While Maui is well known for its stunning vistas and beautiful beaches, it’s also a fantastic destination for food lovers.
Visitors will enjoy Maui’s delicious coffee, tropical fruits, farm-to-table produce, and inspired Pacific Rim cuisine at many of the island’s restaurants. Desserts and homemade baked goods are exceptional here and another must-try.
If you’re heading to Maui on your next cruise, make sure to try a few of these tasty treats while you’re there:
Don’t Miss Maui’s Shave Ice
Shave ice is one of Maui’s true delights. Don’t call it “shaved ice” – it’s much better than the crushed ice snow cones that mainland tourists often expect.
Blocks of ice are finely shaved into a snow-like consistency and mounded into a huge ball atop a paper or plastic cup, then topped with various syrups such as coconut, pina colada, mango, passion fruit, strawberry, and melon.
Local Boys Shave Ice and Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice are popular Maui shave ice spots and are two of my favorites. If you go, get your shaved ice with a scoop of Roselani ice cream on the bottom and Kauai Cream on top – it’s delicious.
Sample Cheese and Chocolate
Located in upcountry Kula, Surfing Goat Dairy is a great agri-tourism spot for families and foodies to visit. Daily tours provide opportunities to learn how the dairy makes its award-winning goat cheese spreads and scrumptious gourmet truffles. Kids will enjoy feeding the dairy’s cute goats here, too.
Enjoy Outstanding Fine Dining
Cruising foodies will be right at home on Maui. The island is filled with superb restaurants spanning a wide range of cuisines.
Some favorites include the delectable dishes served at the Kapalua Resort’s Pineapple Grill, small plates at Alan Wong’s Amasia at the Grand Wailea, the elegant Pacific Rim fare at Lahaina Grill, the “East-meets-West” cooking at Roy’s Kaanapali Bar & Grill, and the delicious seafood and beautiful views at Mama’s Fish House on Maui’s North Shore.
Smell the Coffee
Savor Maui’s fine coffee during your visit, and bring a bag or two home to enjoy. You can find delicious organic coffee at Grandma’s Coffee House in Kula. O’o Farm in Waipoli also offers Maui-grown and roasted Aina Gourmet Coffee for sale.
Those stopping by O’o Farm can take an informational tour, have a gourmet lunch, and learn more about how the farm’s coffee and other sustainable “Farm to Table” crops are grown.
Try Sweet Crepes & Local Fruit
Known as “The Heart of Maui’s North Shore,” Pa’ia is filled with cool boutiques, food stores, and art galleries. Sit outside in the courtyard at Café des Amis after shopping and enjoy a pure fruit smoothie or one of their sweet crepes.
Favorites include Kula strawberries and cream, Nutella, Maui cane sugar with lime juice, and banana and chocolate. On their drives around Maui, travelers will spot plenty of roadside stands selling fresh fruit smoothies and delicious tropical fruits.
Stop and try delights like mouthwatering pineapple, papaya, and the hot pink and green dragon fruit.
Taste Lavender Scones
With its lovely walking paths and vistas, Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm is a great place to relax, unwind, and breathe in the rejuvenating scent of lavender.
Over 55,000 lavender plants and protea, hydrangea, and other flowers grow here. Lavender is used to make all sorts of culinary products at this farm, including lavender lilikoi jelly, lavender herb tea, lavender-flavored coffee, and even lavender scones. Make sure to sample a few during your visit.
Savor the BBQ
Located right at Ma’alaea Harbor, Beach Bums Bar & Grill is the perfect place to stop for lunch for those returning from a whale-watching cruise or a Molokini snorkeling trip.
This seaside eatery should be on the “must visit” list for barbecue lovers and anyone who enjoys casual dining with a great water view. Beach Bums’ pulled pork barbecue and beef brisket are lickin’ good, and their fish tacos are also excellent.
Stop for Fresh Banana Bread
Drivers along the Road to Hana will find numerous stands selling freshly made banana bread, tropical fruits, coconut candies, Kalua Pig barbecue, gelato, and more. Pull over and taste – it’s all part of the experience.
Check out Aunty Sandy’s Keanae Landing Fruit Stand and Halfway to Hana for delicious banana bread – both are excellent.
Buy Baked Goods Like a Local
Cruisers passing through the tiny upcountry cowboy town of Makawao will likely see residents hurrying into the family-owned T. Komoda Store & Bakery on Baldwin Avenue. Don’t let the building’s nondescript outer appearance fool you – this place has some of the best-baked goods on the island.
Join the long line of locals to purchase such delicacies as chocolate or vanilla cream puffs, guava malasadas, doughnuts on a stick, cinnamon raisin buns, long johns, and butter rolls. Get there early if possible – the cream puffs go fast.
Splurge on Mud Pie
If you’re a coffee ice cream lover, you’ve cruised to the right place for dessert. Maui’s decadent Mile High Mud Pie, also called Hula Pie, is a mouth-watering way to finish a meal.
In some places, a slice of this pie can easily be a feast in and of itself. The Sheraton Maui’s Mile High Mud Pie version features Kona coffee ice cream, oreo cookie crust, and chocolate ganache. Leilani’s on the Beach is another great place to sample huge portions of Hula Pie.
Another delicious choice is the Lahaina Grill’s Kauai Pie: Oreo-crusted Kona coffee ice cream pie layered with chocolate fudge, coconut flakes, and macadamia nuts.
For more information on planning your visit to Maui, visit The Magic Isle’s website at visitmaui.com.
Photo Credit: Nancy Schretter
(This article was updated September 2023)