Earlier this year, we published a piece on the best packaged cookies on Maui. Packaged cookies are popular on Maui and all of Hawaii because they travel well and keep for longer than a day. But sometimes we just want one, fresh-baked cookie. Well, lucky for us, and you, Maui has plenty of bakeries that sell fresh cookies. Here is our list of favorite bakery cookies on Maui.

  1. Hula Cookies and Ice Cream (Ma’alea)
    Located in the shops at Ma’alea, next to the Maui Ocean Center, Hula Cookies and Ice Cream doubles up on the good eats with fresh baked cookies and ice cream. Why just eat a cookie or an ice cream cone when you custom make an ice cream sandwich, choosing your favorite cookies and ice cream flavors? (Hula Cookies and Ice Cream)
  2. Sugar Beach Bake Shop (Kihei)
    Known for the fresh malasadas, Sugar Beach Bake Shop also offers up fresh cookies and delicious macarons in an assortment flavors. We think these are, hands down, the best macarons on Maui. The texture is perfect. The first time we tried them we were immediately sent back to Paris. Their classic chocolate chip cookies are also excellent. (Sugar Beach Bake Shop)
  3. BanyanTreats (Lahaina)
    If you’re stepping off one of our Whale Watchor Snorkel tours, across the street from the wharf you’ll find BanyanTreats. BanyanTreats features eight different types of fresh baked cookies, locally made Roselani ice cream and over 30 different shave ice flavors. Our favorite for the keiki (kids) is the cute combo of smiling ice cream with a cookie “hat.” You’ll get that reference if you check out the website link below. Conveniently located on Front Street in Lahaina, BanyanTreats is a wonderful place to relax and take a break from strolling in that wonderful Maui sun. (BanyanTreats)
  4. Maui Bread Company (Kihei)
    New to the bakery scene, Maui Bread Company opened its Dolphin Plaza Kihei doors in 2017. It serves fresh baked bread (duh), brownies, pastries, cookies and more, including a large selection of gluten-free products. As for the cookies, we can never resist the peanut butter and bacon cookies. They are large, fat cookies with just the right blend of sweet and savory. (Maui Bread Company)
  5. Zippy’s (Kahului)
    Inside of Zippy’s resides Napoleon’s, a counter bakery that offers a full menu of sugary baked goods. From cakes to donuts to fantastic turnovers and everything in between, Zippy’s is a great place to pick up sweets on your way to your hotel or condo from the airport. As for the cookies, we highly recommend the Melting Moments shortbread cookies, a Hawaiian take on Russian Tea cookies. (Zippy’s)

Do you have a favorite place for freshly baked cookies on Maui? Leave a comment below or tell us on Twitter @HIOceanProject and Facebook @hawaiioceanproject or send us a picture on Instagram @hawaiioceanproject.

Like coffee beans, the only place cacao beans, the main ingredient for making chocolate, are only grown commercially in the the United States is in Hawaii. Here on Maui, we have our own cacao farms. Not all of the chocolate made on Maui uses our local beans, but some do. Those are noted below, with a special shout out to Hana Gold. We highly recommend their plantation tour if you have time on a trip to Hana. Here, then, are our five favorite chocolates made on Maui.

Hana Gold
The Hana Gold chocolate bars are made using organic cacao grown and hand-picked on their Hana plantation. Not only is the cacao grown on Maui, but 100% of the ingredients used are cultivated on Maui. The bars themselves are even poured and molded in Hana. Hana Gold offers plantation tours Monday – Saturday at 2:00. Beyond the plantation, Hana Gold chocolate bars can be found at Mana Foods, Down to Earth, Maui Ocean Center and other specialty shops. (Hana Gold)

Hawaii Fudge Company
With locations on Front Street in Lahaina and on South Kihei Road, the award-winning Hawaii Fudge Company, makes it convenient for you to try their various candies. Beyond fudge, they also make toffee, caramels and taffy. Our favorite is the salted caramels, but everything we’ve tried has been good. Hawaii Fudge Company also offers daily classes in their Kihei shop where you’ll take home a pound of fudge that you make. (Hawaii Fudge Company)

