There are only four choices for dining in Hana: Home, local plate lunch or two restaurants run by the Hana Maui Hotel.
1) EAT AT HOME
Most people know to pack the food they want for their Hana trip- a trip to Costco and/or the fantastic Mana Foods (Pa’ia natural food store) is a must for many. However, there is a joke in the now famous ‘Maui Revealed’ Guidebook that says to the question, “What’s good to eat in Hana?” …. “I don’t know, what did you bring?”
Well, there are some nice options here in Hana for those who did not ‘bring it all’. We have a full kitchen with everything you will need to prepare a nice meal or snack to enjoy at home including those little things like spices and salt and pepper so you won’t have to shop for absolutely everything.
Where to get Supplies
There are two general stores in town that sell basic food supplies. Please note that they close by 7pm so plan ahead. Hasegawa’s General Store is a wonderful ‘old time’ general store; they literally have a little bit of everything here! Believe me, there has been many occasions that Hasegawa’s store has had an item we really needed, and saved us the 4+ hour round trip to town! You can create a wonderful meal from items at Hasegawa’s. The other grocery store is the Hana Ranch Store. They have a huge cooler that holds a wide selection of beer and have a decent wine selection as well. They also carry gifts and many gourmet items that one may be surprised to find in such a small town. We find ourselves visiting both stores if we are making a meal, since they often carry different brands and selection.
We have a wonderful community herb garden here on property. Simply follow the parking lot road as if heading to the lower building. The garden is within the rocks shaped like the island of Maui in the grassy area between the buildings. Feel free to snip some herbs to make your meal have that special fresh taste.
Fresh Local Fish
Sometimes you can get lucky and a local fisherman is selling his catch of the day. You may even find an impromptu stand down in Hamoa Village at Koki Beach or even in town across the street at the Hana Bay Charter place.
Local Organic Fruit
Hana has some of the most delicious organic fruit you may ever taste! Ono Farms, from nearby Kipahulu, sets up a stand just past the entrance to the town center and prior to entering the row of large pines as you exit town towards the beaches. The stand is usually open on Mondays and Thursdays but sometimes you see their tent up on other days. Chuck has been organically farming for decades in this area and his fruit shows just how green is his thumb!
2) VARIOUS LOCAL LUNCH PLATES
In the last couple of years, a few terrific, and I mean TERRIFIC, local lunch plate establishments have sprung up along the roadside. A unique array of locals sharing their culinary skills in temporary shelters along the road makes dining in Hana an exciting adventure! These grassroots stands offer some of the best food around! Since most stands are run by folks holding down other regular jobs, many are only open a couple of days a week. Here is the schedule of local lunch plate stands at the time of printing.
PLEASE NOTE: These local stands are so popular with locals and tourists alike, they often sell out, so come early, and be aware that lines get long at prime lunch times. Locals know to get their food by 11am to ensure selection and availability.
Location: Within the stretch of huge pine trees lining the street on the way out of town towards Hamoa Beach. If he is open, you can’t miss it with all his great signs!
Days Open: Most Thursdays and Fridays from 10-2ish.
Braddah Hutts is a world class chef living right here in Hana. He was even asked to be the personal chef for Hillary Clinton on her visit to Hana a few years ago and has produced a wonderful spicy soy sauce mix available for retail sale. His stand is a fund raiser for his family to return to Tahiti in order to visit family still living there. His portions are generous and delicious! The Mahi Mahi is fantastically prepared with fresh vegetables and a delicious light cream sauce. On certain days, when his daughters are there to help, he may be serving his original Shrimp Pasta dish- yum! We can hardly resist his BBQ chicken, with his special marinate- it is ‘out of this world!
Pranee’s Thai Food
Location: Across from the Hana Ball Park.
Days Open: Varies, from 10-2ish.
Pranee is a fantastic cook and is always expanding her menu to please the customer. She used to only serve pre-prepared dishes but she would often be sold out by noon, upsetting hungry customers. She now has added many freshly prepared dishes to her menu- she now has a menu board too! If her prepared dishes are sold out, she can still make you something fresh with her extra stock of meat and veggies to create a delicious.
Stir fry to your taste. She also often has some terrific breakfast choices, including an amazing burrito made with a sunflower seed spread, carrots and tofu.
Location: On the main road, (back towards Kahului from the condo about a mile) across from the police station, just this side of the ‘Y’.
Days Open: Most weekdays from 10-2ish. He takes ‘call ahead’ orders on his cell phone: 808-248-7467. He is planning to return to the mainland soon, so check before expecting service.
