(UPDATED October 6th, 2021)
Sure, Maui has the standard fast-food restaurants: McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Burger King, etc. But Maui also has Hawaii-based fast food joints if you want a quick meal with more of a local flavor. SUPPORT LOCAL!
Here are our 8 favorite Hawaii-based fast-food restaurants:
1.) Pearl’s Korean BBQ (two Kahului locations)
With your choice of four sides and large main course portions, you will never walk away from Pearl’s hungry. The kalbi ribs are near perfect, with just the right amount of “crisp” around the edges. As for the sides, potato salad, crisp corn, and kimchee are constants for us. The other side depends on how we feel. For “fast food,” it can actually be kind of slow, but the wait is worth it!
(Pearl’s Korean BBQ)
2.) Ba-Le (various locations)
With four Maui locations, if you need a quick pho fix, Ba-Le is there to serve you. Beyond the pho, the banh mi sandwiches are fantastic. Our favorite banh mis are the beef teriyaki and the char-siu (pork.) There’s a Ba-Le near the airport at Maui Marketplace. It’s a go-to spot for people picking up sandwiches to eat at the airport and on the plane. Finally, the vegetable dishes are good, too, if you need to get out of your loco moco haze.
3.) Havens (Kihei, and coming soon to Pukalani & Kahului)
This has been a favorite spot for locals since opening last year, but the secret is getting out. Island-famous Chef Zach Sato has stepped away from running some of the most popular and high-end restaurants to focus on his own shop serving local grinds and comfort food. Grab some of the best smash burgers you’ve ever had, enjoy a myriad of delicious noodle dishes, and take home some sushi rolls. This place is hidden in north Kihei, so just look for a quickly moving line out the door of the Shell Station. Take out only, lunch and dinner.
4.) Minit Stop (various locations)
OK, this is a gas station. But, this is no AM/PM! The fried chicken at Minit Stop is arguably the best on the island. It comes in a variety of flavors, with the Korean being especially good. They also serve a really nice bowl of chili over white rice (a Hawaii specialty) and their potato wedges are excellent. Side note: In 1978, Minit Stop became the first self-serve gas station on Maui!
5.) Teddy’s Bigger Burgers (Lahaina)
This is one of our favorite hamburger shops, so check out Teddy’s Bigger Burger when in Lahaina. It’s hard to go into more detail with our mouths watering over.
6.) L&L Hawaiian Barbecue (various locations)
The island-wide purveyor of the plate lunch, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue has six Maui locations. They are popular for their hearty portions of Hawaiian comfort foods like chicken katsu, garlic shrimp, loco moco, and kalbi ribs. L&L sticks to the standard Hawaiian formula for a plate lunch: two scoops of rice, one scoop of macaroni salad, and one main dish. Nothing fancy, but it tastes good and fills you up, even if you’re on the tightest of budgets.
(L&L Hawaiian Barbecue)
7.) Maui Tacos (various locations)
While Maui Tacos doesn’t necessarily serve anything “Hawaiian,” they aren’t Taco Bell, either. They serve fish tacos, big fish burritos, and grilled prawn tacos, on top of more traditional Mexican-inspired fast food plates like soft and hard tacos, nachos, chimichangas, burritos, and quesadillas. They also have a pretty large vegetarian selection. Maui Tacos takes great pride in its salsa bar, which includes six different types of salsas. There are five Maui locations.
8.) Sprout Vegan Cafe (Wailea Gateway Center)
Yes, it feels out of place. Isn’t the definition of fast food delicious yet greasy plates of meat and fries? healthy food?!? Well, if it wasn’t fast and incredibly delicious, it wouldn’t make the list. I love meat, but everything they serve is delicious, fresh, fast, and at a good price. Burgers, sandwiches, wraps, burritos, bowls, sushi, smoothies, juices, and sweets await you sans guilt.
(Sprout Vegan Cafe)