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Cheap Eats Maui – Part 2

This is Part 2 of my Cheap Eats Maui series.  Check out my other Cheap Eats Maui posts: Part 1, Part 3

Da Kitchen

Da Kitchen’s main restaurant in Kahului  is really popular because of their giant portions, friendly service, large menu, and great prices. On our last visit, we noticed that had renovated and expanded a bit, which is great as hopefully that means less of a wait during peak times. They serve local favorites, such as a Hawaiian plate complete with lau lau, kalua pork, and chicken long rice, which is a comforting ginger-y noodle with just enough broth to make is slurpy but not soupy. It’s Hawaiian comfort food!

Hawaiian plate at Da Kitchen. HUGE portions. In the background is Steve’s massive korean plate with kalbi, katsu and meat jun.

An equally massive bowl of saimin at Da Kitchen

The menu at Da Kitchen. We didn’t get to try their deep fried SPAM musubi but it is one of their signature items

Yummy teriyaki burger and fries really hit the spot for a burger craving.

A bento lunch with mahi mahi, shrimp and chicken over furikake-dusted rice.

Da Kitchen is a must try! Especially because it’s close to Kahului airport, so a stop before the airport or after you arrive would make a great first or departing meal. There is also an “express” post on South Kihei Road which is just a smaller location with a less extensive menu but I think the original is the best 😉

Da Kitchen, 425 Koloa St, Kahului, HI
(808) 871-7782



I’ve always referred to Zippy’s as the fast food of Hawaii – it’s like a localized version of Denny’s. Their service has always been super friendly and I am just in LOVE with their oxtail soup. They are always open late which is great when it’s midnight and you need a bite to eat and everything on Maui is closed! They are located in Kahului off Dairy road. We often head there on our way down to Kihei/Wailea from the airport, especially when we want a meal and Da Kitchen portions are too daunting. I must say though that they sometimes are a little heavy-handed with the MSG – but they have a bakery with yummy turnovers and baked goods as well, called Napolean’s bakery. No problem with MSG there!

Zippy’s storefront

Delicious oxtail soup (yes there are peanuts in it but don’t knock it till you try it).

They serve it with minced ginger on the side. Pour some shoyu (soy sauce) on it and dip the tender oxtail in it….so ONO!

Garlic Chicken plate – Steve opted for mashed potatoes instead of rice. This was delicious!

They are well known for their fried saimin – so yummy with bits of fish cake (kamaboko) and spam (of course).

And especially their famous chili with rice. I also like to get a bit of shredded cheese on top. It’s a little less spicy and smokey than mainland chili’s but I think it has a delicious creaminess not found in other chili.

Wash it all down with a glass of refreshing lillikoi drink. YUM!

Zippy’s Kahului (with a 24 hour take out window) 15 Hookele Street, Kahului, Hawaii 96732


Kihei Caffe

I’ve often spoken about Kihei Caffe and with good reason – it’s our most favorite breakfast spot on Maui. They open early, which is great for us mainlanders on vacation (especially from the east coast), and their food is delicious, plentiful, and cheap. You order at the counter and they bring your food to you. We really love the loco moco with fried rice, and their cinnamon rolls are to die for too. Oh and can’t forget their biscuits…because biscuits are sooo Hawaiian. Obviously 🙂

The outstanding loco moco: bacon fried rice, beef patty, fried eggs, doused with brown gravy.

Their bircher muesli is so good, like oatmeal for the tropics: cold honey-sweetened oatmeal, with milk, bananas and raisins.

Bountiful portions: this was the mahi breakfast platter with potatoes, eggs and a biscuit

SPAM well-done

The homemade cinnamon roll – warm from the oven

If there is one place that is a destination for breakfast, it has to be Kihei Caffe on Maui. We always eat here at least a few times when we stay in South Maui, and even worth a trek from West Maui as well. 🙂 They open from 5am-2pm only.

Kihei Caffe 1945 South Kihei Road, Kihei, HI 96753 • (808) 879-2230

BTW, if you come across these locally-made hot sauces from Adoboloco, try them, they are great! We saw them at Kihei Caffe and bought some with us home to enjoy.

Adoboloco hot sauces

That concludes part 2 of my cheap eats Maui post! Don’t worry, I do have more to come. We spent this past weekend in San Diego, CA. We decided to go on a last minute trip to visit Steve’s dad who is recovering from heart surgery. He is doing well and we hope and pray for his speedy recovery every day. It was great to be in nice weather – what a change from freezing cold NYC! Plus there is another nor’easter headed our way tonight…I need some ALOHA now!!!

Dreaming of this…view from our room at the Andaz Maui

Stay warm!

Check out my other Cheap Eats Maui posts: Part 1, Part 3

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