Ali started with a small grill and tent, when week after week he provided the community with good, well-priced, simple meals such as cheeseburgers and Mahi Mahi sandwiches as well as traditional lunch plates with rice and mac salad. Convenient and good basic fare, we enjoy supporting this family business and see them grow while they are still here.
Location: Within the stretch of huge pine trees lining the street on the way out of town towards Hamoa Beach. Just prior to Hytota’s place on the same side of the road. Sign is a surfboard.
Days Open: Mondays, lately, check for signs posted on the grocery store bulletins-when he is open he is popular! 10-2ish.
3) HANA MAUI HOTEL
The 5 star Hana Maui Hotel has a fine dining room and a casual Paniolo bar for wonderful food and a gorgeous location. Servings are small to modest size at a higher price point; around $20 for lunch and $40 for dinner per entrée. The quality and taste is exceptional. If you have a special occasion to celebrate or want to have an elegant meal, you will enjoy Hotel Hana Maui.
Here are some additional details:
Main Dining Room: Ka’uiki
Ka’uiki offers a tantalizing blend of Pacific Island and regional cuisine with a fresh innovative flair. The menu features fresh fish from the Hawaiian waters and produce grown locally or on the island of Maui. The majestic views look toward Hana Bay. The newly restored look is a contemporary interpretation of an unusual mix of styles and periods in Hawaii history.
The room features the “Red Sails” Manookian painting that evokes myths and stories of early Hawaiian voyagers. Colorful ceiling streamers soften the sunlight from the large skylights and conjure up images of Hawaiian sailing canoes riding the waves.
Reservations are recommended for dinner. For cocktails and dinner, ladies are welcome in long or short dresses, skirts or slacks. Aloha shirts, collared and suitable shirts (no tank-tops), slacks or dress shorts, are the norm for gentlemen.
Each Friday at 7 p.m. we present a special performance by local musicians and dancers telling the stories in dance of this special place called Hana. From kapuna to keiki, everyone will enjoy this special time and Hawaiian buffet:
- Open at 6 p.m. (close at 9 p.m.)
- Show starts at 7 p.m.
- Reservations are required
- $50 for adults, $35 for keiki (12 and under)
The History of Ka’uiki
The word ‘Ka’uiki’ holds much significance to the area. Legend has it that Ka’uiki Hill in the village of Hana is the subject of forbidden love between the god Maui’s beautiful daughter Noe Noe and Ka’uiki, the adopted son of the Menehune, a tribe of mischievous elves. Although their love was forbidden, Maui took pity on them and used his magic to keep them together forever. Maui changed Ka’uiki into a high hill – rooted between land and sea – and Noe Noe into the misty rains that caress the slopes of Ka’uiki Hill.
The history of the village of Hana is linked to King Kamehameha the Great, who united the Hawaiian Islands and ruled until his death in 1819. His favorite wife Ka’ahumanu was born in a cave at the foot of the hill Ka’uiki. Today that spot is commemorated by a plaque near the lighthouse at Hana Bay. Ka’uiki Hill was also one of the strongest fort-holds in the days of Kamehameha’s monarchy.
The popular Paniolo Bar is designed to reflect the warmth and comfort of a private living room and is graced with a large covered lanai overlooking Hana Bay. Late afternoon lunches and snacks are featured daily in this relaxing area. Enjoy Hana’s finest musicians singing the best in traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music.
Paniolo Lounge Hours:
Cocktails & Espresso bar 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Pu’pu & Light Fare 2:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m
4) HANA RANCH RESTAURANT
This restaurant was recently taken over by the Hotel Hana Maui management, and I have to admit, it seems to have improved the quality of their fare. Slightly less expensive than the hotel, we enjoy the periodic live music on some nights.
Here is more information from their website:
Stop for lunch or dinner at Hana Ranch Restaurant. The rustic, eclectic, ranch-style roadhouse is located in the Town Center and is open for lunch daily and offers dinner in a more casual atmosphere on Wednesday and Friday nights. There is also a take-out window for a meal on the go. Fun, casual, and friendly, with ocean views, Hana Ranch Restaurant is a favorite of hotel guests, the local community, and travelers along the Hana Highway. Polynesian-inspired ranch food – fish, chicken, salads, and the “best hamburgers” on Maui.
Don’t forget to try the famous cookie dough sundae! For more information or to make a reservation call 1-808-270-5280.