Some favorite organic Maui restaurants during the pandemic


In light of everything that’s going on in the world, sharing some of the healthiest foods available on Maui is important. And with its rich, volcanic soil and perennially-warm climate, it ought to arrive as no surprise that Maui lends itself well to organic dining. Indeed, what yields from its natural world—coupled with an active, health-conscious population and acclaimed chefs intent on a sustainable future—translates into an abundance of eateries that create magic with organic ingredients.

Whether you’re in the mood for an all-natural pizza at a laidback café or want to grab something quick at a food truck, here’s the lowdown on Maui’s most beloved, organically-sourced restaurants.

Straight from the beach:

Choice Health Bar, Lahaina, Paia

Choice Health Bar is often kama’aina’s first choice after a day of surfing—or just a day of island living. With three locations now serving Maui, the perpetually-buzzing chain earned statewide acclaim for building their menus around what’s available.

Hand-selecting the best organic produce on Maui, they create dishes that are as pleasing to the palate as they are to the conscience. Vegan soup, coconut garlic quinoa, and acai bowls teeming with marvelous ingredients (mango, pineapple, strawberries, gojis, bee pollen, cacao nibs)—these are just a few of the dishes that help Choice maintain its reputation as one of the tastiest venues on Maui.

Current COVID-19 hours:
Lahaina from 8am-3pm
Paia from 9am-4pm
Kaanapali temporarily closed
Online Ordering available!

Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods, Kihei

South Siders like to joke that Hawaiian Moons is their pantry—or, rather, home to the dream chef they have on handy. Located steps away from one of the island’s most glorious beaches, this organic market boasts a superb salad bar, hot bar, espresso counter, and deli, with items ranging from gluten-free Nori wraps with avocado and ginger tamari to turkey Reuben sandwiches served on organic Blue Door bread.

Hardly rare here: the market and eatery sources its items entirely from organic farms and companies; they also have a topnotch organic chocolate collection. As for that name? It stems from ancient Hawaiians, who harvested, fished, worshipped, and played according to the moon’s phases.

Current COVID-19 hours:
Senior Hours from 8am-9am
General Public from 9am-8pm
Curbside and Pick Up Service available!

Alive & Well, Kahului

Drive by this natural food health food store in Kahului and you might never know that it holds a first-rate organic café: Beyond its shelves of teas, beauty supplies, and natural remedies rests an intimate eatery that features excellent sandwiches (ahi tuna, avocado and veggies), large and sumptuous salads, “healthy plate lunches,” and fresh juices and smoothies. Family owned and operated, the island institution—which has been serving Mauians since 1993—also offers complimentary nutritional counseling.

Current COVID-19 hours:
Mon/Wed/Sat 8am-6pm
Rest of the week from 8am-5pm

On the side of the road:

Bailey’s Café, Haiku

Lush Haiku, on the island’s North Shore, practically personifies organic eating with its flourishing fields and rural aura. In the heart of the town you’ll find a food truck that hammers this home: Bailey’s Café was started by a husband-and-wife team who grew up in the area and who use as many local and organic products as possible. They also use their own homemade sauces to crown dishes that highlight local taste buds. Having debuted in 2015 with organic chicken lau lau (lau lau being meat steamed in ti leaves), today their menu also includes rosemary balsamic chopped steak, pan-fried tofu, uber-tender shoyu chicken, Happa rice, fresh lemonade—and heaps of aloha.

Current COVID-19 hours:
Usually 11am-7pm, but check their Facebook page for daily changes.

Maui Fresh Streatery, Kahului

Kula born-and-bred Chef Kawakami may have earned his chops under the tutelage of acclaimed chef Tylun Pang at the posh Kea Lani, but his island roots—coupled with a childhood that was spent in a rustic farming community—spurred him to make organic, locally-sourced, and delectable dishes accessible to all of Maui. His cherished red food truck in Kahului honors his affinity for Maui’s farms (and an equally large affection for international flavors) with braised brisket poutine, desi fries, and kimchee.

Current COVID-19 hours:
Mon/Wed/Fri 11am-1pm, but check their Facebook page or site for daily changes.

…and somewhere between it all:

Flatbread Company, Paia

Pizza lovers can shed whatever guilt they might have at this charming North Shore eatery. Why? Flatbread Company relies on locally-sourced ingredients to create delicious pies that are deceptively healthy.

Take their Mopsy, for example, where free-range pork shoulder and organic mango BBQ sauce are artfully blended with Maui-made goat cheese and island pineapple. A kiawe-fired brick oven gives this gem that seductive pizzeria scent, while the lively crowd—a mix of surfers, kama’aina, and visitors—provides the place with a homey atmosphere. (Bonus points: gluten-free crusts and ice-cold beers are also available.)

Current COVID-19 hours:
Mon/Tues 3pm-8:30pm (take-out only!)
Wed-Fri 3pm-8:30pm
Sat/Sun 11:30am-9pm

a’a Roots Health Café, Napili

Situated on Maui’s stunning west side, a’a Roots Health Café takes organic, vegan food to great heights with a mouthwatering menu that teems with local ingredients: pitaya bowls bursting with chunks of pineapple, crushed macadamia nuts, and sliced banana; tofu scrambles and Buddha Bowls; curries with ultra-fresh vegetables and herbed rice, even raw, vegan (and scrumptious) cheesecake. Casual and charming, this sweet café helps us remember that our bodies—and our land—are temples.

Current COVID-19 hours:
Open 8am-3:30pm daily except closed on Wednesdays

Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill, Ulupalakua

Maui may be universally known for its pristine beaches, but to venture Upcountry is to get a taste for its other magic. Not only is the region home to an number of organic farms—Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, Oko’a, Kupa’a, and that just-mentioned O’o, to name a few—but it also houses one of the leading organic cafés on the Valley Isle.

Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill looks every bit of its name, with 150-year-old trees towering above its entrance, a resident cat napping in the sunshine, plantation-green paint, a tranquil landscape, and a menu that’s inspired by the ranch that serves as its namesake. (Think: slow-roasted Maui Cattle Company beef brisket with house-made BBQ sauce and olive oil and parsley “smashed” potatoes, Ulupalakua lamb burgers with Waipoli lettuce and sweet Kula onions, and salads brimming with local greens and grana Padano cheese.) One of the many beauties of this divine place is that it strives to use only Maui-grown, organic produce, rendering everything here—from salads to sandwiches—representative of Hawaii’s abundance.

Current COVID-19 hours:
Grill/Deli hours from 11am-4pm
Store hours from 10am-5pm

Chris Norberg is Project Manager at Maui Guide. Maui Guide shares photos and video daily along with recording his Maui experiences.

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Comments (3)

  1. Ben says:

    Nice to have some fav places you can hang out during troubling times. It’s the best of all worlds – comfort eating but as healthy as it gets. Keep on enjoying it.

  2. Zoe says:

    Seen on my news feed that there is really, really good news about a Covid-19 vaccine but how long will it be before most of us can sit in restaurants like these looking out at palm trees and blue seas. Reading this makes me realise how much I am missing my old life.

  3. Dane Cummings says:

    One of the dishes I love in Hawaii is the Poke. Made of fresh seafood and veggies and rice, which I sometimes change to quinoa. I’m not surprised that there are many organic restaurants anywhere on the island. Fresh catch is just minutes away and the rich volcanic soil and tropical climate is just perfect for growing vegetables and fruits. The last time I was in Hawaii, I stayed in Oahu only and wasn’t able to visit Maui. I’d check out these restaurant on my next trip to visit relatives.

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