Where to Eat- O’ahu

Note, the following restaurants are listed in alphabetical order, not in order of preference. Additionally, as we continue to visit Hawaii and experience more restaurants, we will continue to update this post.

Azure

We didn’t have the best experience at Azure- it was basically overpriced cocktails. But we sat on the roof. But it was a low (like 2nd/ 3rd story) roof and it was also windy…. So the views weren’t really worth the chill. Just trying to be 100% honest 🙂

I have heard great reviews of the restaurant however, and would consider going back. We visited Azure on our first night on O’ahu in 2017.

Cuckoo Coconuts

Okay this place was PERFECT! It was the absolute best kitschy tiki bar that we could ask for! They had live music that was actually GOOD, silly drinks that came in fun glassware, and cheap bar food. Kyle got his first Mai Thai of the trip!

We visited Cuckoo Coconuts on our first night in O’ahu back in 2017 and plan on returning to celebrate Kyle’s birthday this year!

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Nico’s Pier 38

This one is a touch out of the way. But it was the BEST fish that we had in Hawaii, and we had a TON of pretty amazing fish (Kyle said it was 100% the best raw fish, bar none, that he’s ever had in his entire life!).

We went to Nico’s both on our second day on O’ahu and returned on our last day!! So, obviously, we think it’s completely worth going there.

If you’re not into raw fish, they also have a restaurant with cooked foods and fishes :). It’s a cool place and if you sit outside, you can see some docks and piers and stuff. Pretty neat and seems like a mostly-local place.

Cost:Parking: Free. Poke Bowls: (~.5-1.o lb fish) $15. Total: ~ $30.

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Maui Brewing Co.,

Sadly, this was not the actual brewing company, just a restaurant. It’s basically like going to Taco Mac. But it’s also a must-do if you’re in Hawaii. We went both on our first night and back on our last night on O’ahu and got a fun glass-set! Another plus: they have a “mocktail” menu, which I really respect since (1) there’s a lot of driving in Hawaii and (2) it makes this restaurant both pregnancy- and kid-friendly. We are hoping to visit the original brewing in Maui on our trip this year!

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Moku Kitchen

This was a very casual-dining experience in this neat little shopping center that looked like it had been constructed out of shipping crates. It’s by Peter Merriman, who has several other restaurants scattered across the islands, and we’re determined to someday visit all of them! We went with friends to Moku Kitchen on our second night in O’ahu.

It combines traditional Hawaiian, polynesian, and southeastern asian flavors. Get the duck tacos. You won’t regret it! Kyle’s been trying to replicate them ever since!

The Royal Hawaiian. IG.

Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha. IG.

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Where to Eat- Maui

Note that these are presented in alphabetical order, and not in order of preference. When I remembered, I tried to put the town and list any happy hours.

Bistro Molokini.

At the Grand Wailea.

Down the Hatch

While wandering Lahaina, it started pouring rain, we visited Down the Hatch– a super kitschy Tiki / Sports bar. We finally got tiki man glasses!! They boast “the longest happy hour on Maui” running daily from 2-6. $5.50 Hawaiian cocktails (like mai tais and piña coladas) and 15% off appetizers). Can’t wait to go back!

Attached to Down the Hatch is Breakwall Shave Ice Co.- they participate in the Down the Hatch happy hour, and even offer adult shave ice “icy cocktails”. Be sure to check out their sister restaurant (also in Lahaina), Mala Tavern.

Gannon’s Restaurant at the Wailea Golf Club.

Kyle went to Gannon’s with his family as a kid and his dad even played golf there. Someday, maybe we will too. Instead, we went for a heavy happy hour on our third night.

Gannon’s has a happy hour running from 3-8pm daily (*note, happy hour is not offered from December 21 – January 1) $14 “small” plates, $8 side dishes, $10 desserts + $9 signature cocktails, $8 classic cocktails, $7 wine, $5 beer.

We had such a fantastic time sitting at the bar, the bartender got a kick out of how much I loved discovering lilikoi that he gave me a fresh passionfruit from below the counter that one of his coworkers grew in her back yard! Everyone on the entire island of Maui was just so incredibly nice, I couldn’t get over it.

