Am I crazy to say that food is a substantial part of planning a vacation? With all the different websites and apps to search for the best of the best, there’s no reason you should eat mediocre food, ESPECIALLY on Maui.
Indulge in freshly caught fish, Maui Gold pineapples, and all the Mai Tai’s you can drink. Maui has some of the BEST food I’ve ever tasted and I’m salivating just thinking about all of the options!
I’ve rounded up my top 21 places to eat on Maui. It’s a healthy mix of budget eats, quick bites, & more formal options. Take this list with you on your next trip to Maui!
My.Favorite.Place.Ever. Seriously I can’t tell you how many times I bring up Aloha Mixed Plate to people. ‘Mixed Plate’ or ‘Plate Lunch’ is a very popular phrase in Hawaii, typically consisting of rice, mac salad, and meat or fish. When visiting make sure you order the Aloha Mixed Plate. You’ll be indulging in shoyu chicken, teryaki beef, and fresh fish with white rice and mac salad. It’s what dreams are made of.
Located in Kapalua, Merriman’s is known for its fine dining and beautiful oceanfront views. It’s the perfect location to celebrate a special occasion and to catch a breathtaking sunset. Their menu is a Farm to Table concept, where 90% of the food is locally sourced. You can’t go wrong with anything here!
Great location along the boardwalk. Farther north, past the Westin Kaanapali, this is a great option to walk to if staying there. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. Go for Aloha Hour or drinks/apps.
Located on Front Street, this place is one of my favorites, as I mentioned in my previous Maui post. Nestled right in the mix of everything you can be seated oceanside, near the bar, or upstairs in a more formal dining setting. Go for drinks and live music and plan to stay for dinner. Make sure to leave room for the Hula Pie!
Another favorite for a more casual setting. Their beachside grill is situated right along the boardwalk at Shops at Wailea. Leilani’s is my favorite for fish tacos and they also have an amazing Korean fried chicken sandwich too. Head upstairs for a more formal dining experience, but either way, Leilani’s is a great spot to catch the sunset in Lahaina.
To be honest, I’ve never been here but I’ve heard nothing but good things! It’s always on my list to check out but I always run out of time! Some notes I’ve heard: go EARLY, since they don’t take reservations, and stay for their exquisite drinks! Don’t forget to actually order some noodles too while you’re at it. 🙂
I was a Mama’s virgin before my last trip to Maui. Everyone jokes “bring your wallet” or “start saving up” when mentioning Mama’s for dinner. And while yes, you can joke about the pricing, I can 1000% tell you it is worth every penny. Walking in, you immediately get a vibe of old Hawaii. But that’s not before you see the absolutely exquisite floral arrangements they have. Every dish is beautifully presented, melts in your mouth, and is honestly some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. My top picks: Three Fish Sashimi, Mahi Mahi rolls, Oysters, Mama’s stuffed fish, Bouillabaisse, Black Pearl and the Banana Macadamia Nut Crisp for dessert. As for drinks, order them all!
Another one I’ve mentioned before, Leoda’s is my favorite little pie shop. A yummy stop for sandwiches but the real winner is their daily, freshly made pie. The banana cream and the chocolate macadamia nut are my top favorites. They come in small sizes so definitely grab several to share for a group! You won’t be disappointed in any flavor.
Not really a Maui staple but I couldn’t resist because this place is fun, especially if you have kiddos! Each booth has a built-in griddle. You can order different types of pancake batter and fix-ins while you test your talent with pancake art right at the table. If you have a free morning and are craving some pancakes, it’s worth a trip.
10 // Maui Food Trucks
Past Slappy Cakes there is a new Food Truck “court.” Open 5-9pm, taste a bit of everything from Maui including teppanyaki, tacos, ice cream, and fish from the local food truck fare! Get there before 8:30 as most of the food trucks are closing down or sold out already.
Located in the Kaanapali Villages, this quaint little cafe is definitely a hidden gem. It is the perfect spot to walk to along the boardwalk for an early breakfast. You have to try the Paradise Pancakes. They are to die for! They also make a mean eggs benedict.
Hidden back off of Front Street, this is another perfect example of a hidden gem. Tucked away behind fresh greenery, come here for your morning coffee but stay for the crepes. They are massive and one of the best crepes I’ve ever had. Get the “Hua” and add bacon.
Not at actual restaurant but.. if you’re on the Kihei/Wailea side and like caramel or cinnamon rolls.. Stop here asap and take them to go. Located in a strip mall, they typically have hot and fresh ones all day, but close by 2pm so make sure to go in the morning! Make sure to top yours off with macadamia nuts too!
A popular spot but a little overrated. The best thing about here is the view! Located across the street on Front Street, their rooftop patio is pretty amazing. Go for a drink or two for their Sunset Ceremony, held daily around 5:30pm. I wouldn’t bother with eating inside because the rooftop patio is the gem here!
Who doesn’t love a fresh Acai bowl? Situated right in the start of town in Paia, escape here for breakfast or a sweet afternoon treat.
If you are in Paia with a bit more of an appetite, check out Flatbread Company. I’ve mentioned this place before on my previous Maui blog, but it’s so good I added it again! The ingredients are so fresh and from local farmers. My top picks: Organic salad add goat cheese, Homemade Sausage Flatbread, Mopsy’s Kalua Pork flatbread, & Jay’s Hearts flatbread.
Newly built in Kihei, you’ll find the massive Maui Brewery. This brewery is actually owned by the Maui Restaurant Group so their menu is extensive and exceptional. They are also working on distilling their own spirits currently, which should be out within the year.
This made the list not for the food, but for the views. My mom found this hidden gem for the best sunset views in Wailea. The sunsets are seriously breathtaking. But since you’re there, grab a drink and order their jumbo sweet onion rings. Maui is known for their sweet onions and ‘Maui onion’ flavored treats!
A small restaurant located right on the water, this place has a fun atmosphere and filled with turtle decor! Grab a table by the open air windows and watch the sunset while you dig into one of their delicious pizzas or seafood dishes.
Restaurant by day and night club by night, this place was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives back in 2017 with their lobster and crab grilled cheese. Yum! This is a popular and casual place to grab fish of all sorts on Front Street.
Another one I’ve never eaten at, but it’s conveniently located at Whalers Village in Lahaina. Their bar is big and drink menu extensive. Try for Happy Hour or dive into their full menu!
Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade – Located in a strip mall off of South Kihei Road, grab a sweet, refreshing lemonade. They have a million flavors to choose from and have fun mason jars to take home too!
Ululani’s Shave Ice – There are many shave ice stands on the island but this company is hands down the best!
Island Cream Co – If you’re looking for something a bit more substantial for dessert, check out Island Cream Co. It’s a mix between gelato and ice cream! They made an amazing volcano cake for my birthday!
Maui Pineapple Store – Fresh Maui Gold Pineapple. Come see all the different delectable ways you can eat fresh pineapple.
While there are several more wonderful places on Maui, these are my tops picks that I always seem to visit during my stay. Let me know if you have any more to add to the list! 🙂