The Joy of Healthy

5 venues that put the "Yum!" in what's good for you.


Story by Becky Speere | Photography by Becky Speere & courtesy of Breakwall Shave Ice & Alive & Well

Breakwall Shave Ice

breakwall shave ice mauiLocated in Lahaina next to free public parking, and minutes from the harbor, this intimate, open-air cafe serves the community with a smile. Start your day with espresso and a smoothie; “dawn patrol” bagels with scrambled eggs, ham and cheese; or an antioxidant-rich acai bowl: frozen puree of Brazilian acai and berries crowned with granola, apple bananas, Hawaiian honey and cinnamon. The mason-jar salad du jour is a recent lunch addition. It’s layered with chef/owner Javier Barberi’s homegrown kale, fresh pears, Granny Smith apples, walnuts and bell peppers with a sweet-tart acai-berry honey vinaigrette.

Breakwall’s shave ice is drenched in all-natural syrups in flavors like mojito mint, acai, Incredible Hulk (green apple and pineapple), cinnamon bun, and (drum roll, please . . .) pickle juice. My favorite is cool, effervescent goji-berry kombucha with a hint of ginger. Ice cream fans will delight in Maui’s own Roselani Ice Cream: crunchy, toasted macadamia nut, vanilla bean, haupia (coconut), or cookies and cream. Vegan ice cream lovers will want to try the O.G. (Original Gangster), a coconut-milk-based frozen treat with coffee-toffee flavors blended with golden-toasted Nahiku coconut or Hana banana-rum raisin. Breakwall is one of only three restaurants on Maui that serve this vegan treat.

117 Prison St., Lahaina
667-7747 |
Hours: Monday-Sunday 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.

Alive and Well

maui health food storeFresh, probiotic coconut kefir yogurt takes center stage at this buzzing deli/health store. “We incorporate kefir into many of our deli items,” says Chef Shaanan Fader. “It creates foods that are flavorful and good for your body.” One yummy example is cheesecake made from Kipahulu-grown durian with a gluten-free, sprouted-grain-and-nut crust, creamy cheesiness and essence of coconut. It’s made with kefir yogurt blended with Irish moss [a sea vegetable], local vanilla beans and durian, and provides an impressive array of vitamins and minerals. Not ready to dive into durian? Try a kefir yogurt cheesecake made with fresh Kula strawberries bursting with bright fruit flavors.

Perusing deli cases filled with Fader’s creative salads, I light upon hot foods prepared with quality proteins: garlic-herb-roasted Big Island organic chicken, dill-baked wild Alaska salmon, and a “Rodeo chili” made with grass-fed Maui beef — which is also available at Alive and Well’s sister Rodeo General Stores in Makawao and Kihei. It doesn’t surprise me when Fader mentions the upcoming expansion and renovation of the deli service area, where they will offer soft-serve coconut kefir ice cream made with 100 percent Maui tropical produce. That’s gotta be good for you!

340 Hana Hwy., Kahului
877-4950 |
Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Joy’s Place

Joy's Place in MauiYou’ll find joyful eating at this little cafe on the ground floor of the Island Surf Building. Chef Joy White has been serving made-to-order sandwiches with nitrate-free turkey and fresh tuna for fifteen years, andcreating raw vegan delights. Try her Indo-crunch collard wrap with marinated tempeh, local veggies and spicy Indonesian peanut sauce; or a sprouted nut burger of almond and sunflower-seed, lettuce, avo, and fresh tomato tahini sauce. Sprouting (soaking seeds, nuts and grains in filtered water for eight hours) increases protein, vitamins and other nutrients. Joy’s acai-berry bowl with crunchy pumpkinseed granola will keep you fired up through the morning surf session. After a workout, rehydrate with a chlorophyll-rich green-vegetable or fresh-fruit smoothie. Snacks include flavored kale chips (also available at Whole Foods and Down to Earth in Kahului). And how’s this for a healthy libation: vanilla or mocha chilled lattes with fresh almond milk and cold toddy coffee, lightly sweetened with low-glycemic lucuma powder. The “I owe myself this” section is stocked with raw chocolate mousse, coconut cookies, dense chocolate brownies and more.

1993 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei
879-9258 |
Hours: Monday-Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.


Dazoo Restaurant in MauiA playful outpost has landed in the old Moana Cafe location. The find here is the Korean rice dish bibimbap, served in a blazingly hot stone bowl filled with fried egg, greens, kim chee  and your choice of meats. Dazoo’s ramyeon is made with Maui’s own Iwamoto noodles; a delicate tomato-miso broth balances the mildly sweet and tart flavors.

Among the creations by head bartender Jimmy Shoemaker, Dazoo Bellini — cava wine and house-made shrub (a vinegar-spiked fruit puree) — is a sparkling breakfast starter. At night, sip a Flower of the Cane cocktail made with Nicaraguan rum, Maui ʻokolehao (ti-root distillate), rose water, tiki bitters and orange peel, while satisfying your hunger with sweet, briny Kaua‘i prawns on cucumber-hijikiseaweed salad. “Korean mother-approved” puffed-rice nori seasoned with a sweet sesame soy sauce is crisp and light; you will want more than one serving. For the adventurous diner, there’s Dazoo’s pasta primavera with farm-fresh veggies and al dente campanelle pasta napped lightly in sake-miso sauce, or an even lighter fare of ssam romaine wraps with beansprouts, seaweed, tofu, Maui beef, fresh catch, or kalua pork and spicy sauce. Coming soon: Dazoo’s full-service bakery.

Story Update: This restaurant is now closed.

Fresh Mint

Fresh Mint Thai Food in MauiLocated next to the Maui Dharma Center in Pa‘ia, Fresh Mint is a Vietnamese restaurant rooted in Chinese cooking traditions. Chef/owner Chuk Nguyen has been performing her repertoire of savory vegan dishes for the past eleven years. Sit, relax and have fun as you soften plate-sized, thin edible rice paper in a bowl of warm water, then wrap your own summer rolls, filling each parcel with thin rice noodles, julienne vegetables, herbs, and rich, umami-flavored vegan fish or tofu. Spoon on the refreshing lime sauce with chili-garlic puree, and this appetizer is guaranteed to satisfy the hungriest diner. Or order a soy kung pao “chicken” steaming with garlicky-onion aromatics, red bell peppers, carrots and peanuts; it’s sauteed to order, then doused in Nguyen’s homemade secret brown sauce. The “Mongolian Beef” bursts with salty, spicy flavors, and honestly, I don’t think you’ll miss real meat. The signature Vietnamese iced tea, made with fresh coconut milk instead of dairy-based, sweetened condensed milk, is cool, light, and naturally sweetened.

Story Update: This restaurant is now closed.


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