Sharing food with family and friends – an everyday pleasure, a way to celebrate happy occasions, a way to console ourselves. We are so very sorry we can do none of these things together at this extraordinarily difficult time. We have, of course, suspended our Maui food tours for now. We sincerely hope that at some point in the not too distant future we will be able to share food with you again. Until then let’s be especially kind to each other, help each other as much as we can, and keep each other in our hearts – even at a distance.
Owned and operated by restaurant publicist, freelance food and travel writer, cookbook author, and certified Pastry Cook Bonnie Friedman, this is much more than a food tour. You’ll experience parts of the Island many visitors never see. You’ll learn about Maui’s rich ethnic past and present through its food traditions as you travel on an intimate, custom excursion to off-the-tourist-path culinary gems – the places local folks go to eat local food.
Maui’s county seat is home to our Island’s most eclectic group of ethnic/local eateries. We sample foods from almost every one of Maui’s diverse ethnic communities – sweet and savory, comforting and homemade. We begin with morning snacks and an orientation walk at our meeting place, hit three or four unique places (including lunch) and finish our morning together with Hawai’i’s signature “dessert.”
This tour will meet at 9:45 a.m. and lasts three to three-and-a-half hours. The Wailuku tour will meet at Heritage Gardens Kepaniwai Park
$375 for two; $495 for three; $600 for four
The Wailuku Tour is available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
The cool, verdant, gorgeous slopes of Mt. Haleakalā. This is where much of the Island’s best produce is cultivated and cattle is raised. We begin with morning snacks and an orientation walk at our meeting place and then head “up the hill.” We explore the hidden culinary treasures in the residential community of Pukalani, the paniolo (cowboy) town of Makawao, the rural district of Kula. The drive itself is delicious! And if the weather’s perfect – which it usually is – there’s no more beautiful place for a picnic than Upcountry Maui.
This tour meets at 9:00 a.m. and lasts five to five-and-a-half hours. The Upcountry tour meets at Heritage Gardens Kepaniwai Park
$490 for two; $675 for three; $800 for four
The Upcountry Tour is available on Tuesday and Thursday.
Every tour includes: transportation from central meeting place, bottled water, an Island-design insulated bag filled with local goodies for you to take home (one per single or couple), snacks all along the way – both sweet and savory – lunch, the Islands most beloved “dessert,” a list of recommended restaurants, access to your guide for additional information during your stay on Maui. Tours are for a minimum of two and maximum of four guests.
Tours for one may be arranged.
Tours meet in the main parking lot at Heritage Gardens Kepaniwai Park about one mile BEFORE the entrance to ‘Iao Valley State Park in Central Maui.
Here’s the Tour da Food feed – filled with lots of food – and more – from all over!
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“The Fine Print”
We love kids and welcome them on Tour da Food tours IF they’re at least 17 years old. If you have serious food allergies or dietary restrictions, this may not be the activity for you. However, we can work around certain restrictions, just let us know what they are in the ‘Comments’ box on the form above. Custom tours for one to four guests available on request. Please contact us by e-mail. ‘Reservation/Cancellation policy’ Reservations must be made at least seven (7) business days in advance and paid in full via PayPal at the time of reservation. Full refunds – LESS $25 SERVICE FEE – for cancellations at least 14 calendar days in advance; 50% refunds for cancellations at least 7 calendar days in advance. Sorry, no refunds for cancellations less than 7 calendar days in advance. Cases of extreme emergency will be considered on an individual basis.
Bonnie Friedman has made a 37-year study of Island foodways. Raised in Brooklyn in a family of talented home cooks, bakers and professional chocolatiers, she has pursued a multi-faceted career on the Valley Isle. She has owned a gourmet catering company and has taught at University of Hawai’i Maui College Culinary Arts program. For the last 31 years, she has owned and operated a public relations company representing critically acclaimed chefs and restaurants and food and beverage products, and she writes regularly about food, travel and culture and the arts for local, state and national publications. Bonnie has built close personal and professional relationships with chefs, farmers and food producers here, studied pastry-making, and co-authored two cookbooks published nationally by Random House. She has long been a keen local culinary source. For more about her and samples of her writing, please
What People are Saying
“We took Bonnie’s Upcountry tour and it was easily the highlight of our vacation. We got to go places and taste true ‘local’ food that we would have otherwise never gotten to experience. Bonnie’s commentary was insightful and provided great cultural background and history as to how the cuisine of the Hawaiian islands came together. The best part was Bonnie’s list of recommended restaurants! We had great meals in non-tourist places thanks to her.”
SF Bay Area, California
“We wanted to let you know what a perfectly delightful time we had while with you. Carol is still talking about the fact that you got me to eat “raw fish” at the Japanese restaurant. Again, thank you so much for such a beautiful time.”
-Dallas & Carol
“Tour Da Food was hands down the highlight of our trip and you did an excellent job of familiarizing us with the Hawaiian culture. It made the rest of our trip that much better.”
-AJ & Cindy
“We wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed the food tour. As we think back on it, we realize how much you introduced us to in such a short period. After the tour we reported what we had done to our children in Virginia and Australia. Our daughter in Australia was at work at the time and shared our comments with her mates at the Tasmanian Ambulance Service. Now the ubiquitous spam musubi is known in Tasmania!!!”
-Faith & Jim
“To our dear, beloved new friend – Bonnie:
Words cannot describe how much we appreciated your attention to us and the details of our experience with you on Tuesday. It has been the highlight of our time here. So many times a day (too many to name) we both reflect back to the time we spent with you and ALL you taught us about the culture, people and food of Hawai’i. If there was a place I could stand and speak to everyone, I would do it on your behalf — because you made us feel special and we had 100% of your attention and thoughtful teaching… Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
We talked to the others in our group for over an hour about our experiences, and between the two of us, I think we did justice to recap the joy and excitement for both of us at each stop along our journey! I wish we could go out again with you while we are here. My hope is that we will be back one day and we can see you again.
In the meantime, please know, from the bottom of our hearts, that we enjoyed our experience more than you will ever know! Thank you for setting aside time for us and making us feel so special.”
-Brenda and Sherry
“Today is Thanksgiving. The turkey is roasting. My daughter and her family are expected in an hour. So I thought I would take a moment to thank you for the wonderful tour while we were in Maui. I enjoyed it very much. I will mention it to any friends who say they are heading your way. Thanks again for the opportunity to view Maui from a perspective different than the one seen from the window of a resort hotel.”
“My husband and I enjoyed this tour very much. We expected that it would be quite different from other food tours we’ve been on in the past- especially since it was a private tour- and we were not disappointed. We were taken to very ‘local’ places that were chosen based on our tastes and dietary restrictions, and given fantastic history about Hawaiian culture as a whole- not just the food (which was delicious!). Bonnie was super personable, and gave us tons of tips for things to do and places to eat on Maui and Oahu. I would absolutely recommend taking this tour.”
-Christine & Brian
Long Island, New York