Maui Specialty Chocolates
Maui Specialty Chocolates is one of Maui’s best kept secrets. These dark and milk chocolates, made by the owner of the company, are rich and smooth and come in many varieties. Our favorites are mint truffles and the crunchy peanut butter cups. Beyond chocolate, they also make delicious peanut butter and chocolate mochi that melt in your mouth. The only place to purchase Maui Specialty Chocolates is from their little outlet in Kahului, about 5 minutes from the airport, making it a great place to pick up gifts for your flight off the island. (Maui Specialty Chocolates)

Sweet Paradise Chocolatier
Making chocolate with locally grown ingredients, Sweet Paradise Chocolatier has been on Maui since 2007. Perfect for gifts, their hand-crafted truffles and patterned chocolates are absolutely beautiful and taste great, too. Each piece is like a little piece of art. But you’d be a fool to not eat them, after taking an Instagram photo, natch. The lava sea salt caramels are also heavenly. At their Wailea shop, they also sell chocolates from other Hawaiian-based chocolatiers, so it’s definitely worth a visit.(Sweet Paradise Chocolatier)

Wow Wee At just $2.50 a bar, decidedly less expensive than the other chocolates on this list, Wow Wee calls its chocolate bars “Maui’s Candy Bar.” Wow Wee makes bars in a variety of local flavors, using local ingredients like macadamia nuts, coconut, Maui potato chips, Kona coffee, Maui rum and Hawaiian sea salt. Our favorite bar is the Dark Chocolate with Hawaiian sea salt and caramel. Wow Wee chocolate bars are available at Long’s Drugs and other local retailers. (Wow Wee)

Do you have a favorite chocolate made on Maui? Leave a comment below or tell us on Twitter @HIOceanProject and Facebook @hawaiioceanproject or send us a picture on Instagram @hawaiioceanproject.

Whether you live on Maui or are just visiting, Maui’s artisan food purveyors make treats that you can enjoy and feel good about. Using local ingredients and hiring local residents, artisan goods are a boon to the local economy. The five companies listed here make products that are good now, but they also make excellent gifts for friends and relatives on the mainland. They all travel well in a suitcase, or they can be ordered online and shipped. We only listed five companies, but there are numerous local companies who display their wares at farmers markets all over the island.

Waikapu Pickles
These pickles, made from Maui-grown cucumbers, are fully made by hand, down to the slicing. Just two years old, Waikapu Pickles have taken Maui by storm. While regularly available at the Upcountry Farmers Market, they can also be found at natural food stores like Mana Foods in Paia and Down to Earth in Kahului. They currently bottle four varieties of pickles, with the Hawaiian Chili Pepper being our favorite. (Waikapu Pickles)

Adoboloco Hot Sauce
What started as a homeschool project has grown into a wonderful little sauce company. Bottling chili waters, hot sauces and marinades, this family run business shows that the family that works together, stays together. Adoboloco Hot Sauces can be found at Foodland, Whole Foods and many other retail establishments. Popular breakfast spot Kihei Caffe has it available to use on your meals, if you wish to try it. (Adoboloco)

Maui Fruit Jewels
Made in Wailuku, these vegan, gluten-free candies are made with over 50% fresh, local fruit. Excellent for eating here on island or for taking off-island, Maui Fruit Jewels are a perfect gift. Featuring local fruits like mango, pineapple, lilikoi, other flavors include herb and spiced wine and tumeric. Here on Maui, Maui Fruit Jewels can be found at Whole Foods, Foodland and assorted gift shops. (Maui Fruit Jewels)

Maui Olive Oil
Using olives grown upcountry in Kula, Maui Olive Company presses and makes this olive oil here on Maui. After six years of waiting for their olive trees to bear fruit, the company pressed their first olive oil in 2015. They sell out fast, but if you head to the Upcountry Farmers Market early on Saturday mornings, you may be able to find some. If you do, you’ll be in for a real treat! (Maui Olive Company)

Maui Crisps
A beef jerky unlike any beef jerky you’ve ever had, Maui Crisps are more like potato chips in texture. You can literally snap them and crumble them with your fingers. How do they manage to make preservative-free smoked beef into a chip? With paper thin slices of beef, smoked just right. Maui Crisps really need to be tried to understand the novelty of the product. For non-meat eaters, they are now packaging pineapple crisps. Tracking them down isn’t so easy. You can either purchase them from the website, or from the Shell gas station on Kaahumanu Ave. near the Queen Kaahumanu shopping center. (Maui Crisps)

Tell us your favorite local companies on Twitter @HIOceanProject and Instagram @hawaiioceanproject or leave a comment below. Thanks!

