Episode 81: A Foodie’s Paradise: 5 Must-Visit Local Spots to Eat on Maui

by | Apr 21, 2023


Aloha food lovers! Are you ready to embark on a journey of culinary delights on Maui? In this episode of Hawaii’s Best: Traveling with Aloha Edition, we’ll explore five mouthwatering local food places on the island of Maui that you absolutely must visit.

So pack your appetite and join us as we taste our way through Maui’s food scene.

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1. Southshore Grindz


Nestled in the core of Kihei, mere steps from Kamaole Beach, Southshore Grindz stands as one of Maui’s most distinguished and recent culinary establishments.

Their mission revolves around bolstering Maui-based merchants and purveyors by integrating their produce into the menu—a commendable endeavor!

Southshore Grindz’s menu boasts appetizers, salads, paninis, burgers, local platters, and noodle dishes, supplemented by a Keiki (children) menu and an array of confections housed in a cooler by the counter.

Delectable starters comprise Ceviche, Poke Bowl, and the popular Fried Spam Musubi. The Asian Chicken Salad’s freshness and classic flair is exemplary, while their Teriyaki beef Banh Mi sandwich interpretation is simply divine.

All sandwiches and burgers are accompanied by fries or macaroni salad, but we highly recommend the Truffle Fries upgrade for a sumptuous experience.

Other flavorful dishes include Mochiko Chicken, Sesame Crusted Seared Ahi, Local Saimin, and Garlic Crab Noodles. For a gastronomic adventure of assorted tastes, opt for the Sumo Plate featuring Chicken Katsu and Roast Pork.

Southshore Grindz extends a BYOB invitation to patrons, striving to cultivate a relaxed atmosphere with delectable food and uplifting vibes, encouraging diners to unwind and linger. Conveniently, Aloha Discount Liquor is situated right next door for your BYOB needs.

2. Down the Hatch

local places to eat on maui down the hatch

Positioned on the lower tier of the Wharf Cinema Center, opposite Lahaina’s Banyan Tree, Down The Hatch is the brainchild of Javier Barberi, David Fincher, and Julian Bonfardin, seasoned veterans of Maui’s esteemed eateries and resorts.

Their Fish Tacos, Louisiana Po’Boys, and Lobster & Crab Stuffed Grilled Cheese Sandwiches have stirred Maui’s culinary circles, making them a must-try hotspot.

Down the Hatch should be your go-to destination for a meal, adult shave ice, and entertainment when venturing out in Lahaina. They offer themed nights at their bar, such as Flip Coin, and live music throughout the week.

Don’t miss their local Maui artist showcases and delectable signature cocktails. Their Happy Hour is among West Maui’s finest.

3. Tasty Crust

best spots to eat on maui

For over five decades, Tasty Crust’s “World Famous Pancakes” have been a staple of Maui’s culinary landscape. With its endearing, vintage ambiance, reasonable pricing, and warm-hearted staff, Tasty Crust presents an array of enticing options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Wailuku.

Morning favorites include Banana Hotcakes, T-Bone Steak, Opakapaka and Eggs, and the Local Style Omelet (featuring Spam, linguica, cheese, and green onion).

Tasty Crust’s extensive menu features crowd-pleasers like Chopped Steak, Loco Moco, Korean Pork Ribs, Extra Crispy Chicken, Saimin, Won Ton Min, Chow Fun, Chinese Chicken Salad, along with a variety of sandwiches, burgers, and salads.

4. Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill

Ulupalakua Ranch Store Grill

Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill’s Executive Chef, Will Munder, proudly proclaims, “We’re becoming a food destination.” A visit to their website (www.ulupalakuaranch.com) reveals the ranch’s deep agricultural roots, dating back to 1856.

Since 1963, the Erdman family has owned and operated the approximately 18,000-acre Ulupalakua Ranch, including the historic ranch store.

A scenic drive through Upcountry Maui reveals awe-inspiring vistas of outer islands, Mt. Haleakala, and the rolling pastures of Kula, Keokea, and Ulupalakua.

Savor their renowned Ulupalakua Elk Burger, Maui Cattle Company Beef Burger, Hot Roasted Kalua Pig on a fresh torta roll, or Uncle Mike’s Steak Chili & Rice Bowl.

The plate lunches are irresistible—our top pick is the Hamburger Steak served with Kona Coffee Gravy and Roasted Garlic Aioli, available in beef, elk, or lamb.

All meats served are 100% all-natural, island-grazed, and free from growth hormones or artificial ingredients.

5. Komoda Store & Bakery

best places to eat on maui Komoda Store and Bakery

Since 1916, Komoda Store & Bakery has remained the undisputed donut champion on Maui. Situated in Historic Makawao Town, the bakery attracts residents and visitors alike with its mouth-watering array of classic Hawaiian-style baked goods.

If your itinerary includes a trip Upcountry to the Haleakala Crater or Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, seize this rare opportunity to indulge in Maui’s culinary delights.

Arrive early, as doors close once the bakery sells out. Time-honored favorites and must-try items at Komoda Bakery include Glazed Stick Donuts, Strawberry Doughnuts, Chocolate & Vanilla Cream Doughnuts, Cream Puffs, and Guava Malasadas.

A visit to Komoda Bakery is a remarkable vacation experience for your taste buds and a chance to delve into Maui’s rich history.

Maui’s culinary landscape is a treasure trove of gastronomic delights, offering an eclectic mix of flavors and experiences. From the enchanting Southshore Grindz to the historic Komoda Store & Bakery, these eateries exemplify the island’s rich cultural heritage and passion for quality ingredients.

Whether you’re a seasoned food enthusiast or a casual traveler seeking unique dining adventures, Maui’s diverse range of local food places promises to satiate your appetite and leave you with unforgettable memories.

So, immerse yourself in the island’s culinary wonders and indulge your senses in the delectable offerings of these quintessential Maui eateries.

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How Does Hawaiian Culture Influence the Local Food Scene on Maui?

The influence of Hawaiian culture on the local food scene of Maui is vividly showcased at leilani’s on the beach maui hawaii. This renowned restaurant combines the island’s rich culinary traditions with its vibrant cultural heritage. Indulge in authentic Hawaiian delicacies while immersed in the enchanting beachside atmosphere, where every bite becomes an unforgettable cultural experience. Feel the spirit of Maui through its delectable cuisine at Leilani’s on the Beach Maui Hawaii.

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