We’re stillllll craving some fresh mochi, shave ice, and mixed plates from our Maui vacation. We’re having withdrawals and wish we could Grubhub it to us here in San Francisco. But since we can’t fly over some pulled pork from Maui… we want to share with y’all our five favorite and affordable foodie spots we enjoyed on our vacation.
There’s a reason Guy Fieri featured Da Kitchen restaurant on Triple D, because we’re still salivating over their huge portions of Hawaiian goodness! From fried spam musubi, kimchee burgers, Molokai Bread, to mixed plates there was something for every palate! Cesar, who was on the hunt for the best mac salad, says he found it here in the potato mac salad he tasted. The service was fast and friendly, and the wait wasn't long at all; we were seated almost immediately. They've reinvented local dishes to create yummy plates like the fried musubi, sriracha poke bowls, kimchee burger, and gigantic Loco Mocos with a twist. The prices range from about $12 to $20 per plate, but don't worry their food is worth every dollar. And like we said earlier the portions are huge!! Even ours hungriest cipotx couldn't finish their meals in one sitting; they actually have a challenge for their big moco meals like the Notorious B.I.G. Moco that win you a free t-shirt and bragging rights if you finish the whole plate unassisted within 30 minutes. Sadly, none were up for the challenge. Though we walked in super hungry, we all took home leftovers to enjoy for second dinner hehehe...
Okay, so we arrived in Maui in the afternoon and from the moment we landed we were moving and shaking. From picking up car rentals to buying groceries for the week, we wasted no time. Naturally, by the time we were close to our Airbnb we were famished and ready to eat right then and there. As we approached our Airbnb, we passed some food trucks that caught our eye. We quickly checked into our home for the week and after yelping the food trucks, agreed we would get dinner from Kinaole Grill Food Truck. Now when we tell you their food was delicious….. all of us were left dreaming about their plates. Their pulled pork was unlike any we had ever had, so tender and flavorful. Their seared ahi tuna steak was HUGE!!! Being from the Bay, we’re used to overpriced food and skimpy portions, but OMG it was more than enough and super tasty as well. If you’re looking for a quick meal you can pick up for a night in Kinaole is it!
Poke and Shave Ice?? What more could we ask for? Well on a nice hot day after exploring the road to Hana, it was exactly what we needed. Tobi’s definitely got it right. Their poke is fresh and delicious with more than four kinds of marinade to choose from served with rice and salad. Their shave ice is heaven. They offer a variety of flavors from traditional ones like strawberry and lime to unique flavors like li hing mui and lychee. A small is actually not that small and being able to choose 3 flavors makes it more than enough. You can also choose to have it with ice cream, li hing powder, mochi, and even boba!! It’s a great place to stop on your way home from Hana.
If you're not actively looking for it you will totally miss it. But this tiny, unassuming spot has some of the yummiest seafood we had in Maui. Ale was obsessed with everything seared ahi tuna, so naturally she ordered the seared ahi tuna melt sandwich and it did not disappoint. Second only to Tobi's, it was the best ahi tuna anything she tasted. They sell fresh poke by the pound that we just had to taste and it was bomb, nicely marinated and so damn good. We also enjoyed their coconut shrimp and pork tacos all of which satisfied our taste buds. Even the sauces were on point, a definite must if you make your way out to Lahaina. It makes a great stop on your way to the Nakalele Blowhole and heart shaped rock.
So the entire trip Aaliyah had us on a wild goose chase for some taro buns…. Ale couldn't figure out why because they're literally just dinner rolls made with taro….. We yelped all the bakeries close to us, and nothing. Meanwhile, Ale was secretly (not so secretly) craving some butter mochi she had tried in Oahu two years earlier, if you've been you know what we're talking about. We're talking about the kind they make and sell on the side of the road, the kind that's still warm but chewy, and buttery, and yummy...mmmmm. Enter Home Maid Bakery, they sell all of it!! We were able to get our taro buns, butter mochi, chocolate mochi (which basically tastes like a chewy brownie), peanut butter mochi, taro mochi donuts and more! If you're a mochi fanatic you gotta stop here, just make sure you eat it right away because they do go bad quickly.
Good ol’ Zippy's, a staple throughout the Hawaiian islands. If we had to compare it, we'd say it comparable to a Ono's Hawaiian BBQ. It leans more towards being a fast food spot, but still tasty if you're on the go and in need of refueling- it's open 24 hours by the way. We stopped there on our last day before heading to the airport; service was fast and there's no wait for a table. It's the perfect place to eat when you're in a rush. Our favorite was the kaarage chicken and the chili with rice.
Warm spam musubi from the ABC Store a block from our Airbnb after a sunrise stroll on the beach.
So there you have it, five places in Maui that will satisfy your tummy without disrupting your pockets. Of course there are countless delicious foodie spots on the island - we still had more bookmarked, including Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop, Three’s Bar and Grill and 808 Grindz Cafe.. But that’ll just have to wait til next time.