There are great taco trucks and carts on Maui that serve authentic and delicious Mexican food. But for this list, we’re only looking at places you can sit down and enjoy your meal. To be honest, Maui isn’t exactly a hot bed for great Mexican food, but these five spots will hit the spot if you have a Mexican food craving.

  1. Polli’s Mexican Restaurant (Makawao)
    Located upcountry in Makawao, Polli’s is one of the few Mexican food places for which we’ll leave the beach. The food is just really good. We especially like the crisp beef tacos and the steak fajitas. Polli’s also has a great happy hour from 4:00 – 5:30 Monday thru Friday. If you’re headed upcountry, we recommend stopping by Komoda’s for some pastries for an “appetizer” and lunch at Polli’s. (Polli’s Mexican Restaurant)
  2. Acevedo’s Hawaicano Cafe (Kahului)
    This little hole-in-the wall is only open for lunch, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Monday – Friday. It’s less than 10 minutes from the airport, so if you’re headed out or just coming in, Acevedo’s is a good place to stop. They serve classic Mexican food dishes, but fused with Hawai’ian flavors. The combination makes Acevedo’s a uniquely Hawaiian/Mexican joint. The food tastes fresh and is dished out by a friendly staff. Beyond the Mexican food, they serve local favorites like loco moco and fish and chips. The daily specials are also fantastic. (Acevedo’s Hawaicano Cafe)
  3. Milagros (Paia)
    Located in the heart of Paia, Milagros is popular with locals and visitors. Though they are more southwestern cuisine than Mexican, we feel fine about putting them on this list. Our favorite item, which is only available for dinner, is the wet carne asada. A luscious, large steak burrito, topped with enchilada sauce. So ono! Milagros also has a nice children’s menu, making it an ideal location for a family meal. (Milagros)
  4. Chilango’s Mexican Cuisine (Lahaina)
    Inexpensive (for Maui), with some of the friendliest service you’ll find in Lahaina, Chilango’s hits the spot if you’re on the hunt for cheap Mexican food on the west side. The portions aren’t big, but if you’re headed to the beach, maybe that’s a good thing! We stick with the classics when we order here, tacos and burritos, but if we’re feeling frisky, we get the carne asada plate. Chilango’s is open for lunch and dinner Monday – Saturday, closed on Sunday. (Chilango’s Mexican Cuisine)
  5. Frida’s Beach House (Lahaina)
    Before you head in with your board shorts and flip-flops, be aware that Frida’s Beach House is a pretty nice, formal (for Maui) restaurant. Sure, you’ll be welcome in your beach gear, but don’t expect a $2 Taco Tuesday here. Instead, you’ll find a well thought out menu that runs the gamut from taco plates to grilled Spanish octopus. Open for lunch and dinner with happy hour between 3:00 – 4:30. (Frida’s Beach House)

Where do you go when you’re craving Mexican food on Maui? Comment below or tell us on Twitter @HIOceanProject and Instagram @hawaiioceanproject

On Maui, the best cookies aren’t always “bakery fresh.” We are blessed with packaged cookies that travel well in the car to Hana, the beach or just about anywhere. For visitors, these cookies are great to take back as gifts for friends and family. Whether you like your cookies crispy, soft, plain or fancy, you can find a cookie that’s right for you. Here then are our five favorite packaged cookies, listed alphabetically.

