Paia Fish Market
1913 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei
This laid-back, seafood-centric dive with lots of light and communal tables serves what many agree are the best fish sandwiches on the island. Everything on the menu, from the Mahi in the fish tacos to the Ahi in the sashimi, is caught locally and prepped fresh the second it’s delivered every morning by local fishermen. And if seafood isn’t your thing, the burgers and chicken dishes are all sourced from neighboring Maui farms. There's another location in Paia.
1 Bay Club Pl., Lahaina
Peter Merriman was one of the pioneers of the local food scene in Hawaii—he was at the forefront of efforts to grow vegetables in the local volcanic soils, so they could be eaten fresh (rather than after a lengthy journey on a boat). Today, he partners with local farmers to serve his three restaurants, and there’s one each on Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. The dining room and menu are dressed up without being overly stuffy, so it’s ideal for a nicer family or group outing. Try the upcountry salad (made with kale and butter lettuce from local farms), the fresh-caught mahi mahi, and vegetarian taro cake.
Hāna Ranch Provisions (Closed)
71 Baldwin Ave., Pāʻia
Hana Ranch reminds us a bit of Cabo’s Flora Farms. Almost all of the food served at the quaint to-go counter and in the dining room comes from their farm and ranch, a 3,600-acre cattle ranch and organic farm in East Maui. They’re dedicated to responsible farming and livestock practices, aiming to be not just sustainable but regenerative, leaving their land and community better with each project. The food at their counter (sandwiches, juices, pastries, and meats/sausages) is ridiculously fresh and easy for grab-and-go lunches, but if you have time, swing for a full meal in the dining room to try signature dishes like their rice bowls, short ribs, and the now-famous Hana burger, which is served on a brioche bun.
Hali’imaile General Store
900 Hali'imaile Rd., Makawao
Bev and Joe Gannon’s story sounds more like something you’d daydream from a cubicle than reality—they were producers and managers in Los Angeles when Bev decided to go to cooking school and they both made the move to Maui to start their catering business. They opened Hali’imaile General Store in the ‘80s, and while their restaurant group has continued to grow, the store is still the local favorite. You’ll find the restaurant among the pineapple fields in a historic building that was built in the 1920s to serve camp workers—the décor is subtle and light, with big wide windows at the front. As for the food, Bev does her best to source all of her ingredients on the islands, rather than importing them from the mainland—she relies heavily on local specialties like Kalua pork, fresh island fish, and coconut.
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