Best restaurants for a Maui vacation

The view from Humuhumu at the Grand Wailea Resort in South Maui

Since we’ve had the opportunity to visit all the islands, we’ve noticed Maui has more than its 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 a Hawaii vacation!

So, how do you find the best restaurants in Maui? It’s really not that difficult. There are 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.

August 2023 update: as you may have seen in the news, the August wildfires demolished many homes and businesses in Maui. Many restaurants were destroyed in the fire. For any restaurant that was destroyed, we are going to use strikethrough text as we hope that in time (months, years?) the restaurants will be rebuilt. April 2024 update: a couple of restaurants have returned to operation — Mala Tavern and Aloha Mixed Plate.

Go Visit Hawaii’s favorite restaurants

The following restaurants are ones that we particularly like. By the way, we’re not compensated in any form for choosing these restaurants. We like these restaurants based on our experience.

Restaurants with ocean views:

Most people go to Maui for the amazing scenery. When we go to Maui, 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. We’ll organize this list by island geography with an emphasis on the major resort areas of West and South Maui.

West Maui (Kapalua, Napili, Kaanapali, Lahaina, etc.)

  • Plantation House Restaurant in Kapalua sits on an elevated, beautifully landscaped golf course with distant 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.
  • Mala Ocean Tavern in Lahaina. Reopened after the Lahaina fires in February 2024.
  • Monkeypod Kitchen in Kaanapali is open for lunch and dinner with views out to Kaanapali Beach.
  • 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.
  • Hula Grill in Kaanapali is right by the beach. Their Barefoot Bar, which serves a limited menu, has tables in the sand. We love Hula Grill’s Not-So-Ordinary-Ketchup with guava.
  • Leilani’s in Kaanapali is beachside. It’s very popular, though and sometimes the service feels rushed. This restaurant also serves the sharable hula pie dessert.
  • A popular restaurant that had closed in 2020-ish time frame, has re-emerged. It’s Aloha Mixed Plate in Lahaina. They have fairly reasonable prices and serve up local-style food with an outstanding ocean view.
  • Pacific’O is on the beach in Lahaina. They serve mostly locally sourced, organic ingredients. Rebuilding to be determined.
  • Kimo’s sits on a prime ocean front space in Lahaina town with open-air seating. The atmosphere is lively.Rebuilding to be determined.

South Maui (Kihei, Wailea, Makena)

  • 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.
  • Celebrity Iron Chef Morimoto has a restaurant in Maui. It’s Morimoto Maui at the Andaz.

Other Maui locations with ocean views

  • Mama’s Fish House in Paia is a 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. Mama’s Fish House is often fully booked, so you should book this restaurant well in advance.

Breakfast & lunch places with good views

  • Plantation House Restaurant in Kapalua has great views and has great breakfasts and lunches.
  • The Gazebo Restaurant is extremely popular for breakfast. People often report waiting for at least 45 minutes or more for a table. We thought it was pretty good, though maybe not worth the wait. Lot’s of people do think it’s worth the wait. Servings are extremely generous and the staff is friendly.  Gazebo doesn’t have a direct website, but here’s a link to their Yelp reviews.

Delicious Maui restaurants without prominent 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.

West Maui (Kapalua, Napili, Kaanapali, Lahaina, etc.)

South Maui (Kihei, Wailea, Makena)

  • 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.
  • 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. This is a great restaurant to celebrate a special occasion.
  • Caffe Kihei is a popular breakfast spot in Kihei. They’re located across the street from the beach.

Other great Maui restaurant choices are:

  • 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.
  • O’o Farm offers a wonderful tour of their organic gardens and prepares a fresh lunch.
  • Best places for freshly made sandwiches and picnic supplies: Honolua Store in Kapalua. 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.
  • Kula Lodge in Maui’s upcountry is a favorite stop for breakfast after watching Haleakala sunrise.
  • Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie has great food and is know island-wide for their tasty pies.
  • In Upcountry at Makawao the famous 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.
Maui Restaurant
A table for two in Hana at Traavasa Hana

Online restaurant resources and apps

You can research lots of reviews from before you go to Maui. Also, you can download their app to your smart phone to find restaurants while you’re on Maui. You can use their search features to better help you find what you want, where you want it and when you want it.


Thousands 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, though very limited in the number of restaurants they include.


Please note that sometimes restaurants will change websites, menus and/or even close all together with little or no notice. So, if you clicked through to some links, they may have been changed without any notice.

Also see these helpful Maui food-related articles:

Going to other Hawaiian Islands? Check out our recommendations for Kauai restaurantsOahu’s restaurants and Hawaii’s Big Island restaurants.

  1. Here are a couple restaurants I would avoid:
    – Rusty Harpoon at Whalers Village in Kaanapali – neither the food or the service has been good here.
    – Swan Court breakfast buffet at the Kaanapali Hyatt. This place felt like grand central station.

