Our Local Recommendations & Resources
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Wailea/Kihei Restaurants
Lahaina/Kaanapali/Kapalua Restaurants
Paia Restaurants
Maui Activities
Visitor Resources (rentals, stores, coffee, wine, etc)

Recent Accolades:

Parents Magazine had great things to say about the beach directly across the street from our condo -- selecting Maui’s Kamaole Beach Park III as one of the top ten best beaches for families. The beach was ranked third in the world for its small waves, clear water, and large grassy recreational areas.

Wailea/Kihei Restaurants:

1.        Nick's Fishmarket (http://www.tristarrestaurants.com/nicks/).  Located in the Fairmont Kea Lani Hotel in Wailea.  Great seafood, lamb and wine list; great views of sunset, especially if you’re able to snag a table on the edge closest to the water.  Expensive, upscale restaurant, so suggest getting a babysitter for this one (see “Resources” below), although I'm told they are very kid friendly.  Recommend getting an early reservation and request seating close to the water – that way you might have a shot at one of the best tables for sunset. 

2.       Luau at the Marriott Waliea.  We definitely recommend attending a luau on your trip.  To us, this is one of the best true Hawaiian experiences you can have, especially if you have kids which can restrict your ability to do other great activities such as day trips to Hana.  Located in the Marriott in Wailea, we think this is the best of the ones located near our condo (the best one overall on Maui is the Old Lahaina Luau, see below, but that one requires a 45 min. drive up to Lahaina).  The other huge benefit of the Marriott Luau is that kids 5 and under are free. You can book your tickets either direct with the Marriot or through any of the many activity centers located all over the island.  Tip 1 – Activity centers are a fine convenient choice and are good for providing recommendations.  Just be prepared to nicely (but firmly) fend off their “special offers” that require you to take time share tours.  Tip 2 – These shows can sell out, so plan ahead and make your reservation at least a few days in advance of when you want to go. Tip 3 – Show up for the Luau early –no later than 4:30 – in order to secure a table closer to the stage.  Tip 4 – If you’re willing to pay a bit extra, you can get Premier tickets which will guarantee you a spot at a table right near the stage (note that kids are not free for Premier seating).    

3.       Joe’s at Wailea (http://www.restauranteur.com/joes/).  Located at the Wailea tennis center.  Good solid food – American with a Hawaiian twist.   Although not on the water it’s a nice atmosphere.  Mid-priced.  We like this one when we want good food in a nice restaurant, but don’t want to break the bank. 

4.       Matteo’s Pizzeria (http://www.matteospizzeria.com/).  Great pizza place in Wailea, up near the tennis courts.  Pizza is solid and the atmosphere is great.  Nice views of the golf course and ocean.  We always go here at least once on our trips, and sometimes also order for pickup so we can enjoy on the condo's lanai with a nice bottle of wine.   

5.       Humuhumnukunukuapuaa (http://www.grandwailea.com/dining/humu.asp).  High-end restaurant in the Grand Wailea Hotel.  Upper tier for pricing, but well worth the price tag.   Restaurant is right down near the beach, and has great vibe – sits over a pond full of fish and covered by Polynesian thatched roofs.  We don’t eat in the main restaurant sitting area. Instead, we usually head over early to grab a table in the bar area so we can watch the sunset with a frufru cocktail and either make a meal out of appetizers (called pupus in Hawaii) or order from the main dinner menu.  If you're lucky, Justin (who typically works the bar area) will be your server -- we've had him on our last two visits, and he is absolutely one of the best servers you will ever find.  For a high-end restaurant, the place is great for kids because it sits over a pond full of tons of tropical fish and the staff will give you rolls to feed them with.  Our favorites main dishes are the lamb (they vary between lamb chops and rack of) and the Ahi with truffle sauce.  Excellent appetizers include the scallops and the hamachi.   

