The Gluttonous Vegan’s Guide to Pa`ia, Maui, Hawai`i
Pa`ia is an old sugar plantation town on Maui’s North Shore, about 8 miles east of Kahului (site of the island’s main airport). It’s now regarded as a haven for windsurfers, artists, guitarists, peace activists, and other free spirits – and tourists looking for a good meal before or after venturing to Hana.
Pa`ia is also a vegan’s delight, offering an array of great food choices. It’s also a real town, – a walkable town – an increasingly rare and wonderful thing in Hawai`i and the rest of America.
Parking is a problem. I recommend not even trying to find parking on the street or in a store parking lot. Rather, I recommend using the free municipal parking lot on Hana Highway at the entrance to the town (coming from Kahului). Or, you could just take the Maui Bus.
Walking from the parking lot toward Baldwin Avenue, the first place I recommend visiting is Anthony’s Coffee. My regular meal at Anthony’s is a combination of brown rice, salsa, and avocado. Simple goodness! And the highly efficient kitchen staff often has it ready for me even before I’ve finished paying.
But, as the name suggests, it’s the coffee that makes Anthony’s famous. I almost always have the ultra-strong organic French roast. It’s pricey ($2+). But refills are offered at a discount. And, if you can handle strong coffee, you’ll want a refill. The soy lattes are terrific too.
Anthony’s amenities including a flat-screen TV and free wi-fi (although there are no electrical outlets). There are a lot of cool little gifts available.
World-class athletes Gabby Reece and Laird Hamilton and their two impossibly cute (and presumably future Olympian) kids are Anthony’s regulars when they’re on the island.
Proceeding down Hana Highway, you can take a right and walk up Baldwin Avenue to Cafe Mambo. This Mediterranean-themed hotspot features free movies on Thursday nights at 9 and a plentiful selection of vegan appetizers, entrees, and side dishes. There’s a wide price range. Combine some of the inexpensive side orders, and you can end up with a full meal that’s much more affordable than some of the entrees.
Friendly service from an international staff, hearty stews, and lots of couscous are among Cafe Mambo’s guarantees.
Cafe Des Amis – Mambo’s sister restaurant – is just a little farther up the avenue. Cafe Des Amis also has a largely Mediterranean orientation, but Indian cuisine is also represented. I recommend the vegetable curry with mango chutney on the side. The coffee is also strong and tasty and will be refilled frequently, without charge. The service can be a little languid, but the wait staff is friendly and doesn’t mind gentle reminders.
There’s a crosswalk between Des Amis and Mambo that you can use to get to the other side of Baldwin Avenue and visit Pa`ia’s unofficial vegan headquarters, Mana Foods. ….(to read the complete post, go to The Gluttonous Vegan Blog. (click here))
Anthony’s is a great place to pick up coffee & sandwiches for the road to Hana.
.-= david´s last blog ..Mauipocolypse 2.0 =-.
Very nice article Liza…thank you for always sharing Maui’s hidden gems! Bless you and family too. Wes
.-= Wes´s last blog ..2Day’s Word – God Makes The Seed Grow =-.
Great post, Liza! Paia is a special place, and Maui definitely is a great place for vegan cuisine. Cheers to David!
.-= Peter Liu´s last blog ..Another Real Estate Social Media Success Story =-.
I’m with you Liza on the Filipino and Vietnamese food – it is sooooo good!
And thanks for the nice article on Vegan dining in Maui – that kind of information isn’t written about often, so this is great!
.-= Sheralyn´s last blog ..Our Maui Sunset Cruise: A Nice Way to End Another Day in Maui =-.
Yes, I read about Anthony’s in Laird’s book-can’t believe I haven’t been there yet and I LOVE COFFEE!
.-= Mom’s Best Bets´s last blog ..Le Creuset Oval Au Gratin CSN Stores Review =-.
Thanks for talking about Paia!
Next time you would like to come to Paia and maybe try out one of our yoga classed, please let me know in advance. I will offer a free class at PaiaYoga!
Please check our class schedule on: http://www.paiayoga.com
Alex (the other blogger) 🙂
Wow! Just discovered A Maui Blog. I am so glad you wrote about Paia. I am from Maui and have been a resident of Paia and Kuau for over ten years. I love how this tiny town has gone from rough and tumble to bright and spritely! All the cafes you mentioned are wonderful. Anyone coming to Paia is bound to have a wonderful time!