Happy Monday Maui Foodie Fam! If you’re not from Maui or visiting – no worries, we hope you still enjoy this post. Today, we are sharing with you another Maui Eats find. We love love love checking out food trucks on the island and the Earth Aloha Eats truck has been a recent find on our foodie adventures. Today, we are sharing EAE with you.
What and Who is Earth Aloha Eats
First, I’d like to apologize, because, in my video, I called them Aloha Eats, but they are indeed Earth Aloha Eats or EAE (for short). Earth Aloha Eats is located in Kahului, just a mile or so from Kahului International Airport. It’s situated on Dairy Road at the Foodtruck Lot in the old Shell Gas Station, next to Bedmart. EAE is a Vegan truck that specializes in plant-based specials. Earth Aloha Eats is open daily from 11am – 8pm and there are a variety of specials as well as takeout and delivery available.
Upon arriving at their food truck, I asked the team a bunch of questions about their food and was greeted with a warm smile and lots of aloha. Their advertisements on the side of the truck included pictures that were absolutely enticing. But, honestly – I was intrigued that a “pork” anything, as well as “fish” and “burger”, would taste like real meat. The Maui Foodie fam decided we would try out their Pulled Pork Fries and Creme Brulee.
The Pulled “Pork” Fries
The pulled pork fries include Golden french fries topped with vegan pulled pork, rainbow coleslaw, and their house-made BBQ sauce. It is the ultimate in plant-based nom noms! The takeout dish is both vegetarian and vegan and the “pork” is made with a plant/soy base. Let me start by saying that the plate itself is really pretty to look at and the colors are gorgeous. But, the taste is really really good. It is stuffed full of flavor and there truly is a lot of food for a “slide nom” as they call it. The french fries were crispy and there was a lot to this dish. For just $8.95, you get a lot of food.
Now, let’s talk about the vegan pulled pork for a sec shall we? Did it really taste like meat? Hmmmm… I have to say, I’m quite impressed. I have tasted mock-chicken before and other types of vegan based meat-like items. But, the texture is not always ideal.
The Creme Brulee
The Creme Brulee is a mildly sweet and creamy vanilla custard with a caramelized sugar top. This little mason jar of goodness has the perfect amount of sweetness and creaminess. I loved the crunchy creme brulee caramel top. It was crispy and delicious. My creme brulee was liquidy, so I’m not sure if that is how it normally is… but it definitely was delicious. While the texture was different than I would expect from a traditional creme brulee, it ultimately had the flavors I look for. It was decadent and yummy!
As I mentioned before, both food items are vegetarian and vegan and the creme brulee is gluten-free.
Other Food Items
EAE offers a varied menu with lots of items for any taste or craving. Here is a list of some of the options available – but keep in mind that they offer daily specials as well.
Thai Chicken Tacos
Mexican Street Tacos
Asian Teriyaki Bowl
Grilled Chicken Wrap
Gyro Chicken Wrap
Aloha Burger – Beyond Burger on a toasted ciabatta bun
Pulled Pork Sandwich
BBQ Chicken Sandwich
Phish & Chips (crispy golden vegan fish served over french fries w/mixed greens, etc.)
Greek Plate with housemade falafel, hummus, mixed greens, brown rice and more
yummy drinks like Eqyptian Hibiscus Iced Tea, Kombucha, Amazing Lemonade, Cucumber infused iced water and Green Goddess Smoothie (special)
Kid-friendly meals like Vegan cheese quesadilla, chicken nuggets with french fries as well as rice and veggies
They are reasonably priced and again, all products are vegetarian and vegan so you get a guilt-free foodie experience that will satisfy any craving.
As a meat-eater, I’m always looking for plant-based/vegan food that provides me with the flavor and most importantly, the texture of the meats that I enjoy. The Maui Foodies was definitely impressed with EAE’s food selection as well as its flavor profile. EAE also have their own garden right on the food truck which makes it a unique experience.
Check out our Video on YouTube
If you are in Kahului and are looking for something new to try or feeling like you want to go vegetarian or vegan for the day – head on over to Earth Aloha Eats. We definitely suggest you giving them a try. Earth Aloha Eats food truck also offers not only takeout but also delivery. Check them out on Instagram for more info.
Overall, we truly enjoyed our experience at Earth Aloha Eats Food Truck. We highly suggest you stopping in and checking it out for yourself. If you do stop on by to try them out, let them know that The Maui Foodies sent ya!
Disclaimer: Nothing to disclose. All items featured and reviewed were purchased with our own money. Affiliate links may be posted throughout (please visit our Disclosures Page for information on monetization, sponsored posts, etc.)