Volcano Fries from Gannon’s were AMAZING!!! They were the perfect food to end our happy hour tour on. The furikake added a lot of flavor 🤗

HuliHuli Chicken + Ribs

  • An AMAZING stand on the side of the road, you can walk your tray over to the beach and sit in the sand to eat. We loved eating here on our second afternoon.
  • Another one to keep an eye on the days that it’s open!! Check before you plan 🙂

Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (aka Humuhumu)

At The Grand Wailea

We got a seat with a view of the sunset and had one of the few truly fantastic service experiences that we’ve ever had. It was tapas style, (or at least that’s what we focussed on).

I think our waiter’s name was Justin. And we could not sing his praises enough. He even timed our small plates so that they came out in the order that optimized our experience. (e.g. even though everyone around us had already gotten bread, he brought out our crudo small plate first because you should have crudo before). He guided us with a kind but firm hand through the menu and it was a very pleasant experience actually!4 cocktails, 2 crudo, seeevvverrrallll other dishes, dessert. $171.67.

It was our first dinner on Maui, and we’re honestly scared to go back because we don’t want to not have the same impeccable service! Justin- if you ever read this, please know that you made our dinner experience truly magical.

Kyle’s Review:

  • Overall- 4 Stars
  • Food- 5 Stars; Service- 5 Stars; Ambiance- 4 Stars
  • “A little empty since we were there at the beginning of the slow season, but the great food made up for that. What really put our experience over the top was the outstanding service we received from our waiter, Justin. He was perfectly attentive without being overbearing, which is a hard balance to strike. He gave great advice after taking the time to get to know our taste, and paced our meal perfectly even though we chose to order a bunch of small plates and one entree instead of a more traditional coursing. I’d come back just to experience his service again.”

Jawz Fish Tacos

There was this fish taco truck — Jawz Fish Tacos just parked in the lot at Makena Beach. At first, it was weird because they put cheese on a fish taco, which I’d never had before, but it tasted really good because the red snapper that they used was fresh caught! It was a fantastic snack during our first day on Maui.

Kula Lodge & Restaurant.

While biking down from the top of Haleakala Mountain, we stopped at Kula Lodge & Restaurant– a little mountain side restaurant. We went from feeling like we were on a tropical vacation to a ski holiday. It amazes me how mountains are mountains and the types of restaurants that crop up on them are so similar no matter where in the world you are. We got a hearty brunch and enjoyed the views.

View from our table at Kula Lodge

Lahaina Ice Cream Parlor

I know Dole Whip is a Hawaiian dessert, but to me, it will always taste like Disney World, we both LOVED snacking on this classic treat. You must stop by and grab one on your way through or day in Lahaina.

Mama’s Fish House.

Merriman’s Kapalua

The food at Merrian’s was out of this world! We looked up when the sun would set, and scheduled our reservation for about 30 minutes afterwards. We sat on the patio by a fire pit, got a few pupus and a round of Mai Tais and watched as the sun went down.

Apart from stellar views, the food was out of this world. I wish that I could remember exactly what we ate, but don’t worry, we’re going back in early October and I will write a proper review then! Until then, check out some more sunset photos from when we visited in 2017.

Paia Bay Coffee

This place was cute because it had a gorgeous mural across the street and all of the seating looked like it was in the middle of a jungle– it was a fabulous way to kick off our romantic getaway to Maui.

Cheap, fairly basic coffee. The most froo-froo coffee drink would probably be a latte or cappuccino. We also got a nutella/cream/strawberry stuffed fresh croissant, and it was delectable!

The croissant was so yummy! IG.

Paia Fish Market

We went back to Paia for lunch! This place had some super yummy fresh fish options (good grilled fishes too!). Excellent fish and chips and excellent Definitely cheaper at lunch than at dinner, also from what we’ve heard, people didn’t have as good of experiences at dinner as we did at lunch. We loved wandering Paia on our first day in Maui.

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South Maui Fish Co.

Back before I learned how to take good food pictures or how to edit the photos, we went to this incredibly delicious food truck. I could have eaten this fish every damn day! Be sure to check out the website before you go, they’re only open a few days a week because the proprietor goes out and catches the fish one day and serves it the next! We absolutely loved going here for lunch on our second day on Maui.

Tommy Bahama – Wailea

Tommy Bahama is one of our favorites stores- in case it wasn’t obvious from our outfits- and we love visiting the restaurant in The Woodlands, so we were super excited to go in Wailea! The Happy Hour runs in the bar daily from 2-5 pm $10 small plates $10 martinis & $8 cocktails.

