Maui restaurants that’ll take you on a culinary vacation

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My family has been living on Maui for over twenty years, and I’ve been visiting the island for long lengths of time — so much so that it’s become my second home. Over the years I’ve narrowed down my favorite Maui restaurants… these are the places that I hit up no matter if I’m there for one week or one month. These places are no ka oi and are must-visits on your Maui vacation:

The Mill House — Wailuku

Ceviche, taro risotto, and an amazing view.

Everything’s coming up Mill House! I don’t know what I love more about this place: The view or the food. Everything we ate at The Mill House was awesome — from their entrees to their side of lentils — and everything we didn’t eat and just watched go buy looked awesome! We were in Maui culinary heaven.

Definitely try:

  • Ceviche
  • Chicken bao buns
  • Taro leaf risotto

Monkeypod — Wailea and Ka’anapali

Shrimp & Mushroom Potstickers, Poke Tacos, and Pumpkin Ravioli at Monkeypod

You can seriously bring anyone to Monkeypod and they’d rave about it. I was introduced to it by a vegan friend, but it’s not even close to a vegan restaurant! Mike and I go here all the time, and everything we’ve tried is stellar.

Oh and you should definitely order their Mai Tais topped with honey lilikoi foam!

Mama’s Fish House — Paia

Just about every single dessert.

This is definitely one of Maui’s top restaurants, if not THEE top restaurant. It’s pricey, so we mostly make it a lunch thing, because the views are stunning during the day.

But no matter when you go, you should get:

  • Beef Polynesian — spicy seared beef tenderloin in a grilled papaya
  • Mahimahi — stuffed with lobster and crab and baked in a macadamia nut crust
  • AND EVERY SINGLE DESSERT! (The “Black Pearl” is especially amazing.

Flatbread Company — Paia

The Mopsy Kalua Pork (top) and Punctuated Equilibrium (bottom) from Flatbread Pizza Co.

Flatbread is often my first meal on Maui and my last, and also peppered sporadically throughout my time on the island. It’s my all time favorite pizza of my life. And they make a good salad too. That’s because all their ingredients are local and fresh AF, and their pizzas are wood-fired right in front of you.

Definitely try:

  • The Organic Salad — ask if they have avocado to add to it.
  • Any of their pizzas.

Braddah Hutts BBQ Grill (food truck) — Hana

Braddah Hutt’s BBQ ribs and mahi fish tacos

Braddah Hutts BBQ is a food truck right off the road to Hana. It’s “Island Style Barbeque” and it’s some of the best food we’ve ever had on the island.

Definitely try:

  • Mahi tacos
  • BBQ ribs

Kihei Caffe — Kihei

Blueberry pancakes and Chorizo and Eggs at Kihei Caffe.

Kihei Caffe is expensive, with an annoyingly long line, and it closes early, and they often mess up orders. All these things should make me hate this place… BUT I DO NOT. I love it. I miss it. I follow it on Instagram and drool over their amazing breakfast creations every dang day. It’s worth the money and the wait.

Definitely try:

  • Pancakes (but they’re a HUGE order, so make sure to have someone to split them with)
  • Loco Moco

South Maui Fish Company (food truck) — Kihei

Spicy Poke Bowl at South Maui Fish Co.

If you like your poke in the California, healthy-style, stay away. If you like it smothered in delicious sauce and served with the best coleslaw you’ve ever had (pineapple coconut milk slaw is NO KA OI!) then head to the South Maui Fish Company food truck when it opens at 11am. Because they only use freshly caught fish, and only have a limited amount, so they’ll sell out, and you’ll be sad.

Star Noodle — Lahaina

Steamed Pork Buns at Star Noodle.

This is the place that foodies rave to other foodies about. And for good reason. Star Noodle has amazing fresh house made noodles and Asian specialties plus a full sake bar.

Da Kitchen — Kihei

Deep-Fried Spam Musubi!

Everyone loves Da Kitchen — from locals to tourists — and no one cares that it’s in a shopping center off a busy road near the airport. One view of their menu and you won’t care that there’s no view to speak of. They specialize in plate lunches, but they also have an extended special menu that’ll make your head spin with all their awesome choices.

Definitely try:

  • The deep-fried Spam musubi
  • A plate lunch of some kind

Tin Roof — Wailuku

Mochico Chicken Bowl

I really hope Tin Roof signals a wonderful trend for gourmet mom and pops on Maui. Set in a strip mall off of one of Maui’s most unimpressive roads (the one that takes you two and from the airport), near a bunch of gas stations, is one of the best places to eat on Maui. But it’s so small you’ll probably have to get your bowls to go.

Definitely try:

  • The Mochiko bowl: Chicken thighs marinated overnight in ginger sake shoyu, covered in a sweet mochiko batter, then fried twice, topped with housemade su-miso sauce & gochujang aioli, & mochi crunch dime bag mix.
  • Whatever their poke bowl is that day.

Hali’imaile General Store

Duck quesadillas, fries, and a farro salad.

Enough people have raved about this place to me that I had to drive to Makawao to check out Hali’imaile General Store. It closes between lunch and dinner, and we just made it in time. But no matter when you go, there will be a wait, because this place is fantastic.

You should definitely add these to your order:

  • French fries — IMHO they’re the best on the island.
  • Duck quesadillas
  • Pineapple upside down cake with vanilla ice cream — voted best dessert on the island for a reason!

Nutcharee’s Authentic Thai Food — Kihei

We wouldn’t fly to Maui just for the Pumpkin Curry at Nutchuree, but we wouldn’t judge anyone who did.

Japengo — The Hyatt in Ka’anapali

We had a top-notch dinner at Japengo! We loved the Hamachi & Watermelon, Duck Meatballs, and the Spicy Tuna Roll.

The Food Oasis in South Maui Gardens — Kihei

Inside a garden center is a variety of food trucks and lush places to sit and eat. We recommend the Kitoko Food truck.

Honorable mentions:

  • Nalu’s in Kihei — We eat a lot of casual meals in Nalu’s, which never gets too packed.
  • Pita Paradise in Wailea — — Their veggie platter is my happy place any time of the day
  • Merriman’s in Kapalua — Try to snag a table during sunset, otherwise there’s ZERO view at night.
  • Five Palms — it has one of the best views on Maui and one of the best happy hours too.
  • Morimoto and Ka’ana Kitchen at the Andaz — Morimoto is widely loved. And Ka’ana Kitchen has a fried chicken dish that’s a great variation on a theme of chicken and waffles.
  • The Market in Wailea — Great healthy food options.
  • The Dog and Duck in Kihei– my friend owns this pub, and it’s a fun place to drink, watch games, and have yummy pub fare.
  • Lappert’s — They have amazing coffee ice cream.

Or just choose based on looks:

Head over to our Maui food photos on Instagram and click on anything that looks good to find something good to eat!

What are you favorite Maui restaurants or things to eat on the island?

Author: Megan Finley Horowitz

I'm a part-time writer, editor, and full-time eater from Los Angeles. I live with my husband/travel partner, our rescued senior chihuahua and grumpy-ass cat.

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