As a local Maui native, born and raised on the island, I know all too well how expensive Maui life can be. Between the cost of living, delicious dining venues and the awesome attractions, $20 does not get you very far, especially when you’re here on vacation. That’s why I wanted to share with all of you my “top” budget-friendly activities that are perfect for your trip to the island while visiting or for the locals alike. Maui offers so many great attractions or things to do that are not only affordable, many are free. In this list, I will share with you some of my free favorites as well as a few that you will need to pay a little, but it’s worth it for sure. With a little patience and planning, you and your family can have a blast. Let’s chit chat about those options, shall we?
*Please note that this list is in no particular order. I think all of my selections are fun and exciting and while visiting or looking to take part in a little Maui stay-cay (if you live here), these are all great options to check out.
#1 – The Maui Swap Meet
The Maui Swap Meet is a local favorite and one of the best places to try out a variety of Maui food flare or to pick up souvenirs. Admission to the Swap Meet is just $0.50 a person (12 and older) and children 11 and under are free. With free re-entry and free parking, it’s the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning. There are usually over 200 vendors on any given day and you can find everything from fresh produce to local food, arts, and crafts, sweet treats like Hawaiian shaved ice and jewelry galore. I also love that you can get handmade soaps and candles or a great 10 minute (or more massage). If you want to try fresh fruit and vegetables, you’ll get every type there – including delicious Maui Gold Pineapples. My favorite to grab while at the swap meet is a fresh coconut with sweet coconut water and then coconut spoon meat after I’m done drinking. If you are here on vacation, this is a great place to stop and pick up souvenirs for your family and friends.
*What is spoon meat? It’s when the coconut meat is so soft and tender that you can scoop it out of the coconut shell with a spoon. It’s the best way to eat coconut in my opinion.
A few notes for your day at the Maui Swap Meet – Be prepared with your own bag (recycle tote, etc.) to easily carry your purchased goods. Since it’s often hot, make sure to have water or something to drink to keep hydrated while walking around. Be prepared with cash as most vendors (vegetables and food especially) do not accept cards. Many jewelry vendors do accept credit cards so it’s best to ask if they offer that option but be prepared with cash. Most of the vendors are definitely willing to bargain on the cost of products, but I suggest looking around before buying since some of the vendors further away tend to be cheaper.
#2 – Experience Maui Food Fare at Local Food Trucks
Food Trucks are becoming all the rave around the world but they have been a popular thing here on Maui since I was a little girl. I remember going to Makena Beach as a teen and eating from a few local food trucks back in the day. Nowadays, you can find food trucks selling every type of food pretty much everywhere on Maui, stationed all over the island.
Food trucks are a great way to experience a variety of different local eats for half the price of most sit-down restaurants. They are a great way to grab a quick bite to eat or stop and fuel up after a day playing in the ocean. Some of the food trucks on the island have specific lots where they are located (Kahului Food Truck Lot across from Costco Gas Station) or you can find them in places like the Maui Swap Meet, along Kahului Beach Road at Kahului Harbor or different shopping centers. You can easily spot a food truck everywhere on island, making it a go-to for locals and visitors alike. And, did I mention the type of food you can find at these trucks? Well, the options are endless but include Local Hawaii food and plate lunches, shrimp, Thai food, desserts and ice cream, hamburgers, tacos, Mediterranean food, poke or fish and so much more.
Some of our favorite food trucks are:
Thai Me Up – Kahului Food Truck Lot (across from Costco) and Up Country Kulamalu Shopping Center by Longs
Maui Freeze – Kahului Harbor
Geste Shrimp – Kahului Harbor
Mediterranean Grill – Haiku
Wraps To Go – Up Country Kulamalu Shopping Center by Longs
Dino’s Gourmet On-The-Go – Kahului Food Truck Lot (across from Costco)
#3 – First Fridays on Maui
A great way to experience Maui, in a nutshell, is to attend one of the First Fridays. There is a town party each and every week of the month that is hosted in each town throughout the island. Each town has their own type of celebration and you can expect to have a grand time no matter what First Friday you attend. It’s a fun way to experience Maui nightlife without breaking the bank.
Maui First Fridays are free to attend and most of the parties offer free parking. Bring your appetite and make sure you have cash on hand so you can experience local food and entertainment all in one place. This is a great place to check out awesome vendors that sell everything from food to local crafts and artwork. But, local stores and establishments also stay open and often times offer discounts for the festivities. I love the entertainment that you can experience while walking around (many local artists perform during First Friday parties). This is a great way to experience local artisans, live music and a ton of food vendors.
