Discover Makawao Town: Artisanal Delights and Cultural Insights

Posted by Island Sotheby's International Realty on Wednesday, February 14th, 2024 at 8:32am

In the heart of Upcountry Maui lies Makawao Town, a captivating blend of paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) heritage and vibrant artistic culture. Steeped in ranching history, Makawao emerged as a hub for paniolo, who would gather to share stories, participate in rodeos, and supply the needs of the local ranches. This culture has deeply influenced Makawao's identity, shaping its social and economic fabric. 

Today, Makawao is renowned as a hub of creativity and culture, attracting artists, artisans, and those who appreciate the unique blend of Hawaiian tradition and modern living.

The town’s streets are lined with an eclectic mix of shops and boutiques, where local fashion and sustainable design take center stage. Art galleries showcase the works of talented Maui artists, each piece reflecting the island's natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Cafes and eateries offer a delightful array of local and international cuisine, often featuring fresh, locally sourced ingredients that embody the farm-to-table philosophy.

Whether exploring its diverse shops, or enjoying its culinary offerings, Makawao is a place where the past and present coexist, offering a unique and enriching experience for all who visit. 


Morning Brew and Bakery Delights

Start with coffee at Vida by SIP Me or Espresso Mafia and Breakfast Pastries at Komoda Store and Bakery


Vida by SIP Me

3671 Baldwin Ave

Monday - Sunday, 7AM - 5PM



Kickstart your day in Makawao with a visit to Vida by SIP Me. This cozy coffee shop is the perfect place to savor a cup of freshly brewed coffee and enjoy the town's serene morning atmosphere. With a commitment to quality and a warm, inviting ambiance, it's a local favorite for both coffee aficionados and casual visitors.


Espresso Mafia 

3617 Baldwin ave

Monday - Friday, 7:45AM - 2PM; Saturday, 8:30AM - 11AM 



Located in Makawao's heart, Espresso Mafia is a beloved family-owned coffee shop offering top-notch Italian Espresso, Local Cold Brew, and seasonal eats. Emphasizing fresh, local ingredients, their menu delights with both savory and sweet options.

Enjoy a morning boost with their Ham & Cheese Croissant, or opt for a Fresh Baked Croissant. The Turkey and Mozzarella Sandwich and the Caprese Sandwich on focaccia are perfect for a hearty lunch, while the Italian Sandwich packs a flavorful punch with its mix of meats and microgreens. Don't skip their Banana Bread or Chocolate & Walnut Banana Bread for a sweet finish.


Komoda Store and Bakery

3674 Baldwin Avenue

Tuesday - Saturday, 7AM - 4PM; Sunday & Monday Closed

For breakfast, head over to the iconic Komoda Store and Bakery, a Makawao staple renowned for its delicious donuts and pastries. Be transported back to a simpler time with their old-school charm and delightful array of baked goods. A favorite among locals and visitors alike, this historic bakery is known for its irresistible cream puffs, stick donuts, and the island-specialty malasadas, including guava-filled ones that burst with tropical flavor.

Despite often having a line out the door, the wait is a small price for the indulgence that awaits inside. Beyond their famous pastries, many local restaurants feature Komoda's rolls and bread products, a testament to their quality and tradition.

Treat yourself to a guava malasada or a malasada on a stick, and don't miss out on the coconut danish and coconut turnover – each bite is a reminder of why this bakery has become an iconic part of Makawao's culinary landscape.


Discovering Local Fashion and Eco-Friendly Finds

Mid-Morning Shopping Excursion at stores lining Makawao Avenue such as Driftwood, Kūlua, The Maui Mercantile, PINK By Nature, Holoholo Surf, Hurricane, Fleur de Lei, and more. 



1152 Makawao Ave

Monday - Saturday, 10AM - 5:30PM; Sunday 11AM - 4PM



After breakfast, explore the stylish offerings at Driftwood. This boutique features an exquisite collection of women's fashion and home furnishings, reflecting Makawao's unique blend of rustic charm and contemporary elegance. Explore their range of women's clothing and accessories, select from all-natural beauty products, and browse through an assortment of distinctive home goods and gourmet treats that evoke the island's spirit.

With a commitment to originality, DRIFTWOOD's selection boasts high-quality goods and showcases a unique style, featuring Hawaiian-designed products and exceptional finds from around the world.



1156 Makawao Ave 1A

Monday - Saturday, 10AM - 5PM



Kūlua brings the essence of the modern Hawaiian lifestyle to historic Makawao town with their collection of small batch clothing, home goods, and accessories. Each piece tells a story of Maui, infused with sustainable practices and deep respect for the 'āina (land) and Hawaiian culture.

Crafted in their Studio Shop, Kūlua's apparel is designed with eco-friendly fabrics and offers everything from modal knit classics and modern muʻu to aloha shirts and keiki wear. Complement your wardrobe with their unique jewelry and accessories or enhance your home with goods promoting sustainability.


PINK By Nature

3663 Baldwin Ave

Monday - Sunday, 10AM - 5PM; Sunday 11AM - 4PM 


Since its establishment in 2004, Pink By Nature has been a beacon of style in Maui, thoughtfully curating collections that embody both nature's whimsy and the timeless appeal of modern classics. This lifestyle boutique offers an exquisite selection of clothing, jewelry, and accessories, all chosen with an eye for laid-back elegance and effortless femininity.

Renowned for its luxuriously soft, modern yet classic basics, Pink By Nature provides pieces that seamlessly blend into any lifestyle, ensuring a graceful transition from day to night. Each item in the boutique has been selected to enhance the natural beauty of its wearer, offering a sophisticated touch to any ensemble.



3639 Baldwin Ave

Monday - Saturday, 10AM - 5PM; Sunday AM - 4PM



Hurricane Maui embodies the relaxed and stylish essence of island living with its wide selection of clothing, gifts, and accessories. Situated in the heart of Makawao, this boutique is a must-visit for anyone looking to capture the effortless charm of Maui's lifestyle in their wardrobe and home.

From luxury pieces and casual wear perfect for Maui's sunny days to unique Hawaii-made accessories that add a touch of island elegance, Hurricane offers an array of items that cater to both locals and visitors. Whether you're searching for a special gift or treating yourself to something new, you'll find that Hurricane has thoughtfully selected each item to reflect the beauty and spirit of the island.


Holoholo Surf 

Monday - Saturday, 10AM - 5PM



Nestled in Makawao town, Holoholo Surf is your quintessential Hawaiian style surf shop with a modern twist. As the flagship store for @poshpua, it specializes in contemporary muumuu and aloha wear, all designed in-house, alongside an array of locally crafted accessories and surf gear.

Holoholo Surf's mission is simple: to welcome every customer with true aloha spirit and to offer products that capture the essence of island surf culture. This surf shop is more than just a retail space; it's a celebration of the laid-back, surf-inspired lifestyle that defines Maui.


The Maui Mercantile 

3673 Baldwin Ave

Monday - Sunday, 10AM - 5PM


Step into The Mercantile Makawao and immerse yourself in a world where laid-back bohemian vibes meet casual-cool luxury. This unique boutique, nestled in the vibrant heart of Makawao, offers an eclectic selection for men, women, and home that perfectly captures the spirit of Maui living.

Proudly featuring stylish brands like Trovata and Frank & Eileen, The Mercantile Makawao curates a collection that blends effortlessly chic designs with the relaxed, island-inspired aesthetic. Whether you're refreshing your wardrobe or searching for that perfect piece to accentuate your home, you'll find a treasure trove of options that speak to the modern, discerning shopper with a taste for understated elegance.


Fleur de Lei

1169 Makawao Ave. Suite 101

Monday - Sunday, 10:30AM - 6:30PM



Complete your morning shopping experience at Fleur de Lei, an eco-boutique known for its sustainable and organic clothing, as well as unique "sail bags" made from recycled windsurfing and kitesurfing sails. Fleur de Lei embodies the spirit of eco-conscious fashion.

Fleur De Lei is a celebration of sustainable fashion and design. Offering exclusive collections from both trendy labels and emerging independent designers, they provide a range of apparel, accessories, gifts, and home decor. Each signature product comes with a remarkable story, showcasing the creativity and dedication behind eco-friendly alternatives in fashion. Visit Fleur De Lei for a unique and conscious shopping experience.


Collections Maui 

3677 Baldwin Ave

Monday – Saturday, 10AM – 5PM; Sunday, 11AM – 4PM



For over 35 years, Collections has been a must-visit boutique in Makawao, known for its fine selection of women's clothing, home furnishings, and gifts. What began as a consignment shop in 1975 has blossomed into a retail haven, offering beautiful, well-crafted collections that marry a laid-back aesthetic with feminine sophistication.

At Collections, you'll find an array of modern yet classic basics, ideal for any occasion, and pieces that effortlessly transition from day into night. The boutique prides itself on providing a unique and enjoyable shopping experience, filled with laughter in the card section or the thrill of finding the perfect outfit for a special event.



Women's Store: 3682 Baldwin Ave

Men's Store: 1156 Makawao Ave

Monday - Saturday, 10AM - 5PM; Sunday, 10AM - 4PM



Tribe Maui is the embodiment of an active lifestyle that doesn't compromise on adventure or style. With a collection that merges retro beach vibes with contemporary streetwear, Tribe creates bold and unique silhouettes that are sure to captivate and inspire island flair. 

