If there was ever a restaurant meant specifically for the destination traveler, then Maui Tacos would be it. The Hawaii business describes itself as “a vacation you can eat,” fusing traditional Mexican fare with exotic flavors from the islands.

Yet another example of Hawaii’s blend of persity – whether you’re experiencing it at the beach or on your plate. Plus, as soon as you step foot in one of the many locations, you’re immediately greeted by thatched-roofs and ocean-blue wall adornments. A little stereotypical, if you ask me, but the food definitely makes up for it!

Firstly, because there aren’t many places in Hawaii to get “good Mexican food;” you know, the authentic stuff you may come across in Cali and beyond. Maui Tacos whips up some pretty legit dishes, from baja fish tacos to a classic chimichanga. Secondly, these dishes have a unique island twist, using local ingredients and names, such as the Lahaina burrito or Hawaiian BBQ bowl. I’ve also heard that they have a Mexican luau. I’m interested to find out what that’s all about!

The business did so well on Maui, it has since expanded to the Hawaii Island and Oahu before going to the mainland and across the globe in the late 1990s. We recently ate at the Kailua location, which doesn’t always have the best service but definitely the best salsa bar in town.

At one point, I remember seeing the Maui Tacos commercial on TV, where a local surfer would end the 30-second spot with an enthusiastic, “Maui Tacos, Baby!” It has been stuck in my head ever since, so anytime we eat there, someone in the group jokingly shouts out that line: “Maui Tacos, Baby!”

MAUI TACOS

• www.mauitacos.com

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