A few notes if you’re planning to attend: Like I said, it’s a great family event, but be prepared as it gets really busy. Be sure to have a stroller or keep your children nearby as it can get so packed that children get lost easily. I suggest to also have a bottle of water on you as there tends to be a lot of walking around and it’s a great way to stay hydrated.
A favorite thing for my family to do each year during our winter months is to watch the whales. Maui is the winter home to thousands of whales that make the journey from Alaska to the Au’au Channel located in West Maui. The humpback whales come to breed and nurse their young every year from December to May. These beautiful creatures can be found swimming around and playing in our warm waters and it’s a beautiful experience to watch them while they’re in play.
Whale watching tours are actually reasonably priced considering you get a ride on a boat and get to experience our world’s wonders. I would definitely search different companies to use and compare prices accordingly. But, my family and I love watching whales at no cost from our favorite shorelines or lookouts.
Honoapi’ilani Highway, at the Pali Lookout, has a great scenic lookout area that you can pull over and park at to watch these whales at play. My family and I also love to watch them from the shoreline at Maui’s famous Ka’anapali Beach fronting the Westin Maui resort. You can stand on the shoreline and watch the whales play for hours.
*A few tips – if you spot a whale at play while driving, please be sure to pull over off of the road safely. Many visitors spot the whales while traveling along the Pali road and it is dangerous to stop in the middle of the road due to blind turns. Pull off the road completely and do not block traffic.
#5 – Snorkeling on Maui
I grew up with having Maui’s surrounding ocean as my playground so I just had to suggest this awesome activity. Snorkeling in our pristine waters and viewing all of the beautiful sea life is definitely something I suggest while visiting or even if you live here. The waters are crystal clear most of the year so it makes for ideal viewing of turtles, eels, sea urchins and a ton of different species of fish.
You can easily rent snorkel gear from a local dive shop, but if you plan to spend more time in the water, I definitely suggest picking up your own snorkel set. There are a ton of different stores that sell them locally and many of them affordable in cost: ABC stores, Target and Walmart all have different styles. But, our favorite place to pick up snorkel gear is at our local Costco in Kahului (near the airport) because you’ll get a really good one for an affordable cost point. Make sure you grab a dry snorkel (that’s important) because it automatically closes when you go underwater so that you don’t have to worry about getting water down your snorkel.
There are so many locations to view underwater life so we have listed a few favorites for all of you to check out:
Black Rock – Kaanapali Beach (ocean side of Sheraton Maui resort)
Ho’ikipa Beach Park (check weather conditions are the waves can get really big here, especially during the winter months)
*A few tips: It is very important to remember that while you are snorkeling, do not step on the reef. These rocks are living creatures and you can injure and harm the home of many living organisms. Also, make sure that you are using an all natural sunscreen that is zinc-based to protect from sunburn but also to protect Maui’s very important ecosystem. Make sure that if you are going to hang out at the beach after your snorkel that you take with you an rubbish or items that you brought. This is the best way to keep our oceans and ocean friends safe and unharmed.
#6 – Experience Maui’s Beautiful Beaches
I guess you could say this goes along the line of snorkeling, but it’s definitely different. Maui has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world – if you don’t believe me, ask Conde Nast – lol. The beach is one of the best things to do on Maui because it’s free and all beaches are open year round (weather permitting, of course). Grab a beach mat or blanket and stop by a local store to grab some lunch and spend the day sunbathing or playing in the water. Most of the year the water conditions are absolutely ideal for swimming.
What’s great about our beaches is most of them are open to SUP or Stand Up Paddle Board, Kayak or body boarding. While those things all cost money (for rental or purchase), they are also other options for enjoying the beaches surrounding our beautiful island.
*A few tips for spending the day at the beach. Don’t forget about that all natural sunscreen I mentioned earlier, but make sure you have it because a sunburn can be brutal. Remember, anything you bring with you to the beach, take with you – like trash, etc. Leaving it at the beach can cause issues with the sea life, but we also want to make sure we are taking care of our beaches so others can enjoy them. Ask your concierge (if you’re a visitor) about beaches that they suggest for the type of activity you’d like to do. And, don’t forget to check the weather, tide and water conditions before getting into the ocean. A local saying here on island is – “When in doubt, don’t go out!”
#7 – Catch a Hula Show or Learn How to Dance Hula
Hula dancing is a huge part of the Hawaiian Culture and a beautiful art form of the Hawaiian people. There are several hula shows on the island that you can attend and for those of you looking to try it out for yourself? Well, you can also find free hula lessons as well. Check with your concierge to see what is available or check out my list below for options that you can take part in.
