(UPDATED JUNE, 2019)
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Is that why people are willing to stand in line for hours to have it? It's a phenomenon we truly don't understand. But if you like to stand in line for breakfast, we have some great recommendations for you! If there's one thing most Maui breakfasts have in common, it's humongous portions. You'll never leave the table feeling hungry after trying any of the five breakfast joints we recommend.
- 808 Grinz Cafe (Lahaina)
Inexpensive with large portions, 808 Grinz Cafe serves up a wide variety of breakfast dishes, from pancakes to loco moco to benedicts of all varieties. Only open for breakfast and lunch, the wait can be a little long, but it's worth it. Let's start with the mocos. They serve 8... EIGHT!... different mocos, including everything from Spam to short rib to pulled pork. We've only tried about five of them, but they were all great. They also have eight different benedicts, plus a wide assortment of pancakes (including gluten-free) and "standard" breakfast dishes. (808 Grinz Cafe)
- Kihei Caffe (Kihei)
Yes, there be lines. Long lines. But you can avoid them if you arrive before 7:30 and after 11. What are people lining up for? Delicious breakfast dishes and smoothies. We grab a cinnamon roll when we order and take it back to the table to munch on while waiting for our main dishes. After standing in line for 30 minutes, we deserve it! We highly recommend the omelettes and the kalua pork loco moco over fried rice. So ono! (Kihei Caffe)
- Oyako Tei (Kahului)
We're going off the grid for this one. Oyako Tei is a tiny breakfast joint in a tiny strip mall in Kahului. Most people order takeout, but you can sit at one of the small, plastic tables if you prefer to eat in. If you eat here, don't expect to be wowed by the decor. Look up hole-in-the-wall and its picture will come up. But, dang, the food is so good. For us, the one thing we order every time we visit is the Bobby Sausage. It's a thick, meaty Portuguese sausage that melts the mouth. It's near the airport, so if you have an early flight, we recommend Oyako Tei as your last breakfast on Maui. (Oyako Tei)
- Bamboo Grille (Wailuku)
A longtime favorite amongst locals, Bamboo Grill is kind of hidden, but if you find it, you'll love it. The banana-macadamia nut pancakes are bigger than your head and really good. A wide selection of mocos will fill your belly with gravy goodness. Plus they serve a variety of "standard" breakfast. The fried rice here is excellent, so we recommend substituting it in, where possible. (Bamboo Grille)
- The Gazebo Restaurant (Lahaina)
This final pick comes with caveats. There are better breakfasts on Maui, but the Gazebo has built up such a big reputation, we thought we'd include it so you know what you're in for. First, expect to wait. It seems like no matter how early (or late) you get there, there's a minimum 45 minute wait. As for the food, they are famous for the pancakes, and they are good. The mac nut pancakes are our favorite, but these aren't the best pancakes on Maui. Instead, we recommend the massively portioned Fried Rice Plate. They mix in three different meats (ham, Portuguese sausage and bacon), plus a variety of vegetables. Pro tip: You can order your breakfast to go and get your food in about 10 minutes. If you're wanting to get your day moving, we highly recommend doing this. (Gazebo Restaurant)
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.