The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
1 Ritz Carlton Dr., Lahaina
Fresh off a resort-wide renovation, this North Shore Maui hotel benefits from its relatively out-of-the-way location. Unlike the string of hotels that cluster around beaches further south, The Ritz-Carlton stands alone on a bluff overlooking the Pacific and the tiny island of Molokai. All 466 guest rooms have been updated with a neutral, subdued color scheme and hints of what’s outside—green accent pillows that echo the color of the palm trees, coral-patterned textiles, conceptual images of surfboards as artwork. Of the five restaurants on-site, our favorite is Ulana—especially for breakfast. The macadamia and banana pancakes are worth the indulgence, though the healthy smoothies (like the Green Goddess, made with spinach, kale, avocado, kiwi, apple, chia seeds, and matcha powder) are a very close second.
Pink by Nature
3663 Baldwin Ave., Makawao
The tiny town of Makawao in central Maui has one main commercial street, Baldwin Avenue, with some charming cafés, restaurants, and stores. It’s here you’ll find the island’s best women’s clothing and accessories shop, Pink by Nature. Aside from swimwear, flowy shirts, and dresses by small, independent brands like Rails, Boys + Arrows, and Indah, owner Desiree Martinez stocks fun keepsakes, like rose quartz crystals. Next door, you’ll find its brother store, Homme by Nature, run by Martinez’s partner, Marco Daniele.
Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm
1100 Waipoli Rd., Kula
Miles from the ocean and high in the hills of Maui’s pastoral Upcountry, this lavender farm is a very worthy day trip—even if it means tearing yourself away from the waves for a few hours. It’s an incredibly relaxing experience to stroll among the lavender fields. There are 55,000 lavender plants here, including forty-five different varieties of lavender (and in case you didn’t know that there even were forty-five types of lavender, well, you’re not alone), spread across thirteen well-tended acres. There are also chicken coops, a shop that sells farm-made bath products, and spectacular views everywhere you look.
360 Papa Pl., Kahului
Former Top Chef contestant and local Sheldon Simeon and his wife, Janice, opened Tin Roof in 2016 in Kahului, which is the closest thing you’ll find to a big city on the island (population: 26,000, give or take). It’s an unassuming noodle shack that serves delicious bowls of saimin (a popular island dish made of fresh noodles in broth, topped with green onion, soft-boiled egg, pork belly, and bean sprouts). It became such a hit that the Simeons plan to open a new spot nearby this year. The menu will pay homage to Sheldon’s Filipino heritage, while using only ingredients indigenous to Hawaii.
The Mill House
1670 Honoapiilani Hwy., Waikapu
A relative newcomer to Maui, the Mill House debuted two years ago in the rural Waikapu Valley. The restaurant sources most ingredients (avocados, carrots, fennel, papaya) from its own sixty-acre plantation or from nearby farms, so expect to be blown away by the vibrant flavors. For dinner, you can’t go wrong with the locally caught mahi-mahi or snapper.
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.
780 Haiku Rd., Haiku
This sister restaurant to Paia Fish Market is more subdued—but no less delicious. While the space is small, the menu is mighty: Sashimi platters, excellent bowls, specialty rolls, and plenty of poke, all sourced from local purveyors wherever possible. Don't miss the Asian French Fries, served with wasabi aioli and furikake, or the Japanese fried chicken.
3617 Baldwin Ave., Paia
Now three locations strong, this Paia stronghold is the place to go on the island when you not only want a really good latte, but you want it to be matcha. The menu of teas and coffees is massive—if not overwhelming—but it's all good, as are the pastries. (Get the coffee cake.) As one would expect, there's also an ample smoothie and juice offering.
49 Baldwin Ave., Paia
In search of organic almond milk or gluten-free pasta? This health-centric grocery store—open since the '80s—offers an extensive array of pantry items that you'll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere on the island, plus really beautiful produce that's been sourced from more than 400 local purveyors. What's more? They use compostable and biodegradable packaging at all their counters, including the deli and butcher shop.
Paia Inn Café
93 Hana Hwy, Paia
This indoor/outdoor café—which is part of the sweet and sleepy Paia Inn—serves one of the town's best brunches, with a menu that spans from cardamon french toast to a breakfast board that includes both pork belly and lox. They source ingredients from local Maui farmers, and focus on whatever is hyper-fresh, as illustrated by an exhaustive array of fresh juices.
You may also like