Keiki (children) Hula Show – Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 pm at Lahaina Cannery Mall. (Free)
Free Hula Lessons – Thursdays at Lahaina Cannery Mall at 5 pm
Napili Kai Foundation’s Weekly Keiki Hula Show – Every Tuesday at 5:30 pm at Napili Kai Resort ($10 for adults, $5 for children 6-12, children 5 and under are free). Proceeds benefit the Napili Kai Foundation.
Polynesian Dance Show – Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 pm at The Shops at Wailea. Free one-hour performance of Polynesian Dances and Hula.
*Check with your resort’s concierge to also see if your hotel/resort has hula lessons on property. It may be complimentary or available for a small fee.
#8 – Tasting Maui Food Tours
When I travel, I love tasting foods that are locally grown or created in the place that I’m visiting. So, I thought the best way to really get to know Maui is by tasting the food that was created here. We have a list of some of our favorite places that are not only reasonably priced but definitely worth checking out.
Surfing Goat Dairy – Probably one of my favorite tours and most cost-efficient compared to the others.
Daily Casual Tour – $12/adults and $8/children. Tours are run every hour from 10:00am to 3:00pm and 10:00am to 1:00pm on Sundays. This casual 20-minute walking tour takes you through their working Dairy and Farm. You can meet the working dairy goats, dogs, cats and their pot belly pig named Charlie. You can view the modern milking machines and view the inside of the Dairy operations. Some goats are able to be pet and of course, it’s an opportunity to take lots of photos and have fun.
Surfing Goat Dairy also offers their Evening Chores & Milking Tour which is $17 for adults and $14 for kids.
Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm – You can book the following:
Guided Walking Tour $12/person – reservation recommended. Times are: 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:00, 2:30pm daily and last about 30-40 minutes.
Guided Cart Tour $25/person – reservations are required. Tour times are 10:30 am and 2:00 pm and last one hour.
Gourmet Picnic Lunch $26/person and includes a basket tailored to your liking with choice of chicken Ceasar wrap, ham & cheese wrap, Caprese sandwich, chicken bacon club, Italian sandwich or garden salad. Lunch includes gourmet chips, a decadent lavender-infused dessert and your choice of beverage. Reservations are required.
Maui Pineapple Tours – You can book the following:
Maui Gold Pineapple Fields & Facility Tour plus lunch at Hali’imaile General Store ($90 / person). This is probably one of my favorites out of all the tours offered as it provides lunch from one of my favorite restaurants – Hali’imaile General Store. It’s the best selection for the money and I highly suggest it. The tour includes a tour of the farm to experience a working pineapple field and operation. You’ll learn about the growing cycle and cultivation techniques, tasting states as you learn about each of them. You also get a Free Pineapple with every tour.
Pineapple Tour – $65/adult and $55/child.
Pineapple Tour & Distillery Tour – $75/adult
Pineapple Tour with Lunch + Distillery Tour – $100/adult
Maui Chocolate Tour & Workshop – $59/per adult and $25/per child 7-12. This is a working farm and is not able to accommodate people with physical disability due to elevation and mobility. Learn how the cacao grows and post-harvest practices to develop the flavor. Join in on hands-on processes and a unique guided tasting. *For more info: Maui Chocolate Tour
#9 – Tour a Brewery, Distillery or Winery
Many visitors don’t realize that we have several awesome distilleries, a few breweries and a winery on the island. If you are visiting local stores like Whaler’s General or ABC Store, even Walmart or Target and Costco offer local favorites when it comes to wines and other beverages. But, many of these options can be found where they are made and these places also offer tours.
