If you're looking for the best healthy eats on your next Hawaiian getaway, check out these fresh island spots.
Maui's Best Healthy Eats
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Eating in a Maui restaurant means you'll often find one of two extremes. The first are items that are "ono" (tasty), but make you move as slowly as the sea turtles on Ho'okipa Beach: processed Spam, macaroni salad, carb-heavy poi made from taro, and loco moco—basically beef patties over white rice, covered in gravy. On the flip side, you can also find tons of fresh and healthy options on the island, like locally grown pineapple and papaya, or poke made from the absolute freshest fish. (Most people know Hawaii has great seafood, Maui onions, macadamia nuts, and pineapples, but Hawaii is actually home to 10 of the world's 14 growing climates. So even these small islands in the middle of the Pacific can grow fruits and veggies that don't seem "tropical" all year—hence kale salads on menus across Maui!)
Sure, it's fun to indulge on vacation. But chances are you also want foods that will give you a hit of energy without weighing you down, so you can get back on your surfboard or to that jungle hike. Whether it's a formal dinner or a quick snack, here are the best healthy restaurants on Maui where you can grab a delicious *and* healthy bite.
Photo: Brekkie Bowls
Mama's Fish House
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Fresh fish is the norm on Maui, but Mama's Fish House takes it a step further by promising that all of their fish is served within 24 hours of being caught. And talk about open sourcing: On the menu, they also call out exactly where the catches of the day originated, including big-ocean fish like mahi-mahi, tropical ono, and ahi; deep reef fish opakapaka, onaga, lehi, and uku, caught at 2,000 feet; and papio from nearby lagoons. It's hard to get a table at Mama's, so make a reservation in advance at this spot, often voted one of the best restaurants on Maui.
Photo: Mama's Fish House
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When you don't want to be weighed down all day by a breakfast of Maui's famous tasty-but-heavy macadamia nut pancakes, try Brekkie Bowls. This adorable, wood-façade food truck serves vegan, locally sourced açaí and pitaya breakfast bowls, with add-on options like chia seeds, cacao nibs, and bee pollen. The fresh tropical fruit, including pineapples and kiwis, are cut to order and taste super vibrant.
Photo: Brekkie Bowls
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
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The upscale Four Seasons Resort Maui is home to outstanding restaurants (Ferraro's and Duo) that follow a new Wellness Your Way spa cuisine program, offering nearly two dozen vegan and gluten-free dishes created by the staff dietitian. Some are elevated versions of items you've seen before, like kale salad, green juice, or chia pudding. Others are truly unique standouts that feel like fine dining but don't leave you weighed down, like a raw beet ravioli made with faux-ricotta from local macadamia nuts, crunchy quinoa, and marinated papaya, as well as a refreshing spin on "zoodles" using cucumber strips and served with cherry tomatoes and coconut flakes. They've even got cocktails covered—the Pure Life Wellness Martini is made with açaí vodka, lychee, and coconut water.
Photo: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
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We know this sounds crazy, but any local will tell you that the best poke—a cold salad made from sliced raw fish—can be found at Foodland, voted Hawaii's best poke for eight years running. If fresh fish at a grocery store chain seems whack, just pop into one, and you'll find rows of poke made from spicy ahi, tako (octopus), shellfish, or squid. Each store offers the standard and a few fun varieties. It's high in protein and omegas, and you can get your poke to go and eat it on the beach.
Photo: Foodlandhi Instagram
Surfing Goat Dairy
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This certified-humane 42-acre farm is home to nearly 100 Alpine and Saanen goats, whose milk is turned into award-winning cheese daily. Happy, free-grazing goats make for the creamiest goat cheese around, processed immediately on site, without that overripe or too-tangy taste that can overwhelm some people's palates. Be sure to take a tour of the Surfing Goat Dairy farm and feed the goats, then sit outdoors at the café (decorated with surfboards, of course) and try a salad, sandwich, or sampler of a dozen varieties of the goat cheese made just feet away, ranging from plain ("Udderly Delicious") to savory (mixed with sundried tomatoes or wasabi) to sweet versions (flavored by local mango or lilikoi, aka yellow passion fruit). The farm even turns the goat milk into ice creams and sorbets that are insanely rich and creamy, but easier to digest, lower in fat, and higher in protein and vitamins than cow's milk versions.
Photo: Surfing Goat Dairy
Breakwall Shave Ice Co.
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Shaved ice is the dessert or cool-off snack of choice all over Hawaii, but it's often covered in syrups made from Rainbow Brite artificial colors and flavors. Breakwall Shave Ice Co. in Lahaina is different—although they do offer neon-pink Bubblegum flavor and boozy alcohol-infused shave ice options, they also have a list of natural syrup options that range from sweet to savory, including Lilikoi (local passion fruit), Mojito Mint, and Pickle Juice. Instead of the traditional "snow cap" topping of condensed milk, you can also top yours with super-flavorful but fat-free Li Hing powder, made from salted dried plums.
Photo: Breakwall Shave Ice Co.
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Newly opened in April 2017, Mauka Makai is an open-air restaurant that celebrates the farming and fishing culture of ancient Hawaii. Don't miss their Farm Fresh Harvest Board, a shareable charcuterie slate with local fruits and vegetables, spiced up from being regular old crudités by a scoop of Surfing Goat Dairy cheese (see above) along with a blueberry jam and tangy local fruit that's similar to gooseberries, all grown within 20 miles of the restaurant. Their smoked tako (octopus) salad is also a protein-packed standout.
Photo: Mauka Makai