      (Aug. 2011 update): Easy choice for the spot to celebrate our 9th anniversary and my 40th birthday. We requested to be seated in Justin’s section, and were delighted to once again spend the evening with our favorite server who we also now consider a friend. Only knock on the place is the wine list which should be much (much) better and bigger for the caliber of restaurant, but we were able to make do with various glasses. We started with two appetizers – pan seared scallops over rice cakes (which Michelle loved, but I find a bit too sweet) and grilled prawns (which we both thought were very good, but not particularly memorable). For main dish, I ordered the rack of lamb and, as always, it was great and perfectly cooked medium rare. Michelle ordered the sea bass, which was over-sauced and a bit disappointing. For the Kekei meals, Jake played it predictably safe with the chicken tenders (which, at $13, were excellent and should be) and for Kea the ribs (so tasty and tender that she took them down in 5 minutes flat), and both finished with scoops of fresh, rich ice cream accompanied by chocolate dipped shortbread cookies. For the adults’ desert, the restaurant treated us to their outstanding Hula Pie decorated with “Happy Anniversary” in chocolate script. As always, the atmosphere was perfect luxury Maui, the staff was friendly and attentive, and the kids had a blast feeding the fish – still one of the highlights of their trip.

6.       Cheeseburger in Paradise.  Located in the Shops at Wailea, this is a great place for casual burgers and beers.  No water views or anything like that, but atmosphere is fun and staff is very nice.   The Shops at Wailea are a nice, upscale place to tool around post-nap, then grab dinner here followed by some ice cream at Lappert’s.  

7.       Da Kitchen (http://www.da-kitchen.com/home.html).  Located in the little cluster of stores about 0.7 miles north of the condo complex.   This is THE place for good, cheap, Hawaiian food.  I usually get a combo plate of chicken teriyaki and kalua pork – more than even I can eat.  Tip – the default side dish they give you is macaroni salad served in the style which the Hawaiian’s are so fond of, i.e. loaded with nasty mayo.  If you ask, you can replace this with a green salad though, strangely, they sometimes “run out” of the salad.  This is a great place for lunch or even dinner.  At least once or twice on a trip, we will pick up dinner to-go and eat it on the lanai at our condo. 

8.       Lu Lu’s (http://www.lulusmaui.com/).  Located in the outdoor market just north of our condo a few miles near Foodland.  Big open air sports bar with lots of tvs and a big diverse menu that’s solid from top to bottom.  Burgers are great, but we’ve even had sashimi here and liked it.  Great place if you’re in the mood for some good beers on tap and some sports noise in the background. Good happy hour deals.   

9.       Alexander’s Fish & Chips.  Located in same cluster of shops and restaurants as Bada Bing and Lu Lu’s.  Good, cheap fish and chips. For those counting calories, you can also get the fish grilled instead of fried, and you can replace the chips with white rice.   They also have some surprisingly good ribs.  You eat outside on concrete tables that face S. Kiehi Rd., so atmosphere is so-so at best.  But good spot if you’re in the mood for some good, quick, cheap fish or ribs. 

10.   Sansei Sushi (http://www.sanseihawaii.com/).  Located right next to Foodland, a couple miles north of the condo.  We include this one with mixed feelings, as we have found this place to be somewhat inconsistent – absolutely great on some occasions, and pretty disappointing on others (for example, service can be rushed; some hot foods were served too cool).  That said, most folks – both locals and visitors – rave about this place, and there is no denying that the sushi is excellent.  Bottom line – if you’re in the mood for some good sushi and unique house appetizers, it’s worth a visit, but don’t believe all the hype otherwise there is a slight chance you could be disappointed.  Tip 1 – This is a very popular place, so make reservations at least a day or two in advance.  Tip 2 – As noted above, service can be rushed.  They want to turn a lot of tables, so they tend to churn and burn.  To avoid this trap, don’t order everything at once – instead, stagger out your orders so you get multiple courses.

11.   Hale Kamaole. Yes, as in our condo complex.  Eight BBQs open to guests – 4 near upper pool and 4 near lower.  BYO briquettes.  Grab some lamb chops or tiger prawns at Costco and grill away!  While at Costco, don’t forget the vino, as wine is pretty expensive on Maui due to shipping costs.

