Paia Fish Market
100 Baldwin Ave., Paia
This laid-back seafood restaurant is exactly the kind of place we dream about and can never find. It’s a super chill dive filled with natural light and communal tables, and it serves what many agree are the best fish sandwiches anywhere on the island. Everything on the menu—from the mahi in the fish tacos to the ahi sashimi—is caught locally and prepped the second it’s delivered by local fishermen every morning. If seafood isn’t your thing, the burgers and chicken dishes are all sourced from neighboring farms. You can’t go wrong. (There are two other locations on the island.)
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.
151 Hana Hwy., Paia
Part surf shop, part yoga studio, part surfing school, Pome is quintessentially Paia: Crunchy, stylish, spiritual, earth-friendly. On-site, you'll find everything from affordable Reiki sessions to Ashtanga and Kundalini, along with a surf-centric smattering of goods, like surfing animal coloring books, boards, and sunscreen wristbands. They also do a surf school, which is great for beginners (and also includes an eco-tour of Maui).
Paia Fish Market
100 Baldwin Ave., Paia
Another Paia town gem, 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 a second location in Kihei.
Mama’s Fish House
799 Poho Pl., Paia
Sitting directly on the beach and a little more high-end than the hyper-casual joints you might find in the center of Paia town, Mama’s menu of rotating fish dishes that change according to the day’s catch (you’ll find the name of the fisherman who caught your fish right on the menu) can easily hold its own as one of the best seafood places on Maui. The restaurant’s sister B&B is a good place to get a room before hitting the road to Hana.
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.
Pa'ia, a sugar cane plantation village on Maui’s North Shore with roots that date all the way back to the 1870’s, serves as the kickoff point on the Road to Hana. It’s one of those quintessentially Hawaiian surf towns where the beaches are the main attraction: While Ho’okipa beach is where you want to be to watch the local surfers tackle the famously fat swells, Baldwin beach is best if you plan on getting in the water yourself as there are lifeguards on duty and the surf is mild. Après beach, hit Paia’s main drag for lunch at Hana Ranch Provisions then spend some time exploring while making pit stops for shaved ice and Maui coffee.