    In case you are wondering where the highly touted Lahaina Grill is…well, we decided not to include it in our recommendations. The food was fine, but with so many wonderful open air restaurants in Maui, we didn’t like the stuffy indoor atmosphere.

  2. I know it would never make your list, but Bubba Gumps in Lahaina is on my list of picks. Yeah it’s cheesy, but it’s over the water and they have great coconut shrimp.

    Run, Forest run! 🙂

  3. I second your thoughts on the Rusty Harpoon. If you happen to be on Maui on a Saturday during College Football season and want to make friends with a few new drinking buddies while your wife’s having a spa day at the Westin, than go for it. If you’re looking for a nice dinner, forget it.

    In fact, turn around, Leilani’s is right behind you. 🙂

  4. And as for our favorites, Leilani’s is probably the best in Whalers Village if you happen to be staying in that area. We also like the fun vibe at Cheeseburger in Paradise in Lahaina and head over to BJ’s Pizzeria (also in Lahaina) when we’re homesick for some Chicago style pizza.

    We have to confess, though, that while we are Hawaiians at heart, we aren’t too fond of seafood, which I imagine puts us in the minority. We did stop at Kimo’s for the first time last week and it was a very nice atmosphere as mentioned here. Plenty of seating for larger parties, too (reservations for larger groups a good idea).

    Now, for a little plug for our favorite resort in Ka’anapali, the Sheraton Maui Resort. If you happen to be in the area and want to plan a very special evening, check out their website for the Dinner Under the Stars reservation. While it will set you back a few hundred dollars, we did it last year for our anniversary and it was absolutely unforgettable. **chills** Truly magical.

    Last, but not least, the Aloha Mixed Plate behind the Lahaina Cannery Mall was a great find. Some great local food and some decent prices. Definitely would recommend it for lunch, especially before a day of shopping on Front Street.

  5. Hi Kris – thanks for adding your recommendations. We like Leilani’s, too. We tend to go into seafood overload when we go to Hawaii.

    Regarding watching college football….I’d definitely choose the football over a spa treatment. I’m definitely a football chick. 🙂

  6. Hi Sheila, you asked about our favorite Maui dining spots. We don’t dine out all that often when we’re in the Islands. When we do, our tastes are pretty simple. Here’s a list of a few of our favorite Maui places.

    Penne Pasta Cafe:
    180 Dickenson St., Lahaina
    Reasonably priced Italian food, including wine, served in fair portions. Order at the counter and they’ll serve you at your indoor or sidewalk table. Our favorite is the baked penne. Interestingly this place is owned by the same people who own Maui Taco. $8 to $15.

    Peggy Sue’s:
    Azeka Mauka Center, Kihei
    Burgers, fries, chicken, hotdogs, fish, etc., all served up in a 1950’s style diner atmosphere. The highlight of the place for us is the juke box full of oldies. Get there early, the place is small and it fills up fast. $10-$15

    Makawao Garden Cafe (Formerly Cafe O’lei):
    3669 Baldwin Ave, Makawao
    The menu is vegetarian friendly with an assortment of sandwiches, soups and salads, all on the lighter side. Our favorite is their great crab sandwich. The setting is a quaint little outdoor patio. Just shoo the chickens aside and pick a table under an umbrella. A great place for lunch. $8 to $15.

    Well, not an ocean view at any of these places, but you can always get the food to go. 🙂


    PS – And how could I forget McDonalds and those great fried taro pies. 😉

  7. Hi David – thanks for your recommendations. They all sound tasty and light on the wallet – two very good restaurant qualities!

    I like the taro pies, too. There is something kind of fascinating about eating something that shade of purple. 🙂

  8. Is Kimo’s better than Lahaina Grill? Trying to find a nice place to take my wife for her upcoming birthday trip.

      1. Thanks Sheila! Another option I just heard about was Merriman’s in Kapalua. How is that place?

        1. To be honest, I wasn’t blown away by the food. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t awesome relative to the price. The views there are amazing, though. Personally, I’d prefer to go there for appetizers and sunset drinks out on their patio.

          Pineapple Grill has the best food on Maui, in my opinion. There’s just not an ocean view.

          The Plantation House is another one of our favorites. The food is excellent and the elevated, distant ocean views are beautiful. Get a reservation for opening time and you’ll probably get one of their tables by the open floor to ceiling glass doors.

          Both Pineapple Grill and Plantation House are linked in this article.

        2. SP – as an update, I wanted to add that we tried Merriman’s Kapalua for dinner again and we really liked it. Though the food was pretty good, the views are really the star here.

          1. Hi Sheila,

            My husband and I are looking for a luau in Maui. Good food and entertainment. The real deal, without having to sacrifice our first born 🙂 on May 9th

  9. Has anyone ever tried The Mill House close to Ioa Valley? We’ve been doing some research for our upcoming trip and it looks great!

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