Food Lover's Guide to Maui
Maui’s culinary heritage is rich and diverse; it draws its influence from Polynesia, Portugal, the Philippines, China, Japan, and Korea. A fusion of flavors and traditions, tropical fruit and fresh seafood are staples of Hawaiian cuisine. Here are a few culinary experiences that you can’t miss in Maui.
Kalua pork is one of Maui’s best-known dishes; it’s slow-roasted in an imu (underground oven), and served with side dishes such as poi (taro root paste). Try it at during a luau (traditional Hawaiian feast) or as part of a loco moco, which comprises your choice of protein, two scoops of rice, and one scoop of macaroni salad. For something lighter, opt for poke, made from fresh fish chopped and marinated with soy sauce and served with add-ons such as seaweed, onions, and avocados. For the ultimate local comfort food, try some Japanese-inspired spam musubi (fried spam is wrapped in rice and Japanese seaweed), or a bowl of saimin, a noodle dish with south Asian roots and a unique Hawaiian twist.
For dessert, popular options include malasadas, deep fried Portuguese doughnuts rolled in sugar and served with dipping sauces such as lilikoi (passion fruit) butter; shave ice, served with syrup, and sometimes ice cream and condensed milk; haupia, a coconut milk pudding served in squares; or even just some fresh fruit, such as pineapple, lilikoi, or mango.
- To truly experience the culture of the islands, be sure to attend a luau and sample staples such as kalua pork.
- Join a food tour to experience the diversity of local favorites, including locally-brewed beer.
- Tour a farm or plantation to try fresh produce, fruit, coffee, or wine.
- Board a sunset dinner cruise and enjoy a multi-course feast as you watch a magical sunset.