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.

Planning a trip to Hawaii? Have any questions? Join our Hawaii’s Best Travel Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

This post about 5 must-visit local spots to eat on Maui may include affiliate links. If you purchase using one of these links, I may receive a small commission to support this blog.

This post offers general information only and should not be considered legal, authoritative advice. It aims to provide travelers with knowledge for safe and enjoyable outdoor activities but cannot replace individual swimming abilities, physical fitness, experience, or local up-to-date knowledge. Be aware that marine activities carry risks, and participants must assess weather, sea conditions, and hazards beforehand. Adhere to local laws and regulations.

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.

[fusebox_track_player url="https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/2828DE/www.buzzsprout.com/832225/12693621-5-must-visit-local-spots-to-eat-on-maui.mp3?download=true" social_linkedin="true" social_pinterest="true" social_email="true" ]

Episode Resources

Travel Pono (responsibly)

Connect With Us

Bumper music, Aloha Friday, provided by Coby G (used with permission)

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.

Spread Aloha

  • Leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews help other people who love Hawaii find this podcast.
  • Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

 apple podcasts badge Listen on Spotify black  Listen on Google  


A Foodie's Paradise: 5 Must-Visit Local Spots to Eat on Maui

[00:00:00] Bryan Murphy: Are you ready to embark on a journey of culinary delights a Maui? Well, in today's episode of Hawaii's Best Traveling with Aloha Edition, we'll explore five mouthwatering local food places on the island of Maui. So pack your appetite and join us as we taste our way through Maui's food scene.

[00:00:28] Hawaii's Best: We gotta celebr

[00:00:33] aloha. Welcome to Hav Hawaii's best. Here. You'll learn what to know before traveling. As we discover Hawaiian culture, local businesses, and the experiences that make hav Hawaii one of the most incredible places in the world. And now your host Brian Murphy.

[00:00:51] Bryan Murphy: Aloha, and welcome to this delicious episode of Hawaii's Best Traveling with Aloha Edition.

[00:00:57] Maybe you're wondering what the heck is traveling with [00:01:00] Aloha Edition. We used to do this thing once in a while. We do an Aloha Friday episode and today happens to be Friday and these will still be released on on Friday, also known as Aloha Friday, and you're wondering where Aloha Friday all came from.

[00:01:13] We actually wrote a blog about that and I'll link that up in the show notes, the episode description of this podcast episode. I debated going back to using the term Aloha Friday episode as just kind of a way to sneak in on a Friday just to give some helpful tips. But I thought it would be cool to give some.

[00:01:34] Tips that have to do with how to travel with aloha, how to travel pono responsibly. And that's really what the reason why I, I even started Hawaii's best was not just to share the incredible experiences of Hawaii and all the amazing culture and people of Hawaii, but to learn how to travel to Hawaii with aloha.

[00:01:56] And I'm a travel. Just like you. And that's why I [00:02:00] wanted to, to create this resource. And the intent of these episodes on Aloha Friday are just to leave us with, uh, a few tips on how to travel responsibly and how to travel with aloha. And one of the best ways to do that is to support local. And there's so many ways to support.

[00:02:18] Local. When you're traveling, be it Hawaii or anywhere else around the world, you have kind of two sections of what it means to support local. You have local people who live there, Kama I people who live and call Hawaii home and have local small businesses. And then you also have. Hawaiian owned businesses that are local and there's many ways to support local Hawaiian businesses, be it from on the continental US around the world, or even when you're visiting Hawaii.

[00:02:48] And that's something this year that I definitely want to, to create more resources and ways in how. We can all support local Hawaiian businesses. On today's episode, we are [00:03:00] talking about local businesses, so local restaurants, specifically on the island of Maui, and I got five. I want to share with you on today's episode

[00:03:11] Hawaii's Best: number one.

[00:03:13] Bryan Murphy: First step on our foodie destination is in KeHE, and it's called South Shore Grinds. This local eatery not only offers a wide range of delicious dishes, but it also has a strong commitment to supporting local Maui vendors and suppliers. And if you're looking for a place that truly embodies the spirit of Loha, south Shore Grinds is your spot.

[00:03:36] As you walk in, you'll be greeted by a welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff. Really anywhere you go around the island, you're gonna be greedy with, uh, a welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff. In particular South Shore grinds, they make you feel rat at home. Their extensive menu offers a little something for everyone.

[00:03:53] For starters, you can't go wrong with their c vk made from Fresh Cot. Fish in. Bursting [00:04:00] with flavor come on. Their Boca Bowl is another good choice, featuring seasoned raw fish, served over rice and garnish with local ingredients. And please, let's not forget about their fried spam. Musubi, a popular Hawaiian snack that combines spam rice, noisy wheat in the delightful fusion of flavors.

[00:04:20] Definitely one of my kids' favorites. All right, moving on to their main courses. South Shore Grinds offers a fantastic collection. Salads, panini, burgers, and local plates. Their Asian chicken salad is a refreshing and satisfied option while the teriyaki beef sandwich puts a unique Hawaiian twist on a Vietnamese classic.