This brand stands out for its ability to blend the carefree spirit of the beach with the edge of street fashion, resulting in pieces that are both daring and perfect for the Maui lifestyle. Whether you're surfing the waves or exploring the city, Tribe Maui's apparel encourages you to embrace your adventurous side while looking effortlessly chic.

For those who are drawn to distinctive fashion that tells a story and expresses personality, Tribe Maui is your go-to source for outfits that reflect a zest for life.


A Fresh and Relaxing Lunch Break

Enjoy a Midday Meal at Makawao Garden Café, 'Ohana Island Grindz, Freshies, or Satori



3655 Baldwin Avenue

Tuesday - Saturday, 12PM - 7PM



Satori is a must visit as it revolutionizes dining in Maui with its farm-to-table approach, offering sushi, ramen, poke, and kombucha sourced locally and organically. Celebrate Maui's bounty with fresh, sustainable dishes, now available for online ordering. Experience the authentic flavors of the island with Satori's commitment to quality and community support.


'Ohana Island Grindz

3647 Baldwin Avenue

Monday - Saturday, 7:30AM - 3:30PM; Sunday, 8AM - 2PM



'Ohana Island Grindz brings a cozy blend of ice cream delights and local comfort food to Makawao since September 2021. Focusing on local sourcing, they partner with Kula Country Farms, Lopes Farm, Maui Cattle Company, and others, ensuring each dish is not just delicious but also supports the community. Drop by for a taste of local hospitality and home-style cooking that makes you feel right at home.


Freshies Maui 

3620 Baldwin Ave

Breakfast 7AM - 11AM; Lunch 11:30AM - 3PM


Bringing the beloved flavors of Lake Tahoe's Freshies Restaurant to the lush landscapes of Makawao, Chef Erik Ulman offers a diverse menu catering to meat lovers, vegetarians, vegans, and those with gluten-free preferences, alongside a selection of beers and wines. At Freshies Maui, guests are welcomed into a space where the aloha spirit blends seamlessly with a passion for exceptional food. The restaurant's warm, inviting ambiance reflects Chef Ulman's dedication to creating a dining experience that feels like home.

With a commitment to accommodating special dietary requests and a menu marked with vegetarian, vegan, and spicy options, Freshies ensures every patron leaves satisfied!


Makawao Garden Cafe

3669 Baldwin Avenue

Monday -Saturday, 11AM - 3PM; Sunday Closed



Take a break for lunch at Makawao Garden Café, a charming eatery offering fresh, locally-sourced salads, sandwiches, and wraps. Try their famous curry chicken salad, a variety of tasty sandwiches like Crab & Avocado or Roast Breast of Chicken on homemade focaccia, and daily soup specials. Cool off with a fresh smoothie or choose from a selection of refreshing beverages. Enjoy a peaceful meal in their lovely garden setting – a perfect midday respite.


Art and Cultural in the Afternoon

Visit Viewpoints Gallery, Unwind at Makawao Public Library, or Explore Hot Island Glass and Maui Hands 


Maui Hands 

1169 Makawao Avenue

Monday - Saturday, 10AM-5PM; Sunday, 11AM - 4PM



Maui Hands Gallery in Makawao, next to the public library, is the largest of its four galleries, showcasing an incredible variety of local art! Visitors can find unique hand-built furniture, ceramics, and the state’s largest private collection of Ni’ihau shell lei. Hosting over 300 local artists, the gallery features fine art, photography, jewelry, and more, catering to all tastes and budgets.

With monthly artist demonstrations and free public parking nearby, Maui Hands offers a vibrant and accessible art experience. It's a must-visit for those looking to discover the rich artistic heritage of Maui.


Viewpoints Gallery

3620 Baldwin Avenue, Makawao, HI, 96768

Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 5pm


Discover a rich tapestry of local artistry at Viewpoints Gallery, recognized as one of the state's premier art galleries. The gallery celebrates Maui's art history and culture, featuring an eclectic mix of work from the island's top artists and artisans.

Housed in a location steeped in history, Viewpoints Gallery continues to foster a sense of community and art appreciation. Once a movie theater for early 20th-century ranchers, it's now a favorite destination for those seeking quality local art in Makawao.


Makawao Public Library

1159 Makawao Avenue

Monday - Friday, 9AM - 5PM 

Wednesday, 12PM - 7PM 

Saturday, 9AM - 4PM

Sunday Closed


Immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere of the Makawao Public Library, a fixture in the community since its opening on February 22, 1969. Designed by architect Edwin Murayama, it serves not just Makawao but also the broader Upcountry area, including Haliimaile, Pukalani, Haiku, and Kula. Celebrating over 45 years of service, the library has become a cornerstone for learning and connection.