12.   Mala (www.malawailea.com).  Located in the Marriott Resort in Wailea, this was our exiting new find during our April 2008 trip to Maui.  For those who remember the old outdated Marriott, you will be pleasantly surprised to see the result of the Marriott’s recent extensive renovations:  understated luxury with a bit of a modern flair – in our opinion, beautiful.  In Mala, the hotel made an excellent choice for its new flagship restaurant and lounge.  Both the main restaurant and the separate lounge are located on the upper level, each with huge outdoor decks with spectacular 180 degree ocean views.  On our first visit, we chose to eat on the deck in the lounge, where the menu offers a long list of tasty appetizers very reasonably priced from $7-$20.  On our second visit, we ate in the main restaurant.  Pricing was in the upper tier for restaurants (main dishes $30-$40), although on our most recent visit (June 2009) they also offered a 3-course prix fixe option for $39.  Food was excellent, and they offer extensive, thoughtful wine list.

     (Aug. 2011 update): We had another great meal here. We arrived around 6:00pm to secure patio seating for sunset – no problem getting a table. Kekei (kids) meal was a bit on the expensive side -- $13 – but that’s pretty par for the course at nicer hotel restaurants. Since our last visit, the wine list has become a bit less thoughtful and a bit more commercial with bigger-named wineries. We were, however, able to find a 2008 Domain Drouhin Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, very well priced at $70 (we saw the exact same wine for $99 on the wine list at Humu, and even at the Wailea Wine Shop it was selling for $50). For our meal, we ordered a series of appetizers. First was the Farmer’s Salad, which is now our favorite salad in Maui with fresh local greens, candied walnuts, crumbled blue cheese and a sweet-mustardy dressing. We then had the Ahi Sashimi, which was fresh and well presented, but basic. We finished with the Adult Mac n Cheese which was off the hook (and probably one of my favorite dishes on the island). We shared one order, which was plenty, and they split it for us into two ceramic bowls that were each oven-baked to create a crispy cheesy crust over the scalding hot, sinfully rich, ooey-gooey center. Yum.

13. Monkeypod (new): The chef/owner of Merriman’s Kapalua (see our review below) has opened this more casual outpost just a few miles from our condo. Located in the Wailea Gateway Plaza just off Piilani Highway, this is a large nicely decorated restaurant, with a small ocean-view lanai. Despite reasonable prices (most items between $15 and $20, with Keiki meals priced at only $5.95!), the restaurant clearly exhibits the influences of its far more expensive sister – very well trained staff, fresh locally sourced ingredients, imaginative flavor combinations. My fish sandwich was excellent – perhaps the best I’ve had on the island. The mahi was grilled over a special grill that imparts a very tasty smoky flavor, and was served on a house-made Kaiser bun that we were told they spent a month perfecting. Michelle had the fish tacos (grilled mahi) which were also excellent. On our second visit we had the house salad made with local greens so fresh they had that just-pulled-from-the-ground taste, and an outstanding wild mushroom flatbread which we would both say is a must-order. The only disappointing dish was the grilled, macadamia-nut crusted whole prawns from Molokai which looked great on paper but turned out to be badly over-sauced and over-nutted. Overall, we like Monkeypod so much for its combination of food, service, atmosphere and prices that we would probably rate it as our favorite mid-priced restaurant on the island.

Lahaina/Kaanapali Restaurants:

Lahaina is the historic old whaling town north of Kihei about 45 minutes.  It’s now full of art galleries, restaurant, tourist stores and the largest Banyan tree in the world (think great family photo opp). 

