Cheap eats on Maui: Zippy's chili bowl

Cheap Eats on Maui

Yes, there ARE cheap eats on Maui! Places where you can dine out and actually have some $$$ left over! Maui boasts a wide array of great restaurants, but eating out can be expensive here. If you’re looking for inexpensive places to eat on Maui, here are some suggestions—eateries that I have found to be reliable for good food at low prices. This is not meant to be a complete list of every inexpensive eatery on Maui…these are just a few of my favorites. So explore, and you’ll find many others!

My criteria for “cheap eats on Maui:” $8 or less for breakfast or lunch and under $15 for dinner. The focus of this blog is on good-tasting food at low prices, not necessarily on great ambiance, stellar customer service, or the healthiest food choices. (Prices listed below were correct at the time I last updated this blog in early 2019, but may change.)

UPDATE: Due to the impacts of COVID-19 on Maui’s tourism, some of the businesses, events, or activities mentioned in this blog may have changed their operations temporarily or permanently. As things change constantly through this transition, please check with businesses directly to verify their operating status and hours. Mahalo!


Cheap Eats on Maui: entry to Costco storeCOSTCO

Costco is the hands-down winner for cheap eats on Maui. Nothing else comes close. My husband and I had dinner there recently for under $5. Yes, dinner for TWO for under $5. A jumbo hot dog for him, large slice of pizza for me, and a 20 oz. drink (included with the hot dog and plenty big enough for two to share). Total bill came to a whopping $3.64. Then we splurged on a berry sundae for dessert, which brought our grand total to $5.36. Costco has a very limited menu, but the servings are substantial, the food is good, and nothing on the menu is over $5 (unless you order an entire pizza). On Maui, the Costco dining area is located outside the store, and you don’t need to show a Costco membership card to eat there. (Kahului)



Cheap Eats on Maui: front of Zippy's restaurantZIPPY’S

This popular local Hawaii chain restaurant features a menu-style coffee shop, as well as a “fast food” dining section. On Maui, I recommend the latter for good, inexpensive local food. Zippy’s is particularly known for its great chili (pictured at top), which is traditionally served over white rice in Hawaii. No one does chili-and-rice better than Zippy’s (about $5 a bowl). But there are lots of other great inexpensive options for lunch and dinner. Some of our favorites: the Korean Chicken Salad, Fried Noodles, or Teri Chicken plate.

Cheap Eats on Maui: Napples in a tray








Zippy’s is also home to one of the best bakeries on the island (Napoleon’s Bakery), and they are famous for their Napples – melt-in-your-mouth flaky pastry turnovers with various fruit fillings, like apple, coconut, or blueberry. Save room for a Napple! (Kahului)











Cheap Eats on Maui:  four fish tacos on platesCOCONUTS FISH CAFE

Coconuts usually has a line out the door for its fish tacos, but they have lots of other meal options, as well, with nearly everything priced under $15. Salads, soups, sandwiches, local lunch/dinner plates – all really good food and generous servings. The fish tacos (pictured) are served open-face and are delicious. One order includes two large tacos for $14.49 (two orders are pictured here), and just one taco is a meal in itself, so one order can feed two people if you’re not ravenous. A great value! (2 Locations in Kihei)  

Where to stay in Kihei? Check out these Kihei hotels, condos, and vacation homes.





The historic Honolua Store (near the Ritz Carlton hotel) offers a great little deli-style eatery for casual eat-in or take-out meals. Breakfasts average around $6 to $8 including yummy Banana Pancakes, and for lunch there is a wide range of burgers and sandwiches ranging from $9 to $11. This doesn’t quite meet my $8 lunch criteria, but these are bargain prices for the high-end Kapalua Resort area. (Kapalua)

Places to stay in Kapalua.


Cheap Eats on Maui:  interior of CJ'sCJ’S DELI & DINER

CJ’s is a cheerful order-at-the-counter eatery in Kaanapali, an easy stop directly off the highway. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the menu is varied with lots of comfort-food choices from pancakes and omelettes to burgers, deli sandwiches, plate lunches and dinner entrees. Most menu items are in the $8 to $14 range, so for breakfast or lunch this is a bit over my $8 “Cheap Eats” criteria. But, as with the Kapalua area noted above, this is a true bargain for Kaanapali. . . and the food is great! (Kaanapali)

Places to stay in Kaanapali.







Cheap Eats on Maui: Kalei's food truck

There are many great food trucks scattered all over the island, but you’ll find a group of them clustered in an otherwise vacant lot across the street from Costco, Monday through Saturday. Hours generally start around 10 a.m. and continue until late afternoon or early evening, but it varies from truck to truck–and many run out of their specialties by mid-afternoon so close early. One of my favorites here is Kalei’s Lunch Box — great fresh fish preparations and other local food, with generous portions.







Cheap Eats on Maui:  huli huli chicken signAlso keep your eyes open for roadside huli huli chicken stands. You’ll see the signs. These are often fundraisers for churches or schools, featuring whole chickens with a teriyaki-style glaze grilled on huge open-air rotisseries. (Huli means “turn” in Hawaiian.) Huli huli chicken is an island favorite. Pick one up for dinner!

Cheap Eats on Maui: huli huli chicken roadside stand in front of a church










Cheap Eats on Maui: food court at Queen Kaahumanu shopping centerMany of Maui’s shopping centers feature food courts with a selection of fast-food outlets—some are familiar national chains (like Subway) and some are local homegrown eateries (like Maui Tacos). If you’re looking for fast and cheap, food courts are the way to go. The largest on the island (pictured) is at Queen Kaahumanu Center  in Kahului (located on the 2nd level, front center of the mall). Other good food courts can be found at Piilani Shopping Center (on the upper highway in Kihei, by Safeway) and Whalers Village in Kaanapali.






When you are visiting Maui, check out the Maui News “Scene” section (published every Thursday) for current advertised specials and coupons at local eateries. There are often some great deals at Maui’s top restaurants!


  • Looking for great places to stay on Maui or Molokai? You’ll save by BOOKING DIRECTLY with the owners/managers of these accommodations.
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Happy Travels!

Candy Aluli, Publisher

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