Food + Wine

Beach Food for Hungry Surfers

by Cathay Che

Hookipa Beach Park and Mama's Fish House, Maui, Hawaii

Ride the waves: Hookipa is the Hawaiian word for hospitality, but don't take the inviting surf break at Hookipa Beach Park on Maui's legendary north shore for granted. If you don't know what you're doing, it can be decidedly unwelcoming. Deep water, tricky riptides, and rogue eight-foot waves mixed in with consistent six-footers make this a playground for advanced surfers only—just paddling out takes guts. But as long as you handle yourself and respect the order of the lineup, the locals are fair if not friendly. On land, there's ample parking, facilities, lifeguards, and a strip of sand for spectators.

Tide your appetite: At Mama's Fish House, the seafood is so fresh that the menu includes the name of the boat your meal came in on that morning. Ocean views framed by swaying palm trees complete the Polynesian decor. It's impossible to miss: The sign, a fishing boat beached at the side of the Hana Highway, is less than a mile from the break, though the restaurant's reputation has been known to attract foodies from much farther afield. Raw ono marinated in lime and coconut milk, uku ceviche sprinkled with Maui chile pepper, or mahimahi with sides of poi, purple sweet potato, and kalua-style pork will hit the spot regardless of whether you spent the day hanging ten or hanging out with your camera.

Mama's Fish House
799 Poho Place
Paia, Maui, Hawaii
Tel: 808 579 8488
Dinner entrees $18–$38

Next: Beginners' luck in Santa Cruz >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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