Maui puts on its best face the moment it rolls out of bed. Morning here is a special time, when the winds are light, the skies are clear, and the ocean is often calm as glass for paddling, swimming, or surfing. Many residents are up with the sun, and breakfast is a meal that usually comes on the heels of a morning workout.
Alarm clocks aren’t meant for vacation—so there’s no pressure here to get up and at ‘em. Even if you try to sleep in, however, there’s a good chance that the time difference and jet lag will end up waking you at dawn. My suggestion? Resist the urge to roll back over and go for a stroll outside. The peaks of neighboring Lana‘i and Moloka‘i stand naked against the sky, and a sense of tranquility seems to hang in the air as the island slowly wakes up. When the hunger pangs begin to set in—or for that soothing cup of coffee—the following spots offer culinary complements to perfect Maui mornings.
What do you get when you combine macadamia nut pancakes with a sweeping view of Moloka‘i? A 20-person line before the restaurant even opens. The Gazebo breakfast is certifiably legendary—and so are the three egg omelets—so try to arrive by 7 a.m. in order to get a good seat. When you’re done, walk off breakfast on the Kapalua Coastal Trail.
Is it still dark but you’re jet-lagged and starving? Luckily, this casual breakfast joint starts cooking at 5 a.m. The local favorites like eggs and fried rice are as affordable as they are filling—and breakfast is served until the 2 p.m. closing if you happen to sleep in.
For those who like breakfast with salt in their hair, this North Shore saloon is the place to re-fuel after a dawn patrol on the water. The heaping omelets and loco moco are the most filling breakfast in Pa‘ia, and it isn’t uncommon to see visiting celebs enjoying a casual breakfast.
Like a sliver of French countryside transplanted in Kula, this rural bakery has all the charm of a patisserie in Provence. Enjoy a warm, flaky, freshly baked croissant while surrounded by Kula’s pastures; your cup of coffee swill stave off the chill found here at 3,000 feet. Be sure to arrive early during weekend brunch for the best selection of pastries.
The Plantation House
Not only does your table look out towards Moloka‘i and the famous Plantation golf course, (which hosts the annual PGA Hyundai Tournament of Champions), but diners can choose from six styles of eggs Benedict at surprisingly affordable resort prices. Seared ahi Benedict with wasabi hollandaise, anyone? Or classic buttermilk pancakes?