Big Island Delights
Not all that easy to find on Maui, but when you spot them, jump on the Mac nut snowballs. A Hawaiian take on the classic Russian Tea Cookie so popular during the holidays, these little balls of heaven melt in your mouth. It’s almost like they’re daring you to stop at one cookie. You won’t, so don’t even try. Long’s Drugs is typically where we find this brand. Everything Big Island Delights makes is good, but these snowballs are great. (Big Island Delights)

Cook Kwees
The original Maui pre-packaged cookie, Cook Kwees are still one of the best. Found in ABC Stores and most grocery stores, Cook Kwees have always been popular with locals and visitors alike. Everyone has their own favorite flavor, but if pressed, our two favorites are the macadamia nut cookies and the peanut butter. Prior to moving to Maui, our first and last purchases upon visiting Maui were these cookies. We’d munch on them all vacation, then take as many as we could fit in our suitcase for ourselves and as gifts for friends. (Cook Kwees)

Honolulu Cookie Company
The classic “Hawaiian Shortbread” cookie, Honolulu Cookie Company has shops in Wailea and Ka’anapali. These little pre-packaged, pineapple-shaped nuggets of goodness are easy to pack as gifts (our go-to gift when going back to the mainland) and taste great. With a variety of flavor options and coverings, there’s a cookie for everyone. The old standby, though, is the chocolate covered shortbread cookie. A perfect size, with the just right amount of chocolate frosting-to-cookie ratio, so as not to overwhelm the taste of the cookie. (Honolulu Cookie Company)

Manjookie
From this entire list, if we were on a deserted island, the one cookie we would take with us is the Peanut Butter Dream by Manjookie. This melt-in-the-mouth, yet somehow crisp cookie is simply incredible. It’s easily the best store bought cookie we’ve ever had. EVER. For something a little different, try the peanut butter Manjookie-style cookie. It’s a manju crossed with a cookie, filled with creamy peanut butter. We prefer the peanut butter cookie, but the manjookie is also very good. Not that easy to find, but they have a small retail outlet in Kahului. If the door is locked during business hours just ring the bell and they’ll let you in. They are also available at most Tamura’s markets. (Manjookie)

Maui Cookie Lady
Business is booming for the Maui Cookie Lady. Recently selected to sell her cookies at the International Marketplace at Saks Fifth Avenue in Waikiki, you can also find Maui Cookie Lady cookies at the Maui Brewery in Kihei and select retail locations. These cookies aren’t dainty little things. They are big, chunky and full of flavor. One cookie should fill you up nicely, though you probably won’t want to stop at just one. (Maui Cookie Lady)

Tell us your favorite cookies in the comments below or on Twitter @HIOceanProject and Instagram @hawaiioceanproject

We have a different article about our favorite malasadas. For this one, we’re talking straight donuts. We love donuts. The round kind with the hole, the long kind, the long twisty kind, the filled kind. All kinds! Whether for breakfast or dessert, donuts rule. We pretty much had to flip a coin between number 1 and number 2 on our list. They are both so ono! Here are our five favorite places to get donuts on Maui.

