Food & Drink

Going Local

We’ve had some great opportunities while in Maui to eat fabulous local food.  Although a few of the restaurants we have been at also cater to tourists, the food is true island style and old school, and we have loved it.


Japanese Manju at Sam Sato

My friend Kimberly flew over from Molokai to spend the day with me here on Maui.  She took me to breakfast at Sam Sato’s, a local institution in Wailuku.  Wailuku is the Maui town where the seat of government is and it is working class locals who frequent Sam Sato’s.  We got one of the last tables and when we left there was a line out the door waiting.


Noodle breakfast at Sam Sato

Kimberly ordered for me and we had Japanese style breakfast which was noodle soups.  We enjoyed delicious bowls of saimin and won ton mein,  and Kimberly introduced me to the Japanese favorite lima bean (and azuki bean) manju.  Later in the day she took me to Guri Guri for Pineapple/Strawberry “ice cream” although it’s made with

Guri Guri Ice Cream

Guri Guri Ice Cream

condensed milk and was delicious.  Two scoops only $1.30!

On our very busy Zipline day we ended up eating out both lunch and dinner and were lucky enough to snag a table for lunch at Star Noodle – an off the beaten path noodle place that is worth the effort to find.  We shared a bowl of raman and also devoured the Kimchee Chicken Wings and Filipino “bacon &

Filipino "bacon and eggs" at Star Noodle

Filipino “bacon and eggs” at Star Noodle

eggs” – a pork belly and egg dish that had me scraping every morsel from the bottom of the cast iron pan it was served in.

Later that night we somehow got seated at the best table in the house (patio) at the waterfront joint Aloha Mixed Plate.  This old school restaurant is the best deal on the island, and always listed as one of the top places to get the best local Hawaiian

The famous "Aloha Mixed Plate" at Aloha Mixed Plate

The famous “Aloha Mixed Plate” at Aloha Mixed Plate

Kalua Pork and Cabbage at Aloha Mixed Plate

Kalua Pork and Cabbage at Aloha Mixed Plate

food.  On their website they say;

“In the early days of the sugar plantations, lunch was a simple affair. Plantation workers gathered in the fields for their mid-day meal. The Japanese laborers would bring teriyaki beef with rice and pickled vegetables. Seated next to them might be their Filipino neighbors with the traditional dish adobo or perhaps a pork or chicken stew. The Koreans had their kalbi or marinated ribs and the Chinese a rice noodle and vegetable dish called chow fun. Hawaiians were known for their kalua pig, roasted in an underground oven called an imu. It wasn’t long

A local favorite "Loco Moco" ground beef and gravy with egg. This version at Kula Grill

A local favorite “Loco Moco” ground beef and gravy with egg. This version at Kula Grill

before they began to share their foods with one another and the “mixed plate” was born.”

Another out of the way local joint is the Kula Bistro, high above Kihei on the road to Haleakala.  For lunch and dinner Kula Bistro serves up Italian fare, but for breakfast you can find some great local Hawaiian dishes, included Loco Moco and Fried Rice with Eggs.  The portions are very large and we ended up getting two breakfasts out of our visit to Kula Bistro.

A side of Spam at Kula Grill

A side of Spam at Kula Grill

We have tried to eat local (never a chain restaurant) when we were not cooking our own meals at our condo.  Our Maui tradition is to go out the night before we leave and always that tradition is to Mama’s Fish House in Paia.  Truly the best restaurant on the island, both for the locally fresh food, the ambiance and the location.

We have eaten well and enjoyed a healthy mix of local flavors.  We highly recommend to Go Local when on Maui.

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