Travel

Maui Specialty

Establishment neighborhood
Thai food trucks
Maui
Some of the best food in Maui comes from the Thai food trucks that are sprinkled all over the island. Most are run by different people, but every one we have tried is spectacular. Which is to say: When you see a Thai food truck in Maui, pull over. Then order the pad Thai and spring rolls—you won’t be sorry. Most Thai food trucks are parked on or very near the coast, and if you have time to sample a few over the course of a trip, selecting the best is one of the most delicious road trip games you could ever imagine.
Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop
820 Olowalu Village Rd., Lahaina
One of our first stops after landing on Maui is always Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop on the west coast. Everything is fresh and expertly prepared, and there’s a range of lunch options, whether healthy (mixed hydroponic greens with local herbs and tomatoes) or marginally gluttonous (a silky, rich coconut cream pie). The height of lunch hour can get crushingly busy, so come on the later or earlier side to avoid crowds. If you do have to wait in line (which sometimes stretches out the door), we promise that it’ll be well worth it.
Upcountry Farmers Market
55 Kiopaa St., Pukalani
This farmers market (which has been a community staple for more than 40 years) has a lot of prepared food options, which is a great reason to check it out even if you're not staying somewhere that allows for home cooking—it seems counterintuitive, but the Indian food at the Star Anise stall is bar-none. In addition to the standard locally grown fruits and veggies, you'll find Hawaii-specific items like coconuts, macadmia nuts, coffee, and lilikoi butter, a curd-like spread made from passionfruit that tastes great on pretty much anything.
Maui Brewing Co. Brewpub
4405 Honoapiilani Hwy., Lahaina
Indulging in a cold one after hitting the waves is a pretty significant part of Hawaii’s surf culture. Maui Brewing Co.’s pub offshoot has a dozen or so locally brewed varieties on draft (some from its own brewery in Kihei, where you can also get your hands on Maui Cookie Lady cookies) supplemented by international brews, and a gastropub-style menu of shareable dishes like flatbreads, salads, sliders, and truffle oil-spiked "adult" mac and cheese. Keep in mind that you’re going for the booze, not the ambiance, which here skews a little sports-bar with multiple flat screens and lots of noise.
Maui Coffee Roasters
44 Hana Hwy., Kahului
While the strip mall storefront doesn’t look like much, this local favorite is in the business of serving the best of Hawaii’s locally grown coffee. Unlike the rest of the U.S., Hawaii is uniquely hospitable to coffee farming, with each island producing countless delicious varieties. The café, in addition to brewing the perfect lattes, cappuccinos, and Americanos, has a small but mighty menu of breakfast and lunch basics with a local twist (ask for a toasted bagel slathered in guava butter). We like stopping by on our way to the airport to pick up fresh-roasted souvenirs for friends back home.
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