Top 10 Food Items You Cant Go Home Without Trying

Maui is known all over the world as a “foodie paradise.” There are just far too many wonderful items to eat while on the island, so we have highlighted our top 10 food items you can’t go home without trying.  

Drink the BEST Mai Tai in Hawaii at Merriman’s or Moneypods

Drink the BEST Mai Tai in Hawaii at Merriman’s or Moneypods

The mai tai is considered to be the drink of the island; but, not all mai tais are created the same. Trust us when we say we have done the research on this one and sampled mai tais near and far for the perfect, tropical concoction. The mai tai that hits all the right spots, and keeps bringing us back for more, is the famous mai tai created by Chef Merriman.

This mai tai can be found here at the Kapalua Resort at Merriman’s restaurant, or, at his Monkeypod restaurant in Kaanapali. What sets this mai tai apart from all others is not only the local Lahaina rum, the house made macadamia nut orgeat, fresh lime juice and triple sec, but the honey-lilikoi foam on top. Paradise in a glass!

Enjoy Spam Musubi from the Honolua Store

Enjoy Spam Musubi from the Honolua Store

You have probably heard that spam is kind of a big deal here in Hawaii. Such a big deal that we are the number one consumer of spam in the world. One of the most popular Spam items is spam musubi. Spam musubi consists of a block of sushi rice, a fried slice of Spam that has been caramelized with soy sauce and sugar all wrapped together in nori (sea weed).

The best Spam musubi can be found at the Honolua Store here in Kapalua. This tasty trea sells out fast, as it is a favorite of locals and tourists, so we suggest grabbing yours before noon. Don’t knock it till’ you try it!

Try Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

Try Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

Let us state the simple truth – there is no better shave ice in the world than that at Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice. You have had a snow cone on the mainland?  Sorry, no competition. Nothing compares.

Ululani’s awards are endless. Year after year, Ululani continues to win the title of, “best shaved ice on the island.” Their homemade syrups and creative add-ons are nothing short of heavenly. With dozens of flavors, and premium island made ice cream to add to the bottom, it is tough to refrain from that second helping!

Try their “No Ka Oi,” a combination of coconut, mango and lilikoi. Add Roselani’s premium macadamia nut ice-cream, and toasted coconut to the top. Or, try their “Haleakala,” a creation of coconut and leche flavor, topped with sweetened condensed cream.

With over six locations on the island, you are never too far away from one of the best treats on Maui. Two of their locations are located on Front Street in Lahaina.

Grab a Poke Bowl from Tamura’s Fine Wine and Liquors

Grab a Poke Bowl from Tamura’s Fine Wine and Liquors

Tamura`s is located in the industrial district of Lahaina. They have one of the best selections of specialty beer, wine, liquor, cigars and the BEST selection of Poke on the island.

If you haven`t tried Poke, now would be the time and Tamura`s would be the place to go. Poke is a local favorite and there are a large variety of ways it can be prepared. Poke is fresh Ahi (Sashimi grade) that is prepared with sea salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, Maui Onions and other ingredients.

With over ten different varieties to choose from, you`re sure to become a fan of Tamura`s award winning Poke! Besides Poke, Tamura`s is the place to go to get some of the best deals and all things alcohol. Be sure to stock up when you get to Maui.

Sample the Original Maui Potato Chip

Sample the Original Maui Potato Chip

There is no other chip in the world like a Maui Potato Chip. And trust us when we say you will eat the whole bag after just one bite. It’s okay though, vacation calories don’t count.

The Maui Potato Chip company is locally owned by the Kobayashi family since 1956 and they only sell their chips on the island of Maui. They were the original Maui Potato Chip creators; all the other big-name chip companies then copied this style of chip which you see all over the world market today. But there is only one true Maui Potato Chip, and this is it. You won’t find all the fancy flavors like the big chip companies; there is just one.

Because they are a smaller factory you will not see a mass abundance of them on the island. You can find Maui Potato Chips at most grocery stores and the Honolua Store here in Kapalua. If you are about to fly home and forgot your bag, don’t worry! You can grab a bag at the newspaper and snack stand in the airport

 Go for Dry Noodles from Sam Sato’s

 Go for Dry Noodles from Sam Sato’s

Sato’s Sam Sato’s is located in Wailuku, but is well worth the drive! Sam Sato’s is an institution on Maui, and is probably one of the most popular restaurants for locals. Sam Sato’s is not fancy by any means; they do not serve a giant menu but they do serve the BEST “Dry Noodles” you will ever have!

If you have never tried Dry Noodles, now is the time. Sam Sato’s serves up their house made noodles, fried with char siu, bean sprouts, green onions and a bowl of dashi on the side. Sometimes it is the simple things that prove to be the most memorable. This spot is one of them.