Hot Island Glass

3620 Baldwin Avenue #101A



Hot Island Glass, a cornerstone of Maui's glassblowing community since 1992, invites you into a world where art comes to life through fire and craftsmanship. Founded by Bill and Sally Worcester and now helmed by their nephew Chris Richards, the studio is a space for visitors to observe glass artists at work, explore a variety of glass art pieces, and engage with the creative process without the pressure of sales.

Chris and his team, including several notable Hawaii glass artists, produce exquisite works ranging from intricate jellyfish sculptures to vibrant vases, adhering to the highest standards of quality and design. The studio's open-door policy encourages you to watch, learn, and perhaps even find a unique piece to treasure. Visit Hot Island Glass for an authentic glimpse into the artistry that has captivated collectors worldwide.


Evening Dining and Dessert Treats

Dine at Makawao Public House, Pollis, or Casanovas and Conclude with Desserts from The Maui Cookie Lady


Makawao Public House

3612 Baldwin Ave

Tuesday - Saturday, 3PM - 10PM; Monday 3PM - 9PM, Sunday Closed



Recently opened and quickly becoming a favored local haunt, Makawao Public House is a vibrant addition to the town's dining scene. Open to the public with a full bar and food menu available from 4 pm Tuesday through Sunday, this is your go-to for an evening of good food, good spirits, and good vibes. Immerse yourself in the convivial atmosphere as you enjoy happy hour, beer on tap, craft cocktails (we’ve heard they serve the best espresso martini on the island!), and their nightly dessert specials.

Sample their sumptuous offerings, such as the Fish & Chips featuring abi belly and tartar sauce, or the KALBI Braised Boneless Short Rib served with local kimchi and bok choy. Try the Double Smash Burger or the Black N Bleu with a 6 oz for a handheld delight. Maui Nui venison patty. And keep an eye out for the weekend brunch to elevate your Makawao mornings soon!

Indulge in the nightly dessert specials, which are the perfect wrap-up to your dining experience, and be sure to ask about their dessert offerings, as they vary and promise to be a delightful surprise. With its commitment to fresh, local ingredients and a passion for creating a welcoming atmosphere, Makawao Public House is poised to become a cornerstone of Makawao's culinary community.



1188 Makawao Ave

Monday - Sunday, 5PM - 9PM



Nestled in the historic town of Makawao, Casanovas Makawao is an authentic Italian restaurant that offers a genuine taste of Italy in Upcountry Maui. Open daily from 5pm to 9pm, this beloved dining spot invites locals and visitors alike to enjoy a culinary journey through Italy’s rich flavors and traditions.

At Casanovas Makawao, every dish is crafted with care, using fresh ingredients to bring the vibrant and hearty flavors of Italian cuisine to life. From classic pasta dishes and gourmet pizzas to exquisite entrees and decadent desserts, there’s something to satisfy every craving.



1202 Makawao Ave

Monday - Sunday, 11AM - 9PM


Indulge in an authentic Mexican feast at Polli's Mexican Restaurant in the historic town of Makawao. Begin your evening with a vibrant selection of margaritas, each crafted to complement the flavors of your meal. Savor the richness of their flavorful Chicken Tortilla Soup or opt for the vegetarian-friendly Garden Salad. For the main course, choose from a variety of tacos like the Fish Taco served with sautéed ono or the hearty Carnitas, featuring tender roasted pork. 

Specialties like the Tamales and the Chile Relleno Plate highlight traditional Mexican cooking techniques and flavors. With options to satisfy meat lovers, vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free diners, plus a selection of beers and wine, Polli's offers a dish for every palate.


The Maui Cookie Lady

3643 Baldwin Ave

Monday - Sunday, 10AM - 4PM



After a delightful dinner, treat yourself to the extraordinary creations of The Maui Cookie Lady. Recognized in Forbes 2021 & 2023 Gift Guide, this boutique bakery in historic Makawao Town is famous for its premium, freshly-baked gourmet cookies. Known as Maui’s first Cookie Butter creator, they offer an impressive range of decadent flavors featuring locally sourced ingredients. Discover their commitment to quality and creativity with each bite, highlighting Maui Gold Pineapple, Waihe'e Valley Macadamia Nuts, Hawaiian Sea Salt, Maui Brewing Company's Island Brewed Coconut Hiwa Porter, Kōloa Rum, Haiku Lilikoi, and Haleakalā Creamery Caramel. A visit to The Maui Cookie Lady is a must for cookie enthusiasts and anyone looking to experience the sweet side of Maui's local produce.

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