When I travel, I have the hardest time finding great places that serve foods that don’t feel overly foreign, but also aren’t chain restaurants. Hawai’i is particularly blessed with a ton of great restaurants and shops, and I want to highlight three of my favorites who are getting it right, and serving up one of my favorite foods: pie! So where are these 3 glorious Maui food stops?
On the west side, you have Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop, located about ten to fifteen minutes past Ma’alaea in one direction and about fifteen minutes from Lahaina in the other, making it a great stop on the way to or from the airport. Of the three pie places that I frequent, Leoda’s has the fullest menu – as in, you don’t actually have to order pie or pastries and can order a full menu (although I certainly recommend that you do).
Leoda’s is doing comfort food right in general – the fries with aoli sauce are to die for, the burgers are exactly what you expect, their selection of local brews is pretty spot-on, and, of course, the pie itself is delish.
My favorite dessert item is the handheld apple pie (it’s essentially a turnover with a crust that is more like bread than croissant). As a bonus, Leoda’s actually serves my favorite cup of hot black coffee on island.
2. Maui Pie
While Leoda’s has a full menu that features pie, Maui Pie in Kihei has my favorite dessert as their singular focus. In other words, that’s their jam.
While I’m an apple pie sort of girl, I’ve sampled enough of their menu to know that if it doesn’t taste good, they don’t make it. The service is quick, friendly, professional, and warm. I was in Kihei far more often than usual over the summer and ended up on a first-name basis with the staff. Their pies run on the very sweet side, but the different fruit mixes are well-balanced; their chocolate products are to die for.
As far as restaurants go, they serve some amazing meat pies, but if you’re in the mood for something else food-wise, I recommend eating at Nalu’s, which is located in the same parking lot, and heading over for dessert.
3. Kamoda’s Bakery
As a Mauian, I would be amiss if I did not mention, a hole in the wall with ovens of gold in Makawao, but be warned: everything on their pastry menu is actually as delicious as it sounds. In other words, prepare to leave with malasadas (another Hawai’i favorite), donuts, danishes, a newspaper from the convenience store, and, of course, your pies.
Another piece of advice: Kamoda’s sells out of all of their baked goods pretty early in the day. Located in Upcountry Makawao, the best way to stop by as a visitor is after a gorgeous Haleakala sunrise.