Welcome to a side of of Maui you’ve never seen before.Step away from the coconut trees, white sands and postcard perfect beaches. Join us as we step into the slippers of island girl, Maria P: Our local Yelp Community Ambassador! She’ll take you off the beaten path to discover that this island offers so much more than the usual tourist fare of snorkeling trips and luau packages. The Valley Isle’s local food movement is thriving thanks to the collaborative efforts of farmers, restaurateurs, and a fierce desire to support local.
Making the trek up to Pukalani leads you to arguably one of the best farmer’s markets on Maui. You’ll find organic produce freshly harvested just days prior, shots of turmeric tonic concocted the night before, and lime-ginger sugar cane juice freshly pressed right in front of you. Plus Hi Spice hot sauces (made with ingredients from farmers at the same market) and sweet treats made from goat’s milk from Haleakala Creamery. Everything is locally grown and locally made by a community of people sustaining our local farm to table movement.
Take that farmer’s market rendezvous to another level… 3500 feet above sea level to be exact. On the slopes of Haleakala. O’o Farms provides a breathtaking venue for a truly unique Maui experience. Connect with the ‘āina (land) and your hunter/gatherer roots while harvesting fresh ingredients from the farm. Take in the panoramic bi-coastal views as a gourmet lunch is prepared in your presence with all that you’ve gathered. Choose between two tours: a gourmet lunch and farm tour or their new “Seed to Cup” coffee and breakfast tour.
Come visit the little cottage off the road to Hana, which was recently renovated and reopened in 2017. Part café, part market, part tour company, they are surrounded by lush jungle land and offer healthy sandwiches, poke bowls, salads and more – most of which are made with organic ingredients sourced from local farms. On Sundays & Wednesdays they also host a free farmers market for farms and artisans in the community.
Among the Road to Hana’s 620 curves and 59 bridges you can find this little gem somewhere around mile marker 8. Find banana bread, BBQ and “whatever else may be” on the menu and if you need a pick-me-up, there’s coconut coffee, too. Meals plated on banana bark, shaved ice served in ti leaves, coconut water fresh from the source, chopsticks chopped out of fresh bamboo. This is as close to “zero waste” as you can get!
Have sushi or ramen on your mind? Drive into the heart of historic Wailuku town and discover this revamped restaurant hidden away off the main street. Owned by a local Maui boy turned sushi chef, they’re taking the non-traditional route and rolling out offerings like the kochimon roll from Wednesday through Saturday. Sunday through Tuesday, they’re serving up ramen in three different broths and have answered the cries for a legit ramen spot on the island. BYOB! Eat, drink, and talk like a local.
Just can’t get enough of Maria P? Check out all of her reviews on Yelp!If you still want more, follow along on Facebook and Instagram as she continues to explore Maui!