1.       Old Lahaina Luau (http://www.oldlahainaluau.com).  Best luau on Maui, hands down.  Very authentic and relatively intimate – less guests than the other luaus and your choice of seating at regular tables and chairs, or on low tables on the ground closer to the stage (more fun for kids).  Only downside is the drive from the Kihei, which is about 45 minutes, and they do charge even for young kids.  But if one of your crew is willing to play designated driver for the night, you should seriously consider this.  Tip – This one sells out consistently and well in advance, so book far in advance – ideally, even before you get to Maui.  Otherwise, you are likely to get to Maui and find out that the next available show is the day after you get back to the mainland.   

     (Aug. 20111 update) We decided that 2011 was the year to bite-the-bullet and spring for a night at this famous luau for the family. We attempted to book one-week prior to our Aug. visit, but the show was already sold out for our entire week! We decided to wait-list, and fortunately there was a cancellation for one of the eight low tables near the stage (which they call “traditional” seating). These tables are floor-seating on pillows, which adds to the experience and viewing but would likely be difficult and uncomfortable for older travelers. As for the experience, first the good: beautiful setting; friendly, attractive, well-trained staff; excellent food; fun pre-show activities and demonstrations – all a full notch above the other luaus on the island. Now the not so good: the show itself was boring, with mostly slow dances and no real finale at the end other then a solo dance-off, seemingly a Hawaiian version of a break dancing contest (yes, I’m a product of the 80s). I guess the idea is that it’s “authentic,” but we’ll admit to missing the lively dancing and especially the fire twirlers that you’ll find at the luaus at the large hotels.

2.       Kimo’s (http://www.kimosmaui.com/).  We usually spend one afternoon in Lahaina, tooling around the stores, galleries and Banyon tee.  Kimo’s is our favorite spot for lunch or late afternoon cocktails and pupus.  We always sit in the downstairs bar area, located right on the water.  Food is consistently good, and vibe is great.  Order a Longboard Lager and some sashimi, and sit back and enjoy.  This Maui staple is owned and operated by the TS Restaurant Group – same folks who bring you Duke’s in Malibu and Sunnyside Lodge in Tahoe. 

3.   Leilani’s (http://www.leilanis.com/).  Sister restaurant to Kimo’s.  Located right on the beach in Kaanapali, this is our favorite spot for lunch in Kaanapali.  Great fish sandwiches and my absolute favorite house salad (papaya vinaigrette with sweet Maui onion and crispy won ton strips).

     (Aug. 2011 update) The consistently good food, atmosphere and service keep this restaurant on our list of favorites year after year, this year being no exception. Michelle had an outstanding jerk-seasoned Ahi sandwich, and I had the double Kobe burger with grilled Maui onions on a sweet Hawaii bread bun which is now, hands down, my favorite burger on Maui. We also tried and loved the mango iced tea, which is iced tea laced with a healthy dose of fresh mango puree.

4.   Merriman’s (new): Probably now the top restaurant on Maui, for combination of food, service and ambiance (with prices befitting). Perched on a cliff on the ocean near Kapalua Bay Resort, the view is breathtaking – think Santorini goes South Pacific. Set out near the water is a large outdoor patio which they call the Wine Bar, which serves only cocktails and an appetizer menu, where you can enjoy an amazing 270 degree view of the ocean, staring straight into the sunset. The main dining room is set back behind the patio, and consists of a large open-air dining room and one small lanai along the north side of the restaurant called the “Kapalua Lanai.” The Kapalua Lanai seems to be the best spot for a sunset dinner if you want ocean view dining from start to finish, as they keep the shades drawn on the main dining area (thus blocking the ocean view) until about 15 minutes prior to sunset due to the glare. Sadly, we did not have a chance to eat here, but the menu looked phenomenal and rivaling anything in the San Francisco Bay Area. As for cuisine, I would probably call it new American with French and Hawaiian influences. Only downside – long drive from Kihei (almost 1 hour), so we recommend you plan your dinner here to follow an afternoon in Lahaina.

Paia Restaurants:

Paia is a neat little town located east of the airport about 15 minutes; about a 40 minute drive from the condo.  Great ½ day trip to head over here to watch some world-class windsurfing, then tool around the tiny town with some neat galleries and boutiques, followed by lunch at one of the spots below.

