Maka by Mana: New Eats in Paia Town


One of the best things about Paia Town is the food. From danishes at Moana Bakery to fish tacos at Paia Fish Market to lilikoi margaritas at Cafe Des Amis, there’s a little something for everyone in this tiny town of goodness. Enter the newest food-lovers attraction: Maka by Mana.

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Located up Baldwin Avenue just across from the post office, Maka is owned and managed by Mana Foods, the hippie health food store of your dreams that you’ve probably definitely heard of if you’ve spent any real time on Maui’s north shore.

Before I write anything further, I first have to say that this restaurant is both vegan and vegetarian, both of which I am definitely not. My favorite meals in the world are medium rare steak and meat-filled Tex Mex, so trust me when I say I am by no means impressed by a menu that boasts approximately zero things made of meat.

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That being said, I am always open to try a healthy meal in a new restaurant where everything on the menu is less than $10. Game on.

The ambience is bright, airy and welcoming, with stark white walls, colorful lamps and a nice mixture of bar-top and table seating, and service was prompt and friendly. Drinks include several delicious-sounding juices ($6.95), including the Green Warrior (cucumber, spinach, parsley, green apple and pineapple) and Vog Gone (fennel, cucumber, pear, cilantro and ginger), as well as smoothies like the Love & Light (papaya, banana, bee pollen, lilikoi, shredded coconut) and Maka Lassi (mango, house-made coconut kefir yogurt, dates, Maka spice blend). They also offer three flavors of kombucha on draft ($4.95), with flavors rotating daily.

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The food menu is small but interesting, with a variety of fruit bowl breakfast items, freshly prepared salads and casual specialties like the Coconut Cream Cheese Stacker (coconut cream cheese on almond bread with kimchi, avocado, tomato and arugula – $8.95) and Za’atar Roll (seasoned roll layered with no-bean hummus, stuffed with spinach, tomato, cucumber, sauerkraut, sprouts and tsaziki sauce – $8.95). The verdict? Beautifully plated and delicious, I’ve got to say. No meat never tasted so good.

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If you’re feeling particularly starved for something sweet, but in a healthy, anti cookie-dough-with-a-spoon kind of way, they even serve a few items for dessert, including a coconut kefir ice cream on a buckwheat waffle, which was tasty despite the fact that it did not melt, not even a little bit. I assume that has something to do with the healthy part. Either way, try it for yourself.

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And with prices like that, it’s almost better to go enjoy a lovely, inexpensive meal than stand in the hot foods line at Mana for about the same price. Hmm. Maybe I’ll do that more often.

Open Wednesday through Sunday from 10am to 7pm. For more information, please visit Maka or call (808) 579-9125. As always, mahalo for reading, and happy eating!

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