[00:04:41] If you're feeling a little extra hungry, go for one of their local plates like the Moko Chicken, Sesame Crested, seared Ahi, local Seine or garlic crab noodle. And for those who crave variety, the sumo plate with chicken katsu and roast pork is a must try. [00:05:00] So when it comes to size, SRO grinds offers fries, mac salad with their sandwiches and burgers, but I recommend trying the truffle fries as an upgrade.

[00:05:10] They're crispy, flavorful, and absolutely. Oh no. To top it all off, Southford Grimes is a B Y O B establishment, meaning you can bring your favorite beverage to enjoy with your meal, with a Loha discount liquor conveniently located next door. And hint, it's easy to plan ahead and make your dining experience even more enjoyable.

[00:05:31] So next time you're on Maui, don't miss a chance to indulge in some tru. Unforgettable flavors at South Shore Grinds, you won't be disappointed.

[00:05:41] Hawaii's Best: Number two.

[00:05:43] Bryan Murphy: Next up on our unofficial Maui food tour. We have the fantastic down the hatch located on the bottom floor of the Wharf Cinema Center right across from La Hana's Iconic.

[00:05:55] Tree. This hotspot is a delicious place to grab a delicious bite to [00:06:00] eat and experience the vibrant atmosphere of Laina. All right. Let's talk a little bit more about their dishes that they offer and what has put down the hatch on the map. Their fish tacos. Are legendary featuring fresh local fish, cook to perfection, and served with zesty accompaniments.

[00:06:17] If you're a fan of southern cuisine, their Louisiana Po. Boys are a must try offering a taste of the Bayou right here on Maui. But the star of the show. Has to be their lobster and crab stuffed grilled cheese sandwich. Whew. Which takes comfort food to a whole new level of indulgence. Of course, no visit to down a hatch would be complete without exploring their fun and exciting bar scene.

[00:06:43] They have themed tonights and they also host live music throughout the week. A lot, a lot of places do. In Laina. Be sure to check out their local Maui artist Showcase. And don't forget to order one or a few of their delicious signature cocktails. If you're looking to cool off with a [00:07:00] frozen treat, their adult shave ice is a perfect way to beat the heat.

[00:07:05] So in short, obviously down the hatch is a must visit destination for anyone craving amazing food, great entertainment, and a lively atmosphere right in the heart of la. So make it a priority on your next trip to Maui. You won't be disappointed.

[00:07:22] Hawaii's Best: Number

[00:07:22] Bryan Murphy: three. All right, let's keep the food train going. Next up, we're headed to Wailuku to visit Tasty Crust Famous for their world famous pancakes.

[00:07:32] For over 50 years, this charming old school spot is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Some highlights include banana hot cakes, T-bone steak, and their local style ome. But that's definitely not all Their extensive menu also includes favorites like chops, steak lo MoCo, Korean pork chops, extra crispy chicken si, ang kfa, chaon, and Chinese chicken salad.

[00:07:57] Trust me, there's something for everyone at [00:08:00] Tasty Crust

[00:08:03] Hawaii's Best: number four.

[00:08:05] Bryan Murphy: All right, number four, we're talking about a scenic. Through Upcountry to Ulu, Paku Ranch Store and Grill. This ranch store is frequented mainly by locals offering unique menu items like their famous elk burger, Maui cattle company, beef burger, hot roasted Kahlua pig on a fresh torta roll, and Uncle Mike's steak, chili, and rice.

[00:08:29] Their plate lunches are to die for with options like hamburger steak served with corn and coffee gravy and roasted garlic aioli. Plus all their meats are a hundred percent all natural island grazed. Talk about responsible eating and talk about also supporting local. And finally, number five. All right, last but not least, on our five best places to eat on Maui.

[00:08:56] And I realize there's so many places to eat that are amazing and [00:09:00] local. But number five, since 1916, komoto store and Bakery has been the go-to donut. On Maui, if you're headed upcountry to Holly Aala or the Ali Lavender Farm, you can't miss this amazing local foodie stop. But make sure it arrive early as they close when they sell out.

[00:09:20] So keep that in mind. There are some must order items, including glaze, stick donuts, strawberry donuts, chocolate and vanilla cream, donuts, cream puffs, and their irresistible guava mos. Trust me, your taste buds will. Thank you for visiting this upcountry Maui spot that wraps up our culinary. Through Maui on this edition of Travel with Aloha.

[00:09:44] I hope I've inspired you to explore these delicious local food places on your next visit to Maui. And remember, you can always find more travel tips, resources in how to support local honor blog and podcasts at Hawaii's best travel.com. So until next time, be [00:10:00] well. Aloha Mahalo

[00:10:04] Hawaii's Best: for listening to this episode of Hawaii's.

[00:10:06] Best to stay up to date on future episodes. Please subscribe and visit us at hav hawaii's best travel.com Friday.

[00:10:23] We gotta,

[00:10:27] I've been working so hard all week.

powered by

Guest Post
Guest Post

Our guest posts feature some of the best writers within the world of travel, surf culture, and all things Hawaii.