Foodies will enjoy their trip to Maui, whose agriculturally dominated valley and rich volcanic slopes produce a variety of edible delights, including tropical fruits, dairy, coffee, spirits, herbs, flowers, and sweet treats.
As you travel the island, you’ll be able to find them on restaurant menus, but you can also go to the source, visit the farms, learn about their production, and taste them on-site.
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Check out our list of preferred farmers markets, farm tours, and must-try local foods on Maui below.
Related: Culinary activities on Kauaʻi, Oʻahu and the Big Island
Are you planning to also visit other islands in the state and do you like our style? Then the following guides might be a good place to start your culinary trip planning:
- Culinary tours and activities on Kauaʻi
- Culinary tours and activities on Oʻahu
- List of farm tours on the Big Island
Farmers markets in Hawaiʻi provide the chance to taste unique local products and buy directly from local farms. Whether you want to stock up on groceries for your rental home or simply enjoy a morning walk through the market, there are plenty of farmers markets to choose from on Maui.
We list a few favorites below, and you can find a full run-down of every farmers market on Maui (there are many!) via the Maui County Farm Bureau.
Upcountry Farmers Market (Saturday)
- Where: 55 Kiopaʻa Street, Saturdays, 7 a.m.– 11 a.m.
- What to Expect: Fruits, veggies, prepared foods – all grown or made on Maui. Browse the local vendors while taking in the views and vibes of Upcountry Maui.
- Website: Upcountry Farmers Market
You can get an impression of the Upcountry Farmers Market in the following video (episode 37 of the “Taste of Paradise” series) in which several of the vendors are interviewed about their local products:
Maui Nui Farmers Market (Thursday to Sunday)
- Where: 151 Pulehunui Road, Kula, Thursday to Sunday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
- What to Expect: Another upcountry market made all the more special by the fact that it’s actually located on a farm, so you literally buy produce grown right there.
- Website: Maui Nui Farmers Market
Maui Swap Meet (Saturdays)
- Where: 310 West Kaahumanu Ave, Kahului, Saturday, 7:00 am – 1:00 pm
- What to Expect: Looking for local produce and handmade local products? The Swap Meet is known for its variety of vendors, including crafts, lotions, food specialties, and more.
- Website: Maui Swap Meet
Kīhei Farmers Market (Monday to Friday)
- Where: 61 South Kīhei Road, Kīhei, Monday to Thursday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm; Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- What to Expect: This weekday market features local fruits, veggies, and flowers grown nearby.
- Website: Kīhei Farmers Market
Between its fertile valley and the rich, volcanic slopes of Haleakalā, Maui is loaded with farms, many welcoming visitors into their fields via tours and on-site experiences. Here are some of our favorites:
Organic/Regenerative Farm Tours
Regenerative agriculture is a cut above sustainable agriculture. It aims to regenerate the land and soil through a range of techniques that aim to support soil life.
Regenerative farming is especially important on Maui, where large scale intensive sugar cane production has left a heavy mark on the soil and ocean ecosystems. On a farm tour you will learn about modern approaches to regenerative agriculture that include good practices for coastal farming, aquaculture, aquaponics, vermiculture (earthworms), agroforestry, and cold composting on site.
- Living Earth Systems Farm Tour (website)
Fruit Farm Tours
Want to see how all those tropical fruits and veggies are grown? Want to see the amazing abundance that Hawaiʻi’s sunshine, rain, and soil can provide? Maui has a myriad of small farms producing a range of crops, each with its own specialization, and believe us, the scenery and views from many of the farms are reason to visit in themselves.
- Oʻo Farms (website)
- Maui Nui Farm Tours (website)
- Maui Dragon Fruit Farm (website)
- Ono Organic exotic fruit farm (website)
Pineapple Plantation Tours
Although not native to the islands, the pineapple is still larger than life in Hawaiʻi. It is not exported as much as it once was, but it is still grown on our islands for local families and restaurants. One particular brand of pineapple, Maui Gold, is only grown on Maui. A tour of their facilities offers some insight into the past, present, and future of pineapple cultivation in paradise. Plus: you get to eat a TON of pineapples.
- Haliʻimaile Pineapple Tour (website)
The Kona Coffee region on the Big Island is Hawaiʻi’s most prestigious growing region, but don’t fret – coffee is grown on every island in Hawaiʻi, and it’s all very delicious. You will find Maui grown coffee in grocery stores – it makes a great souvenir – and you can also visit the farms and fields to see how it’s grown and sample at the source.
