Island Fresh Café – Paia

Island Fresh Cafe – Enjoy Open-Air Dining at a Reimagined Paia Train Depot
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Once a historic train depot, Island Fresh Café now serves as a great place to go for a tropical open-air dining experience. At each visit to this popular Paia eatery, you can treat yourself to all the best local fare made using fresh island ingredients. Their offerings range from smoothies and breakfast favorites to burgers and ramen.    

- The Local Expert Team

If you want to start your journey down the Road to Hana on the right foot, plan to stop by Island Fresh Café for a delicious meal and the drinks to match. This quaint eatery lies in a historic train depot transformed into an open-air diner to remember. The depot gets to continue proudly serving the Paia community as a result, just in a whole different way.

As for the restaurant owners, they happily serve the community as well by using the freshest island ingredients to make great food. They always go all out in sourcing proteins, produce, and more from ranchers, farmers, and fishermen from across the island. Then, they use their culinary expertise to turn the ingredients into memorable meals that never fail to hit the spot.

They open their doors bright and early each day, rolling out the breakfast favorites to help everyone kickstart their adventures. Then, they keep serving breakfast all day, plus lunch fare, tropical smoothies, and so much more. No matter what you order, you can get it as takeout, but dining in is truly where it’s at.

To do that, you just have to put in your order at the front counter, and then find a spot to kick back and relax. Their cozy seating abounds across the indoor dining room and outside in the open air. The chill vibes promise to set you at ease in an instant, making it easy to enjoy a little downtime between all your explorations. If you’d like to check in with the world while you wait, they offer free wi-fi to all their patrons.

Whether you decide to grab your meal and go or stick around for a while, you’ll receive plenty of aloha during your visit. The team always goes out of their way to provide a warm welcome followed by the friendliest service around.

Check out their:

Chocolate Nirvana Smoothie
If you love chocolate, bananas, and other wonderful sweetness in every sip, get the Chocolate Nirvana Smoothie. Made fresh when you order it, this drink starts with a Maui banana blended up with cacao and organic almond butter. Local honey and almond milk come through at the end to bring out the flavors even more and thin it out a bit.

Hawaiian Monte Christo
The Hawaiian Monte Christo puts an island spin on a true classic, creating the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors. They begin this dish by stuffing sweet bread with tons of hearty grilled ham. Then, they elevate the flavors even more by generously drizzling their berry compote all over the top.

Maui Coconut Fish Heaven
A definite fan favorite, the Maui Coconut Fish Heaven pairs fresh seafood flavors with rich coconut milk. This creative lunch entrée starts with fresh catch fish stewed in coconut milk until light and flakey. Then, they sauté’ a variety of veggies in red palm oil before mixing them with the curried fish. To plate it all up, the chef adds a big scoop of white rice to the middle of the bowl and then pours the fish and veggie curry all around it.

Don’t forget to add a little pep in your step with their flavorful beverages, including coffee and coconut water. They make all their top drinks to order, ensuring that you get bright, bold flavors in every sip. You can order straight off the menu or ask to customize a drink to your liking. Either way, they’ll prepare it to enjoy in-house or on the go. Just let them know how you’d like it.

Insider Tips:
-Want snacks for the road? Visit the farm stand near the parking lot to buy fresh produce from all the top local farms.
-If their parking lot is full, follow the hedge around the back to their overflow lot.
-Have a special occasion coming up? Ask about their venue rental services.