Where Do Locals Eat in Maui?
When traveling to Maui often times the number 1 question tourists ask is, “Where do locals eat in Maui?” Well, on our trip to Maui we explored and found where the locals eat in Maui.
Eating in Maui
It’s so easy when on vacation to stick with restaurants found in your hotel or operated by chain names you are familiar with, but sometimes venturing out off the tourist path will lead you to new discoveries.
During our 2 week stay in Maui, we explored all over the island and found a number of great local Maui spots to eat.
Here are 16 of our favorite 16 Local Maui Spots to Eat.
Not far from the aquarium, keep driving to the marina to find this little general store with a great little lunch counter.
Of course, picking up Maui Onion chips is a must here and also Lemon Meringue Masalada. There’s plenty of seats outside overlooking the harbor and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to score one of the two swing tables, a highlight for the kids.
Sometimes it pays off when you drive off course.
We were driving around Wailuka to find the public beach and we stumbled upon Fatt Chicks Burgers attached to a public golf course. The smoker sitting outside convinced us to go in and boy were we glad.
Don’t let the sparse lunch counter interior deter you. Grab a seat and order one of their gourmet burgers or my favorite, the Kim Chee Loco Moco. Both the patty and kimchee are made in house and are delicious together. It was so good that I went back for another order before our flight home.
When the staff at the Grand Wailea spa tell you to visit the local Foodland for fresh poke, you listen.
The grocery store was a great find for local food finds without the high restaurant price. It was perfect to take back to your room or in our case, eat on a picnic.
We sampled the various types of poke from the seafood counter at the back of the store and boy did it taste fresh.
We also found spam musubi (fried spam and rice wrapped in seaweed) as well as a new family favorite, mocha ice cream (ice cream wrapped in rice dough). Who knows what other delights await you down the aisles of the store.
If you’re looking for a culinary treat on your trip make a reservation at this local Maui hotspot.
It’s located on the second floor of an outdoor mall complex offering both indoor and outdoor seating as well as live music.
We visited based on a recommendation from locals to try their handcrafted Mai Tai. I’ve never had this cocktail with a honey-lilikoi foam on top but what an experience. Of course, you’ll find a full menu of great choices from wood-fired pizza and poke tacos to nut crusted Mahi Mahi and Maui cattle burgers. The assortment is quite extensive.
These handcrafted lemonades made using local ingredients became a morning staple for us.
The small Kehi location in a strip mall tends to get busy in the morning so you may have to wait a little as each order is made fresh. If you plan on visiting more than once invest in one of their reusable mason jars. They make a great souvenir plus you get a discount when you refill.
If lemonade isn’t your thing, grab one of their bowls as a way to jump-start your day.
Driving through the lush hills in the pineapple fields around the base of Haleakala you’ll have to make a detour to the historic Hali’imaile General Store, but it is well worth it, trust me!
What was once a company store for a pineapple plantation is now a great local restaurant. The inside feels like an airy country kitchen and the staff is like old family. Even though I’m not usually a fan of kid’s menus, the Shrimp Cocktail on the Keiki menu was a fabulous choice.
Duo (Four Seasons)
The Four Seasons is a beautiful family resort, designed to take advantage of the wonderful ocean sunsets. You can still enjoy a little local fair if you plan a visit to the resort’s DUO restaurant on a Friday night.
The restaurant turns into a market where guests can customize their salad based on local ingredients on display and even select their fish and meat cut directly from the kitchen.
We discovered Hulu pie on our first visit to Hawaii, at the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach (Must-try dessert in Hawaii). This deep dish macadamia nut ice cream pie on a chocolate cookie crust is topped with chocolate fudge, whipped cream and more macadamia nuts is one of my favorite sweet treats.
When I discovered it originated at Kimo’s in Maui, we had to visit. Grab a table on the back deck for a great oceanfront view
To find this local Maui spot to eat just drive up country and toward the Haleakala Crater. It will show you a very different side of Maui.
On our way to Keokea you enjoy great elevated views of the Maalaea Bay and the Maui West Mountains. There aren’t many buildings as you make the drive but you’ll want to make a quick stop at Grandma’s Coffee House perched on the side of the road.
Here you can refuel with coffee or refill your water bottle at the water cooler but you can’t leave without sampling the delicious pineapple banana dream cake.
A visit to Hawaii isn’t complete without coloring your tongue on some sweet shave ice. Opinions run high on who is the favorite but I would have to say our pick (after many, many samples) has to be Ulluani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice.
You’ll find 6 different locations on the island so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy this treat.
We often stopped at the Kehei roadside stand after a day driving around the island.
The hardest part will be choosing your flavor. We made it a challenge to try a new flavor every time we visited.
Be sure to grab a frequent shopper card. Your frequent visits could earn you a free shave ice of any size!
My recommendation would be to get one stuffed (I love their macadamia ice cream center) and topped with a snow cap of a sweetened condensed milk mixture. The last may sound unappealing but it is heavenly and the way I ordered mine each time.
Another great burger spot we discovered in Waikiki, Cheeseburger, also originated in Lahaina on the island of Maui. The bustling restaurant has two floors with the busy main street on one side and a wonderful ocean view on the other. Tables further from the ocean view are raised so everyone can enjoy the view.
Cheeseburger Island Style with kalua pork and grilled pineapple is a favorite but if you’re looking for something without a bun try their Loco Moco.
Can you tell I’m a fan of the island favorite loco moco dish?
A visit to Hawaii always draws me into the tiki culture, well the food and drink aspect anyway.
Tucked away in a busy hub of restaurants and local market stalls of the Kihei Kalama Village you’ll find the South Shore Tiki Lounge known for great flat crust pizza and lovely mai tai cocktails.
We loved as a family sitting on the outside deck among the tiki torches. In the later part of the evening, things tend to get louder with live entertainment.
It was actually from reading local blogs I heard about Takaka Guri Guri,another local Maui spot to eat. It is sort of a blend of ice cream and sorbet.
This cash-only little shop is hidden behind Longs Drug Store in the Maui Mall. It’s a nice treat in a cup for a few dollars.
The drive around the West Maui Mountains hugs the coastline giving you amazing views of the blue ocean.
You’ll see surfers and will find a few pullovers so you can stick your toes in the sand. Before you hit the town of Lahiani you’ll pass Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop on the mountainside. Keep your eyes open as we passed it twice before realizing and it is worth the stop.
You’ll find a fresh fruit market to the side when it’s open but it’s the café you’ll want to stop in for a mini homemade pie and fresh sandwiches.
Eating local in Maui doesn’t mean you have to eat out. Visit Da Kitchen for one of their combo plates to go. It includes meat choices like teriyaki chicken or beef, kalua pork, chicken katsu, but be prepared to be full.
You can also pick up the local favorite musubi. Y
ou can find two locations in Maui, Kihei (our favorite take-out spot) and Kahului.
Looking for fish tacos? Head to this counter-service restaurant with an open-air family-style seating area.
I should point out that the plate specials are pretty big offering both rice and home fried potatoes alongside your taco order.
For a lighter appetite, you can order tacos a la carte and enjoy with a Mexican Coke (the soda). You can visit one of two locations, the original in Paia off Hana Highway and the smaller Kihei spot we visited.
There you have it! 16 of the best local Maui spots to eat! Have you been to Maui? What places would you recommend?
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