Whoever said Maui was a special place was spot on. In my opinion, it’s one of the most relaxing places in the world. I love spending time both at the beach but also on the verdant mountainside of Haleakala.
As a vegetarian, it can be hard to find good food at restaurants in Maui. Its food scene celebrates island seafood and the paniolo steak traditions. When I travel to Maui, I always end up balancing meals outside with home cooked meals. However, I’ve also had the opportunity to have some really delicious food. Given the research and recommendations it can take, I thought I’d pass along a summary.
Some of my favorite vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Maui to eat and drink
- Maui Tacos (Kihei, Kahului) – Good, cheap, classic beachside Mexican chain. If you get a burrito, I suggest you get it ‘WET’ — smothered with enchilada sauce and cheese. ($)
- Fred’s Mexican Cafe (Kihei) – A solid vacation town Tex-Mex joint. It’s a perfect place to get veggie fajitas and a margarita (or two) after a morning of stand up paddle boarding. If you’ve expended the effort to lug your SUP board from the beach to the rental shop, you deserve it. ($$)
- Cafe des Amis (Paia) – A free-spirited cafe serving French, Indian and Mediterranean dishes and beach town cocktails (Passion Fruit Margarita, anyone?). I’ve been here multiple times and every single time, I order the savory crepe filled with Italian lentil and tomato stew, pesto and mozzarella. This dish is so good that every time, my dining partners have regretted not ordering this crepe. Writing about it makes me hungry. ($$)
- Monkeypod Kitchen (Kaanapali, Wailea) – A New Hawaiian-American restaurant with a great vibe, great cocktails and a solid number of fresh-feeling vegetarian options. Their Kaanapali location has an open patio looking out onto the beach which was an added plus. My family enjoyed the pumpkin patch ravioli, the coco corn chowder, the margherita pizza and their kale salad along. Of all the cocktails I tasted in Maui, Monkeypod probably has the best. The White Walker was especially tasty. As a fun fact, they also serve their drinks in great glasses – I ended up buying a carton (24) of glass tiki glasses that I saw at Monkeypod to keep and gift to friends. ($$)
- Hali’imaile General Store (Hali’imaile) – For a night with a classic Hawaiian fine dining vibe, check this restaurant. This is where locals do special nights out. They have a vegetarian menu and and excellent set of cocktails. ($$$)
Some sweet snack shops also worth checking out
- Cinnamon Roll Place (Kihei) – Sticky, sweet cinnamon rolls so massive they could feed 2 or 3 people apiece.
- Sugar Beach Bake Shop (Kihei) – for malasadas and other breakfast goodness. Mmm, doughnuts
- T Komoda Store & Bakery (Makawao) – I was skeptical by the somewhat flakey hours (they close for vacations) but I will admit that the stick doughnuts are some of the best doughnuts I’ve ever had in my life. There’s a huge line of tourists when it opens but after the initial tourist rush, it’s a little less busy.
- Beach Street Maui Shave Ice (Kihei) – Shave Ice, which is the hawaiian snow-cone. Be sure to get ice cream on the bottom.
- Ulalanis (Kihei, Ka’anapali) – Shave Ice, which is the hawaiian snow-cone. Be sure to get ice cream on the bottom.
- Banana bread from a local joint, extra points if it’s still a little warm