Just like the plants and animals in Hawaii, the local food there is distinct, and unique to that area. The best restaurants in Maui will provide delicious examples of their uniqueness. The local cuisine you’ll find in Hawaii is made of 5 different divergent styles of food, reflecting the diverse food history of settlement and immigration in the Hawaiian Islands. Food is the universal equalizer, it brings people together of varying backgrounds, and is a bridge between people and cultures.
Migrants in Hawaii brought cuisines from Japan, China, Korea, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, America, New England, and Portugal after they settled in Hawaii, introducing their native foods and influencing cuisine in the region. The blending of all these foods created a “local food’ style that’s unique to Hawaii, resulting in plantation foods like plate lunch, snacks like Spam musubi, side dishes like lomilomi salmon, and dishes like loco moco.
So when you’re visiting Maui, make sure you stop by and grab a bite at as many of these 15 best restaurants in Maui as you can! Each of these ono (Delicious) places is sure to be a crowd pleaser
In NO particular order:
If you like fried food, (who doesn’t?) and spam musubi, then this place is a must try! Da Kitchen was invited to cook at the Inaugural Luau in Washington D.C. during the Election of President Obama and has been featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and the Travel Channel Bizarre Food Show, and Man v. Food.
Da Kitchen was also acknowledged as Restaurant Award Winner of the prestigious Ilima Award, Hale Aina Award and Aipono Awards.
2050 Main Street FC 4, Wailuku, HI 96793 | Directions: Google Maps
This photo of Jini’s Curry – Fiji Indian Food is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Jini is a lovely Indian woman who was born and raised in Fiji and came to Maui with a vision. It was her dream to share her love of cooking with the world, and all those who come and eat her cooking can tell her dishes are made with love.
Fresh rotis’, curries, and savory chutneys are all extremely delectable here! If you like Indian food, this Jini’s Curry is a must go!
845 Front St a, Lahaina, HI 96761 | Directions: Google Maps
Come for the views, stay for the drinks and food! For over 40 years, Kimo’s Maui has been serving up next level dishes in a gorgeous and inviting atmosphere. Their bar is great, too! Kimo’s is home to their famous Hula Pie, delicious burgers, fresh seafood, and to die for prime rib. If you want to experience one of the best restaurants in Maui. And do it without having to spend an arm and a leg , Kimo’s Maui is highly recommended.
430 Kele St, Kahului, HI 96732, United States | Directions: Google Maps
Situated in a Kahului strip mall, Poi by the Pound is a popular diner-style restaurant filled with locals, and some “in the know” tourists. You may find that this is Hawaiian Homestyle perfected: Their signature dish is a Hawaiian plate. The price of $24 may seem a little high, but the plate comes heaping with juicy kalua pork, pork lau lau, poke, lomi salmon, chicken long rice, rice, mac salad, and, of course, the signature poi.
The poi—pounded from scratch using Taro from Eastern Maui—is easily the best on the island, bright and fresh with a creamy, smooth, not-too-thick texture.
The boneless kalbi ribs ($18) are another crowd pleaser: juicy and melt-in-your-mouth tender, covered in homemade, smoky-sweet barbecue sauce.
What’s a meal like this without dessert? Get a taro sundae for $7: haupia (coconut) ice cream topped with chunks of taro, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, almonds, and of course, more poi!
Home Maid Cafe, 1280 S Kihei Rd # 106, Kihei, HI 96753 | Directions: Google Maps
Since 1960, Home Maid Cafe has been a cozy, no frills diner style cafe and bakery that serves amazing breakfast. They are known for their 3 M’s: manju, mochi, and malasadas, (Portuguese fried donut hole) Their manju comes with sweet, delectible fillings like peach, pineapple and sweet azuki bean.
900 Haliimaile Rd, Makawao, HI 96768 | Directions: Google Maps
Since 1988, Hali’maile General Store is a renown destination for Hawaiian regional cuisine. It features a pineapple plantation style setting, serving local food source-to-table from fisherman, farmers and ranchers in the area. They’ve been ranked “12 Best Restaurants in Maui” by Trips To Discover, and you’ll be hard pressed to find food fresher than theirs anywhere on Earth!
799 Poho Pl, Paia, HI 96779 | Directions: Google Maps
Mama’s Fish House is a local landmark that brings admirers with its seafood-driven Hawaiian menu, Polynesian decor & legendary ocean views.
Open Table declares: “Mama’s Fish House is the Second best Restaurant in the United States.”
Zagat raves: “The freshest fish”, “gracious” service and “tropical breezes make for an unforgettable experience” exult enthusiasts who find “heajhvenly bliss” at this “intimate” Pacific seafooder– it’s voted Most Popular and No. 1 for Food among Maui restaurants.”
286 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761 | Directions: Google Maps
Noodle Junkies rejoice! Noodle Star is one if the best places in Maui to order saimin noodles! Enjoy Asian shared plates, noodle bowls & sake cocktails in a light, airy, wood-trimmed space. It’s not just noodles, grab yourself some Vietnamese savory crepes filled with pork, shrimp, bean sprouts and exotic sauces! Yum!
A hotspot for great sushi on Maui, Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar crafts inventively colorful sushi rolls. Bon Appétit Magazine named Sansei one of its “Favorite Asian Restaurants” and one of “America’s Best Sushi Bars.” Karaoke every weekend makes this place great fun, especially if you mix it with a nice dry Asahi, or sake!
174 Lahainaluna Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761 | Directions: Google Maps
Opened in 1982 by French Transplant chef Gerard Reversade, Gerard’s Restaurant serves locally inspired French fare in a romantic, indoor-outdoor setting. Under apprenticeship of France’s top culinary legends, Gerard remains true to his classic culinary roots while incorporating the very finest ingredients that the Hawaiian islands have to offer. If you’re looking for a truly romantic dining experience while on Maui, look no further than Gerard’s. The restaurant is as french as it gets on Maui.
127 Lahainaluna Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761 | Directions: Google Maps
Lahaina Grill is the ultimate dining experience on Maui. Since opening in 1990, they grew from a 55 seat bistro into a 130 seats destination and garnered international-acclaim as culinary Mecca. The restaurant is a historic, art-filled space that creates elegantly plated seafood, steak & Hawaiian specialties paired with wine. The outside seating boasts beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean.
When you’re craving Thai food on Maui, look no further than Thailand cuisine. Located in the Maui Mall, Thailand Cuisine it a down-to-earth restaurant serving a wide range of classic Thai dishes, including vegetarian options. Thailand cuisine is a must have if you’re craving spicy pepper notes and tangy citrus savory flavor!
3850 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, HI 96753 | Directions: Google Maps
Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, or Humu Humu for short, is an upscale, beachfront bar and eatery at the Grand Wailea Resort with seasonal, Polynesian fish & meat dishes. The atmosphere here is that of extreme elegance ad beauty. People say the food here is some of the best in the country. If you’re wondering what the name means, it’s the state fish of Hawaii: The Hawaiian trigger fish!
Our list is a culmination of some of the best restaurants in Maui chosen by a local! We compiled a list of varying price-points to satisfy anyone’s budget. Are there any restaurants that you love? Mention them in the comments below!