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 aficionados.
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 and considered to be epitomized at this beloved establishment. General consensus, however, is that everything on the menu is fantastic.
The truck is easy to recognize given the beautiful murals on either side. They’re open every day from 11 AM to 8 PM. You’ll find the truck parked at 77 Alanui Ke’ali’i Dr.
If you do, in fact, like poke, then you simply 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/or fried) and in many dishes - not just bowls.
Guy Fieri visited this truck and its esteemed owner Danny Kalahiki back in 2016. The fact that this truck stands out so much in a land where poke is everywhere speaks volumes to how above and beyond the food is.
Like Poke is open Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 8 PM, and Saturdays from 10 AM to 3 PM. You’ll find them near the Kahului airport, and just a few paces away from Thai Mee Up, at 591 Haleakala Highway.
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 an extremely popular spot - you can order ahead by phone if you’re in a hurry.
The noodles and curries here seem to get special attention when it comes to reviews. Visitors frequently remark at 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 charitably be described as “free-spirited.” Both its location, and the times during which it will be open for business, are in constant flux. Word on the street (and the truck’s own website) is that you should follow them on Instagram, along with 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. He is an expert in impressive disciplines such as advanced fine dining, which he taught at Maui Community College. He opened Maui Fresh Streatery in 2013 in order 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 many thousands who have eaten here and continue to look for it whenever they can.
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.