There are several great reasons to visit a food truck, or several, during your stay in Maui.
It can save you considerable money on an island where restaurants tend to be exceptionally pricey. It also exposes you to the outdoors and the local culture on the island in ways that other food venues perhaps could not.
However, the best reason is arguable because, quite simply, they are where some of the best food on the whole island is.
Food trucks are all over Maui. What follows is our introductory guide to the best of the best.
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More often than not, this seems to be the favorite among seasoned Maui food truck fans.
Kina’ole Grill is located in Kihei and serves classic Hawaiian plates right in front of the waves at Kamaole Beach Park I. The most popular item is probably the seared ahi, a quintessentially Hawaiian dish considered to be epitomized at this beloved establishment. The consensus, however, is that everything on the menu is fantastic.
The truck is easily recognizable, given the beautiful murals on either side. They’re open every day from 11 AM to 8:30 PM, and you’ll find the truck parked at 73 Alanui Ke’ali’i Dr.
If you do, in fact, like poke, then you have to get some while visiting the place where the whole poke craze first started. In Maui, food trucks sell some of the freshest fish you’re ever going to find on Earth - for reasons that are visibly obvious from most vantage points on the island.
Like Poke sits in the same food truck park as Thai Mee Up in Kahului. As the name would lead you to believe, the specialty here is poke, and it comes in many forms (including baked and fried) and in many dishes - not just bowls.
Guy Fieri visited this truck and its esteemed owner Danny Kalahiki in 2016. The fact that this truck stands out so much in a land where poke is everywhere speaks volumes of how above and beyond the food is.
Like Poke is open Mon 10:30-4, Tues-Fri 10:30-6, Sat 10-3, and Open 10-2 every Second Sunday for Shop the Street. You’ll find them near the Kahului airport at 1960 Main St, Wailuku, HI,
Thai Mee Up
Thai Mee Up serves some of the best Thai food in the state, and they are just minutes from the Kahului airport. Having won multiple awards in recent years, including Best Food Truck in Maui in 2018, this is a trendy spot - you can order ahead by phone if you’re in a hurry.
The noodles and curries here seem to get special attention regarding reviews. Visitors frequently remark on how high quality the cooking is, speaking to how surprisingly high-level the food truck game is on Maui as a whole.
Thai Mee Up is open every day from 10 AM to 8 PM. You’ll find them at 591 Haleakala Highway, in the food truck park close to Costco.
Maui Fresh Streatery
Food trucks on Maui often have world-class professional chefs working inside them. A big-time example is Maui Fresh Streatery.
Unlike many, if not most, trucks on the island, this one operates on a schedule that might be described as “free-spirited.” Both its location and the times it will be open for business are in constant flux. Word on the street (and the truck’s website) is that you should follow them on Instagram and almost 20,000 thousand others for updates on when and where you can be a patron.
Don’t let any of this discourage you, however. Owner Kyle Kawakami is an award-winning chef and culinary instructor, an expert in impressive disciplines, such as advanced fine dining, taught at Maui Community College. He opened Maui Fresh Streatery in 2013 to “expose diners to the wide variety of cuisines found throughout the world, as well as educate the students of Maui about the benefits of eating healthy and local.”
Aptly describing itself as Maui’s premier gourmet food truck, the hunt for this slight-more-elusive option is absolutely, unequivocally worth it. Just ask the thousands who have eaten here and continue to look for it whenever possible.
On Maui, food trucks are serious, competitive, and world-class. With access to the best, freshest ingredients and the incentive to innovate, there aren’t many places in the world with higher quality meals on wheels.