The food in Maui is just too good. And of course, it all centers around the plentiful fresh fish that local fishermen catch daily. Here’s my list of the top 15 best restaurants in Maui. Be sure to check out my Maui Travel Guide for a complete itinerary of what to do on the island.
For a fancy night out
Mama’s Fish House. Mama’s is known for being one of the best restaurants (if not THE best restaurant) on the island. It’s definitely on the pricier side, but the beautiful ambiance and incredible food makes it all worth it. Make reservations weeks in advance, and request a table with a view. I’d recommend going either in the afternoon for lunch or dinner before sunset so you can really take in and enjoy the view. As far as what to order, literally everything is delicious, but I’d focus in on anything Hawaiian and locally caught (rather than for example, salmon, even though I’m sure it’s delicious), to take advantage of the local fish that’s such a treat and hard to find anywhere else. For example, they currently have Opakapaka on the menu, which is my favorite snapper and I hardly ever see it available.
Sansei Sushi. Sansei is one of my favorite places to get sushi on Maui. I’m a fan of their panko-crusted ahi, and the crab ramen with truffle broth. There are a couple locations on Maui, including Kapalua (close to Kaanapali), and Kihei (close to Wailea).
Lahaina Grill. Full disclosure, I haven’t eaten here yet, but I’ve heard great things from family and friends and it’s high on my list for my next restaurant to try in Maui. I’ve heard the lobster risotto is to die for.
Morimoto. Another splurge, but such a treat. It’s located at the Andaz, so it’s very Hawaiian chichi (which is my favorite kind of chichi ;)). Be sure to request a table with a view ahead of time. The toro tartare is my favorite appetizer, and honestly I could just order a bunch of those and have it for dinner. But that would just be wrong because then I’d miss out on the rest of the delicious menu.
Plantation House. The Plantation House offers stunning views and is the perfect spot to enjoy a leisurely, mimosa-filled brunch. Where else can you get a seared ahi benedict with a wasabi hollandaise sauce?
Merriman’s. Another spot with a breath-taking ocean front view, because Maui. You will want to order all of the appetizers, because they sound amazing. They have live music daily at their lounge from 3pm – 5pm, and a drinks happy hour menu as well (their pupus are the same prices during happy hour).
For casual, but delicious dining
Monkeypod. This one was a rec from my girl Emily from The JetSetting Fashionista. Monkeypod Kitchen is by Merriman, and serves up great, casual food. They are also known for having the best mai tai on the island, and I can attest that it’s delicious. Their first location on Maui is in Wailea, but they recently opened up a second spot with perfect Hawaiian vibes at Whaler’s Village in Kaanapali. The Kaanapali restaurant is more of an open-air setting, and with its location right on the ocean, it’s pretty idyllic for Hawaiian cocktails and pupus.
Gazebo. Gazebo is a super popular brunch spot, and I love their macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup, as well as their fried rice (heads up, even a half order is a massive portion). They don’t take reservations and you can expect a long line and wait. I’d say it’s worth it if it’s ~45 minutes or under, but it can get up to two hours and I personally wouldn’t be down for that.
Leilani’s or Hula Grill. I kinda combined Leilani’s and Hula Grill here because they’re right next to each other and if one has a long wait, I’ll pop over to the other. I really like Leilani’s options for Aloha Hour, and Hula Grill for a delicious, fish-based lunch or dinner (fish tacos, sandwiches, etc.). They both are right on the water and usually have live music too, so they’re fun spots.
Tamura’s for poke bowls. Tamura’s isn’t a restaurant (it’s actually a liquor store), but they have a great poke bar. I love to stop by Tamura’s to pick up a couple poke bowls, either as a lunch to have on the beach after snorkeling, or for pupus on the deck at the condo. Their ahi sunrise poke is one of my favs. Don’t be shy about asking for samples either so you can figure out which one you like best, and they also can do half-and-half if you can’t decide between two types. There’s one in Kahului so it’s an easy stop if you’re hungry after landing, and the one I frequent often is in Lahaina.
Da Kitchen. Da Kitchen is super popular amongst locals for their plate lunches. I’ve also heard their fried spam musubi is bomb. They have locations in Kahului and Kihei.
Honokowai Okazuya & Deli. Honokowai is my favorite place to grab a to-go lunch plate in Lahaina. This place is also really popular, so I always order ahead 15 – 20 minutes and then swing by to pick up my food. I love their katuson, teriyaki chicken, and all of their mahi mahi dishes.
Star Noodle. Star Noodle in Lahaina is sooo good! I always hit up Star Noodle at least once when I’m in Maui. A few of my go-to orders are their ahi avo, Vietnamese crepe, Filipino bacon & eggs, and the garlic noodles. Definitely make reservations—when I was there last time it was a two hour wait without them.
Leoda’s for their pies. When you’re driving by Olowalu, swing by Leoda’s to pick up some of their pies to go. They are small-ish “individual” sizes (but one is definitely enough for two people for dessert), and their haupia, coconut cream, chocolate macadamia nut, and key lime pies are awesome.
For a night cooking in
While I love eating out in Maui, cooking in is also such a treat because of all the fresh fish and yummy Asian condiments that are so readily available at local grocery stores. In Kaanapali we like to go to Safeway for fish to grill (they usually have great mahi mahi), Foodland for sashimi and fresh mochi cakes or mochi ice cream for dessert, and Island Grocery for pupus like sembae from Japan or sunomono (cucumber salad).
That’s my list for the top 15 best restaurants in Maui! Any other spots I should try and add to my list?