There’s something about spending so much time at the beach and in the water that makes me HUNGRY. Well, if you’re staying on the west side of Maui (or you’re venturing over for the day), here’s a roundup of my favorite restaurants in Lahaina, Ka’anapali, and Kapalua:
Leoda’s Pie Shoppe: Actually it’s located in Olowalu (next to a roadside fruit stand and across from one of Maui’s best snorkeling spots). This is a great little all around restaurant but they’re known for their pies. The chocolate mac-nut one is my go to. Also, they’re mini sized get several different kinds and make your own sampler.
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.
Pacifico: This seafood restaurant is about as beachfront as dining gets on Maui. It’s conveniently located in Lahaina just off Front Street, but it’s tucked away a bit so it feels miles away from the noise of all the bars and restaurants further down. This is a great spot of a nice sunset dinner and then a stroll through town.
Aloha Mixed Plate: Located right on the water (and right next to the Old Lahaina Luau), this is the perfect spot to try local style food, but with an atmosphere that’s more appealing to tourists.
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.
808 Grindz Café: If you’re looking for good, hearty food at a reasonable price, you’ll find it here in Lahaina. Think fluffy pancakes in a variety of flavors and plenty of local plates (like loco moco). It’s in a little strip mall and there’s no view, but it’s definitely one of Maui’s top breakfast spots (they’re also open for lunch).
Down the Hatch: It’s hard to find a restaurant on Front Street (Lahaina) that’s not a total tourist trap, but this spot combines great island inspired seafood specialties with a fun atmosphere. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus they have good happy hour and late night specials. Also check out Breakwall Shave Ice next door which is home to the first “adult” shave ice in Hawaii.
Ululani’s Shave Ice: Arguably Maui’s best shave ice (everybody has their favorite) has many locations on the island including a shop on Front Street.
Side Note: If you’re looking for a rental car for your trip, I LOVE Discount Hawaii Car Rentals. They’re seriously the only company I ever use. They’ll give you the very best prices, you don’t have to reserve with a credit card or pay until you show up, you can cancel and re-book anytime if you find a better rate, and they usually have a special that adds additional drivers for no fee. It’s a no brainer. Click here to check rates for your trip.
Best Restaurants in Ka’anapali
Monkeypod: One of my favorite restaurants on Maui has a new location at the Whaler’s Village right on Ka’anapali Beach. This is my number one spot for a sunset dinner in Ka’anapali. Monkeypod has great happy hour specials, live music most of the time, plus a few televisions in the bar if you’re wanting to catch the big game.
Leilani’s: Also located in Whalers Village, Leilani’s has a casual restaurant downstairs where you can get tacos, burgers, etc. and an upstairs restaurant that serves steaks and seafood.
Hula Grill: Also beachfront at Whalers Village, you can actually sit at a table at the Hula Grill with your feet in the sand!
Joey’s Kitchen at Whaler’s Village: Most of the best local food spots on Maui aren’t in touristy areas which means if you’re staying at a resort, it’s hard to find options nearby. Joey’s is the answer to that problem on Ka’anapali Beach. Find local favorites to go at this spot at Whaler’s Village.
Ono Kau Kau: One of the best spots for a quick plate lunch in West Maui. Hawaiian, Chinese, and seafood specials are all served at this counter service spot that’s open all day.
Slappy Cakes: There aren’t a ton of stand alone breakfast spots in Ka’anapali (each resort has a spot where you can get something), but Slappy Cakes is great for…you guessed it…pancakes! They also do local favorites as well.
Island Vintage Coffee: Located in Whaler’s Village, this is probably the best place in Ka’anapali for a cup of coffee. They also have acai bowls, sandwiches, and other light fare.
On Another Note: Trying to figure out where to stay on Maui? I’ve written a ton of posts that will help. I’d start with my 15 favorite resorts and hotels on Maui. Also, you’re going to want to decide between staying on the south side or the west side so this post about Wailea vs Ka’anapali is golden. Read about my favorite luxury resorts, boutique hotels, honeymoon resorts, family friendly resorts, and condos (many under $100/night!). If you’ve narrowed down the area of the island you want to stay, but need help picking a specific hotel, read these posts about where to stay in Wailea, Kihei, Ka’anapali, Lahaina and Kapalua, and Hana. And if you just want more details (more! More! more!), read my reviews of staying at the Four Seasons and the Fairmont Kea Lani.
Best Restaurants in Kapalua & Napili
Merriman’s: THE spot for fine dining in West Maui. Merriman’s overlooks Kapalua Bay and if you’re there around sunset, you’ll more than likely witness a wedding or two. The cuisine is farm to table Hawaii regional cuisine.
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.
Plantation House: Head to the Plantation course at Kapalua, for breakfast with a view. With an ocean view and set back into the quiet resort community, this is a spot for a special celebration or just a leisurely breakfast.
Want more dining/restaurant recommendations? You’re not going to want to miss these posts sorted by type of restaurant…16 Best Maui Breakfast Spots, 11 Best Fine Dining Restaurants on Maui, 23 Favorite Restaurants on Maui. Looking for something on a certain part of the island? Check these posts out: Wailea & Kihei restaurants, Lahaina, Ka’anapali, and Kapalua restaurants, Paia & Haiku (north shore) restaurants, and upcountry restaurants. And if you’re looking for more in depth reviews, you’ll love these posts: Mama’s Fish House: Is It Worth It?, Old Lahaina Luau Review, and Grand Wailea Luau Review.