Maui Hidden Gems: Top Food Spots & Places to See

Published on:
May 1, 2024

The Hawaiian Island of Maui has an abundance of hidden gems and local spots to visit, in addition to its beautiful beaches, waterfalls, and popular hiking trails. The food on Maui is exquisite, with so many food trucks and spots but limited time on the island, searching for the local best could take away time from the adventures.

While staying at The Hale Pau Hana Resort in Hawaii's Kihei, Maui, we've got ideas for unforgettable experiences away from the conventional tourist itineraries through exploring both lesser-known gastronomic destinations and spectacular natural sights.

Here's a wide selection of Maui's best hidden gems with food choices and lesser-known places to visit.

Maui's Hidden Gems: 5 Best Food Spots to Dine At

Maui Hidden Gems Best Food Spots to Dine At
Poke bowl served in a hollowed-out coconut shell, accompanied by garlic cloves and sesame seeds, all set atop lush green leaves, creating an inviting display of fresh, traditional Hawaiian cuisine. Image by Freepik.

Maui's culinary scene offers the best traditional Hawaiian dishes along with unique international flavors that deliver food fusion experiences memorable for a lifetime. Hidden throughout the island are eateries that transform local ingredients into extraordinary meals. These hidden gems provide both world-class nourishment and an immersive experience into Maui’s local culture and spirit. The island's gastronomic delights are as diverse as its terrain, ranging from a dish of fresh poke at a low-key roadside stall to a luxury farm-to-table meal in a verdant Upcountry setting. Each restaurant and food spot mentioned brings its own unique flavor to the table, making Maui a true foodie's paradise.


1. Monkeypod Kitchen Maui, Hawaii – Wailea

Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman in Wailea is a restaurant of culinary excellence, renowned for its commitment to sustainability and locally-sourced ingredients. The restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes, with the hand-tossed pizzas and the Mai Tai with house-made liliko'i foam standing out as favorites. The vibrant atmosphere, coupled with live music, makes Monkeypod a must-visit for those looking to enjoy gourmet Hawaiian cuisine in a lively setting.

2. Lima Cocina + Cantina Maui, Hawaii – Paia

Lima Cocina + Cantina in Paia brings the zesty and vibrant flavors of Latin America to Maui. This restaurant shines with its authentic dishes like fresh ceviche and creatively topped tacos, enhanced by a colorful and inviting ambiance. Their extensive selection of tequila and mezcal, perfect for pairing with your meal, adds to the festive experience, making Lima Cocina + Cantina a hidden gem for food enthusiasts interested in trying out Peruvian cuisine.

3. TIN ROOF Maui, Hawaii – Kahalui

TIN ROOF, located in Kahalui Maui, Hawaii, owned by Chef Sheldon Simeon, is a celebrated spot that offers a modern twist on Hawaiian comfort food. This bustling lunch joint is famous for its Mochiko Chicken and Poke Bowls, which draw locals and visitors alike for a taste of the chef’s innovative creations. Quick service and hearty portions ensure a satisfying experience for anyone looking for a delicious, quick bite in a casual setting.

4. Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery Maui, Hawaii – Kula

Ocean Vodka Distillery in Upcountry Maui provides a unique opportunity to explore sustainable spirit production. Visitors can tour the facility to learn about the distillation process that utilizes deep ocean mineral water, which contributes to the vodka's distinct taste. Sampling the spirits against the backdrop of the distillery's beautiful grounds offers an enriching and enjoyable experience.

5. Sam Sato’s Maui, Hawaii – Wailuku

Sam Sato’s in Wailuku is a local cuisine favorite. Famous for its "dry mein," a unique noodle dish served Maui-style with a side of broth. This no-frills eatery has a long history on the island, making it a beloved spot for those in search of genuine flavors and a glimpse into Maui’s culinary past. The simplicity and deliciousness of the food keep guests coming back time and again.


Maui’s Hidden Gems: 5 Best Secret Spots to Explore

Maui Hidden Gems Best Secret Spots to Explore
The red sand beach with a rugged lava rock coastline against the backdrop of a vibrant blue ocean and sky. Photo by Jaida Stewart.

Away from its sandy shores, Maui astonishes with its natural beauty and hidden landscapes such as the sunrise or sunset hike to Haleakalā National Park’s summit. From the lush trails of its valleys to the mystical formations along its coastlines, the island invites adventurers and nature lovers to explore its lesser-known spots. Each location listed is a doorway to the breathtaking natural wonders of Maui, offering peaceful retreats and spectacular views that capture the island’s pristine beauty.


1. Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm Maui, Hawaii – Kula

Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm features a beautiful lavender garden of around 55,000 lavender plants and 20 different varieties of lavender, making it an ideal spot for those seeking a peaceful retreat. Guests can participate in guided tours, enjoy the scenic walking paths, or simply sit and soak in the panoramic views of Maui. This is one of the best places in the world to purchase exotic, organic lavender products such as lavender jam, gourmet seasoning, and coffee.

2. Dragon’s Teeth Labyrinth Maui, Hawaii – Makaluapuna Point

The Dragon’s Teeth Labyrinth, located at Makaluapuna Point in West Maui, is an extraordinary geological formation created by the harsh Maui winds. This labyrinth is not only a natural wonder but also a place of quiet reflection, with pathways surrounded by jagged lava formations that resemble dragon's teeth, offering stunning views of the ocean. The labyrinth is one of many mysteries on the Hawaiian Islands, and some believe that it resembles a prayer labyrinth.

3. Waihe’e Ridge Trail Maui, Hawaii – Wailuku

The Waihe’e Ridge Trail, for those looking for outdoor adventure, provides one of the most rewarding hiking experiences on Maui. This trail ascends through a lush forest and offers increasingly spectacular views of the West Maui Mountains and the ocean. At the top, hikers are rewarded with panoramic views that encapsulate the pristine beauty and breathtaking scope of Maui’s natural landscape.

4. Kaihalulu (Red Sand Beach) Maui, Hawaii – Hana

Kaihalulu Beach, a stunning secret beach near Hana, is one of the few places in the world where one can see red sand. The beach's secluded location and the hike required to reach it keep it relatively undiscovered, ensuring a peaceful visit. The dramatic contrast between the red sands and the turquoise waters creates a surreal and beautiful setting, perfect for serene relaxation.

5. Lava Fields Maui, Hawaii – La Perouse Bay

The La Perouse Bay area, with its expansive lava fields, showcases the raw beauty of Maui’s volcanic landscape. Visitors can explore this rugged terrain where the last lava flow occurred on Maui, providing a stark beauty that is dramatically different from the island's lush greenery. The area also offers excellent conditions for snorkeling in crystal-clear water, allowing for close encounters with tropical fish and coral reefs.

Each of these hidden gems in Maui offers a unique aspect of the island’s charm, from culinary delights that tantalize the taste buds to natural wonders that capture the heart. Exploring these less-traveled roads leads to a richer, more fulfilling Maui experience.


Discover the Best Kept Secret Spots of The Hawaiian Islands

Best Secret Spots of The Hawaiian Islands
Maui's charming hidden gems nestled away from the more frequented tourist spots. Photo by Mark Thomas.

Maui offers an island of hidden gems that promise both unforgettable Hawaiian meals and serene, beautiful settings. Visitors can explore the upcountry distilleries to the secret coves along the rugged coastlines of the island. Each spot provides a unique glimpse into the island's diverse offerings. The culinary delights here extend from high-end restaurants to quaint food trucks by the beach, each offering a taste of local and international flavors that make Maui a true foodie's paradise.

These lesser-known spots not only offer stunning views and peaceful spots away from the crowds but also embody the spirit of Maui, making every visit a memorable experience. As you venture from the lush bamboo forests of the upcountry to the golden beaches of the coast, Maui reveals its many secrets.

Immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of Kihei at The Hale Pau Hana Condo Resort, an oasis perfectly suited for discovering Maui's less trodden paths. Whether greeting the dawn or chasing the sunset, our resort is perfect for comfort that effortlessly blends luxury with the genuine spirit of Aloha. Suited for families and individuals ready to explore the hidden culinary wonders and majestic sites of Maui, we welcome you.

Book your Maui accommodation at The Hale Pau Hana to ensure your visit to the Hawaiian islands are filled with memorable moments and serene beauty.

Join our community on social media to share and discover hidden gems on Maui with other explorers. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @theHalePauHana, and embark on the journey of planning your vacation at one of Maui's premier resorts for Hawaiian adventures. 🌺

Featured image by Jaida Stewart.

Experience what you've always wanted

The MAUI EXPERIENCE you deserve

book now