1.       Paia Fish Market.  This is the best place on Maui (perhaps all of Hawaii) for a great selection of really fresh fish in a casual (read, inexpensive) atmosphere.  Incredible fish sandwiches – dozens of types of fish to choose from. 

2.       Mama’s Fish House (http://www.mamasfishhouse.com).   Perhaps one of the most famous restaurants in all of Hawaii, this consistently gets rave reviews from both visitors and locals.  This is more of a destination restaurant (read, expensive) so most folks will choose to visit here for dinner instead of lunch, especially since – if my memory serves me correctly – they charge virtually the same prices for lunch as dinner.  Bit of a drive from Kiehi, though, so quite a commitment for dinner.



1.       Beaching.  Our condo is located across the street from Kamaole III beach, one of the best family beaches in all of Maui.  Great sand, nice smooth entry into water, and typically mild waves and surf.  Bring the boogie boards and some snorkeling gear.  For those with kids, this is clearly your most convenient bet.  For those interested in trying a few other spots, we also really like Makena Beach (aka Big Beach).  If you want to spend some beach time up north, park yourself on the beach at Kaanapali in front of the Sheraton, which is a great launching point for snorkeling at Black Rock right out in front of the hotel, then grab lunch at Leilani’s.  Tip – The wind often picks up in early afternoon, so plan your beach time in the morning – anytime from 8am to Noon will be best (and, of course, PTH!)  For those with young kids, a visit to “Baby Beach” in Lahaina is a must.  It's perfect for young kids, with a slow gradual decline into the water that goes out for hundreds of yards.  Access the beach (and park your car) from Kai Pali Pl., off of Main Street on the north end of town.  Another great beach for kids up north is at Mile Marker 14, which is one of the best spots for snorkeling as well (see below).  We like this for kids because it is also relatively calm, and is typically less crowded and more private feeling than Baby Beach.

2.       Snorkeling.  Must do on any trip to Maui.  Best spots close to the condo are Turtle Bay just south of Makena and Ahihi Keanau Reserve (aka Ahihi Bay) a bit further south.  Up north, best spot is Olowalu on Highway 30 about 10 miles south of Lahaina – look for the Mile 14 marker.  Incredible if visibility is good.  Here are a couple good websites with more snorkeling info:  http://www.hawaiisnorkelingguide.com/maui_snorkeling.html; http://www.maui-vacation.net/snorkelmap.html).   For those without kids, or with kids of snorkeling age, we highly recommend a ½ day snorkeling trip to Molokini.  Book through activity desk (see Tip 1 under Luau at Marriot Wailea, above) and launch from either Kiehi boat launch, Maalaea Harbor, or in front of the Maui Prince Hotel in Makena (the Kai Kanani boat). 

3.       Luau.  See above under Luau at Marriott Wailea.

4.       Day trip to Lahaina and Kaanapali. See above under Kimo’s. 

5.       ½ day trip to Paia.  See above under Paia Restaurants. 

6.       Maui Aquarium (aka Maui Ocean Center) (http://www.mauioceancenter.com/).  Located in Maalaea Harbor, north of the condo about 20 minutes.  Great activity with kids.  Though not nearly the scope of, say, the aquariums in Monterey CA or Chicago, this is a surprisingly good aquarium (especially the awesome shark and ray tank!) and a great for a visit on cloudy days or when you feel like a break from the sun.  Tip 1 – To us, the only big downside to the aquarium is the cost -- it's definitely not cheap, especially relative to its size.  Weekly pass costs only a few days more than a day pass, so worth it if you think you might want to visit twice.  Tip 2 – Except in July and August, the aquarium closes at 5pm, so those of you planning a post-nap visit need to keep this in mind.  

