Feeling peckish but watching your wallet while you’re on Maui? Wailea’s posh resort district isn’t known for budget-friendly — well, anything. But that doesn’t mean you’re relegated to spending your monthly grocery budget on a single meal in Wailea, either.
These are our five favorite places for nosh when we’re craving a casual meal in South Maui. Most of the places on our list work best as takeaway, although all have seated areas if you’re eager to tuck into your meal on the spot. Your choice.
Chef Peter Merriman’s Monkeypod Kitchen exudes a casual, vibrant vibe with its wall of blue glass baubles and requisite island surfboard decor. Since the resort restaurants dominate the food scene in this part of Maui, Monkeypod remains one of the few alternative sit-down restaurants in Wailea.
You can choose to dine either indoors or out on the patio. Inside you’ll get a fun party vibe. And while the outdoor patio feels more low-key, noise from the adjacent street traffic means moderate noise levels. Not the place for cozy, quiet conversation. But the food and service is fantastic.
What they serve: Casual island-inspired dishes such as kalua pork pineapple pizza ($20.95) and coconut corn chowder ($11.95).
While most dishes land in the budget-stretching mid to upper $20 range, happy hour cuts appetizer prices in half. And happy hour pizzas will set you back just $12.
Don’t miss: Monkeypod’s Mai Tai ($16) is a renowned refresher on the island. We’re also partial to the sweet and spicy delight of their bulgogi pork tacos ($19.95).
Location: 10 Wailea Gateway Place
Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Happy hour from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Island Gourmet Kitchen
Island Gourmet Market is part grocery store, part souvenir and tourist essentials shop (Forgot to pack reef-safe sunscreen? Island Gourmet’s got you covered). And at the back, past aisles of chocolate macadamia nuts and insulated tote bags, is a hungry person’s escape from fancy resort fare — Island Gourmet Kitchen.
What they serve: Hearty plate lunches and sides for takeaway. Think spam musubi ($2 each) and loco moco ($8.25) alongside classic omelette and turkey sub sandwich offerings. They offer both grab-and-go and made-to-order meals.
Don’t miss: Try the buttermilk ube pancakes ($9.99) or garlic butter shrimp ($11.99). The corned beef and hash ($9.25) may be a little greasy but (paired with steamed rice) ultimately makes for a satisfying post-hike breakfast.
Location: The Shops at Wailea, 3750 Wailea Alanui Drive
Hours: Deli open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
A staple for Maui’s caffeine connoisseurs, Akamai Coffee is so much more than Instagram-worthy latte art. We salute their commitment to the coffee bean — locally grown and roasted — along with their next-level breakfast and brunch fare. Akamai is no Starbucks. This Maui roaster is way out of their league.
What they serve: Light, yet satisfying breakfast meals, salads, and sandwiches. Akamai’s brunch menu includes millennial staple avocado toast ($14) and sweet tooth satisfier Belgian waffles ($15.50 with berry compote and cream).
Don’t miss: The coffee, obviously. Food-wise, you won’t go astray with their lox and cream ($14), which arrives on a bed of fresh greens and sprinkled with capers.
Location: Wailea Village, 116 Wailea Ike Drive
Hours: Akamai’s kitchen is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The Market Maui
Cheese and wine lovers rejoice. The Market curates a select assortment of charcuterie board elements in this small, yet substantial foodie haven. It retains a casual and welcoming corner shop feel, with a refrigerated section of fresh produce and chilled drinks. Cheese wheels, crackers, and other picnic essentials line the shelves.
If you’re hankering for a Wailea-worthy beach picnic, The Market Maui should be your first stop.
Order a sandwich, select a bottle of wine, and gather an assortment of appetizers to top off your meal. Or keep it simple with a wrap and a bag of chips. You can bag your items to go or dine at one of the outdoor bistro tables.
What they serve: Hearty, fresh sub-style sandwiches, wraps, and salads. Their tongue-in-cheek menu includes a “Green Eggs and Kale Panini” ($15) and “You Can Count Banh Mi” ($15) sandwich with pork belly, ham, and Sriracha aioli.
Don’t miss: The “Ha’ole Hoagie” ($15) — The Market’s turkey and provolone sandwich on sourdough — can feed two, or you can wrap up half to save for later.
Location: 10 Wailea Gateway Center
Hours: Daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
As far as resort food goes, the Whale’s Tail is positively thrifty. In the scheme of budget-friendly spots, it’s not the cheapest food you’ll find, but you’ll certainly enjoy the view. Perched along the Wailea Beach Path at the Marriott Resort, making it ideal for a grab-and-go treat while walking the coastal trail.
Sip a virgin pina colada smoothie ($11) or devour a bbq pork flatbread ($16) while scoping the horizon from the Whale’s Tail’s perfect ocean vantage point. Who knows — the humpback whales or spinner dolphins that frequent the area could be putting on a show.
What they serve: Breakfast and lunch bites, from smoothies and fresh-pressed juices to sandwiches and wraps.
Don’t miss: Try the farm fresh breakfast panini ($14) of smoked bacon, egg, tomato, fresh spinach, and provolone.
Location: Along the Wailea Beach Path at the Marriott Resort, 3700 Wailea Alanui Drive
Hours: Daily from 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Breakfast until 12:00 p.m. Lunch after 12:00 p.m.