In the last few years, Hana has seen a huge proliferation of food options. However, too many visitors continue to drive to Hana Bay thinking it’s the end of the road, and don’t take the time to look around. Spend the day in Hana and you’ll be rewarded with a tasty cornucopia. On weekdays Hana has many lunch options. Dinner options are sparse, however, and only a handful of lunch venues are open on weekends.
A longtime staple, the Hana Ranch Restaurant (5031 Hana Hwy., 808/270-5280, 11am-8:30pm daily, $9-29) is located on the mountain side of the road in the “center of town.” There are shoyu chicken plate lunches, fish and chicken sandwiches, and soothing bowls of saimin noodles to calm your stomach. The takeout window is open from 11am-4pm daily; the inside seating area stays open as one of Hana’s only dinner options.
The fanciest, freshest, and best meal in Hana is at the Travaasa Hana hotel, where The Preserve (5031 Hana Hwy., 808/359-2401, 7:30am-9pm daily, $20-48) restaurant has fine dining rivaling the best on the island. The staff is friendly and happy to talk, and the atmosphere is welcomingly casual. Take the waiter’s suggestion for the evening and order the fish of the day, which was likely caught earlier that morning in waters just off Hana. The rest of the menu features the freshest local ingredients. It’s a great spot for a filling breakfast after watching the Hana sunrise.
One of the best Hana lunch options is Hana Fresh Market (4590 Hana Hwy., 10am-2pm Mon.-Fri.), located in the parking lot of the Hana Health Clinic between Wai‘anapanapa and the center of town. Proceeds support the Hana Health Clinic, and many of the vegetables and fresh produce are grown in a greenhouse on the property. There is an ample selection of filling lunch options ($8-12), such as ham, apple, and brie paninis, Italian sausage pasta, and lemon caper mahimahi. You can also get a tasty poke bowl with brown rice, and wash it all down with a fruit smoothie or a cup of Hana-grown coffee.
Lunch in Hana is defined by food trucks, the most popular of which is Braddah Hutts (808/264-5582, 10am-3pm Mon.-Fri., $8-12) just past Hasegawa General Store. The smoky flavor of the kalua pig tacos is magic. Try the macaroni salad.
Another great choice is Da Chow Wagon (808/281-0023, 10am-4pm Mon.-Fri., $10-12), next to the gas station, which has local classics like chicken katsu and teriyaki beef.
On the other side of Hasegawa General Store, closest to Travaasa Hana, Surfing Burro (no phone, 8am-7pm Wed.-Sun., $6-9) has filling and affordable breakfast burritos, and is one of the only places open for breakfast if you’ve spent the night in Hana.
For a cool treat on a hot day, pick up a frozen goody on a stick from Shaka Pops (808/442-2926, noon-4pm Mon.-Fri., $4.75) across from Hasegawa General Store. The frozen treats are hand-crafted here on Maui using small-batch, freshly pureed fruit, such as Maui Gold pineapples, mangoes, papayas, strawberries, and more.
Next door to the Hana Farms fruit stand, The Clay Oven (mile marker 31.2, 808/248-7371, 4pm-8pm Fri.-Sat., $14-17) is the best thing to happen to the Hana dinner scene in a long time. Don’t be fooled by the appearance of this outdoor pizza kitchen in the rainforest or the “pizza box” of fresh banana leaves. You’ll be surprised to find a full menu of seven different pizza options, including classic margherita and creative potato and pesto. The pizzas are filling enough for two. Large groups can enjoy sitting in “the fireside lounge,” a tent behind the open-air kitchen. It’s a few miles past Wai‘anapanapa heading back toward Kahului, and is only open on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Hana isn’t a place you’d expect to find mouthwatering Thai, but Thai Food by Pranee (5050 Uakea Rd., no phone, 10:30am-4pm Sat.-Tues., $10-12) is a culinary gem in the humblest of locations. Little more than a glorified food truck across from the Hana Ballpark, this open-air restaurant gets packed for lunch—especially since it’s open on weekends. The filling portions of pad thai and green curry are worth the wait, and if the food is too spicy you can ask them for coconut milk to bring the heat down. Parking is along Uakea Road, and be sure to park facing the correct direction, since violators are often ticketed.
Excerpted from the Tenth Edition of Moon Maui.