Five Lunches for Five and Change (or Less) in Central Maui
Oyaku Tei180 East Wakea Avenue Kahului, HI 96732-2445 (808) 873-0100
Oyaku Tei Cheeseburger Deluxe $2.65
Oyaku Tei is a little hole in the wall old school okazuya. They serve breakfast and lunch and their misoyaki butterfish is excellent. They are very reasonably priced but if you just have a few bucks in your pocket their Maui Cattle Company Cheeseburger deluxe is the way to go for just $2.65. Their handmade beef patty is always served with with lots of melted cheese, crisp lettuce, nice ripe tomato and a thick slice of onion. Its simple and delicious. Their dining room is cozy just a few plastic tables and chairs. Most of the time there are already seniors parked their eating their favorites and watching tv. It is a mom and pop shop through and through with family photos, and the kids hanging out regularly. I usually drop in and order to go, but today they informed me they deliver to anywhere in Kahului and Wailuku. Even better!
Stillwell’s Bakery1740 Kaahumanu Avenue Wailuku, HI 96793-2407 (808) 243-2243
Stillwell’s Bakery Quiche and Roll $5.95
This quiche is off the hook. The first time I tried it was at Hawaiian Village Coffee and I begged the proprietor to tell me where he was getting it. Then I went straight to the source. The roll that it comes with is also a real treat, it is a white cottage bread with macadamia nuts in it. The filling has ham and onion and bell pepper, and the texture is so smooth, its more like a custard then any other quiche I have come across. Stillwell’s also has a side soup and roll for $4.95. Their soup changes day to day but they are always good, the office favorite is the corn chowder that is really good and hearty. Of course you will also probably tempted by their island famous banana cream pie, or cream horns so you might want more than five bucks in your pocket before entering.
TJ’s Warehouse875 Alua St. Wailuku, HI 96793 (808) 249-0825
TJ’s Warehouse Combo Bento $5.75
TJ’s Warehouse is a modern day okazu-ya wonderland with the chops to prove it. Not only do they provide pre-packaged bento goodness to the masses who know about this place, but they also have a hot food line of specials daily in case you want to pack your own. Their food always sells out. They have plenty to choose from in the five dollar range in their bento case, try unagi, udon, combos, mochiko chicken, gyoza and more. They also do specials from time to time, like last week’s teriyaki chicken bento and fountain drink for $4.99 so keep your eye out for the sign on the wall too. While you are here they also have an asian market, japanese imported foods, and local produce. The building also houses Maui Chemical and Paper Supply so you can pick up miscellaneous office supply and paper goods. Now they are also selling propane too. Its one stop shopping at its most random.
Da Smoothie Shack150 Hana Highway Kahului, HI 96732-2331 (808) 873-0502
Da Smoothie Shack Shaka H&C $5.95
Its truly difficult to recommend a sandwich in Central Maui and steer clear of a corporate deli environment and stay in the price range of five dollars. While Da Smoothie Shack is not a deli, and certainly not the italian deli I am praying will someday open in Central Maui, they are serving good healthy food for a good price out of their little shack. All of their sandwiches except for the prosciutto come in at $5.95. The Shaka H&C is Virginia Ham and Muenster cheese plus tomato and lettuce. They also have a veggie, tuna, salami or caprese. You know you are in Maui when the fresh fruit smoothies cost as much as your sandwich.
Royal Island Drive Inn 2050 Main St # Fc2
Wailuku, HI 96793-1685
(808) 242-8813 Royal Island Drive Inn One Item Plate $4.95
I don’t know if they do this in the Mainland but over here in the islands we love to name take out places the “drive inn” when there is really no car service, theatre or drive through of any sort. Plus I don’t know where the Inn comes in because that usually denotes lodging. By the way L&L was one of the first to do it, but now they have more or less dropped the ‘drive inn’ portion of their name in branding. That being said, places named Drive Inn are usually serving awesome local food, even if you have to go inside and order, don’t let the name fool you. Royal Island Drive Inn is no exception. Their One Item Plate for $4.95 means you can choose from many of their fresh made dishes that day, like sesame chicken, sweet sour pork, chinese broccoli and pork, charsiu, zuccini and chicken, and you get the choice of chow mein or fried rice. This restaurant is totally family owned, and serves a great breakfast for under 5 dollars too.