  1. Donut Dynamite (Wailuku)
    With fun, exotic flavors, Donut Dynamite is our favorite donut shop on Maui. You want fun flavors? How do Bacon Maple, Oh!Reo Cookie, and Salted Caramel grab you? They also have “local” flavors like Maui Vanilla Bean and Molokai Sweet Potato. And yes, they do make malasadas if you want something truly local to Maui. At $4.00 a piece, the donuts here aren’t cheap. But they’re quite large and, of course, they taste great. Closed on Sundays, Donut Dynamite is open Monday – Saturday, 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM. They do run out, so get there early! (Donut Dynamite)
  2. T. Komoda Store and Bakery (Makawao)
    If you prefer a more traditional donut than those served at Donut Dynamite, we recommend you take a trip up to Makawao and visit Komoda’s. The Long John, a cream-filled, chocolate bar-type donut is our favorite. But the donut-on-a-stick, a twisty-glazed-type donut is a close second. Komoda’s is also famous for its cream puffs and, especially, their coco puffs, a chocolate cream filled puff. Open from 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM on Saturday, you need to get there by 9:00 for a decent selection. They tend to sell out of their pastries by mid-morning. (T. Komoda Store and Bakery)
  3. Krispy Kreme (Kahului)
    When you fly into Maui, pretty much the first thing you see when exiting the airport is Krispy Kreme. Being the only location in Hawai’i, it’s a popular stop for residents of other islands. Say what you will about Krispy Kreme, but you can’t deny the simple glazed donut is one the finest donuts ever created. One bite and it just melts in your mouth. The other donuts they serve are fine, but oh that glazed. We have no problem putting down two or three while waiting dutifully in the cell phone lot to pick up family and friends from the airport. (Krispy Kreme)
  4. The Bakery (Lahaina)
    Don’t feel silly if you’re parked right in front of The Bakery and feel like you can’t find it. It’s a small, dingy looking shop in an industrialized part of Lahaina. The door is usually cracked open and even when you’re standing on the doorstep, you’re still not sure if it’s the right place. Once you step inside, you’ll smell the fresh breads and pastries. Well known for having the best malasadas in Lahaina, they also make large, satisfying donuts. If they have the lemon glazed donut when you visit, don’t hesitate to buy one! Closed on Sundays, they’re open the rest of the week from 5 AM – 11:30 AM. (The Bakery)
  5. Home Maid Bakery (Wailuku)
    Opened on Maui in 1960, Home Maid Bakery is a local institution. When locals think of Home Maid, their thoughts go to the many varieties of the crispy manju and silky mochi. They also think about fresh, warm malasadas. But Home Maid also makes delicious donuts. The chocolate donuts are really good, but sugar donuts are even better. The Long Johns are also spot on. Home Maid Bakery is open seven days a week from 5:00 AM – 9:00 PM. (Home Maid Bakery)

You’ve seen our list of favorite donut shops on Maui. Now tell us yours in the comments below or on Twitter @HIOceanProject and Instagram @hawaiioceanproject

Maui has some of the best high-end foods in all of Hawai’i. From Hali’Maile General Store to The Millhouse to Morimoto’s, if you want a wonderful, romantic meal, Maui has you covered. But sometimes, you just want greasy comfort food. It’s OK. We totally get it! For greasy spoon diner food, Maui once again has you covered. It’s somewhat telling that only one of the locations listed here has a website. Here are five greasy spoons, listed alphabetically, that we recommend you try if you just want a quick, tasty breakfast with no hassle or pretense.

CJ’s Deli and Diner (Ka’anapali)
A classic diner, CJ’s is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM. Tucked away in the Fairway Shops at Ka’anapali, CJ’s also provides boxed lunches, in a cooler, if you’re having a beach day or driving to Hana. But, CJ’s is known for their breakfasts. Serving everything from “All-American” plates with eggs, pancakes and bacon or sausage to loco moco with a half-pound hamburger patty (quite the gut bomb for breakfast!) to Hawaiian sweet bread French toast. Plus they have an assortment of fruit plates and healthier fare. Unusual for a greasy spoon diner, they also have gluten-free and vegetarian menus. (CJ’s Deli and Diner)

Jack’s Inn (Kahului)
Back in the day, we wouldn’t eat at Jack’s more than a couple of times a year due to the ever-present cigarette smoke. It was that kind of place. Now, however, with no smoking ordinances in place, we eat at Jack’s at least once a month. The loco moco over fried rice is to die for. Jack’s is the ultimate, old-school Maui breakfast joint. Beyond breakfast, it’s known for its oxtail soup and saimin. If you want one last taste of classic Hawaii before headed off the island, we recommend you swing by Jack’s Inn. It’s less than 10 minutes from the airport. Open from 5:30 AM – 2:00 PM Monday – Saturday, closed on Sunday. (Jack’s Inn)

Sheik’s (Kahului)
Sheik’s opened in 1968 and has been serving up greasy spoon classics like hamburgers, fried chicken and hot dogs since day one. Beyond the classics, though, Sheik’s serves up surprisingly good Hawaiian plates. The breaded teriyaki is probably the best on all of Maui. The saimin and chow fun are also quite good. As for breakfast, it’s not an expansive menu, but they serve typical breakfast plates plus a 4-scoop serving of excellent fried rice. With linoleum tables and vinyl booths, Sheik’s certainly plays the part of the beloved greasy spoon diner. (Sheik’s)

Sunrise Cafe (Lahaina)
On Front Street, where it seems like everything is aimed at deep-pocketed visitors, Sunrise Cafe stands out. It’s our favorite hole-in-the-wall diner in Lahaina. The menu is expansive and affordable and the food is good and plentiful. Sunrise Cafe is known for its loco moco. Considering the time difference here on Maui, we’re a little surprised more places don’t open early for breakfast, but Sunrise opens its doors at 6:00 AM. Sunrise Cafe is cash only. (Sunrise Cafe)

Tasty Crust (Wailuku)
Seen from the outside, it screams “old school diner!” Seen from the inside, it screams it even louder. Tasty Crust would be right at home in a Quentin Tarantino movie. It has greasy spoon roots and is proud of it. The service is fast and friendly and the food is filling and, well, tastes OK. Look, it’s not going to blow your socks off, but if you want breakfast done right, Tasty Crust delivers. They are open for breakfast at 6:00 AM every day and remain open all day for dinner except for Monday, when they close at 3:00 PM. Cash only. (Tasty Crust)

What is your favorite greasy spoon diner on Maui? Leave a comment below or tell us on Twitter @HIOceanProject and Instagram @hawaiioceanproject

On a day trip to Hana, you will probably be on the road for at least 10 hours. During this time, you’ll probably want to stop for at least one “big” meal, as well as for snacks. Here are our recommendations on where to eat on the Road to Hana.

Hana Day Trip Planning Guide: What to pack
Hana Day Trip Planning Guide: 12 scenic spots to visit

Huelo Lookout (Midway between mile markers 4 and 5)
Huelo Town is called “the little Hawaiian village forgotten by time.” A former sugar plantation community, it is now a quiet town with cattle ranches and smaller farms dedicated to growing fruit and vegetables. But the reason to stop here is for the Huelo Lookout fruit and smoothie stand. If you skip Twin Falls, it’s the first place to get drinks and snacks for the road.

Ka Haku Smoke Shack (Just past mile marker 10)
The shack, basically a tarp, serves up some mean barbecue. We wish we could recommend something, but the menu changes depending on what fresh produce and meats the owner, Chef Chewie, has on hand. Everything is farm to table, served on natural plates (bamboo plates lined with banana leaves.) Only open Monday – Friday until late afternoon or when Chef Chewie runs out of food.

Garden Gourmet (Halfway between mile markers 10 and 11, at the entrance to Garden of Eden) A food truck with picnic table seating, Garden Gourmet serves fresh, farm-to-table meals, with much of the produce grown nearby. All the food is prepared made-to-order, so if you’re in a hurry, this probably isn’t the place for you. But if you go, we think you’ll be happy with your meal. You do NOT have to pay to enter the Garden of Eden to eat here.

Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread (Between mile markers 16 and 17)
If there’s one food item you can buy on the Road to Hana, it’s banana bread. But if you want the best banana bread, stop by Aunt Sandy’s. It’s moist on the inside and somewhat crisp on the outside, creating a really nice texture for which your mouth will thank you. The grilled hot dogs also hit the mark. If your car mates won’t mind, we also recommend the chili dog. But, again, you should ask the other folks in the car if this is OK!

Nahiku Marketplace (Mile marker 28)
Whether you want fresh juices, coconut water, snacks or souvenirs, this little marketplace has grown from its original two vendors to now offering more places to eat than Hana Town. You’ll find food trucks and stalls of all kinds, from Thai to barbecue and everything in between. You will also find vendors selling the world famous coconut candy.

Thai Food by Pranee (Hana)
A little shack in Hana, Thai Food by Pranee serves authentic Thai cuisine. The food tends to fall on the “sweet” side, rather than spicy, but don’t despair, if you order it spicy, it’s definitely, spicy. The other thing to note is you’re eating outdoors. In Hana, this means there will be flies and mosquitos. But, since you read our What to pack for Hana guide you’re set with the bug repellent, right? Back to the food. Thai Food by Pranee is in the running for best Thai food on Maui. People seem to be aware of this because the lines can get long, and it can take, literally, an hour to get your food when it’s busy. We recommend you ask how long it will take, so you can set your expectations.

Braddah Hutts BBQ Grill (Hana)
It’s unfortunate for those of us who don’t live in Hana that the best barbecue on Maui is in Hana. Whether you’re craving barbecued chicken, pulled pork, ribs, steak or even fish tacos, Braddah Hutts has you covered. The portions are big and prices are reasonable, for Maui, anyway. Don’t be scared off by the lines, unlike most things around these parts, it actually moves pretty quick.

Hasegawawa General Store (Hana)
Take a step back in time and enter the Hasegawa General Store to load up on snacks and drinks for the long drive back. Here you’ll find a little of everything, from locally grown vegetables to fishing gear to clothing. This is a mom and pop store that would make your mom and pop proud.

Hana Burger Food Truck (Hana)
The Hana Ranch runs the Hana Burger Food Truck. So obviously, the burgers are fresh and about as local as you can get. Beyond the burgers, though, all the veggies are also grown on location, and the fish is all caught locally. Even the ketchup is made on location using ingredients from their organic farm. Generally speaking we prefer Heinz ketchup above all others, but this ketchup is actually really good. Service is fast and there are plenty of covered picnic tables. The house-made ginger beer (non-alcoholic) is a real treat. As a bonus, as you’re enjoying your meal, you’ll be staring out at the Pacific Ocean. Hana Burger Food Truck is only open Monday – Friday from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

Hana Day Trip Planning Guide: What to pack
Hana Day Trip Planning Guide: 12 scenic spots to visit

There are so many good malasadas on Maui, it’s hard to narrow the list down to just five, but after weeks of agonizing research, we think we’ve come up with the definitive list. But first, the ground rules. We’re sticking with bakeries and shops that serve malasadas “to go.” So this removes sit down restaurants where you can order “fancy” malasadas for dessert (sorry Star Noodle!) The malasadas also have to come from places that are open most of the week, with regular hours (sorry Aloha Malasadas by Tanya!) OK, with these rules in place, here is our list, listed alphabetically, of the best malasadas on Maui.

Home Maid Bakery (Wailuku)
Home Maid Bakery is known for many things. But since 1960, this venerable Wailuki bakery has been cranking out piping hot, delicious malasadas to the local community. The malasadas here are not overly greasy and are even somewhat light, comparatively speaking. Plus, they’re the cheapest we know of at just $.89 a piece or $9.69 a dozen. For the freshest malasadas, visit between 5:00 AM and 10:00 AM and again between 4:00 PM and 10:00 PM, when they have the fryer bubbling with new malasadas. Even if you miss those windows, before noon, the malasadas are still somewhat fresh. Besides, if they’re out of malasadas, they have loads of other great baked goods to nosh on. (Home Maid Bakery)

Home Maid Cafe (Kihei)
Though there’s no affiliation to the Home Maid Bakery, Home Maid Cafe also produces excellent malasadas. Baked every morning and sold in quantities of three, we recommend either calling in an order or getting there early. We’ve witnessed many people doing the “we’re sold out” walk of shame out the door. Because, frankly, the rest of the food offered at the cafe is decidedly mediocre. If the malasadas are gone and you’re hankering for something sweet, walk around the corner to Maui Pie, or drive a couple miles down the road to the Sugar Beach Bake Shop (listed below). Open Monday – Saturday, 6:00 AM – 3:00 PM. (Home Maid Cafe)

Simply Sweets Bakery (Wailuku)
After a bit of a hiatus, the Simply Sweets Bakery re-opened in Wailuku in 2014. Since then, they’ve been cranking out fresh malasadas, or as they like to call them, Mauisadas, and cream puffs to residents and vistors alike. Baked to order, with many different fillings, Simply Sweets has quietly emerged as a true contender for Best Malasada on Maui. Open Tuesday – Friday, 7:00 AM – 3:30 PM. (Simply Sweets Bakery)

Sugar Beach Bake Shop (Kihei)
Located in a sleepy part of North Kihei, nestled in between an ABC Store and its business partner, Ululani’s Shave Ice, Sugar Beach Bake Shop is a wonderful little bakery that serves fresh malasadas and baked goods. Lines develop, but the wait is worth it. The malasadas are made to order and best eaten hot, from 6:00 AM – 9:00 AM. Beyond the excellent malasadas, we also recommend the spicy spam musubi and the key lime lilikoi pie. Sugar Beach Bake Shop is open daily from 6:00 AM – 4:00 PM. (Sugar Beach Bake Shop)

