Since we’ve had the opportunity to visit all the islands, we’ve noticed Maui has more than it’s fair share of great Hawaii restaurants. On top of the ono (delicious) food, many of Maui’s restaurants also have beautiful views to enjoy while dining. That’s definitely a bonus to enjoy when you are on vacation!
So, how do you find the best restaurants in Maui? It’s really not that difficult. There’s lots of great resources that we’ll explore here. We’ll start with our own recommendations. We really do our restaurant research when we visit Hawaii. We want to be able to provide you with a useful list for you to enjoy on your Maui vacation.
Go Visit Hawaii Picks
The following restaurants are ones that we particularly like. (Just a reminder, we’re not compensated in any form for choosing these restaurants. We like these restaurants based on our experience.)
Restaurants with nice ocean views: You go to Maui for the amazing scenery. When we go to Hawaii we love combining great food with beautiful scenery. Though Maui has many great restaurants with lovely views, these are our favorite restaurants with excellent views.
- Plantation House Restaurant (see our review) in Kapalua sits on an elevated, beautifully landscaped golf course with ocean and sunset views. We love Plantation House Restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it’s an especially good value at breakfast and lunch. During humpback whale season in winter months, the elevated view offers a nice whale watching vantage point.
- Kimo’s sits on a prime ocean front space in Lahaina town with open-air seating. The atmosphere is lively.
- There are two Mala restaurant locations in Maui — Mala Wailea in the Wailea Beach Marriott and Mala Ocean Tavern in Lahaina. Both have beautiful ocean and sunset views.
- At the Grand Wailea, Humuhumu (shortened) or Humuhumunukunukuapua’a sits on a salt pond beside of Wailea Beach. The sunset views framed by swaying palms makes for a lovely setting.
- Duke’s Beach House at Houna Kai Resort in North Kaanapali offers an open-air, casual atmosphere. save room for a hula pie dessert
- For appetizers and sunset drinks, Merriman’s Kapalua offers a gorgeous location. We weren’t too impressed with dinner here, but for drinks and pupus with a view, it’s a great option.
- Mama’s Fish House in Paia has a nice ocean view, but no sunset view. It’s the one restaurant that your friends who’ve been to Maui will likely ask you if you went to Mama’s Fish House. They have very good food on a beach front setting. Their seafood is so fresh that the menu changes daily to tell you which fishing boats delivered the day’s catches. It is pricey, though. It’s easy to over order here, so beware of that for your waistline and wallet’s sake. I’d caution you to order just a course at a time as the portions tend to be generous. To avoid crowds, I like dining here either very early or very late in evening. See my review on Mama’s Fish House.
- For a budget-friendly restaurant with a great view, Aloha Mixed Plate on the waterfront in Lahaina offers great views and good local-style food. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We especially like their Kalua pork sandwich.
- Though only open for lunch, we love The Beach House on DT Fleming Beach in Kapalua at the Ritz-Carlton. Prices are on the high-ish end, but the beach is so beautiful, we don’t mind paying for the view.
- Kula Lodge in the Upcountry is a favorite stop for breakfast after watching Haleakala sunrise.
Delicious Maui restaurants without prominent ocean views: Every great Maui restaurant can’t boast direct ocean views. There are plenty of wonderful, open-air restaurants with pleasant environments and/or views. We recommend the following restaurants for their great food and atmosphere.
- Pineapple Grill in Kapalua is an award-winning restaurant set on Kapalua Bay Golf Course with distant, peek-a-boo ocean views. Do save room for their famous pineapple upside down cake, because it is worth the trip alone. Here’s a money saving tip for you: Pineapple Grill is offering a three-course sunset dinner special for about $32 per person. You must be seated before 6pm. We chose the sunset dinner special and thought it was exceptional and you just can’t beat the value. If they don’t immediately offer you the sunset dinner special menu, ask for it. We think Pineapple Grill serves some of the best food in Maui.
- Nick’s Fishmarket in the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea offers a lovely open-air setting with white linen-covered tables under a trellised-canopy and the stars. Save room for dessert, because you’ve got to see and taste their flaming strawberry dessert.
- Amasia at the Grand Wailea is one of Alan Wong’s newest restaurants. The food is served family/tapas style.
- Hali’imaile General Store offers a very tasty menu with a unique Upcountry setting. I think it’s a nice place to grab lunch the day you leave because it’s about 10 minutes away from the airport. See my review of Haliimaile General Store.
- Monkeypod Kitchen in Wailea serves fresh, tasty, locally-sourced food at relatively reasonable prices. Monkeypod is one of Peter Merriman’s restaurants and in our opinion, it’s his best and also his least expensive. Save room for one of their cream pies that are made fresh daily.
- Star Noodle in Lahania is definitely worth a visit for their fresh Asian Fusion fare. Prices at Star Noodle are reasonable, too.
Other good restaurant choices are:
- Best beach front restaurant where you can dig your toes in the sand: Barefoot Bar of Hula Grill on Kaanapali Beach. We love Hula Grill’s Not-So-Ordinary-Ketchup with guava.
- Best places for freshly made sandwiches and picnic supplies: Honolua Store in Kapalua and Aina Gourmet Market in Honua Kai resort. This store is good for picnic supplies, too. You can take your food to the beach or dine on one of their outdoor picnic tables.
- Best sushi: Sansei Restaurant and Sushi Bar located in both Kihei and Kapalua.
- Great Makawao bakery: T. Komoda Store & Bakery is a pastry lover’s dream. T Komoda is famous for their cream puffs, malasadas and long johns.
- A unique and refreshing sweet treat from the road to Hana: Ice cream made of coconut milk at Coconut Glen’s . Their coconut ice cream is all natural and served in a coconut shell with a spoon carved out of a coconut shell. Coconut Glen’s is located between mile markers 27 and 28 on the road to Hana.
Online Resourses and Apps
You can research lots of reviews from Yelp.com before you go to Maui. Also, you can download their app to your smart phone to find restaurants while you’re on Maui.
Hundreds of TripAdvisor members have reviewed and rated Maui restaurants. You’ll find a mixture of reviews written by local residents as well as visitors. I’ll organize TripAdvisor reviews by geography and concentrate on the areas where you’ll likely be staying or sight-seeing.
TripAdvisor’s West Maui Restaurants (includes Kapalua, Kaanapali, and Lahaina)
TripAdvisor’s South Maui Restaurants
TripAdvisor’s Central Maui Restaurants
TripAdvisor’s East Maui
TripAdvisor’s Upcountry Maui
- I’ve found the restaurant recommendations in the Maui Revealed Ultimate Guidebook to be reliable.
- Fodor’s also has an interactive list of Maui restaurants. In addition to their own ratings, they have incorporated user ratings. Frommer’s has a list, too, but I wouldn’t waste my time with it.
- Winter 2007 Maui No Ka Oi magazine readers’ picks organized. in a number of excellent categories. (If you’re research time is limited, I’d stick with this list along with my own picks listed below.)
- Maui News 2009 Best of Maui
- Maui News 2011 Best of Maui
There are a couple of restaurants that I wouldn’t recommend to friends and family. So I’ll post those in the comments.