Where to find our favorite lunch spots in East Maui
It’s been a long morning after exploring the magic that is Maui’s Road to Hana. The sun is high, and now brings a most common occurrence. Stomachs growl enough to shake your vehicle and a collective groan begs the question: “What do we eat now that we’ve made it?!”
This used to be an easy answer (The Hana Resort, Hana Ranch Restaurant/Store, and Hasegawa’s were essentially the only regularly open options). Now the choices are nearly as plentiful and diverse, as the paradisaical scenery of Maui’s famed drive from the north to east coast. Today, this sleepy town is a lunchtime and early evening foodie oasis, featuring over ten delicious eateries in town.
Why do I love Maui’s food truck lots?
Wherever tastes may lay, from the traditional classics to adventurous gourmet creations, these lots will have something everyone should love! When you have a car full of hungry folk, multiple options in one area can save the struggle and stress of choosing a single restaurant that’ll satisfy everyone. Supporting our local island chefs, friends, ‘ohana and community is also a huge benefit! Yet, the collective share and enjoyment of a meal when the full table spread is “family-style,” might just be my favorite part. Sampling a diverse spectrum of flavors simply is the best in my book.
My Favorite Food Trucks in Hana
My choice for the best food truck lot in Hana is located at 5260 Hana Highway, just south of the only gas station in town. Here you’ll find a wide array of delicacies, from locally inspired Pan-Pacific flavors, to more exotic delights from southeast Asia, Mexico and beyond. Hawaiian coffee and tropical desserts rounding out the experience perfectly.
Da Fish Shack Hana
As the name would suggest and I fully endorse, Da Fish Shack is your choice for consistently fresh seafood, cooked Hawaiian-style with ever abundant aloha. Some of the best fish burgers on island, daily changing local mix plates, and decadent seafood combos that’ll meet your expectations of even the most popular Maui restaurants! Service here is always friendly and knowledgeable. Be sure to let them know what you normally like because they’ll have great recommendations based on your tastes. Meals here enjoyed on communal picnic tables commonly evoke awesome talk story—how fine a life in paradise Hana truly is.
The Broken Mouth Hana
Next up on this location’s culinary adventure is The Broken Mouth–an endeavor spearheaded by local talent that churns out Thai/BBQ/Vietnamese fusion unmatched for my palate. “Broke da mouth” is pidgin slang for especially delicious, and this kitchen delivers in spades. Their namesake Smashburger is my vote for best cheeseburger in Hana, while the equally popular Broken Mouth Combo will satisfy all your smoky, grilled BBQ cravings. Even the ginger scallion noodles and brussels sprouts are flavor bombs and must order dishes. In short, bring an appetite, or the entire tour van!
I Lava Tacos Taqueria Hana
Taco trucks. There’s something about them. Depending on what, and perhaps more importantly where you’re most accustomed to, you might just have some awfully strong opinions about them. Take my word in this case, I Lava Tacos legitimately makes some of the best Mexican cuisine I’ve had on island recently. The tinga chicken was an especially noteworthy standout and expertly crafted. A regional dish not easily found here in the middle of the Pacific. The carnitas, carne asada and baja fish options are also more than worthwhile additions to any table long feast you may now have plans for.
Best of The Rest
Hawaiian style plate lunch with a side of rice and salad is arguably the most popular style of meal amongst local kama’aina. Troy’s Plate Lunch does all the classics well with our favorite being the chicken katsu and BBQ pork. Don’t forget to check the changing specials chalk board for kitchen artistry and new concoctions.
If you’re in need of a quick pick me up and caffeine fix, look no further than My Titas’ Cafe. My favorites are definitely the flavored lattes, go with the coconut, chai, macadamia nut, and matcha options. They also sell gourmet bags of beans to go, as well as offering a variety of kombucha from Haiku stalwart Pauwela Beverage Co. This truck always provides the kick start needed to get back exploring after an indulgent lunch.
With full bellies, refueled energy meters, and smiles all around, your party is now ready to enjoy the rest of the adventure along one of the world’s prettiest drives!
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