When I’m on vacation, I know that the last thing I want to do while enjoying my hard-earned retreat is worry about what I’m eating. However, I find that over-indulging on vacation leads to continuing that pattern once I’m back home. I try and make an effort to treat myself only to what I’ve really been craving, and then fill my other meals with healthier options. If you’re looking to minimize any damage to your diet while visiting Maui, here are some of my favorite spots to check out:
Down to Earth – Kahului
Down to Earth has been one of my favorite places to eat and shop since I was a kid. It’s a strictly vegetarian grocery store and deli, and they offer a huge variety of healthy options for both groceries and meals on the go. If you’re looking for local produce, and can’t catch the Swap Meet or a farmer’s market, Down to Earth is your best bet for organic, Hawaii-grown fruits and veggies. I never leave the place without a big bag of local apple bananas for a great price. Their hot and cold bars also offer a great selection of delicious vegetarian and vegan options, and their deli makes my absolute favorite roasted-pepper hummus and tofu wrap. If you’re in central Maui, and especially if you’re a hardcore herbivore, you need to stop by the newly-renovated Down to Earth on Dairy Road.
Farmacy Health Bar – Wailuku
This spot has been open on Market Street in Wailuku for just over a year—and they’re gaining a huge following. It’s certainly well-deserved! With a philosophy of only organic, GMO-free, whole, natural foods, there’s literally no way you can go wrong when making a choice at this spot. From their uber-healthy smoothies to their acai and poi bowls, from their gourmet vegetarian sandwiches to their freshly-pressed organic juices—it’s ALL good! Watch their Facebook and Instagram accounts for daily specials, and discover a new favorite from the minds of these creative health-food gurus.
Since these two places go hand in hand, I thought I’d give them both a mention. First off, Mana Foods: my favorite health-food store of all time. It completely embodies the spirit of Paia: laid-back, healthy, quirky, and vibrant. The layout and narrow aisles (especially in their amazing “vitamin room”) may throw you for a loop at first, but you’ll get used to navigating your small cart through organic, imported, gourmet, and locally-grown fare. Their prices are also un-beatable—most of the time even underbidding standard grocery stores like Safeway and Foodland. Omnivore? Check out their organic, local meat department, and both veggie and non-veggie options on their hot and cold bars.
Right up the road from Mana Foods is Maka by Mana—their new vegan restaurant. Offering an incredible array of gourmet vegan dishes—including an impressive amount of raw options—this place is the new “place to be” for island herbivores. Try their tempeh dishes, the famous “Coconut Stacker,” and save room for dessert—including house-made vegan ice cream and other tasty treats!
Of course, these aren’t the only spots to get your fix of healthy eats while on Maui. There are healthy options at virtually every eatery on the island—from the plate-lunch spots to the high-end resort restaurants. With an incredible selection of locally-grown produce and Hawaii-raised meats, you may not have to stray from your eating habits at all while you’re here. Happy munching!