7.       Day trip to 7 Sacred Pools at Hana.  Absolute must do for anyone staying on Maui for more than a few days, except for folks with little kids who might go nuts on the curvy 3.5 hour drive.  Suggest you leave early in the morning, and be sure to drive all the way to the 7 Sacred Pools -- don't make the mistake of heading back after making it only to Hana Town.  We recommend getting a "Road to Hana" CD, which will guide you through the drive and direct you to many fun, beautiful stops along the way.  Once you get there, you can swim in the lower pools, which is something really special and what most people around the world would envision as "true Hawaii."  For those more adventurous, we also highly recommend the hike up to upper pools, through the bamboo forest and ending at huge waterfall.  To access the hike, you need to cross the road and look for the path (or ask for directions).  The hike is about 45 minutes, medium intensity and absolutely beautiful.  Note that it often rains in Hana even when it’s clear and scorching in Kiehi.  If that happens to you, don’t fret.  Instead, understand this is typical, not bad luck, so relax and embrace your tropical rain forest surroundings.  After spending time at the 7 Sacred Pools, consider returning by taking the “back road” which is super bumpy, but less curvy and an entirely different, almost moon-like landscape in places.   Back road also gives you chance to stop at the Tedeschi Winery (see below).  But be sure to check ahead to make sure the back road is open -- it has been closed on and off for the past few years for repairs.   

8.       Tasting at Tedeschi Winery (http://www.mauiwine.com/).  Yes, a winery on Maui.  Many of the wines are actually made from pineapple, and they’re actually pretty good.  One of their claims to fame which in their tasting room they still tout to this day (which we find endearing) is that one of their wines – the Maui Brut sparkling, I believe – was served at the inauguration dinner for Ronald Reagan.  Definitely a drive from Kihei, though, so recommended mostly as a stop for folks taking the “back road” on their return from Hana.   April 2008 Update:  See update above re closure on back road from Hana.

9.       Sunset Cruise.  Recommended for folks without kids, or get a babysitter.  Haven’t done this for a long long time, so don’t have a recommended outfit, although the Kai Kanani boat departs from in front of the Maui Prince Hotel in Makena which is relatively close to the condo.  Suggest you ask a concierge at a nice hotel such as the Grand Wailea, Four Seasons or Fairmont Kea Lani, or get a recommendation from an activity desk.  On a nice night, this is a fun way to get out on the water to enjoy a sunset with some cocktails and pupus and, when compared to other organized activities, not too expensive.  Tip – These are not uncommonly cancelled due to weather, so if this is something you want to do then consider planning earlier in your trip to allow for possible rescheduling.

10.   Diving and Sport Fishing. We haven’t personally done either of these activities – yet – but Maui is well known for great diving and sport fishing.  If/when we do this, we’ll post our recommended sites and outfits.  All things being equal, our condo is very close to the Kihei boat launch, so that’s the way to go if you can find an excursion launching from there.  More likely, however, you’ll need to launch from Maalaea Harbor, about 20 minutes north of the condo.  Last choice would be launching from Lahaina, about 45 minutes north of the condo.

11.   Nightlife.  Not much to speak of – after all, you’re on Maui, not Cabo!  And, if you’re like us with little kids, not a high priority anyway.  One thing I can recommend, however, from my days of living in Maui (many, many moons ago) – local singing legend Howard Ahia.  If he’s playing any acoustic shows in Kihei and you’re not saddled with the kids for the evening, definitely worth checking out. Another one possibly worth checking out is Willie K. who plays dinner shows at Mulligan’s in Wailea.

12.   Morning jog along Wailea beach path.  Park your car in the public parking lot at Polo Beach –  get there by turning right on a road immediately south of Fairmont Kea Lani Hotel and head towards the water.  Parking lot is on the right, next to the Polo Beach condos.  Run on the path along the water – will take you in front of all the nice hotels, starting with the Fairmont Kea Lani and ending at the former Renaissance (soon to be the Baccarat uber-condos).  Great way to start the day.  Can be a bit tight – but doable – with a double jogger. 

