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Dining on Maui: Local Favorites

Mom and pop establishments on Maui are frequently in danger of shutting their doors as the younger generations take less of an interest in carrying on the family business. These are a few of my favorites that have been around forever. I’m hoping they’ll remain so that I can bring my children someday…

Tasaka Guri Guri – “2 scoops strawberry, no beans” is the standard order at this little sherbert takeout shop in Maui Mall, and will only set you back a little over a buck! You can also try the pineapple, or get either flavor with Azuki beans, but why mess with a standard? Enjoy your Guri Guri (pronounced “goodie goodie”) while you ogle the cute puppies in the pet store window next door. Maui Mall, 70 E. Kaahumanu Ave, Kahului, HI 96732 (808) 871-4513.

Tokyo Tei – Opened in 1934 by the Kitagawa family and a local favorite ever since, this was “the place” for my family to celebrate special birthdays, graduations, any special occasion growing up. Teishoku (individual bento boxes) are available but we like to order family style. Must try’s include the teriyaki steak, fresh ahi sashimi, and the crispiest shrimp and vegetable tempura you’ve ever tasted! Homestyle “local” Japanese fare at it’s best. 1063 Lower Main Street, Wailuku, HI 96793-6004 (808) 242-9630.

Fukushima Store -Whenever we’re making our way out to Hana, we’ll stop at Fukushima’s for their hot dogs and chow fun. I don’t know what makes them so delicious, but they are cheap, filling, and definitely pass as “comfort food” for locals in upcountry. 815 Haiku Road, Haiku, HI 96708 (808) 575-2762.

Sam Sato’s – Famous for their “dry mein” noodles and local “plate lunch” specials that rotate daily. They are only open til 2pm and the lunchtime rush brings quite a crowd, so be prepared for a bit of a wait. Also popular are the manju and turnovers, and you’ll notice lots of locals picking up a dozen or two on their way to the airport to visit off-island relatives. 1750 Wili Pa Loop, Wailuku, HI 96793 (808) 244-7124.

Komoda Bakery – Right in the charming paniolo (cowboy) town of Makawao, stop at this tiny family-run bakery for their cream puffs, butter rolls, and stick donuts when you’ve got a sweet craving. We also grew up ordering their delicious pies, my favorite is apricot peach. 3674 Baldwin Avenue, Makawao, HI 96768 (808) 572-7261.

>> Got a favorite Maui hole-in-the-wall restaurant? Let us know in the comments below!