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Top 15 Best Restaurants in Maui

best restaurants in maui

The food in Maui is just too good. And of course, it all centers around the plentiful fresh fish and seafood that local fishermen catch daily. And maui restaurants run the gamut, from super fancy to super casual (none of this no shirt no service business—no shirt is a-ok). 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.

Best Restaurants in Maui

Best Restaurants on Maui: For fine dining

Mama’s Fish House. Mama’s is known for being one of the top restaurants in Maui, if not THE best restaurant. 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. The Mama’s fish house macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi is also a really popular dish.

Sansei Sushi. Sansei is one of my favorite sushi bars 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 West Maui. I’ve heard the lobster risotto is to die for.

best restaurants in maui

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 items. I avoid most restaurants at hotels in Maui, but this place is an exception!

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 all 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).

Best restaurants on Maui: For casual, but delicious dining

Paia Fish Market. Paia Fish Market is one of my favs, and it is among locals too. That’s because their food is so delish, and the prices are really, really reasonable. They pretty much always have opakapaka (pink snapper), which is my favorite Hawaiian fish but you hardly see it on menus any more these days. And seriously everything I’ve had there has been delicious—seafood pasta, fish tacos, and just simple, yummy grilled fish. Their original location is in Paia, and they opened a spot in Lahaina a few years ago—we were so excited to have a Paia Fish Market on west Maui!

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—I love the liliquoi cream topping! Their first location on Maui is in south Maui 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.

best restaurants in maui

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 of the fried rice is a massive portion, and you could absolutely share it between two people. But like, be sure to get the pancakes too for dessert. Gazebo does not 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.

best restaurants in maui

Leilani’s or Hula Grill. I kinda combined the Leilani’s and Hula Grill restaurants 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 really fun spots. I don’t know if I would say they’re the absolute best restaurants in Kaanapali, but they’re definitely some of the most popular.

best restaurants in maui

Tamura’s for poke bowls. Tamura’s isn’t a restaurant (it’s actually a liquor store, ha!), but they have a great poke bar and I LOVE their poke bowls. 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 of poke. 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 lunch plates. It’s a great spot for a kalua pork plate! 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, because it’s known for having some of the best plate lunch on maui, 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. I’d say Star Noodle is one of the best restaurants in Kaanapali (although technically it’s in Lahaina, but it’s like a 10 minute drive from Kaanapali.

best restaurants in maui

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.

Sick of eating out at all of the best restaurants in Maui and looking to cook in?

best restaurants in maui

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 top restaurants in maui list?

 

Heading to Maui? Be sure to check out my Maui travel guide for all the best things to do!

FAQs

Where do the locals go to eat in Maui?

Locals love to eat at places with reasonably priced Hawaiian lunch plates, like Honokowai Okazuya and Da Kitchen. Places with inexpensive poke bowls like Tamura’s Liquor Store are also popular among locals.

What is the best luau in Maui?

The Old Lahaina Luau is known for being one of the best luaus in Maui.

How expensive is food in Maui Hawaii?

Food in Maui can be very expensive. Produce is especially expensive in grocery stores on Maui. Popular, fancy seafood restaurants can easily run you $150 per person. But you can balance this out by going to local places with cheap Hawaiian lunch plates for some meals, like Honokowai Okazuya.

What is there to eat in Maui?

Seafood! Enjoy the fresh local fish that is caught daily by the Hawaiian fisherman. Mahi mahi, opakapaka, ahi tuna, and ono are popular fishes in Maui.
Tropical fruits like guava, pineapple, and papaya are also plentiful.

What food is Maui famous for?

Maui is famous for its fresh fish (like mahi mahi, opakapaka, ahi tuna, and ono) as well as its delicious tropical fruits (guava, pineapple, papaya, and apple bananas).

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