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Marvelous Maui: Speeding Down Haleakala Mountain and Wailea Happy Hours

For our Complete Hawaii 2017 Itinerary- visiting O’ahu & Maui-Click Here.

Sunrise Over Haleakala Mountain

Funtivity. Maui Sunriders Bike Tours.

We woke up around 2:30 a to get to the Maui Sunriders location extra early. From there, we got sized for bikes, rain pants, and helmets. Check out Maui Sunriders’ instagram here. It was absolutely stunning to watch the sunrise over the mountain, into the crater below, and then to bike down the mountain. I absolutely love going fast, it was an incredible adrenaline rush!! It was about 40*F for the first hour+ that we were up there watching the sun come up, very chilly for our tropical vacation– but by the bottom of the mountain, we had stripped to shorts (leggings) and tanks.

What to Wear: Haleakala Mountain

  • Clothing: leggings (or shorts with leggings), tank top, sweatshirt/ athletic jacket, windbreaker, scarf, gloves, sunglasses, sneakers
  • GoPro, helmet mount
  • Backpack – you’ll want it to put the extra layers of clothes as you strip

Brunch on the way down…

While biking down from the top of Haleakala Mountain, we stopped at Kula Lodge & Restaurant– a little mountain side restaurant. We went from feeling like we were on a tropical vacation to a ski holiday. It amazes me how mountains are mountains and the types of restaurants that crop up on them are so similar no matter where in the world you are. We got a hearty brunch and enjoyed the views.

Wandered Paia

We just spent a little more time wandering the adorable town of Paia- I definitely recommend spending some time there.

Lunch. HuliHuli Chicken + Ribs

  • An AMAZING stand on the side of the road, you can walk your tray over to the beach and sit in the sand to eat.
  • Another one to keep an eye on the days that it’s open!! Check before you plan 🙂

Resort Pool

We used to have the GoPro4 and the photo quality was decent, but the new one is even better. Thankfully we’ve also improved our photography skills! As much as I want to share with you the pictures from the pool, they don’t do it justice. We’ll include a full Grand Wailea Review in our posts from our 2019 vacay.

Happy Hour at Tommy Bahama – Wailea

Tommy Bahama is one of our favorites stores- in case it wasn’t obvious from our outfits- and we love visiting the restaurant in The Woodlands, so we were super excited to go in Wailea! The Happy Hour runs in the bar daily from 2-5 pm $10 small plates $10 martinis & $8 cocktails.

Sunset Cocktails

We all know how expensive hotel drinks can be- since we were fresh out of school and new to the work place, our budget was very set. Instead of buying $15 mojitos every day from the pool bar, (we only split a mojito twice!) we opted to swing by a few ABC convenience stores and get local liquors to mix with the fantastic fruits that we were buying from fruit stands every day! Our favorite was to make up a cocktail and enjoy the stunning sunset views from our balcony.

*Note: we were able to go pretty crazy for being on a budget, but only because we really thought through each each and every purchase, and were fortunate enough to have friends who lived in Honolulu and we could spend half of our vacation with them.

Happy Hour/ Dinner. Gannon’s Restaurant at the Wailea Golf Club.

Kyle went to Gannon’s with his family as a kid and his dad even played golf there. Someday, maybe we will too. Instead, we went f

Gannon’s has a happy hour running from 3-8pm daily (*note, happy hour is not offered from December 21 – January 1) $14 “small” plates, $8 side dishes, $10 desserts + $9 signature cocktails, $8 classic cocktails, $7 wine, $5 beer.

We had such a fantastic time sitting at the bar, the bartender got a kick out of how much I loved discovering lilikoi that he gave me a fresh passionfruit from below the counter that one of his coworkers grew in her back yard! Everyone on the entire island of Maui was just so incredibly nice, I couldn’t get over it.

Volcano Fries from Gannon’s were AMAZING!!! They were the perfect food to end our happy hour tour on. The furikake added a lot of flavor 🤗

Insanely early bed time….

Continue reading “Marvelous Maui: Speeding Down Haleakala Mountain and Wailea Happy Hours”

Marvelous Maui: Date Night with the Best Sunset

For our Complete Hawaii 2017 Itinerary- visiting O’ahu & Maui-Click Here.

