If you’re anything like me, your vacations may occasionally (alright, often) revolve around food. There’s nothing wrong with planning your days around your breakfast, lunch, and dinner spots right? Right?? Anyways, if you’re going to be on Maui, here’s everything you need to know about the best restaurants on Maui. I’ll break it down by area as well as throw out some accolades for best this or that. So here are 25 restaurants to try on Maui:
WAILEA & KIHEI
Duo: This steak and seafood restaurant at the Four Seasons is upscale dining at its finest. You’ll get the top notch service that the Four Seasons is known for as well as really good food served up right on the pool deck with epic views of swaying palms and gentle crashing waves. This place wins for the best pool/beachside dining in Wailea.
Bistro Molokini: Located at the Grand Wailea, Bistro Molokini is a good spot to go if you want the experience of dining at one of Wailea’s super luxe beach resorts without shelling out the big bucks. You’ll still want to make a reservation but this place is much more laid back than others. Try the fish and chips. You won’t be disappointed! This place wins for best “budget” resort restaurant.
Monkeypod: This was one of my go to spots when I lived in Maui. They’ve got good happy hour specials and killer mai tais. This spot serves up a “bar menu” of chef Peter Merriman’s creations (you’ll recognize him from his fine dining, establishment, Merriman’s, right on Kapalua Bay. Get dressed up or go casual, anything goes at the Monkeypod. They have great pizzas but I love the kalua pulled pork sandwich and previously mentioned mai tais. If you sit on the side patio, you’ll have a distant ocean view. This place wins for best food in Wailea.
Coconut’s: Coconut’s usually wins all of the “best fish tacos in Maui” award. They’re super yummy and very unique. The restaurant is very low key. You order at the counter and seating is community style. My favorite part about Coconut’s is that Wow Wow Lemonade is right next-door. Grab a handmade lemonade (made with local ingredients) before you head into Coconut’s. This place wins for best fish tacos in Kihei.
Kihei Café: This is my favorite spot for breakfast on the beach. It’s a total dive but the food is GREAT and you can’t beat the location. Go early or be prepared to wait in line. The pancakes are amazing and you can get them with a variety of toppings. This place wins for best breakfast on the beach.
Café O’Lei: Conveniently located in Kihei, Café O’Lei is a casual place with great seafood. It has a nice vibe inside, it’s right across from the beach, and they have a raw bar on weekend nights. This spot is popular with locals and tourists alike. This place wins for best seafood in Kihei.
Sansei Seafood: Sansei seafood is the go to place for sushi in Kihei (there’s also a location in Kapalua). It has a laid back vibe and it’s right across from Kalama beach park. This place wins for best sushi in Kihei.
LAHAINA & KA’ANAPALI
Lahaina Grill: Located on Front Street, Lahaina Grill is one of the best restaurants in Lahaina. It’s not on the water and its atmosphere is simple but elegant but what you’re really coming here for is the food. It’ll cost you a pretty penny but it just may be one of the best meals of your trip. This place wins for best fine dining in Lahaina.
Gazebo: Located right on Napili Bay overlooking the beach, this is probably the most popular breakfast spot on the west side. It’s tiny and there’s always a line for a table (they don’t take reservations) but the food is delicious and it has a good ole mom and pop vibe. This place wins for best breakfast on the west side.
Star Noodle: Star Noodle is one of the most popular restaurants in Lahaina and gets consistently good ratings for the quality of the food. It’s also not located on Front Street (the touristy part of town) so the prices are decent. This is a great place to experience local food in a classy but low key environment. This place wins for best food in Lahaina.
Fleetwood’s: If you’re looking for a place to watch the sunset on Front Street in Lahaina, head on up to the rooftop lounge at Fleetwood’s. They’re famous for their handcrafted cocktails and on most nights they have live music. This place wins for best rooftop bar on Maui.
Duke’s Beach House: Duke’s is a chain in Hawaii (the most popular one being on Waikiki beach on Oahu). The one on Maui is located in the Honua Kai Resort in Ka’anapali and features a two-tiered restaurant concept. One tier of the restaurant is a less expensive “bar food” version with burgers, fish tacos, etc. while the other side’s menu has steak and seafood options. Duke’s wins for best chain restaurant on Maui.
Mama’s Fish House: Mama’s is hands down the best restaurant on Maui. Here fine dining meets a laid back tropical atmosphere and for many, dining here is a once in a lifetime experience. It’s on the pricey side, but if money is tight, forego the restaurants on Front Street in Lahaina and skip the luau and come here instead. Located on the north shore, just past Paia town, it’s set on its own secluded beach that’s perfect for sunset gazing. This place wins for best dining experience on Maui.
Café Des Amis: For a truly local experience, head to the hippie town of Paia on the north shore for “crepes and curry.” Their outdoor patio is the place to be for breakfast and early/late evenings. This place wins for best “hippy vibe” on Maui.
Paia Fish Market: Besides Mama’s Fish House, the Paia Fish Market has the best seafood in Maui. It gets crowded around noon but wait in line, snag a spot on one of the picnic tables, and chow down! This place wins for best “budget” seafood on Maui.
Flatbread Co: This is probably the most popular restaurant in Paia, which makes sense because the pizza is GOOD and all made with local and fresh ingredients. You can also get gluten free crust here. Besides great pizza, I also think their salads are amazing. This place wins for best pizza on Maui.
Rock ‘n’ Brews: Owned by Gene Simmons, this open-air restaurant has a super large selection of beer on tap. They also have the best burger on the island (it comes on a sweet bun from Komodo’s bakery in Makawao). This place wins for best place to watch the game on Maui.
Mana Foods: You haven’t experienced Paia until you’ve been in Mana. It’s kind of a local “Whole Foods” and they have a prepared food section that’s perfect for grabbing a picnic lunch. This place wins for best local experience on Maui.
Kula Bistro: Another upcountry favorite, the Kula bistro makes a great mahi mahi sandwich at lunch and has some of the best desserts on the island (you can go and order desserts to go from their case). Dinner is BYOB and you can buy bottles of wine at the general store across the street. There’s no view from the bistro but the drive up is great and it’s located in the heart of Maui farmland. This place wins for best food upcountry.
Hali’imaile General Store: One of Maui’s great culinary experiences is located in an old general store in the middle of a pineapple plantation. This place has a great menu, all the way from appetizers to desserts, and you’ll see a side of Maui that you might miss otherwise. This place wins for best food on Maui.
Polly’s: Polly’s is one of the most popular restaurants in Makawao (a favorite with locals and tourists a like). It’s a Mexican restaurant and their margaritas are legendary. It’s one of the few sit down restaurants open for lunch in Makawao and it’s pretty much always busy. This place wins for best Mexican food on Maui.
Colleen’s: This little café is located in a shopping center in Haiku and it doesn’t look like much but everything I’ve had here is always excellent. They also have a bakery so it’s a good place to grab a snack if you’re in the area. If you’re hiking Twin Falls in Haiku, Colleen’s would be a good spot for lunch. This place wins for best chicken salad sandwich on Maui : )
Nuka: This hidden gem doesn’t look like much from outside but it’s home to probably the best sushi on Maui (it’s a local’s favorite) and has a super modern Asian inspired interior. They’re only open for dinner, but if you’re going to be upcountry during the evening, make sure to check this place out. This place wins for best sushi on Maui.