Maui Brewing Co – 605 Lipoa Parkway, Kihei. Tours offered at: 11:30am, 12:15am, 1:00pm, 1:45pm, 2:30pm and 3:15pm. *Public Tours are $15 per person and a private tour is $300 (groups of 1-16 people) For more information: Maui Brewing Company
Kohola Brewery – 910 Honoapiilani Highway, Ste. 55, Lahaina. Tours are 30 minutes long. *Tours are $10 per person – ages 21 & older only. Tipping is recommended. For more information: Kohola Brewery
Hali’imaile Distilling Company – 883 Hali’imaile Road, Haili’imaile. Tours are $10 per person and children under 12 are free. Reservations are required and tastings of products are available to guests 21 and over. Each tour operates daily and lasts about 30-45 minutes. Maximum reservation is for 20 people so if you have a larger group, contact the distilling company for options. You can get more info or reserve your space online at: Hali’imaile Distilling Company
Ocean Organic Vodka – 4051 Omaopio Road, Kula. Tours operate 7 days a week 9:30am to 4:00pm. A gift shop is also open from 9:30am and closes at 5:00pm. The tour is approximately 500+ yards so you must be mobile to be able to do the tour. Sampling area is restricted for those age 21 and over. Tours take place every half hour. Cost is $12/person for those 21 years and older ($27 including a lunch meal – reservation required 24 hours in advance). Includes a sampling with take-home souvenir Ocean Vodka shot glass. Get all of the information for this tour: Ocean Vodka Tours
Maui Wine (formerly Tedeschi Vineyards) – 14815 Piilani Highway, Kula. Tours are offered at: 10:30am and 1:30pm and are 30 minutes long. No reservations are required for groups of less than 8. Tastings are $12 – $17 per person for a flight of 5 wines. Tours are complimentary. There are several other tastings available, including the “Old Jail Tasting” which is my favorite. It is a 40 minute experience and costs $35.00 per person. For more info: Maui Wine Tasting Tours
#10 – Take a Drive to…
Whether the road takes you on a journey to the west side of the island, the east side of the island or up a mountain, I definitely suggest spending a day exploring the island by car. Whether it be driving the winding road to Hana and experiencing the lush landscapes along the way or traveling up to the Haleakala crater to experience the views (sunrise or sunset – both are awesome), you can easily experience Maui in all of its beauty without paying a dime, well – with exception to gas and the cost of your rental, of course.
A few of our favorite places to drive to and through and experience the beauty of Maui include:
The infamous windy road drive to Hana – be sure to stop along the way and take lots of photos. Remember that the road is definitely narrow and winding, so be sure that if you stop, pull off the road and be cautious. The road is dangerous so be mindful of the surroundings and where you are.
The road to Haleakala Crater – while the crater is definitely a must-see, the road leading up to the crater is definitely just as breathtaking. A winding road the whole way up – there are definitely great places to stop along the way to experience the views from way up high. I would use this opportunity to capture photos of the entire island from the skies, dance in the clouds and feel the cool air on your face. Don’t forget to stop off at Kula Lodge or Ali’i Kula Lavender farm on your way down
Drive through Up Country Maui. Whether your drive takes you through Kula to visit the beautiful Jacaranda trees in the Spring or through Pukalani and Makawao to visit the old Paniolo (Cowboy) town, you’ll surely find something beautiful in the cool crisp upcountry air.
Take a drive to the west side. Watch the surfers hang ten or see the whales breach in the blue waters. A drive around the west side of the island will open your eyes to a variety of water sports available on Maui.
They say the best things in life are free. I believe that it’s not the “free” aspect that makes it the best part, I believe it’s the memories you make while doing these things that make it the best. I wanted to provide all of you a full list of things that you could do on Maui, most of these are free or definitely cheap, with a few options to upgrade your experience. As a local girl, born and raised on Maui, I still love taking part in the island experience that Maui offers and I wanted to share these with all of you.
Don’t worry – this is just a small handful of things we love and enjoy here. You can expect to see more posts like these that include favorites of a variety of Maui island things to do and experience. Just remember to enjoy your time with whatever it is that you decide to do and don’t forget to have lots and lots of fun.
This is an informational post and no sponsorships or collaborations took place in exchange for featuring these businesses in this post. Affiliate links may be listed throughout.
As a foodie, I do my best to sample different types of cuisines as well as different restaurants, eateries and other food loves that I can taste and share with all of you. Today on this Foodie Friday, I am excited to share with you a little place I discovered after watching the YouTube Channel Aloha Stoked. Kalani Prince, a vlogger and Travel Guide website owner visited the location I’m about to talk about today and I knew I had to head on over and take a look. This little hole-in-the wall location that is just off the beaten path in a sleepy little town in Up Country Maui, called Makawao is worth sharing with you today. This week’s Maui Eats is featuring Makawao Garden Cafe.
Makawao Garden Cafe is owned and operated by Kathi and Jody Sparks and is nestled right in the heart of the paniolo and rodeo town of up country that we call Makawao. A peaceful, laid back and tranquil little bistro that offers a small menu of sandwiches and salads – perfect for a day of venturing and visiting the art galleries and site seeing among the little village.
Makawao Garden Cafe is located right on Baldwin Avenue. It’s next to the Sherri Reeve Gallery (down a small alley way) and across the street from Maui’s famed Komoda Bakery.