Because it’s not a major export, many people don’t realize that Hawaiʻi is full of local chocolate makers. Cacao, the agricultural product that ultimately becomes chocolate, grows very well in Hawaiʻi (especially so on the Big Island), and on a farm tour, you can see the process by which cacao seeds are processed and turned into the world’s favorite dessert.
- Maui Chocolate Tour (website)
Other Local Farms and Tours
Obsessed with local products? Want to discover local cheese, herbs, and liquors? These farms offer unique products and tours to help you get connected.
- Surfing Goat Dairy (website, see video below)
- Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm (website)
- Haliʻimaile Distillery Tour (website)
- Ocean Vodka Tasting (website)
Food Tours + Cooking Classes
Are you hungry and ready to discover new places? Than the following food tours and cooking classes might be bite up your alley.
Let an expert show you around on a local food tour and visit some of Maui’s local hidden gems. Most walking tours are focused on specific towns, while others with transportation focus on a region, i.e., the north shore or west coast. Tours range from 2 hours to all day and cost between $50 and $250.
- Local Tastes of Maui: These two-hour tours take place in the morning and visit approximately 10 local establishments, with separate tours in Lāhainā, Kīhei, and Pāʻia (website)
- Maui Craft Tours: A variety of tours focused on visiting local farms and producers on Maui (website)
“At home” cooking class
Chef Yasko from Chez Klio (website) brings cooking classes to your kitchen. She teaches simple home style Classic, Asian Fusion and Hawaiian Cuisine in this hands-on class. Classes are held for two to six people or as your space allows. Feast on your creations at the lesson’s end!
Coconut cooking class + farm tour
Ryan has been organizing coconut classes for over 10 years now so he can tell you a thing or two about these delicious tree nuts. He organizes private farm tours + cooking classes at his Coconut Information Farm in Haiku that includes a one of a kind tasting menu utilizing coconuts of all ages. You also get to explore they gardens, pick fresh fruit, learn the fascinating history and lifecycle of the coconut, get hands on pressing fresh milk, indulge in coconut noodles and more.
This is not a cheap outing so coconut lovers only: website.
Local foods (and where to try them)
Hawaiʻi has many local dishes for you to try during your visit. Most people are familiar with kalua pork, poi, poke, and shave ice, which can be found just about everywhere on Maui. But here are a few lesser-known (but equally local!) food items that you should try:
Huli Huli Chicken
If you’re craving Hawaiian barbecue, Huli Huli chicken is a must try. It’s grilled over mesquite wood with a sauce similar to teriyaki, consisting of soy sauce, ketchup, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and pineapple. Exactly how the sauce is made depends on the vendor, so you’ll have to shop around and try a few. Establishments that offer Huli Huli chicken also typically have other barbecue staples, like kalua pork or kalbi ribs.
Check out to following video on how to cook Huli Huli chicken yourself to get in the mood!
Katsu is a Japanese-influenced fried cutlet – typically chicken or beef – that’s become a staple of Hawaiian fare. Casual, affordable, and beloved by locals, katsu is often served as a “plate lunch” (see below) from food trucks and cafes.
Don’t know Katsu? Check out this tasty video:
A Hawaiian plate lunch… classic! It’s a working class meal that features a fish or meat main served with sides, traditionally mac salad and rice. Certain establishments get more creative, offering additional side options that allow for further customization. Usually around $10 or less, plate lunches are big and filling and perfect for lunch. You can find plate lunches literally everywhere, and we encourage you to shop around.
Did you know that Anthony Bourdain was into plate lunch? Now you know:
- Sam Sato’s (Wailuku)
- Eskimo Candy Seafoods (Kīhei)
- Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill (Kula)
- Poi by the Pound (Kahului)
Better come hungry for this Hawaiian feast! The traditional plate consists of rice, a hamburger patty, and a fried egg with heavy gravy poured on top. Absolutely delicious, although it is super filling – the Loco Moco is usually eaten at breakfast to give you plenty of time to walk it off over the course of the day. This heavy dish is not for everyone, but those with a big appetite for local traditions will enjoy it.
Hawaiian Style Baked Goods
If you don’t associate Hawaiʻi with sweet treats, think again! From island-inspired pies (chocolate mac nut pie) to haupia (coconut pudding) and malasadas (local donut), there are plenty of Maui-inspired options to satisfy your sweet tooth.