(UPDATED JUNE, 2019)
Whether you're just arriving on Maui or if you're headed off the island to destinations near or far, some of the best food on Maui is available near the airport. For this article, we tried to choose places with foods that can be enjoyed on the plane, but we didn't fully succeed. Still, we think this list provides something for every type of eater.
- Tin Roof
If you're a fan of Top Chef, you're probably familiar with 2010 and 2014 Finalist and Fan Favorite (both years!), chef Sheldon Simeon. Well, Tin Roof is his little lunch joint located less than five minutes from the airport. Serving up local food with his signature twists, this is easily one of our favorite places to eat on Maui. We recommend you visit their website and pre-order your food because the lines can be pretty long around noon. Nearly everything on the menu is served carry-out making it perfect for the airport and is priced under $10. As an added bonus, Chef Sheldon is there nearly every day. Tell him we say hello! (Tin Roof)
- Maui Specialty Chocolates-- While at Tin Roof you can order up a nice plate of food, Maui Specialty Chocolates is all about dessert. If you've never tried peanut butter mochi, this is the place to do it. These hearty, sweet little balls of goodness are perfect for the plane. We know, pounded rice filled with peanut butter does not sound appetizing. But trust us, they are amazing. Their chocolates, which are all homemade, are also a nice treat to enjoy on the plane or to deliver to friends back home. (Maui Specialty Chocolates)
- Ba-Le-- Ba-Le is a local chain featuring fresh, takeout Vietnamese food. If you're just arriving, a nice, fragrant bowl of pho will help you make the transition from the airplane to Maui and quench your hunger, without making you feel overly full. Headed off the island, we don't recommend attempting to take pho through security, but the banh mi sandwiches are fantastic and are easy to pack. As an added bonus, they won't really stink up the plane. (Ba-Le)
- Da Kitchen-- OK, we're kind of cheating here. While you can order takeout, Da Kitchen is best eaten sitting in the restaurant. So maybe it's not great to take to the airport, but if you give yourself an extra hour before your flight, you'll be flying away with a nice, full belly. As it's less than five minutes from the airport, it's an ideal place to immediately eat local food when you arrive on Maui. The chicken katsu is some of the best on the island. Or, if you're seriously hungry after a long flight, you can splurge on the Hawaiian Plate, which includes pork lau lau, kalua pork, chicken long rice and lomi salmon.
- Poke!-- OK, this isn't one location, rather it's a few places near the airport where you can pick up a pound of poke for the skies. Our recommendations for poke, all located within 10 minutes of the airport, include the Like Poke? food truck, Foodland, Poi by the Pound and Tamura's.
Located near Costco, there's also a food truck round-up that depending on the day, you may find poke, garlic shrimp, Thai food, tacos, barbecue, local foods and more.
By the way, did you know that you can now save $10/person on our Maui Princess Dinner Cruise or a Snorkel Adventure to the island of Lanai? Well you can! Just use the promo code VIP20 after clicking on this link: Hawaii Ocean Project Adventures.