Snorkeling

We started our morning off snorkeling- while we have some of our own decent gear, we didn’t have the room in our main suitcase for it, so our friends were kind enough to lend us their goggles, snorkel, and mask!

We just went to the beach off of a condo complex in Wailea, right by our hotel. We got there nice and early, hoping to see more fishes. We think that maybe because of the time of year, the reefs weren’t as vibrant. We’re going back this year (2019) and plan on doing a SCUBA excursion!

Makena Beach

After getting up so early for the snorkeling adventure, we were pretty exhausted and just wanted to relax for a bit, so we went back to Makena for a beach nap and some tacos.

There was this fish taco truck — Jawz Fish Tacos just parked in the lot at Makena Beach. At first, it was weird because they put cheese on a fish taco, which I’d never had before, but it tasted really good because the red snapper that they used was fresh caught!

DIY Cocktails

We all know how expensive hotel drinks can be- since we were fresh out of school and new to the work place, our budget was very set. Instead of buying $15 mojitos every day from the pool bar, (we only split a mojito twice!) we opted to swing by a few ABC convenience stores and get local liquors to mix with the fantastic fruits that we were buying from fruit stands every day!

*Note: we were able to go pretty crazy for being on a budget, but only because we really thought through each each and every purchase, and were fortunate enough to have friends who lived in Honolulu and we could spend half of our vacation with them.

Lunch. South Maui Fish Co.

Back before I learned how to take good food pictures or how to edit the photos, we went to this incredibly delicious food truck. I could have eaten this fish every damn day! Be sure to check out the website before you go, they’re only open a few days a week because the proprietor goes out and catches the fish one day and serves it the next!

Driving Up the Coast

It was about a 1.5 hour drive from the hotel in Wailea to our restaurant in Kapalua, along the way, we decided to stop and wander a few of the towns!

Lahaina

We started out in Lahaina, snacked on a Dole Whip, and wandered the town, looking at all of the art and jewelry shop, and when it started pouring rain, we visited Down the Hatch– a super kitschy Tiki / Sports bar. We finally got tiki man glasses!!

Next, we buzzed through Whaler’s Village- the shopping center at Ka’anapali in Lahaina. But we left there super quickly so that we could watch the sun set over the lookout at Merriman’s Kapalua.

*Note: if you go to Lahaina with your family, they have a cute movie theater with free movies on Tuesdays- perfect for a stormy afternoon.

Dinner. Merriman’s Kapalua.

The food at Merrian’s was out of this world! We looked up when the sun would set, and scheduled our reservation for about 30 minutes afterwards. We sat on the patio by a fire pit, got a few pupus and a round of Mai Tais and watched as the sun went down.

Apart from stellar views, the food was out of this world. I wish that I could remember exactly what we ate, but don’t worry, we’re going back in early October and I will write a proper review then!

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Restaurant Review: The Boathouse

While strolling through Disney Springs on a Sunday morning in April, doing some last-minute shopping before hitting the road, I realized that I wanted a truly memorable lunch. The weather was gorgeous, and I was in the mood for some seafood. Sadly all of the restaurants serving sushi were closed, but that ended up being a wonderful accident because it meant that I got to eat at The Boathouse!

Of course, I was drawn in by the nautical themed shop which, at least at one point, was a Tommy Bahama retailer. They have the most wonderful beach-themed accessories and goodies. Definitely a must-shop, even if there’s nothing with a special mouse embroidered in sight.

Upon entering The Boathouse, I was greeted by a charming 1940s style Oyster Bar, which perfectly fit the theme of the restaurant. While it did make me crave oysters, I was much more tempted by what I saw past the bar…

They have a Dockside Bar! I walked across a dock to this adorable extension of The Boathouse and grabbed a lake-side table.

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I started with a margarita…. I was ready to not have anything else to drink after the Flower & Garden Festival on Saturday,

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Oysters! I love oysters. A perfect portion size for one.

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The scallops on grits was INCREDIBLE! I wanted to eat every single bite, but I was so stuffed, I couldn’t finish it. The corn flavors played nicely and the scallops were perfectly seared and seasoned so the outsides were packed with flavor and the insides soft and succulent.

Where’s your favorite place to eat at Disney Springs? Tell me below in the comments!

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Check out this view from my lake-side seat at The Dockside Bar
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Have you ridden in one of these floating cars? I haven’t yet, but it’s definitely on my someday list!
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