I arrived at the location just as they had opened, about 5 minutes after 11 o’clock. They were still prepping some of their food, which I would have expected for a small bistro, but I was able to place my order and my food took about 10 minutes to complete. As I waited for my to-go order, I walked around the immediate area to kind of get an idea of what the place is like for those who decide to dine in. Majority of the seating for this bistro is located outdoors. I was told recently that they had acquired a small area with indoor seating just off to the site of the cafe area. It’s a great location for spring and summer months when it’s warm out, but it was quite chilly the day I went, which is why I opted to get my food to go – I was not dressed to sit out in the open with that cold breeze lingering in the air.
If you are looking for fast food service or quick food, this is certainly not the place you will want to find yourself. Everyone is made for you to order and there is a staff of 2-3 on hand on any given day. If you are in a rush, I suggest trying to call your order in or check to see if they’ll accommodate a take-out that day. The service I received was sweet, the owner greeted me with kindness and everyone that I talked to that day was very pleasant.
So, let’s talk about the food. Whenever I eat somewhere and have thoughts of reviewing the establishment here on the site, I try to order more than one meal to test and see how I like each. I ordered the Crab & Avocado Sandwich ($9.97 whole). Served on focaccia and mixed greens with tomato and sprouts. I also got the Curry Chicken Salad (Whole $9.00) which came highly recommended by a customer that was behind me in line, as well as the gal who took my order. She mentioned that it is the most popular on their menu. The Curry Chicken Salad came with diced chicken, carrots, zucchini and served with sweet curry dressing, on mixed greens and topped with papaya.
Let’s talk details on each dish – shall we?
I was happy to find that the Crab and Avocado came with a side of salad. I opted for ceasar and while it was tasty – it definitely was not the showstopper of this particular sandwich. If I can be absolutely blunt here… the focaccia is fricken awesome. It was fresh baked (baked by the owners) and one of the best focaccia breads I have ever tasted and trust when I say – I have had my fair share of focaccia. It was delicious. The avocado was fresh as was the rest of the vegetables in my sandwich. The crab was light and definitely tasted good. I was impressed that my sandwich included real crab for the price point and the sandwich was very filling. If you are doing hiking or anything that will require walking, etc. I think this would be a great selection – light, but hearty.
Should I get a sandwich again, I’ll be trying the Sliced Turkey Breast, but since it’s not on this delicious focaccia bread, I’m not sure I’d enjoy it as much – we shall see.
Next up I tried the Curry Chicken Salad. This salad is quite big and filled most of the take out container they put it in. I ate half of it and saved the rest for my eldest son Kevin Kaeo. When I opened this salad to eat it, I didn’t quite expect to see what I was looking at.
This portion size (I ordered the whole) was large enough to feet at least 2 people, especially if you purchased it in combination with other food. I was quite impressed with the size considering the price point. The diced chicken was chicken breast, but it was very tender considering the cut it was. I was quite impressed with how the entire salad in a whole had tasted. The dressing that they used was very tasty and I liked that the salad didn’t taste like it had taken a bath in mayonnaise (we all know how I’m not a fan of that creamy white stuff). The dressing was sweet (not hot or spicy at all) but definitely had a curry flavor. I would describe it as a curry without the heat. The salad was placed on a bed of greens – a mixture of different lettuce that was fresh and crispy and I also got two toasted pieces of crostini on top. This salad tasted really good and not soggy considering I had to drive 10 minutes to get home to eat it, but I would definitely suggest putting the bread separately because the dressing did cause it to become a tad bit soggy.
Overall – I think I really enjoyed the salad. The vegetables definitely tasted fresh and the nice crunch of the carrots definitely gave it a lot of texture. The little papaya on the top was delicious and really gave the salad an extra something. If I had to make any suggestions, I would love to see cashews in the mix for this salad – I think it would make it absolutely perfect. I make a pretty darn good chicken curry salad myself and that papaya though, it definitely made for a great addition to this dish.
The second time I went to grab some food to go, I ordered the Taro Salad ($9.75 Whole – I really wanted to eat that from the first time I had gone) and the Catch of the Day Sandwich ($8.50 Whole). Service was quick and I was on my way with my sandwiches and a Nirvana smoothie that I ordered. The smoothies are $5.50 and are not made with milk which is a plus on my tummy.
