Hana Day Trip Planning Guide: Where to Eat
On a day trip to Hana, you will probably be on the road for at least 10 hours. During this time, you’ll probably want to stop for at least one “big” meal, as well as for snacks. Here are our recommendations on where to eat on the Road to Hana.
Huelo Lookout (Midway between mile markers 4 and 5)
Huelo Town is called “the little Hawaiian village forgotten by time.” A former sugar plantation community, it is now a quiet town with cattle ranches and smaller farms dedicated to growing fruit and vegetables. But the reason to stop here is for the Huelo Lookout fruit and smoothie stand. If you skip Twin Falls, it’s the first place to get drinks and snacks for the road.
Ka Haku Smoke Shack (Just past mile marker 10)
The shack, basically a tarp, serves up some mean barbecue. We wish we could recommend something, but the menu changes depending on what fresh produce and meats the owner, Chef Chewie, has on hand. Everything is farm to table, served on natural plates (bamboo plates lined with banana leaves.) Only open Monday – Friday until late afternoon or when Chef Chewie runs out of food.
Garden Gourmet (Halfway between mile markers 10 and 11, at the entrance to Garden of Eden) A food truck with picnic table seating, Garden Gourmet serves fresh, farm-to-table meals, with much of the produce grown nearby. All the food is prepared made-to-order, so if you’re in a hurry, this probably isn’t the place for you. But if you go, we think you’ll be happy with your meal. You do NOT have to pay to enter the Garden of Eden to eat here.
Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread (Between mile markers 16 and 17)
If there’s one food item you can buy on the Road to Hana, it’s banana bread. But if you want the best banana bread, stop by Aunt Sandy’s. It’s moist on the inside and somewhat crisp on the outside, creating a really nice texture for which your mouth will thank you. The grilled hot dogs also hit the mark. If your car mates won’t mind, we also recommend the chili dog. But, again, you should ask the other folks in the car if this is OK!
Nahiku Marketplace (Mile marker 28)
Whether you want fresh juices, coconut water, snacks or souvenirs, this little marketplace has grown from its original two vendors to now offering more places to eat than Hana Town. You’ll find food trucks and stalls of all kinds, from Thai to barbecue and everything in between. You will also find vendors selling the world famous coconut candy.
Thai Food by Pranee (Hana)
A little shack in Hana, Thai Food by Pranee serves authentic Thai cuisine. The food tends to fall on the “sweet” side, rather than spicy, but don’t despair, if you order it spicy, it’s definitely, spicy. The other thing to note is you’re eating outdoors. In Hana, this means there will be flies and mosquitos. But, since you read our What to pack for Hana guide you’re set with the bug repellent, right? Back to the food. Thai Food by Pranee is in the running for best Thai food on Maui. People seem to be aware of this because the lines can get long, and it can take, literally, an hour to get your food when it’s busy. We recommend you ask how long it will take, so you can set your expectations.
Braddah Hutts BBQ Grill (Hana)
It’s unfortunate for those of us who don’t live in Hana that the best barbecue on Maui is in Hana. Whether you’re craving barbecued chicken, pulled pork, ribs, steak or even fish tacos, Braddah Hutts has you covered. The portions are big and prices are reasonable, for Maui, anyway. Don’t be scared off by the lines, unlike most things around these parts, it actually moves pretty quick.
Hasegawawa General Store (Hana)
Take a step back in time and enter the Hasegawa General Store to load up on snacks and drinks for the long drive back. Here you’ll find a little of everything, from locally grown vegetables to fishing gear to clothing. This is a mom and pop store that would make your mom and pop proud.
Hana Burger Food Truck (Hana)
The Hana Ranch runs the Hana Burger Food Truck. So obviously, the burgers are fresh and about as local as you can get. Beyond the burgers, though, all the veggies are also grown on location, and the fish is all caught locally. Even the ketchup is made on location using ingredients from their organic farm. Generally speaking we prefer Heinz ketchup above all others, but this ketchup is actually really good. Service is fast and there are plenty of covered picnic tables. The house-made ginger beer (non-alcoholic) is a real treat. As a bonus, as you’re enjoying your meal, you’ll be staring out at the Pacific Ocean. Hana Burger Food Truck is only open Monday – Friday from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM.