Maui recs?

Headed there in January for the first time since 1993. I am traveling solo, and am a small person, so big fancy meals are not what I’m looking for. I love strip-mall immigrant chow, and I’d also love suggestions for bars with good snacks and maybe nice (local) music.

Check out this thread on FTC

What part of the island are you staying at?
Love Star Noodle in Lahaina.
There are so many local eats…
Great Poke at Foodland or Tamura’s.
Have apps and drinks out on the gorgeous oceanfront patio at Merrimans.
Gazebo in Napili for breakfast/lunch…Fried rice is delicious but HUGE…could last a week for you!
Koiso for sushi in Kihei but you gotta make reservations but one of the best in da islands.


Thanks–I am 3 nights in Kihei and 3 in Haiku. There seem to be some interesting places upcountry these days–I am booked one night at Hana Ranch Provisions. The rest of my meals I am leaving open depending on where I happen to be at the time.

I’d head to Smoking Goat Dairy to check it out…Tedeschi winery in upcountry.
If you love sushi, Koiso is a must.
Upcountry, I’ve hit up Kula Lodge…Naka for sushi
Kihei Caffe for breakfast…808 Deli…Sam Soto’s in Wailuku
Happy Hour at Migrant
Paia Fish House
Love Mama’s Fish House for lunch but can be $$ but lovely old school Hawaii.
Leota’s for pie or Manapua bakery



Maui trip report:

Eskimo Candy, Kihei - poke bowl (lunch): comes with 4 kinds of ahi tuna poke, with very fine wasabi sauce and a good handful of seaweed under the fish. Super! My favorites of the poke were the shoyu and the spicy. $12, not cheap, but you get a lot of fish.

South Maui Fish Co. food truck, Kihei - poke bowl (lunch): I got half regular and half spicy. To me the regular was better, a nice light dressing. Pineapple cole slaw is fine but not worth going out of the way for. Very friendly service. $14, really not cheap, but you get a lot of very fresh fish. Apparently the owners’ boat is under refurbishment right now so they are buying fish from other fishermen, but it’s still very good.

Monkeypod Kitchen, Wailea - drinks and coconut corn chowder (evening): Someone needs to tell Hawaii that happy hour runs from 4-7, not 2-5. I got there just after 5 expecting the happy hour prices and menu, but ended up getting a $9 bowl of soup that was good, but pretty stingy in size even for a $5 bowl of soup. The soup and my cocktail were very good, but the soup was shockingly overpriced. So was the cocktail, but that seems par for the course in Hawaii.

Ono Munchies food truck, Honolua - one shrimp and one pork taco (lunch): Awful. Stale/dry blue corn tortillas, fried shrimp that had been lying around for hours and was not even close close to hot, dried-out pork, flavorless and sauceless cabbage slaw, oddly acidic salsa. Something is very wrong here because this place appears to get great reviews on Yelp, and was on the list of the CH poster who suggested many of my other good restaurants–I’m sure I was at the same food truck (based on Yelp photos), but the food was absolutely terrible. The $10 cost just added insult to injury. I threw out half of my meal.

Fish Market Maui, Honokowai - shrimp taco (lunch): Fantastic, hot, fresh shrimp taco served on fresh and delicious tortillas. Everything the Ono Munchies taco should have been, AND CHEAPER. $4.50 for one taco.

Star Noodle, Lahaina - takeout dinner: A solid meal, but I’m glad I decided to order takeout rather than waiting 45-60 minutes for a table (I got there Sunday evening around 7, solo.) I had a half-size portion of the Lahaina Fried Soup (thick, square noodles, ground pork, and bean sprouts) and an order of kimchi (super garlicky). The food was fine but not worth waiting an hour for, especially since it took me about ten minutes to eat it (in my car, sitting in a parking lot in Lahaina). Interestingly, this was one of my cheapest real meals, under $12, and quite filling.

Poi by the Pound, Kahului - takeout lunch: a poke bowl, half regular and half spicy, with a side of macaroni salad. The poke was OK, but not standout–a nice touch was the seaweed-sesame furikake seasoning over the rice. The macaroni salad was creamy-tasting, better than most, but still not enticing enough to get me to eat the whole thing. Good vale at $12.

Pangea, Haiku - light dinner: I was only hungry enough to eat one thing, the coconut milk clam chowder, and it did not disappoint. Delicious and full of clams and other veggies, and a very substantial portion (although the price was also pretty substantial at $13 for a bowl of soup…oy). Very friendly service. This place opened only about a month ago and was pretty sparsely populated at 8 PM on a Monday, so I hope they get some traction.

Nuka, Haiku - dinner: the star of my vacation as far as sit-down meals. I sat at the sushi counter and ate a bunch of small things–a small plate of burdock-carrot salad with sesame-sake-soy dressing (a very delicate, light and healthy start to my meal); a small plate of broiled eggplant with sweet miso and sesame (astonishingly delicious and perfectly executed–I could have ordered three of them and been happy); and three orders of sushi: hokki clam, unagi, and a special of chu toro. The clam was the best–the unagi had a bit too much sauce (once I scraped it off the second piece I thought it was much better) and the chu toro was a little too soft for my taste, but I’m sure that was just me. $43 with tax–by far my priciest meal thus far, but excellent.

Island Taco, Haiku - lunch: amazingly good value for a very substantial and very good fish taco, on a full-size flour tortilla with tons of toppings including a gorgeous and massive slice of avocado. Minimal wait (4-5 minutes) at 1:30 PM on a weekday at this kiosk surrounded by food trucks in the shopping center parking lot. $6 for one taco, which was plenty filling for me.

Hana Ranch Provisions, Paia - dinner: the menu is short but had a lot of things I wanted to order. I went with the whole roasted eggplant with za’atar and yogurt, served with braised greens and roasted chickpeas, plus a glass of very tasty and light Pinot Noir from California. The eggplant was nice–though they should have given me 3x the quantity of those roasted chickpeas, which were superb–but it was a little too much eggplant. This would work better as half an eggplant in an appetizer, IMO. Still, very tasty, including the mixed braised greens. I was disappointed that there were only two desserts offered, neither of which called to me, so I was in and out pretty quickly. $33 total with tax.

Da Kitchen, Kahului - lunch: really delicious teriyaki beef and chicken bowl over rice, with furikake, nori, and sriracha mayo. I was pressed for time (heading to my flight out) when I inhaled this meal, which I wish I could have lingered over. The menu had tons of items I would have liked to try. Very good and quick service, and a great (and very substantial) lunch for $16.


Thank you for the fab report…
Craving me some Star Noodle Ahi Poke…
Best to hit it up at lunch.

Heading out for the annual bday/anniversary to Maui in September…
Anything new and exciting or just some of your faves… staying in Ka’anapali but have a car for island cruising…

Aloha and many Mahalos

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr