Foodie Field Trip: Everything We Ate in One Day on Maui, Part 1
From newly opened destinations to bagels and matcha to classic pit stops, try to keep up with our eating agenda.
In the past, going to and from the Neighbor Islands usually meant planning a whole vacation. Now, with flights under $40 each way on two carriers, it’s a cinch to island hop for a day of eating. Frolic Digital Dining Editor Maria Burke and I took a quick trip over to the Valley Isle for a change of scenery and came back with full bellies and a carry-on of fried chicken. Here’s a dish-by-dish recap.
8:56 a.m., Westside Bagel
We start our day off early at a popular New York-style bagel shop that is the main attraction at the sleepy Lāhainā Square Shopping Center. The only bagel game on the island, Westside Bagel is exceptional with a variety of bagel options and a whole host of house-made schmears. Knowing we have a full day of eating ahead, we split a jalapeno bagel sandwich stuffed with sausage, egg and cheese with a chive schmear ($12.75). Hot, cheesy, savory and thick with protein, it keeps us full well into the afternoon.
840 Waine’e St., Lāhainā, @westsidebagel
9:42 a.m., Maui Matcha
In search of a mild caffeine boost, we find Maui Matcha, a new shop at Whaler’s Village in Ka‘anapali that serves hot and cold matcha drinks and verdant pastries. I order a matcha latte with coconut milk sweetened with honey ($8). Whisked to order right in front of us, Maui Matcha’s drinks use ceremonial-grade powder sourced from Uji, Japan. They also exclusively use plant-based milks in their lattes. The result: a smooth and grassy matcha without the flat bitterness you sometimes get with lower grades. Pro tip: Ask for a kama‘aina discount of 10% off.
2435 Ka‘anapali Parkway, Suite G05, Ka‘anapali, @mauimatchaa
1:54 p.m., Minit Stop
After lounging by the pool for a few hours, we check out of our hotel and make a beeline to Minit Stop in Lāhainā. We nab two fried chicken thighs ($3.99 each), two Spam musubi ($2.49 each) and a pepperoni Tornado ($1.99). It’s just a snack to hold us over until our 4 p.m. dinner. The chicken at Minit Stop is a serious contender for one of the best in the state. Incredibly juicy meat hides beneath a crunchy-craggy skin seasoned with gusto and it’s always ready to go. The musubi has a nice teri sauce slathered under the Spam; it’s best when you add a piece of chicken skin on top. We order a box of thighs ($15.99) and four cartons of Chick-a-rrones chicken skin ($3.99 each) to take back to O‘ahu, because why not?
Various locations, @minitstophawaii
3:18 p.m., Bling Bing
Right before dinner, we meet up with Frolic Maui contributor Rebecca Pang at Bling Bing, a new Taiwanese shave ice trailer in Kīhei. It’s one of eight or so that make up the Kīhei Food Truck Lot that also includes Vidad’s Local Kine Grindz and a drive-thru Kraken Coffee trailer. Bling Bing caught our eye on Instagram a few months back. However, these bàobīng bowls are extremely sweet. The smooth ice isn’t flavored with syrup (thank goodness)—instead, toppings of fresh fruit, tapioca and popping boba along with sweetened condensed milk and rice dumplings flavor the bowl. One bowl has kiwi and rice dumplings with li hing powder ($7.99) and the other has sweetened taro and boba ($7.99). If we could dial down the sweetness of everything, we would have liked it a lot more, but for those hot days in Kihei, it is a refreshing treat.
1 Pi‘ikea Ave., Kīhei, @blingbingmaui
4:02 p.m., Tiffany’s Maui
Our final food stop brings us to Wailuku for one of Hawai‘i’s most anticipated reopenings this summer: Tiffany’s Maui. Local boy Top Chef alum and James Beard Award nominee Sheldon Simeon and his wife Janice Simeon took ownership in July, and we, of course, have been excited from day one. For three hours, we feast on menu staples including hamachi sashimi with shiso in ponzu finadene sauce ($22), Tiffany’s classic honey walnut shrimp ($20), Just Like Oxtail Soup with brisket meat ($23) and frozen strawberries layered with pandan cream ($10). While every dish has Simeon’s touch, his soups shine. And don’t you worry, a full post is in the works because Tiffany’s, like Simeon’s previous restaurants, is worth flying over for.
1424 Lower Main St., Wailuku, @tiffanysmaui
Exhausted, rotund and slightly disoriented, we find our way back to the airport for our 7 p.m. flight home to Honolulu. Bags packed with fried chicken and leftover banchan from Tiffany’s, we are full of good food and even better memories, but ready to call it a day.
Mahalo, Maui! We can’t wait to explore more of your food scene on our next visit in a couple of weeks.