Aloha Travel Pandas!
Here we are again almost ready to go to Maui and this time we wanted to share some of our favourite lunch spots on this magnificent island! Let’s count them down!
#8 – Foodland
As you saw in our cheap eats last blog post, we mentioned that Foodland was a great place for a cheap meal and it sure is! Their Ahi Poke bowls are to die for and they are a super quick n easy way to grab a delicious lunch that isn’t too heavy yet very satisfying. Perfect for the to go day or simply to go to the beach day hahaha. Grab a bowl after your swim, go back to the beach, eat it under that heavenly sun and listen in to the ocean as it crashes by your feet while you savour every bite!
#7 – Cool Cat Cafe – Lahaina
This little gem is a local favourite on the island, it is located in Lahaina beside all of the shops and ocean front. They are very well known for their delicious burgers, fried foods and tacos. However, if you feel like you’ve got the appetite of a Titan and want to have a severe case of the naps, take it’s famous 808 challenge. I for one, am too chicken shit to do it as I know I would fail miserably and possibly pass out after bite #4 hahaha. Prices aren’t bad at all, very normal to what we would pay here, they are ideally located to take a take from all the shopping and walking around.
#6 – Leoda’s Pie Shop – Located on the highway between Kihei and Lahaina (closer to Lahaina)
Leoda’s is a hidden gem, it is VERY easy to drive on the highway towards Lahaina and totally miss it as it hide under massive trees on the side of the road. It’s so easy to be taken by the sights of the island and pass by this treasure so make sure to Google Map it or just slow down 😉 Leoda’s is known for their pies as the name states but their sandwiches are just out of this world. They are barely any words to describe their hearty and delicious sandwiches, you just NEED to taste them to know what everyone is talking about. They are not the cheapest per se but they are very well priced for what you get. If you manage to have room after your main course, you simply cannot leave without trying their delightful pies. There are too many choices to even list but just look at the pictures we took while we were there. Let’s put it this way, our eyes were far more hungry than our tummies! HAHA
#5 – Coconut Fish Cafe – Located in North Kihei
Coconut Fish Cafe is in our opinion the best place to get the most delicious fish tacos on the island. They are known for their super savoury fish tacos and their to die for Macademia Nut Crusted Mahi-Mahi. You simply can’t go wrong there as the lunch can be filling yet not overwhelmingly heavy. Lots and lots of flavours in each bite. Prices there are a very good value and they have an awesome outdoor picnic bench set up outside so you can enjoy every bit of sun. The coolest part that most people don’t know about Coconut Fish Cafe is that it’s right beside the amazing Aloha Lemonade shop which serves some seriously chilling lemonade that is sure to quench your thirst!
#4 – Star Noodles – Lahaina
As you go along about your day shopping around Lahaina, you must stop by this other hidden treasure called Star Noodles in Lahaina. It is located further up town and kind of inside this industrial area. Be warned however, just because it is somewhat hidden away from all the shops and tourist area, it doesn’t mean it’s not busy. As a matter of fact, expect to wait a min of 30mins usually, less if you are only a couple. But we can tell you that it is worth the wait. The service there is outstanding and the food is just as good. It is a little more pricey but it’s a must try. Although Maui can be hot, Star Noodles has some amazing ramen bowls and a medley of Asian dishes that are sure to leave you speechless.
#3 – Eskimo Candy – South Kihei
We’ve talked about how good the Poke already is at Foodland, well let us introduce you to the king of Poke Bowls. Eskimo Candy has by far the freshest Poke on the island and your palette will know it! How fresh do you ask? How bout fresh from the boat, being brought into the back of the store then cut while you wait? That’s how fresh this tuna is. We have been there several times when you literally see a bunch of guys bringing the fish in still ocean fresh then they go out and cut it for you. It’s truly impressive how good this Poke is. The bowls are a great way to take it along with you if you have a busy day or you can just dine and enjoy the atmosphere. The place itself is pretty small so there aren’t a lot of seats but it’s really cool to see your meal being prepped. Price is a little higher than the Foodland Poke but it goes without saying that it is a premium grade tuna that you are tasting there.
#2 – Da Kitchen – Kahului – (close to Costco and the airport)
Deciding between #1 and #2 was incredibly difficult. Both are different meals but both are nothing short of extraordinary. Da Kitchen has been a favourite of ours for a hearty meal that will make you go nap right after and possibly some serious left overs to take back with you as well. The atmosphere is probably what attracts me the most about this place. You come into the store and it feels like a cozy place to be where you are welcomed by the smell of home cooking. Da Kitchen prides itself in dishes that are true to the Hawaiian culture and taste. The Loco Moco is for example my favourite dish, however, unless you are a big eater, try a few dishes but have the intent to share so that you all have a chance to taste goodness. Their portions are astronomical and they will ensure absolute satisfaction. We love going there every time we are in Maui, to us, they are Ohana. Ohana means family. That’s how we feel when we get there and that’s how we feel when we eat their dishes. We feel like it was our brother, sister or auntie cooking us a meal that would never let us go hungry for weeks HAHA. Prices are very decent and for what you get, it’s a bargain in our books.
#1 – Paia Fish Market – Original restaurant is in Paia up north of Kahului and there a new one down in South Kihei
Paia Fish Market…. oh lord…. where do we start? If you are a seafood fan, this is a MUST and that’s the end of story. Paia Fish Market has the best seafood dishes in our opinion. They are delicious, well cooked, fresh and they leave you wanting MORE. The first time we were in Maui, we went to their original location up North as it was a great drive, great sights to see (Hookipa Beach is nearby aka lots of sea turtles). So after a little drive here and there, it was lunch time and we decided to stop at this highly recommended spot. It was a little busy but it didn’t take long for us to get seated. Upon our arrival at the counter, that’s when panic sets in and you sit there and wonder which dishes to try. To be honest, go back a 2nd/3rd/4th time to try everything because you’ll want to try everything on their menu. We chose the Mahi-Mahi dish and the seafood pasta platter and HOLY SHIT…. it was like rainbows had exploded in our mouths. The flavours were incredible, the taste of every bite was exquisite and the sensation was almost too much to bare. On our second trip, we found out they had recently opened the new South Kihei location which was great for us as we were only 3 blocks away (walking distance of 8mins) from Maui Vista and it was just so delightful to be able to go there for dinner as well HAHA. Some days we did Paia for lunch then did our stuff during the day, then hit the South Kihei location again for dinner. It is however a little more expensive but for a meal like that, you get what you pay for. Heck even their fries felt like gourmet fries. They left nothing done improperly, every dish was assembled and cooked to perfection. Every single meal there was a delight and our friends and family all agree as well.