Makawao is a very cool little Western town in Upcountry Maui. So far, this is my favorite town in Maui. It's right down the street from Piiholo Ranch, so if you are riding there, you may want to check it out.
After using Makawao as a base for travel and getting restaurant suggestions from the locals and then trying them, here are a couple of recommendations. This town consists of all locally owned shops and restaurants, so each place is really unique.
Lodging: We are staying atHale Hookipa Inn Bed and Breakfast, a great spot from which to explore upcountry and beyond. This inn is on the National Register of Historic Places. Cherie, the owner, sat with us and the other guests over breakfast and gave us great recommendations for a good beach and the best area restaurants. Staying at Hale Hookipa will make you feel right at home, as the island breeze blows through the screen windows. It's also right in Makawao, my favorite island town!
Shopping: Aloha Cowboy has some really cool Western gear. We stopped by to shop. I got some shirts and a new straw hat. This is a great place to shop if you want to fit in with the locals.
Makawao Food: A couple of doors down from Aloha Cowboy is a good sushi place. We've been eating a lot of fresh seafood on the island and trying a lot of different fish that I had never even heard of before.
Hali'imaile General Store was my favorite island dinner place. We tried the Sashimi Napolean, which was spicy and crispy. I had a macadamia nut crusted fish with mashed purple sweet potatoes. I love the sweet potatoes here. They are delicious. My fish came covered in mango, papaya and other island fruits. Desert consisted of pineapple upside down cake, which reminded me of the buttery version that my mom used to make. It was really good.
I definitely recommend stopping in Makawao while you are on the island.