Grab ‘n Go

These 5 Maui markets make it easy and delicious to take a great meal on the road.


Story by Becky Speere

Aina Gourmet


Fuel up for a day of Whalers Village power shopping by stopping first at this hidden jewel on north Ka‘anapali Beach. ‘Aina Gourmet’s barista bar serves 100 percent Maui-grown coffee; and smoothies made with island fruits like pineapple, strawberries or papaya, and a Hawaiian spirulina booster. Want something more substantial? Try a made-to-order applewood-smoked BLT with ripe avocado on a Lahaina Bakery roll. My favorite sandwich is the Launiupoko Happy Hen Farm egg salad with a yummy mash-up of Maui onion, celery, pickles and mayo on toasted, seeded wholewheat bread. Just-picked organic produce comes from upcountry O‘o Farms. As I ate my rosemary-herb roasted-beet salad, flavored with extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar and feta cheese, I knew I had to take a few beets home to replicate the sweetly herbaceous dish. I also indulged on that hot afternoon in a creamy iced latte made by Drew the barista, and it got me buzzing through the rest of the day. I paired it with a Baked by Amy cupcake — a triple-chocolate threat with Hawaiian sea salt — so moist and purr-fect, I wouldn’t have guessed that it’s gluten free. And how’s this for an elegant dinner to go: organic chicken napped in marinara sauce with freshly made pasta and aged Parmesan cheese, paired with one of ‘Aina Gourmet’s many organic wines or the Valley Isle cherry-hibiscus-flavored kombucha. Watching the sun sink into the sea while dining on takeout has never been so delicious.

Honua Kai
130 Kai Malina Parkway, Ka‘anapali
808-662-2832 |

Mana Foods


The Hawaiian word mana translates as spiritual energy, and encompasses the belief that a healing power can exist in anyone and anything. Since 1983, Mana Foods in Pa‘ia has become the one-stop shop for health-conscious residents and visitors alike. The grab-and-go section gets better with every passing phase of the moon and store renovation. The baked tofu, rolled in brewer’s yeast and secret spices, sates my comfort-food desires. Another mainstay is the vegan Vietnamese summer rolls, tightly packed with avo, tofu, carrots, fresh mint, and a side of the sweet-and-sour, lime-based sauce nuoc cham, which will ready you for your north-shore Twin Falls adventure. Mana began as a health-food store sans meat, but today’s deli carries a variety of carnivore-pleasing selections, such as herb-crusted, wild-caught salmon; barbecued organic chicken, and cured organic deli meats. Mana also has a great bakery; you know you’re special if you find the vegan chocolate-raspberry bombe cake at your birthday celebration.

49 Baldwin Ave., Pa‘ia
808-579-8078 |

Market by Capische


I was on a dinner date with my husband at Capische? — 2014 Gold ‘Aipono Award winner for “Most Romantic” restaurant and Most Innovative Menu — when Chef Chris Kulis walked over with a thin slice of his latest creation: calamansi-jalapeno dry salumi. We relished the chew, as bright flavors of citrus and spice popped on our tongues. Kulis and chef/partner Brian Etheredge have perfected dry-curing using quality local meats, and sell their creations at their new Market by Capische. Lomo (a traditional Spanish-style dry-cured pork tenderloin), peppered beef pastrami, spiced pork-belly pancetta, and aged prosciutto were among the selections when we visited the shop. Add a loaf of the Market’s artisan sourdough-rye bread, and you’ve got the perfect beach food. The grab-and-go section offers a generous selection of picnic fare, such as white bean dip, pickles, greens (especially the tart kale slaw), whole-grain salads, and fruit conserves. Gather the ingredients for a homemade salad and get creative with local cheeses, such as Maui burrata and mini primo sale, and the Market’s own Wailea Organics Farm produce. Or try Etheredge’s “Haole Hoagie”: slices of pepper-crusted roast turkey on toasted sourdough with creamy avo, thin slices of semisoft red dragon cheese and cumin aioli. Fruit juices and iced espresso drinks sweetened with Maui sugarcane juice will keep you hydrated in the tropical sun. Oh, if you need a knife to slice the salumi, they’ve got that, too!

10 Wailea Gateway Place, Wailea

Pukalani Superette


One of Maui’s few remaining mom-and-pop stores, Pukalani Superette has been serving the local community since 1927. Brothers Myles and Aric Nakashima are the third generation to run the store affectionately nicknamed “Puk Sup” (pronounced “pook soop”). Myles says, “Our cooks start at 3:30 in the morning to prepare breakfast bento [eggs, hotdog, Spam and rice] to sell by 5:30 a.m. The construction workers buy out the large breakfast bentos, then the school kids and office workers come later in the morning for the smaller bentos. Then the lunch business hits. It is nonstop!”

Maki and inari sushi line up, waiting to sate your hunger. Home Maid Bakery’s fresh, flaky turnovers and moist bread pudding beckon. Stacked four-high under warmers in the heart of the store is a trove of “local grinds.” Today’s beef stew takes me back to my Hilo days, when Mom made gigantic pots of it. Warm and homestyle, Puk Sup’s stew is simmered with Maui beef, upcountry vegetables, and lots of tomato gravy; it’s the perfect post-surfing breakfast. On a recent trip, I tried Myles’s fried ‘ahi filet. After brushing it with mayo, coating it with panko and frying it to a golden brown, he dipped the fish into his lip-smacking ginger-garlic sauce. It was a “broke-da-mouth” (wonderfully tasty) moment. Across the aisle in the refrigerated case are sandwiches, pickled island veggies like Kula Dave’s kim chee, and mom Sumiko Nakashima’s famous macaroni salad. As locals say, “Try go!”

15 Makawao Avenue, Pukalani
808-572-7616 |

Whole Foods


Bright and buzzing with helpful employees, this grab-and-go gourmet market offers an endless selection of goodies. Spicy ‘ahi tuna rolls covered in tobiko and avocado beckon, while mini bowls of stir-fried chicken are being sauteed for the customer beside me. The aroma of browning garlic and onions and teriyaki sauce fills the air, as I watch heads, then feet, turn toward the saute chef. At the pizza section, dappled chestnut-brown and golden-crusted pizzas emerge from the oven, topped with fresh mozzarella, basil and aged Parmesan on marinara sauce. Next, I hit the prepared-salad section for the sweet, vinegary cranberry-nut-kale salad and a luscious Greek-feta-studded cucumber-tomato mix. Soups and stews are made fresh, and when they have the white-bean-and-lamb chili, I get that, too. The New Mexican chilies and sweet tomato sauce suggest a delicious dinner by the beach; add Whole Foods’ freshly baked, buttery cornbread, and you’ve got a satisfying, easy meal. For dessert, try a dark, rich vegan chocolate mousse, a cool and refreshing almond-milk caffe latte, or a Maui Kombucha.

70 Ka‘ahumanu Avenue, Kahului
808-872-3310 |


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