Welcome back to my blog!
I’m excited to bring you this Maui Travel Guide! Here you’ll find our favorite restaurants, cafés, shops & things to do in Kihei! We loved Kihei, it wasn’t crowded, it was more quiet, had nice neighborhoods, didn’t have crazy busy streets where we were & felt like home. Everyone is so kind & chill in Hawaii. We didn’t see many young couples like ourselves, mainly families & elderly couples so I guess that’s why it seemed more quiet than Oahu 😉
We stayed at Mana Kai while in Kihei, you can read about our experience & a detailed resort review right here!
We loved that resort so much & can’t wait to visit it again.
Now, I’m going to take you through what we did, where we ate etc!
While there was a nice restaurant at our resort, we did a lot of eating at local places, I actually didn’t realize how many places we went to until I really thought about it & looked at photos! We chose local most of the time simply because it’s cheaper & you really get a taste of Hawaiian dishes. There’s no place like a Red Lobster or Olive Garden, but there is a Pizza Hut! But Brian said no because we can get that back home.. darn it.
Nalu Health Bar
Voted to have the best açaí bowls on the island! This health bar was amazing! Nalu is located off of S Kihei Rd, about 10 minutes from our resort. It’s near 2 other restaurants I’m going to talk about next & serves fresh pressed juices, açaí bowls, smoothies & smoothie bowls, wraps, salads etc! I def agree with this being the best açaí bowl! Best part was that this big bowl was only $5.75!
Mine was topped with berries, banana, shredded coconut, bee pollen, honey & granola!
I loved this place! We went here a few times for fresh pressed juice by Real & Raw Maui. The juice pictured contained: Grapefruit, Apple, Ginger, Tumeric & Lime. It gave me a little energy boost after drinking it! This is located in a strip mall of S Kihei Rd about 10 minutes from Mana Kai. They have coffee, smoothies, sandwiches, bagels, desserts, protein smoothies, etc! People would come in for a fresh juice, go to the gym next door & then come back after for a fresh protein smoothie! I was honestly so jealous of their morning haha. The coffee in Hawaii is also amazing, since it’s locally grown, it tastes even more smooth & fresh compared to anything you get on the mainland. Ever since our first trip to Hawaii together 1.5 years ago, I’ve become a coffee snob & hate using anything other than 100% Kona Coffee! The bag pictured was actually $52 but worth it! They last a while too!
Coconut’s Fish Café
Located in the strip mall right by Java Café, you have this fish café! They serve only lunch & dinner &… you guessed it. Fish! As an appetizer, we got this yummy fresh poké & as a meal, I remember getting Grilled Mahi Mahi with baked French fries! It was such a good place, our total for both of our lunches & appetizer was only around $35, which is pretty cheap considering we both got fish & poké!
Sarentos On The Beach
One of my favorite restaurants we ate at! This restaurant is right on the beach (obvi right?) & a 2 minute walk from our resort, Mana Kai! They serve Brunch-Dinner, but we only came once because it’s pretty pricey! The entire restaurant is open so you have an amazing view of the sunset & the ocean. We could actually see whales in the distance! The food was perfection & the service was amazing as well! The waiters purposefully gave us “the best seat in the house” but I think it’s because we’re often mistaken as newlyweds 😉 Not yet guys!
This restaurant was pretty dang expensive, I got the fresh catch & Brian got the steak, but it’s not often you get to eat dinner with wine & a Maui sunset in front of you right?
10/10 would recommend this place!
South Shore Tiki Lounge
Also located off S Kihei Rd 10 minutes from our resort, This place is known to have the best local pizza on Maui! We tried to go here a couple of times but it was always PACKED, so one day we went at 11AM to beat the rush! Which worked out because it was 3PM back home & you know we were so hungry! Brian was smart & ordered the Hawaiian pizza & I was boring & chose pepperoni BUT I was mad at myself for not getting pineapple on it! Nothing better than locally sourced pineapple! We did enjoy the pizza! They’re all in between a personal size & a small so it’s definitely something you can eat by yourself in one sitting!
Three’s Bar & Grill
This place right down from South Shore Tiki Lounge & is known to be the best catering in Maui! They serve breakfast through dinner! We came here for breakfast one day & were excited to get the POG juice (pineapple, orange, guava)! it’s something we wish we could just walk into our grocery store & buy! This menu was really really good! I had trouble deciding between the Tropical French Toast & Berry pancakes with Mango & Lilikoi syrup. Brian encouraged me to step away from the french toast because I had already gotten it a few times haha. I went with the berry pancakes & they were just as yummy! Brian got the Loco Moco again! His favorite!
