The Best Restaurants in Maui
Collected by Amanda Castleman , AFAR Local Expert
Maui’s culinary scene is having a moment, as a renewed interest in local ingredients—especially heritage ones—powers the island’s restaurants to new heights. Visitors may come for the sun and surf, but they’re lingering for the innovative food, made from ahi, coffee, coconut, kalo (taro), ulu (breadfruit), Spam, and beef raised by paniolos (Hawaiian cowboys). Forget pineapple on pizza, however delicious. Today’s best chefs are focused on Hawaii Regional Cuisine, a movement that started in 1991 to showcase the archipelago’s diversity. Expect to savor Japanese, Filipino, and Native Hawaiian flavors, often in the same dish.
1246 Lower Main St, Wailuku, HI 96793, USA
Maui’s quiet town of Wailuku is home to some of the world’s most artful doughnuts. The owner of Donut Dynamite!, who goes by her nom de cuisine "Madame Donut," started the business as a food truck. In 2016, she opened this...
1670 Honoapiilani Hwy #1, Wailuku, HI 96793, USA
Located on the grounds of Maui Tropical Plantation, the Mill House sources much of its menu from agricultural tenants on its surrounding 1,800 acres of land. Executive chef Taylor Ponte—who was born and raised in Upcountry Maui and grew up...
430 Kele St, Kahului, HI 96732, USA
As its name suggests, this strip mall gem near Kahului Airport celebrates all things poi, a Polynesian staple made by steaming and mashing the cooked stem of a kalo (taro) plant. Come here for takeout or be prepared to wait a bit—the...
799 Poho Pl, Paia, HI 96779, USA
Foodies from all over flock to Mama’s Fish House for ocean-to-plate dishes in a postcard-perfect setting. At this tiki bar meets restaurant, the fish is delivered daily by local anglers and many dishes showcase regional ingredients like Maui...
3850 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, HI 96753, USA
At this stunning restaurant in the Grand Wailea Maui, Lahaina-born chef Alvin Savella wows diners with bright flavors and striking plating. Start with appetizers like Cantonese barbecue-style char siu pork belly, squid ink bao, and ulu...
3550 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, HI 96753, USA
Expect the unexpected at Ka‘ana Kitchen, set within the funky yet sophisticated Andaz Maui. Here, executive chef Isaac Bancaco draws from the best of the island’s bounty, using local ingredients in a mix of Filipino, Chinese, Japanese,...
3750 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, HI 96753, USA
Hilo-born Sheldon Simeon realized the appeal of his soulful, heritage-based cooking as a finalist on season 10 of Top Chef. Once back in Hawaii, he opened the upscale Lineage in Wailea, where he’s earned a loyal fan base for dishes like...
1280 S Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753, USA
When tragedy strikes—like the Paris terrorist attacks or the Parkland mass shooting—Nalu’s South Shore Grill creates mile-long leis from local ti leaves for those affected. Representatives then present the leis to the victims...
845 Front St a, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
This airy, oceanfront restaurant can get crowded, so expect a wait whenever you go. It’s worth it, however, for the stellar menu of Hawaiian seafood dishes, plus the tropical cocktails. Pair a ginger mojito or strawberry piña colada...
820 Olowalu Village Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Some of Maui’s best food lies in a turnout between Kahului Airport and the old whaling town of Lahaina. At Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop, the line often trails out the door, but it moves quickly—and everyone agrees it’s...
1307 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
A pioneer of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, chef Mark Ellman showcases his thoughtful approach to cooking at Mala Ocean Tavern, a harbor-front eatery with dramatic sunset views. Come here for well-executed fusion fare like ahi bruschetta,...
133 Prison St, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Sister restaurant to local favorite Serpico’s in Upcountry, this sweet, welcoming spot serves New Jersey–style pizza in an old plantation-style house in West Maui. Tourists dine here, sure, but Prison Street isn’t overrun with...
600 Office Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Sansei offers what just might be Maui’s best sushi—a hotly contested title on an island with such rich Japanese roots. Housed in a plantation-style building, the restaurant lands on the contemporary side of things, offering creative...
286 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Blink and you’ll miss this fantastic Asian restaurant, located in an unassuming industrial park near the Lahaina resorts. There’s a little of everything here: Korean meets Chinese meets Japanese meets Malaysian cuisine. Don’t...
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