A local experience 9.7 miles west toward Paia along the ocean and a short drive up the mountain from the Cottages (18 minutes).
HAIKU FOOD AND DRINK:
Haiku is affordable, very local, homegrown and unspoiled. It is the closest small village to the Road to Hana Cottages, and is a great place for eating, hanging out with the locals and shopping for necessities.
The Haiku Marketplace is the old Pauwela Cannery (that produced and shipped millions of cans of pineapple and guavas). The large tin can of a building is now filled with stores, shops, Colleen’s Restaurant, the Haleakala Bike Company (for bikes to ride down the volcano), a church and the Haiku Laundromat.
For food and essentials try the Haiku Grocery , or the historic Fukushima Store . Remember that Colleen’s and Vasi’s (see below) have fresh bakery goods every morning. For more comprehensive grocery shopping or special dietary or gourmet items bring your shopping list to Mana Foods in Paia.
The Fukushima Store is a historic “convenience store” with about everything and anything you could want. It has frozen food, fresh food, drinks, detergent, toys and the best price on tobacco products. All this packed in an area about 25 by 12 feet square. It is the most compact and comprehensive variety of basic necessities you could ever hope to find–and it’s like stepping back into a warp in time.
Just north of Haiku is the site of the WWII 4th Marine Division Camp — now a memorial park with a playground, athletic fields and picnic tables.
Colleen’s Restaurant and Bar*
This is our family favorite for breakfast and lunch. At 4:30 AM the baking starts and the result is a riot of muffins and cookies (and some are gluten free). Sometimes we stop in early just to get a muffin and cup of coffee. Or use Colleen’s as a bakery stop on your way to other adventures. A fresh muffin and a giant peanut butter cookie make a great meal on the many hikes within a short drive.
Haiku’s proximity to Ho’okipa Beach (the best wind surfing on the island) a few miles down the road means an early crowd when surfs up. Expect great breakfasts and we especially like the omelets. Coffee is yours to refill and refill.
Lunch is burgers made with hormone-free Maui beef, salads with organic Kula greens and fish tacos from local waters. After 4 PM you will find pizza by the slice, and enjoy the many Hawaiian microbrews. Dinner is from the best grown locally. It’s not really a bar but you can linger and drink here with the locals.
Practical note: If you need a coin operated laundry, a good one — the Haiku Laundromat — is just a short walk down the storefronts from Colleen’s. You can easily get your laundry done while lingering at this accommodating local hangout.
Hana Hou Café*
Lunch specials are always unique and the best of local fare—priced around $10. Check inside the outdoor patio for a list of music and dinner specials for that week.
Hana Hou is our favorite in Haiku for an evening with local musicians and an inspired menu. Recent specials included a warm goat cheese salad with papaya dressing, Thai butternut squash soup, island pan fried opakapaka with a citrus buerre blanc sauce or the best of local beef in a NY strip with a green peppercorn and brandy sauce. The menu always includes classical Hawaiian fare as well.
The music is really fun with local musicians who often bring their friends in for the evening (6 pm to 9 pm). Best recently were Hula Honey (vintage Hawaiian) on a Monday; Dorothy, Lou and Vince on Wednesday with original music and lyrics (blues and folk); on Thursday, it was Toby and Friends for Jazz; on Friday was my personal favorite–Steve Sargente and Friends–mello and eclectic Hawaiian music. Saturday is often more vintage romantic.
If you want a great French host and music with a local flavor come at 6 pm to get a good spot. Relax and enjoy the music, food and conversation.
Tuk Tuk Thai
Haiku Marketplace Entrance, (808) 463-4166
If you don’t mind Thai food prepared in an old school bus, you will be amazed at the variety of spices and food, quickly prepared and pleasantly priced. When the sun is out this is a delightful place to loiter outside with the locals or next door at Island Tacos for a fish taco.
Vasi’s Deli and Bakery
Haiku Town Center, 810 Kokomo Road
If you like bakery goodies, fresh and with a local twist–Haiku is your place to explore. Mornings you will find a wide assortment of breakfast pastry at Vasi’s and at lunch other surprises like veggie tortes, great sandwiches and cheesecake for desert. Again–a small place with a lot to enjoy.
This little place tucked into the west side of the Haiku Town Center serves an amazing array of vegetarian delights. Walk in and be amazed. Try a taro burger, Asian veggie noodles or a tofu burrito with pineapple salsa. Even if vegetarian is not your thing you won’t be disappointed. Eat here or take it with you but don’t come early. Veg Out opens on a relaxed schedule about 10:30 am weekdays and 11:30 am on the weekends but usually stays open till 7:30 am.
Hope Chapel North Shore in the center of the cannery has Sunday Services at 9 am and “Youth with a Mission” has an hour of praise and worship music at 8 am every Monday and Friday morning. Feel free to go inside and visit.