The Taro Salad was simple, but I rather enjoyed it. I got it regular (not Cajun spice which they also offer) and it was served with mixed greens, cheese (I was able to select between goat cheese and Parmesan, I went with goat cheese), carrots and zucchini. The salad also came with tomato and was dressed with a light basil vinaigrette topped with crispy taro chips. Here’s the low down on this salad… the taro chips, well, they were the ones I buy in the bag at Costco but I enjoy them and never would have thought to put them on a salad – they were great and because of the taro, they held up to the dressing and were not soggy when I got home to eat. The Taro itself is actually veggie patties diced up and the veggie patties of chunks of taro in them. When I was first told what it was, I’ll be honest, I had regret ordering it. I thought to myself, hmmm… why couldn’t I just get chunks of taro in my salad? But, I was pleasantly surprised. The veggie patty (which was diced/cubed up and tossed in the salad mix) was really good. There was a lot of taro in that patty and I enjoyed the flavor. Because of the veggie patty with taro, I think it lent for a lighter meal and with the actual taro cubed up as I suggested, it may have been too heavy for lunch. While I didn’t have high hopes for this particular salad after being told what it was, I was pleasantly surprised. If I had to make one suggestion, it would be to add some avocado in the mix… it would really bring out the sweetness of the taro and give the salad a depth of flavor.
The Catch of the Day sandwich was simplistic as was the Crab and Avocado. It was a few pieces of their Catch of the Day which was Mahimahi for me today, served on focaccia and a wasabi mayo with tomato and mixed greens and sprouts. The taste was really nice, but I would have loved to have more to the sandwich. The wasabi mayonnaise had a light wasabi flavor, with no heat and it looked like regular mayonnaise, so tasting it was the only way to really know what you were eating.
The cut of fish was nice, but I definitely would have wanted to have more to the sandwich. Of course, it was on that delicious focaccia that I’ve been swooning over which made it great. Overall, I think the sandwich is nice, but I would love to get more from it. Maybe a smear of pesto aioli or something along those lines to really bring out the flavor of the fish. Even some avocado would make a different here.
Makawao Garden Cafe is perfect to grab a meal while out exploring the area but keep in mind that due to limited seating, if they get busy – you may want to get that meal to go. My overall experience with them has been great, and I know I’ll be back again to try more food – I have my eyes set on many of the items on the menu. If you are looking for fine dining, then this place is definitely not it.
Makawao Garden Cafe is open from 11am to 3pm, Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays). They do not take reservations and parking is free. You can park directly on Baldwin Avenue if you can find a stall (it can get really congested and busy at times) or you can use the Garden parking behind Baldwin Avenue in the open parking lot (it’s a walk up stairs and there is no wheelchair access) Keep in mind that the back parking lot is gravel and the walk up the stairs is several flights.
Positives – there are quite a bit in my opinion. All of the menu items are under $10 so you and a friend could easily get a bite to eat for under $25. Considering I’m born & raised here on Maui and have seen how expensive things can get, that’s quite a steal considering the amount of food you get with your orders. The focaccia is bomb. Like seriously I can’t stress this enough, order a sandwich with it to taste how great it is. The owner and staff were very delightful and friendly. Parking is free -which is great. And, most of your options are healthy and fresh.
Now – there are a few cons to this location that I figured was worth sharing. While I didn’t experience dine-in service here, I was told by someone there that service can be slow when they are busy. I think that’s understandable considering that there are only 3 people working (sometimes one or two) at any given time and I honestly can’t attest to that myself seeing as the two times I went, they had just opened, so there really was only one or two people there. Remember, as I stated previously, if you’re in a rush – get it to go and call ahead. If it is raining or cold, even if they have a covered seated area that is indoors, you may not like the experience, so keep that in mind. The first time I picked up my food, it was chilly and very cold. I wouldn’t have been able to sit and enjoy my food comfortably. Roosters are everywhere in that area (it’s a part of Makawao town) so it can be frustrating at times, just don’t feed them because they’ll come around more while you’re eating.
If you’re on the hunt for something interesting to try – I definitely suggest checking this place out. I’m all for supporting local eats and Maui eateries that are owned by locals so I definitely enjoyed it. They offer smoothies as well and there is quite a selection which is great. This place offers a true laid back environment so it’s perfect for those that are looking for something casual. Also – take note that if you’re walking too fast, you may miss it… so this little place gives you the opportunity to “take the long way home” so to say and stop and smell the roses.
My goal is to offer more “Maui Eats” for my readers near and far so be sure to come back for more.
Have a wonderful Aloha Friday and a great weekend,
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. I purchased any thing mentioned in this post with my own money. Affiliate links may be posted through out.
