Maui’s Best Breakfast SpotsIn the words of Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope, “Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?”

Some of us feel the same way, myself included. If I’m going to treat myself to a nice meal, there’s a good chance it’s going to be breakfast. Luckily, living on Maui, I’m just a short drive away from some seriously fine dining, good ol’ hole-in-the-wall spots, and everything in between. So whether I want to get a cheap cup of coffee and a short stack, or if it’s a benedict-and-bloody-mary kind of day, I can make it happen pretty easily on Maui. Here are some of the best breakfast spots on the island:

5 Palms
5 Palms is located in Kihei, at the Maui Kai beach resort, and the restaurant itself is just a few short steps away from a lovely, busy beach spot. The view here is absolutely to die for, and if I ever feel like I need to appreciate my tropical island home a bit more, I head to 5 Palms and just take it all in. Apart from the view, though, the food is also absolutely outstanding. They do a truly elevated version of a classic Loco Moco, complete with crispy onion strings piled on top for that “wow” factor. They also boast one of the best bloody Marys around, and their crème brulee oatmeal is unique, hearty, and delicious. My favorite, though, is their seared ahi benedict, paired with a guava mimosa. It’s one of the best ways I can think of to begin your Maui morning!

Koa’s Seaside Grill / Gazebo
These places are run by the same owners, and boast the same breakfast menu. Both offer incredible ocean views, but you’ll find less of a wait at Koa’s, which is located right on Front Street in Lahaina. While they offer all kinds of traditional breakfast fare, you’ll want to focus on two things: their absolutely gigantic macadamia nut, banana, and pineapple pancakes, and their absolutely gigantic plate of fried rice. The pancakes are fluffy, delicious, and topped with decadent toasted macadamia nuts. The fried rice, however, is my favorite, and is chock full of veggies and scrambled eggs. While the full order is plenty for two or three people to share, they’ll also do a half-order, which is still huge. While the patio is a bit bright and sunny for my tastes, the whole restaurant offers incredible ocean views in a lovely, old-fashioned tropical setting. After a breakfast here, you’ll appreciate a nice leisurely walk on Front Street to burn it off a bit!

Kula Lodge
This place is almost required eating after a trip to see Sunrise at Haleakala, and you’ll be joined by plenty of fellow mountain-goers looking to thaw out and fill up. The traditional breakfast fare is served in a cozy, lodge setting, complete with a stone fireplace and sweeping views of almost the entire island. They also feature charming tropical protea gardens right outside, if you’re looking to stroll around a bit after breakfast. How’s the food, though? Kula Lodge offers truly excellent pancakes, along with coconut syrup, and some of the best, thickest, crispiest bacon I’ve ever had! If you’re joining us for a Haleakala Sunrise tour, breakfast at the Kula Lodge is included with your tour, and our exclusive menu features some of the very best selections from this upcountry institution.

I could probably make this entry about three times as long, because I’d love to mention Kula Bistro, Grandma’s Coffee House, 808 Bistro, Tasty Crust, Aria’s, Leoda’s, and more! Needless to say, I am a breakfast fanatic, but you can’t go wrong with the three above, no matter where you’re staying or what you’ll be doing. Rise and shine, and let us know where you like to get your Maui breakfast!