During my small kid time in Central Maui, a trip to Front Street in Lahaina was always something to look forward to. Different shops, different people, different vibe, different food -- so much more exciting than seemingly dull Kahului. But now that Iʻm older, I have a different perspective about the tourist hot spot. That is, I try to avoid it as much as possible. Crowded with ubiquitous art galleries, surf and souvenir shops, and middle-of-the-road restaurants, thereʻs really not much on this street that draws me, save for the occasional visit to nearby Nagasako Okazu-Ya Deli, Lahaina Grill, Iʻo, or PacificʻO restaurants. That is, until I discovered Real Fruit Ice Cream.
Tucked away at an outdoor stand in the Old Poi Factory (between Cheeseburger in Paradise and Lahaina Fish Company), Real Fruit Ice Cream specializes in soft-serve ice cream. But itʻs more than just the usual soft-serve cone -- owners Hailey McPhee and Jake Ramey use a special ice cream making machine they discovered on a trip to New Zealand -- the machine pulverizes fresh fruit (they use frozen fruit) and mixes it with regular ice cream to create a soft-serve blend on-the-spot. The ice cream comes out of the machine fully blended with no fruit chunks. Itʻs super fast and quite delicious. And even better -- they use Mauiʻs own Roselani Tropics Hawaiian Vanilla Bean Ice Cream as the base. If you like, you can also request frozen yogurt for the base instead.
To order, simply pick your choice of fruit (such as mango, lilikoʻi, strawberry, papaya, raspberries, and more) and serving size. You can get a cone or a cup. Prices start at $4 and servings are generous. Additions such as chocolate chunks and nuts are also offered -- these donʻt completely pulverize in the machine, so they add nice texture and flavor to the soft-serve.
Iʻm still dreaming about the mango-lilikoʻi ice cream I had here. Wish they would open an outlet on my side of the island, but for now, looks like Iʻll be stopping here the next time I head out to the West side.
Real Fruit Ice Cream Hawaii, 819 Front St., Lahaina. T: 808-250-1801