13.   Maui Swap Meet.  Takes place every Saturday morning from 7:00am to Noon in Kahului. Great place to pick up local arts and crafts, beautiful flowers and delicious fresh fruit at excellent prices.  Offers some of Hawaii’s more exotic fruits that are not found anywhere else.  In June 2009 we discovered that the location of the swap meet has moved after many years of being held on Pu'unene Hwy -- it is now held in the parking lot at the Maui Community College.  See http://www.mauiexposition.com/contactus.html.



1.        Akamai Mother’s Rentals (http://www.akamaimothers.com).  Indispensible for visitors with little kids who need to rent things such as a pack n play, high-chair, security gate, baby jogger.  Prices are very reasonable and the folks who own and run the place couldn’t be nicer.   Although located only about 10 minutes north from the condo on Piilani highway, they will deliver and pick up from the condo!  If you love this outfit as much as we do, please spread the word – we really want these nice people to be successful. 

2.       Costco, Kmart, Wal-Mart in Kahului.  These places are great for stocking up on grilling meats, beer, wine and other supplies such as TP, paper towels, sunscreen and beach toys.   Costco is the undisputed champ for meat, seafood, beer & wine.  For other stuff, we personally prefer Kmart over Wal-Mart – probably not quite as cheap, but they have a better selection of kids/baby stuff, and it’s less of a madhouse.  For beach toys and umbrellas, however, Wal-Mart has the much better selection. 

3.       Babysitter.   Nanny Connection – 808-875-4777.  Babysitting service used by most (if not all) of the nice hotels in Wailea. 

4.       Safeway on Piikea Ave. (north Kihei).  One of the benefits of our condo over a hotel is the full kitchen which will allow you to save a ton of money by eating some meals in. Still, no getting around it – groceries on Maui are pretty expensive.   Of the choices (Safeway; Foodland; Star Market) we prefer Safeway for both prices and selection.  Tip – Foodland is closer to the condo, so if you find yourself there in a pinch, be sure to get yourself a temporary “Maiki’i card” (akin to a Safeway Supersavor card) – it will save you more than a few bucks.  

5.       Starbucks.  Although not as often sited here as other spots in the world, you will find one in the Kukui Mall on S. Kihei Rd., just north of Foodland.  Great place for the morning cup of java, or a pound of some interesting fresh-roasted Hawaiian coffees for the coffee maker in the condo (remember to have them grind it for you).  They also sell VIA, an instant coffee that is great to have around your condo for a smooth and bold tasting cup with just hot water added. 

6.  Wailea Wine Shop (new): For all you serious wine drinkers out there, this is your store – outstanding selection of excellent wines, with focus on California, France and Italy. There is premium pricing on the higher-end wines here, but wine is expensive everywhere in Maui due to high shipping costs, and it’s expected to pay even a bit more at a boutique solo-owned wine shop. That said, there are also a number of interesting under-$20 wines, and I’d prefer to buy these here over Safeway any day of the week. The shop also has a small but thoughtful selection of gourmet food items such as olive oils and cheeses, and even sells nice stemware (Reidel) at prices only slightly above the mainland. Another great aspect to the shop is its owners – a nice couple who couldn’t be more fun, friendly and helpful, especially wife Diane. One thing to keep in mind are the shop’s relatively limited hours – closing at 6pm Tues-Fri., 5pm on Sat., and closed entirely on Sun and Mon.

7.  Lava Java (new): I’ll admit it – I’ll pay more to support small businesses owned by nice people (see also Wailea Wine Shop), especially on vacation. The small coffee shop located on street-side of the open-air Kihei Kalama shops is owned and operated by a nice older couple who recently opened this coffee shop after living in Maui for many years, then moving to Florida, then moving back to Maui. I believe that the owners personally source (and roast) all of their beans, and they offer a number of Hawaii-bean roasts both unflavored and flavored. Prices are on the high-side and the same for all roasts ($19.95 per half-pound), but can be justified for the Maui Peaberry, which is the best-of-the-best beans and priced lower than its closest competitor – the Kona Peaberry from Honolulu Coffee Co. located in The Shops at Wailea.

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