Maui Restaurants

For a place the size of Maui, there’s a lot going on when it comes to the dining scene, from ethnic holes-in-the-wall to stunningly appointed hotel dining rooms, and from seafood trucks to oceanfront fish houses with panoramic views. Much of the food is excellent, but some of it is overpriced and touristy. If you’re coming from a "food destination" city, you may have to adjust your expectations.

Follow the locavore trend, and at casual and fine-dining restaurants choose menu items made with products that are abundant on the island, like local fish, beef, venison, onions, avocados, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, hydroponic tomatoes, myriad herbs, salad greens, kalo (taro), bananas, papaya, guava, lilikoi (passion fruit), coconut, mangoes, strawberries, and Maui pineapple. You can also look for treats grown on neighboring islands, such as mushrooms, purple sweet potatoes, and watermelon.

"Local food," a specific and official cuisine designated as such in the 1920s, is an amalgam of foods brought by the ethnic groups that have come here since the mid-1800s and also blended with the foods native Hawaiians have enjoyed for centuries. Dishes to try include lomilomi salmon, laulau, poi, Portuguese bean soup, kalbi ribs, chicken katsu, chow fun, hamburger steak, and macaroni salad. For a food adventure, take a drive into Central Maui and have lunch or dinner at one of the "local" spots recommended here. Or get even more adventurous and take a drive around Wailuku or Kahului and find your own hidden gem—there are plenty out there.

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  • 1. Ba-Le Sandwiches & Plate Lunch

    $ | Vietnamese

    It began as a French-Vietnamese bakery on Oahu and has branched into popular small restaurants sprinkled throughout the Islands. Some are kiosks...Read More

  • 2. Colleen's at the Cannery

    $$ | American

    You'd never guess what's inside by the nondescript exterior and the location in an old pineapple cannery–cum–strip mall, but this is one of...Read More

  • 3. Da Kitchen

    $ | Eclectic

    This extremely popular purveyor of all food "local" is bright, shiny, comfortable, and just minutes from Kahului airport. Try the signature...Read More

  • 4. Gerard's

    $$$$ | French

    Classically trained French chef Gerard Reversade, who started as an apprentice in acclaimed Paris restaurants when he was just 14, has for more...Read More

  • 5. Ka'ana Kitchen

    $$$$ | Modern Hawaiian

    This signature restaurant at the island's most stylish luxury resort, Andaz Maui at Wailea, has it all: ingredients sourced within the Islands...Read More

  • 6. Mala Ocean Tavern

    $$$$ | Modern Hawaiian

    Chef-owner Mark Ellman has been revolutionizing Maui's food scene since the 1980s, and the menu at this oceanfront—the lanai juts out over the...Read More

  • 7. Merriman's Kapalua

    $$$$ | Modern Hawaiian

    Perched above the postcard-perfect Kapalua Bay, this is the place to impress your date, as Chef Peter Merriman highlights the Islands’ bounty...Read More

  • 8. Morimoto Maui

    $$$$ | Asian

    Iron Chef" Masaharu Morimoto's eponymous restaurant, located at the Andaz Maui resort, has some of Maui's most creative presentations and arguably...Read More

  • 9. Paia Fishmarket Restaurant

    $ | Seafood

    If you're okay with communal picnic tables, or taking your meal to a nearby beach, this place in funky Paia town serves, arguably, the best...Read More

  • 10. Pita Paradise Mediterranean Bistro

    $$ | Mediterranean

    This restaurant's owner is a fisherman himself, so you know the fish here is the freshest available. Lunch features affordable and delicious...Read More

  • 11. Polli's Mexican Restaurant

    $ | Mexican

    A Makawao staple since 1981, Polli's is set in the town's only intersection. The margaritas are legendary, and the enormous fajitas, burritos...Read More

  • 12. Roy's Kaanapali

    $$$$ | Modern Hawaiian

    Roy Yamaguchi is a James Beard Award–winning chef and the granddaddy of East-meets-West cuisine. His eponymous Maui restaurant, located next...Read More

  • 13. Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar

    $$ | Asian

    One of the most wildly popular restaurants in Hawaii with locations on three islands, Sansei takes sushi, sashimi, and contemporary Japanese...Read More

  • 14. Star Noodle

    $ | Asian

    This local favorite—despite its industrial park location— is one of Maui's most popular restaurants. A communal table in the center of the room...Read More

  • 15. Tokyo Tei

    $ | Japanese

    Tucked in the back corner of a covered parking garage, Tokyo Tei is worth seeking out for wonderful local-style Japanese food; at lunch you...Read More

  • 16. Tommy Bahama

    $$$ | Modern American

    It's more "Island-style" than Hawaii—and yes, it's a chain—but the food is consistently great, the service is filled with aloha, and the ambience...Read More

  • 17. A Saigon Cafe

    $$ | Vietnamese

    Locals have been flocking to this off-the-beaten path gem for years, lured in by the reliably delicious Vietnamese cuisine served family-style...Read More

  • 18. Aloha Mixed Plate

    $ | Hawaiian

    Freshly remodeled but still true to its roots, this longtime Lahaina oceanfront classic is run by the same group of wonderful folks who bring...Read More

  • 19. Aria's

    $$ | Asian

    Dinner and lunch items are affordable and delicious at this Asian bistro, but Sunday breakfast is equally tempting. At lunch, try the flavor...Read More

  • 20. Beach Bums Bar & Grill

    $ | American

    Its proximity to Maalaea harbor means this joint is always jumping, and the look is funky, beachy, and kitschy. The draw here is definitely...Read More

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