It’s absolutely no secret that I’m a huge fan of seafood and sushi so when the opportunity arises to get some stellar grinds, know that I’ll be the first one in line. How else do you think I became a plus sized girl? lol My husband and I have dined in at Makawao Sushi and Deli Maui before and have always enjoyed our food there and since it is just a short drive from where we live, we decided to satisfy our sushi fix there on Saturday night.
Makawao Sushi and Deli is a quaint little hole in the wall off of Baldwin Avenue in Makawao. This little establishment has been open now for quite a few years, since my husband and I first ate there about 9 years ago and it was open before then. You can find a variety of Deli type items on the menu from sandwiches and yummy delights like chocolate cream horns, croissants and cheesecake – though that is not the reason we visit the Deli. Inside the sandwich shop is a little sushi bar filled with a variety of fresh seafood for anyone’s desire. I have eaten at many sushi bars and establishments, but one so quaint and small normally does not host fresh seafood as Makawao Sushi does. Here is a line up of the food we ate on Saturday.
The first platter served to us was the Deluxe Sashimi plate which includes fish like Ahi (Tuna), Salmon, Hamachi (Japanese Amberjack / yellow tail), Hamadai (snapper) and another type of fish that I did not get the name of. This particular plate costs $49.00 (21 pieces) but considering how fresh the fish is and the amount on the plate, definitely worth it.
Next on the menu we ordered the Spicy Ahi (tuna) which is a blend of spicy mix and ahi (tuna) which is quite popular for sushi lovers. It is hand-rolled and is $9.00 for six pieces and we got four orders.
Yummy yummy, the Rainbow Roll. As beautiful and colorful as the rainbow, this delicious roll is a hand-rolled sushi with crab on the inside and wrapped with fresh ahi, salmon and hamachi along with avocado and tobiko (flying fish roe). If I had to suggest any sushi on the menu, this would definitely be it. If you love seafood, this will satisfy your craving as the fish is fresh and layered beautifully on the roll giving you yummy fish in every single bite. Each roll is $18 and we ordered two rolls since I could easily eat one by myself… lol.
This fun presentation is the Spider Roll or otherwise known as the Soft Shell Crab roll. This is filled with soft shell crab, avocado and rolled up with a little tobiko on the top. One of my favorites to eat because I’m a huge lover of soft shell crab and the presentation is surely eye appealing. This roll is $16.50.
This is a combo plate with the Tempura Roll (left) and 007 Roll (right). The Tempura Roll ($16.50) is a traditional california style roll with tempura fried shrimp. The 007 Roll ($20.00) is a traditional spicy tuna (ahi) roll topped with Ebi, Avocado and Unagi Sauce.
Last but not least is the Uni sushi. This sushi is probably one of my favorites and when prepared with fresh Uni (sea urchin), it’s delicious and butter in flavor and texture. Makawao Sushi & Deli ALWAYS have fresh Uni which is wonderful because not very many places will have it as fresh as they do. This is definitely an acquired taste and expensive… sold at Market Price per piece, this one piece of sushi can cost anywhere from $5.75 – $9.00 but in my opinion – it’ swell worth it. I grew up eating this stuff (the yellow sea urchin) fresh from the ocean as a kid and it is now difficult to find. If you are in to trying interesting food, you’ll love this.
Now that we have gotten the food part out of the way – let’s talk about Makawao Sushi & Deli in general. Again, this is a small deli which will comfortably host about 25-30 people. It has a small restroom within the establishment which is nice since the nearest restroom on that road is no where to be found. I consider this place pretty kid friendly as you can purchase a variety of beverages in the bottle or cup for your littles and it is a casual environment so shirt and shorts are fine. Makawao Sushi does not sell alcohol which is something traditionally expected at a sushi bar, but they allow you to bring your own alcohol and they do not charge a corkage fee. I think for a girls day out, or a night out with friends, this would be a nice little place to hang out and enjoy some sushi delights. The sushi pictured is not all they carry and they offer a full menu where you can easily pick and choose what you want to eat. Keep in mind that there is usually only two to three people working at a time – the sushi chef and the waitress/host so service can be slow as each sushi plate is made to order.
My family and I enjoy eating here. Again – the environment is casual and the sushi really is fresh and delicious. While the prices can seem a bit steep, I consider them reasonable since you are getting fresh ingredients and they are made to order. Keep in mind parking can be a bit difficult sometimes but usually not enough to keep you from eating there. I hope you enjoyed this, I certainly loved sharing it with you. All photos were taken with my cell phone and the lighting was not ideal, so I apologize for that.
Bon Appetite! If you visit Maui and find yourself in the sleepy old town of Makawao – stop by and visit Makawao Sushi and Deli for some yummy delights.