(UPDATED JUNE, 2019)
At its core, a sandwich is two pieces of bread stuffed with, uh, stuff. So what differentiates a great sandwich from a good one? Freshly baked bread is a start, but it’s the “stuff” that magically transforms an ordinary sandwich into something memorable. Here are our five favorite sandwich spots on Maui.
- Down the Hatch (Lahaina)
Featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” Down the Hatch offers up a few sandwiches and other lunch and dinner items, but we wholeheartedly recommend the Lobster and Crab Stuffed Grilled Cheese. The name pretty much says it all (see the image at the top of the page). But what it doesn’t mention is that it’s served on thick slices of Hawaiian sweet bread. The sweetness of the bread cuts some of the heat created by the flavorful spicy lava lava sauce. Located on Front Street, Down the Hatch is a must visit in Lahaina and they’re now open for breakfast! (Down the Hatch)
- Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop (Lahaina)
Opened in late 2011, Leoda’s replaced the popular French restaurant Chez Paul. Interestingly, the first chef of Leoda’s was none other than Top Chef favorite Sheldon Simeon. Leoda’s is world-famous for its pies, and for good reason. But they take the “Kitchen” part of their name seriously. If you go just for the pies, you’ll be missing out on some of the best sandwiches on Maui. The Roast Pork hoagie is a pork lover’s dream. Made with sashimi grade tuna, the Seared Ahi sandwich is another can’t-miss item. Of course, a fresh piece of pie is always a nice accompaniment. This is considered one of the best Maui restaurants by many locals, savy visitors, and critics. (Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop)
- 808 Street Grinz (food truck)
The food truck scene is pretty robust on Maui, and is getting bigger… and better, every week. 808 Street Grinz is no new kid on the block, though. It seems like they’ve been around forever, serving up grilled cheese sandwiches like a boss. We highly recommend the Warrior Grilled Cheese, a four-cheese sandwich, topped with a pulled pork that is slow-smoked overnight for 22 hours, and a jalapeno and artichoke spread. Oh, and bacon! If you don’t eat meat, the Knucklehead is the same sandwich, minus the pork and bacon. As a food truck, you’ll need to track it down, but it’s a journey worth taking. (808 Street Grinz)
- Aloha Mixed Plate (Lahaina)
Tucked away on the water, across the street from the Lahaina Cannery Mall, Aloha Mixed Plate is a favorite among tourists and locals. Known for their plate lunches, we also recommend you try their sandwiches. Aloha Mixed Plate crafts sandwiches out of Hawaiian staples like huli huli Chicken, kalua pig and teriyaki beef. There’s also a Fresh Fish of the Day sandwich. Finally, there’s a grilled cheese, because who doesn’t love grilled cheese? (Aloha Mixed Plate)
- Casanova Deli (Makawao)
Located upcountry, next door to the renowned Casanova Italian Restaurant, Casanova’s sandwiches are available on a variety of breads, but depending on the sandwich, we recommend the house-baked focaccia. That said, the New York, a zesty meatball sandwich with their house-made marinara, served on a baguette, is still our favorite. For the vegetarians out there, the Vulcano with baked eggplant and smoked Mozarella is always a good choice. We often stop here on our way to Haleakala and enjoy the sandwiches up at the summit. (Casanova Deli)
One bonus location: Tin Roof in Kahului serves the best chicken sandwich we’ve ever eaten. It’s the only sandwich they serve, thus they didn’t make our top five. Sheldon Simeon, mentioned above, is the owner and operator of Tin Roof. You will often see him behind the counter making food. Tin Roof is on Dairy Road near the airport. They are only open for lunch and it gets pretty crowded. They have a nice mobile website, though, from which you can order ahead.
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.