This counter-service restaurant serves both breakfast and lunch, but it is the lunch that you should not miss.  While on that side of the island, be sure to reserve a bit of your day for Sam Sato’s.  The hours are from 7 am to 2 pm.

Have a Mixed Plate Lunch from Aloha Mixed Plate

Have a Mixed Plate Lunch from Aloha Mixed Plate

Aloha Mixed Plate is where locals and tourists go to get their fix of the best "local grindz.". The mixed plate (for which this restaurant was named) is what the place is famous for. This local favorite consists of a main dish with two scoops of rice and macaroni salad. Plantation workers would break for lunch, and it was this delicious mix of local foods, that became their favorite.

A mix of Japanese, Filipinos, Chinese and Hawaiian workers came together to share their lunches. The "mixed plate" was born! This outdoor restaurant sits right on the water in Lahaina, and features some of the best views Maui has to offer. The tropical and casual ambiance is everything you want in a restaurant.

Do the Poke Nachos at Happy Hour at the Sea House

Do the Poke Nachos at Happy Hour at the Sea House

The Sea House is one of the best kept secrets on Maui. We cannot get enough of the Sea House and their award-winning Poke Nachos hits the spot every single time! This beautiful creation consists of fresh ahi, Maui onions, tomato, limu, sweet soy, Sriracha cream, wasabi aioli all on a wonton chip.

The Sea House Restaurant is located on Napili Beach, just a short walk from The Ridge Villas. Here, you will find one of the last “old Hawaiian” restaurants. The Sea House sits on the beach of Napili Bay, and provides an ambiance that cannot be found anywhere else on the island. This charming and exotic open air restaurant features one of the best Happy Hours on the island, from 2 to 5 pm.

Spend the day at Kapalua or Napili Bay, then head to the Sea House for some tropical drinks, pupus and live Hawaiian music. There is nothing like sitting back with the gorgeous view in front of you, tropical drink in hand and poke nacho in the other. Life is good!

Save Room for Pie at Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop

Save Room for Pie at Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop

Leoda’s Pie Shop is legendary on Maui and offers some of the most decadent, homemade pies on the island. Their heavenly pies include Coconut Cream, Macnut Chocolate, Banana Cream Pie, Olowalu Lime, and Apple Crumb. Because Leoda’s makes their pies in individual sizes, you can sample more than just one.

Leoda’s Kitchen also offers breakfast and lunch, including such dishes as Chicken Pot Pie, Reubens and Baked Mac & Cheese.

Be sure to stop by Leoda’s on your way home from the other side of the island. Grab a bite, and take a pie home for later on!

The Famous Pancakes at Gazebo’s are a Must Try

The Famous Pancakes at Gazebo’s are a Must Try

While The Gazebo has its fair share of tourists, locals seem to know the secret to dining at this oceanfront restaurant-get there early! The line can get pretty long, so we suggest getting there as early as you can.

Located on the point of Napili Bay, The Gazebo is in walking distance from the villas. Open from 7:30 am to 2 pm, this nostalgic restaurant is famous for their pancakes. Try their Mac Nut Pancakes, White Chocolate Mac Nut and Banana Mac Combo. All their pancakes are topped with fresh butterscotch whipped cream and macadamia nuts. The portions are huge and filling!

Pancakes are not the only thing they do right; everything at the Gazebo is comforting, filling and absolutely delicious!

This an open air restaurant, and there is nothing more tropical than the sensation of soft trade winds caressing your skin during your meal. With views of world famous Napili Bay and neighboring islands, the Gazebo is well worth the wait.

Cannot be forgotten! The Maui Gold Pineapple – Maui’s Jewel! 

Cannot be forgotten! The Maui Gold Pineapple – Maui’s Jewel! 

Even though this is a Top 10 list, our list would not be complete without mentioning Maui’s crown jewel, the Maui Gold Pineapple. There is no other pineapple in the world like a Maui Gold.  This pineapple can only be found growing right here on the slopes of Maui; it is simply the sweetest pineapple you will ever eat. Its low acidity, sweetness and juicy flesh are what set this pineapple apart from all others you may try.

The Maui Pineapple Company, now Maui Gold, is a reminder of the heyday of Hawaii’s pineapple plantations, one of which operated right here at the Kapalua location. Sadly, Maui’s pineapple plantations have closed but Maui Gold continues to grow their premier pineapples on a smaller scale here on the slopes of Haleakala. Pick up a Maui Gold at the Honolua store, grocery stores or even take one of their farm tours to learn about the history and farming process of these beauties.