T. Komoda Store and Bakery (Makawao)
Serving Makawao for over 100 years(!), Komoda’s makes fresh malasadas every morning they’re open. At $1 a piece, they’re a real bargain. If they’re sold out, and they may be by the time you drive up there, the donuts and other pastries are also outstanding. Open from 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM on Saturday (closed on Wednesday and Sunday,) you need to get there by 9:00 for a decent selection. They tend to sell out of their malasadas by mid-morning. (T. Komoda Store and Bakery)

You’ve seen our list of favorite malasada shops on Maui. Now tell us yours in the comments below or on Twitter @HIOceanProject and Instagram @hawaiioceanproject

The state of Hawai’i imports roughly 85% – 90% (by most estimates) of its food. This leaves Maui in a somewhat precarious situation. First, if for some reason we were cut off from the mainland, it wouldn’t take long for there to be massive food shortages. Second, when the cost of shipping is factored in, the food here is really expensive. Well, this is where Maui’s burgeoning organic, local farm industry is stepping in. Maui’s fertile soils produces amazing fruits and vegetables. While most of it can be found in local grocery stores and shops, the best way to access it is by the old standby, farmers markets. Thankfully, Maui has a robust farmers market scene. Every town has their own version. No matter where you are on Maui, you aren’t too far from a farmers market. Here is a list of our favorite markets.

Maui Swap Meet (Wailuku)
Saturday, 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM
University of Hawaii Maui

Since 1981, the Maui Swap Meet has been the biggest and most celebrated farmers market on the island. With over 200 vendors selling fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, baked goods and just about every knickknack you can imagine, if you visit just one farmers market on Maui, this is the one. There are also plenty of food trucks and vendors serving hot food, too, if you don’t want to wait to get home to cook up the fresh veggies you just purchased. There’s a nominal $.50 fee to enter. Children under 12 are free. [Maui Swap Meet]

Upcountry Farmers Market (Kula)
Saturday, 7:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Kula Malu Shopping Center

The most refined farmers market on Maui, here you’ll find the freshest vegetables you’re likely to come across. With all of the farming upcountry, it’s no surprise that the market is laden with vegetables, fruits, flowers and craftier items like honey, kombucha, pickles and food vendors selling raw and vegan items. [Upcountry Farmers Market]

Napili Farmers Market (Napili)
Wednesday and Saturday, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
4900 Honoapiilani Highway

Usually sporting 15 – 20 vendors, you can find a little bit of everything, but the focus is on locally grown, non-GMO produce and locally made products. Among the more interesting vendors you may see are Lahaina Organics, who make reef safe sunscreens and freshly made kimchi by Napili Flo Farm. [Napili Farmers Market]

Kumu Farms Market (Waikapu)
Monday – Saturday, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Maui Tropical Plantation

A true farmers market, everything sold at this stand was grown on the Kumu Farms. The fully organic, non-GMO farm, sits on 60 acres of fertile land in the shadow of the West Maui Mountains. Depending on the season, you’re likely to find everything from parsley and mint to macadamia nuts and pineapples to avocados and apple bananas. There are 35 different crops in all. If you’re hunting for bargains, on Saturdays many of the prices are reduced. [Kumu Farms Market]

Hana Fresh Farm Stand (Hana)
Daily, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Hana Highway between mile markers 34 and 35

Everything sold from this stand is from the Hana Fresh Farm. Hana Fresh is a key component to the Hana Health initiative, a health and wellness center in Hana dedicated to helping the local community, in particular native Hawai’ians who may not otherwise be offered healthcare due to financial, cultural and/or geographical reasons. The farm is seven acres and organically grows over 100 different crops. Proceeds from the sales go towards supporting Hana Health programs and services. [Hana Fresh Farm Stand]

Do you have a favorite farmers market on Maui? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter @HIOceanProject and Instagram @hawaiioceanproject