I’m not big on restaurants. Most of the time I prefer to just eat at home. Restaurants are usually too expensive, the food is of questionable quality, and the waitstaff are one condescending sneer away from getting slapped in the face with a plate of fries. Nevetheless, I do get tired of my own cooking now and then or I just need to get out and about, so I go looking for a place to eat. I quit the fast food joints a long time ago and of course, the 5 star snooty places are too expensive and wouldn’t let somebody like me in anyways. Therefore, I tend to seek out those little off the beaten path sort of places. The one off, non chain, local spots with good food, friendly staff, and a somewhat more relaxed atmosphere.
Here on Maui there are dozens of the latter places all over. Kihei has a bunch within walking distance of where I am currently living and there are plenty more about. Visiting them all could take years, if I’m lucky. Anyways, if you are here on vacation or for an extended time, it may well be worth it to seek these places out in your travels.
Just about every type of eatin’ can be found here. There are burger joints, pizza places, seafood shops, ethnic flavors, and bbq pits. All seem to run about the same in price with a little variation here and there. For an entree, a drink, and tip, you can expect to burn through the better part of a $20 bill fairly easy no matter if it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The trick here is to find the specials of the day or the week, the happy hour menu, or use a coupon if you can find one, and take advantage of them when you can. For example:
I found the food court at Costco in Kahului has 2 big slices of pizza with a drink for under $5. A pretty good deal considering most of the pizza shops charge twice the price. The pizza is good and since it is right beside the local Kmart, all it takes is a couple of bus rides and I can grab said pizza, get some minor shopping done and be back again in about 4 hours. Makes for a nice trip.
Another place I found within walking distance is the local convenience store known locally as the ABC store. The deli carries a nice variety of lunches and dinners for under $10 and being close it’s a quick and easy walk to gain sustenance without breaking the bank.
I haven’t really been to too many other places as of yet. Budget concerns keep me home for now. I do go to the Moose every weekend for football and have a few club sodas and a burger. It’s decent food and nice atmosphere. You can sit at the bar, watch the game and look out over the beach across the street at the same time. Very cool.
In addition to all the restaurants there are a lot of food trucks on the island. They spread out to strategic spots all over the place, near the beaches, parks, and such. They sell a nice variety of things like fish tacos, bbq, and plate lunches. (more on local cuisine in the next post). There are also some mobile bbq set ups here and there. One guy sets up every Saturday down the street from where I live and cooks huli huli chicken. I haven’t had any yet but when I walk by it smells reeeeaaaaalllllyyyy good.
So, if you are tired of cooking at home, or just here on vacation and don’t have the means to cook, there are plenty of places to eat without breaking the bank. Hit the Yelp and Trip Advisor reviews or ask the locals where the best places are to eat. Stay away from the fast food joints and don’t waste money on the fancy places. You’ll enjoy the smaller local places more better.
Next up: the local cuisine.