Again, right off S Kihei Rd, we came to Da Kitchen for Dinner. I’m going to be open & honest. This restaurant didn’t impress me. Sorry Da Kitchen! I remember getting the shrimp stir fry & my shrimp was greasy & very obviously fried. I’m not the biggest fan of fried foods & they didn’t have much that wasn’t fried! Although, the portions were good & it was affordable. I was, however, very impressed by this yummy signature drink! I still have this same flower they put in my drink too 🙂
Photo courtesy of Monkey Pod Kitchen
This was one of my favorite restaurants as well! It is located off of Weilea Gateway Place, a 5 minute drive from Mana Kai, near multiple shops & restaurants. This was a popular restaurant that we had to make reservations for. Even though we made reservations, we still had to wait 45 minutes to be seated! So we actually walked around to some shops which was nice. I really really enjoyed this one. The drinks, the service & the menu, everything was was AMAZING. I ordered the macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi with pineapple relish & brown rice & loved it! Decently pricey, I think my entreé was $40!
Once again, 10 minutes & off S Kihei Rd, is Maui Pie! This is a small place that makes.. you guessed it.. PIE! They had amazing tropical flavors like Cherry Mango, Mango Strawberry, Northshore Berry & what we got was a “Special of the Day” Pie: Mango & Lilikoi! It was AMAZING. It was $20 but WORTH IT. You can buy some for $10 too 🙂 You can tell it’s fresh made with the healthiest ingredients! After dinner one night, we picked this up & had it in our room before bed! We couldn’t finish all of it so we’re lucky we had a mini fridge in our room 😉
Things To Do in Kihei
Located on S Kihei Rd where we ate most of the time is Azeka Shopping Center. This is the strip mall where Coconuts Fish Café is located! There are shops like Snorkel Bob’s where you can grab your own snorkel gear (which I highly recommend doing! The snorkeling in Maui is amazing), B&B Scuba, Island Art Party (which is a place where you paint & sip wine!), A flower shop, Powerhouse gym, a quilt shop, a tattoo shop & more!
While we were waiting to eat at Monkeypod Kitchen, we walked around to the shops right next to the restaurant located in Wailea Gateway Shopping Center. We went to a chocolate store called, Sweet Paradise Chocolatier, we stopped in here to get some chocolate to take home for dessert. I got the Turtle Box which is a box of chocolate turtles! I just found out that I can have it shipped to my apartment, which you can too by clicking the link if you want to try. They’re so good & so cute too 🙂 They also cookies, truffles, tropical chocolates, etc! Also located in this strip mall are boutiques, other restaurants, a spa, etc!
Pacific Whale Foundation
We drove 20 minutes out from our resort to the Pacific Whale Foundation where we were able to schedule a whale watching tour! Because it’s birthing season in the spring time, we were guaranteed to see them! We took a large boat out around 10AM into the reserve with multiple people & saw tons of whales. We saw a calf breeching with her Mom & I was so happy I cried. Whales are my fav animal if you didn’t know 😉 You can also book sunset cruises, snorkeling tours to see fish, dolphins & sea turtles (not snorkeling with the whales as that is illegal in Hawaii), sunrise whale watching tours as they are most active in the morning! At the Pacific Whale Foundation, you can grab some snacks, souvenirs, donate to help save the whales, shop for photos etc. I 100% would recommend visiting here while in Kihei! Every employee has a degree in Animal Science or something similar so they are very knowledgable on the Humpback whale habits & always knows where they migrate to & when they come back to the islands etc.
While there are tons more things to do, we spent a majority of our time on the beach at our resort. We were able to rent paddle boards, kayaks, surf boards & snorkel gear right there. Our paddle boards were $25 each for 1 hour which was amazing! We did a lot of beach walks together on the mile long beach that connects our resort to others & multi-million dollar houses that we loved looking at haha. We were able to snorkel right there, which was SO SO good at Mana Kai. There is a reef right there off shore that had amazing fish & lots of sea turtles we snorkeled with!
We cannot wait to be back in Kihei! We’ll be in Lahaina, Maui next month so get ready for a review of the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa & a Lahaina Travel Guide!
I hope my Travel Guide & Resort view of Mana Kai helps you plan out your next vacation!