bet.
CJ’s Deli and Diner
They’re not fancy. Located in a strip mall near Ka’anapali, CJ’s serves their meals on paper plates with plastic cutlery. Again, the breakfast is pretty decent and you can usually find a 2-for-1 coupon in one of those tourist maps you find at the mall or other tourist information centers.
Tiki Terrace Sunday Brunch
Remember how I said that food on the island is generally not cheap? This is especially the case when it comes to meals like the Sunday Champagne Brunch served at Tiki Terrace, a short walk from the Whalers Village in Ka’anapali. It is all you can eat, including champagne, sushi, and fresh seafood, but it is also about $50 per person. It was our last day in Maui, so we splurged. You get serenaded by some roaming musicians too.
I’m sure there are other notable places in eat in Maui, particularly in areas like Kihei and Kahului. If you’ve been to the island, do you have any suggestions for future visits?