Anthony's last stop before lunch
Anthony's is a coffee, breakfast and lunch cafe in Paia, located in the north central part Maui. Paia is a small town, and feels a whole lot less touristy than Lahaina. Paia look and feel in relation to Lahaina is like Chathem is to Providence Town. Paia is a more "chilled out" town not necessarily catering to tourist, where Lahaina is all about selling to the tourist. Anthony's has free wi-fi and is open at 5:30 am - 6 pm.
Apparently many guidebooks suggest stopping at Anthony's as your 1st stop before starting on the Road to Hana. The suggestion is, start off with a hearty breakfast and coffee, and then have them pack a picnic lunch with beverages to eat during the trip on the Road to Hana. The deal is, it is not a sales pitch. There really isn't any place to stop and get breakfast, water or lunch until you get to Halfway to Hana. Remember, Maui isn't like generic county USA; there are no McDs, BK, Subw@ys, 711s, conv stores etc. on every block. There is a lot of natural area between Anthony's and Hana with absolutely no big-box fast food. If you don't at least have water to drink in the car, you better stop and buy water here at Anthony's.
I love Anthony's. This place has prices that are about the same as any boutique independently owned coffee shop on the Mainland. The menu, however is versatile with a variety that would work for vegans, ova-lacto vegetarians, locavores, caffeine addicts, Asian tourists, meat eaters, sweet eaters, and non-picky eaters. Much of the coffee sold here is grown on all three islands that make up Maui County . It is really delicious to drink domestically grown, locally grown coffee. The coffee is just delicious.
Breakfast so great, oh where to I begin? There are baked goods made daily, Hawaiian sweet bread (not sweetbread) French toast, there are egg dishes, bacon, veggie dishes, fresh fruit, yogurt, homemade granola, hashbrowns, bagels, and brown and white rice, and more. Many restaurants do offer rice even if they are not an Asian style restaurant. Rice is probably offered because of some of the long ago Asian immigrant families who keep up with the tradition of eating rice everyday, and for the the Asian tourists who also eat rice everyday. I do like rice for breakfast, so I ordered bacon and rice for my breakfast. They packed it up and gave me a nice little container of melted butter to pour over my rice, which I did. What a luxurious breakfast to start my trip to Hana.
I needed the coffee and breakfast I had here because the crew I was with are a bunch of climbing, hiking, swimming nutcases (in a good way nutcase). We stopped many times between Paia and Halfway to Hana to hike up trails, climbed rocky up sloping paths to find the top of various waterfalls. Our guidebook was not over estimating the level of effort some of these hikes would be. If it said it is a strenuous 30 min hike, it was strenuous. Some guidebooks for the Smokies write some hikes as moderate to strenuous, and they are really easy hikes that almost anyone could do. From past hike experience elsewhere, I was expecting these hikes to be easier, but the truth is, the hikes were represented at the level they truly are.
Back to Anthony's: We had packed some stuff in the car from the condos, like some water, fruit, nuts, and chips, but only enough for 1/2 of us. We bought a bunch of to-go lunches from Anthony's to round out what we had in the car. The box lunches come in a styrofoam cooler that is rented for a $10 deposit. If you return it, you get your $10 back. If you do not return it, you can leave it at your condo for the next guest(s) to use. If you do an out and back to Hana, it is possible to return the cooler the same day. If you do the whole loop like we did, it is not necessarily possible to do the trip in one day and return the cooler by 6 pm. We did not get back all the way around until about 8 pm, so we kept the cooler and decided to leave the cooler for the next guests at the condo.
The lunch options were great, you can pick your bread or wrap, cheese, meat, a bunch of veggies, and toppings like mayo, mustard etc. Then you get chips and bottle of water. Perfect for a picnic lunch along the way. This is well worth doing. It is also worth buying some muffins or scones to snack on in the car.