In depth reviews of the top 10 restaurants in Maui, all visited by me several times. Each is unique and offers locally grown produce and freshly caught fish. Most offer stunning ocean views and sunsets.
Maui provides some of the best dining opportunities in the world. Due to the warm climate, abundant rain and lava rich soil, locally grown, quality produce is available year round. Chefs have taken advantage of this and most incorporate amazingly tasteful tomatoes, lettuce, pineapple, sugar cane, Maui raised cattle and numerous other fruits and vegetables, into their menus.
In addition, there are several fresh fish markets where local fisherman
bring in their catch of the day and the best Maui restaurants immediately snap up the fresh catch for use in the evening's entrees.
The highlight of our recent trip to Maui was both lunch and dinner at the Plantation House in Kapalua. Located at the Kapalua golf course on a gentle slope overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This is without a doubt one the best places to eat in Maui for both cuisine and gorgeous ocean and sunset views. The Plantation House has become my favorite of all Maui restaurants for food, presentation, atmosphere, view and service.
If you like outdoor dining in a tropical setting surrounded by gorgeous native plants and water, then you will love the Mill House restaurant Maui. It is one of the few restaurants on the island that doesn't have a beach view. However, because it is part of the Maui Tropical Plantation, it offers a very unique dining experience. The food is amazing and the setting even better.
The Hula Grill is right on the beach along the boardwalk in Kaanapali just south of Black Rock. The dining room is mostly open-air with some tables back inside the main building. All have a great view of the ocean and is one of the best Maui restaurants to catch a stunning sunset. There is also a nice bar area with live music.
If you like beachside dinner, great food and gorgeous Maui sunsets, then Duke's Beach House Kaanapali is a place that you need to visit. Just feet from the beach in Kaanapali, Duke's office a great selection of fresh produce, fish and yummy desserts.
At the top of the list of best Maui restaurants is my all time favorite, Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi bar (pronounced san-say). Located at the entrance to the famous Kapalua Resort and golf course, Sansei has the best selection of sushi rolls and fish prepared and presented in a manner second to none. Wine Spectator called Sansei “Endless innovation with a strong Japanese accent.” Bon Appetit named the restaurant one of their “Favorite Asian Restaurants” and one of “America’s Best Sushi Bars.” In addition to great fish, Sansei offers wonderful beef and duck entrees.
A casual setting, open air restaurant with ocean views and great food, located in the heart of downtown Lahaina, make Cheeseburger in Paradise a great stop for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The burger and fries are amazing. Choose first or second floor seating for the best views.
Merriman's is located in Kapalua, on a stunning point between the beautiful Napili and Kapalua bays. Featuring 90% locally sourced menus of fresh line-caught fish,
grass-fed meats and produce grown in the rich volcanic soil of Hawaii,
Merriman’s is the perfect location for that romantic sunset dinner in an open aired seating environment. This truly is one of the best sunset dinner locations of all Maui restaurants.
Shown below are the pan seared Pako-Pako with prawns and the Kale salad....delicious !
Reservations are recommended, 808-669-6400.
Just outside of Kahului, and at the start of the Road to Hana, is Mama's Fish House, no doubt the absolute best overall Maui restaurant on the island, if not all of Hawaii. The open air building is right on the beach and has a great view of the large, north side surf. The interior is so unique that it keeps you busy just investigating all of the local decor. Reservations are recommended well in advance of arrival. Lunch seating stops at 2:30, with a gap of a few hours until dinner.
We had the baked stuffed macadamia nut crusted Mahi-Mahi with lobster and crab meat plus small lobster tail on top.
and 2) upcountry style Ono with caramelized Maui onion and baby bok choy.
Mama's Fish House is an expensive place to eat, but well worth it. Lunch entrees are mostly in the $40 to $50 range, high end drinks $16 to $20, appetizers, $16 to $20. Dinner entrees cost about $5 to $7 per plate more than lunch. The Mai-Tai is a very unique recipe and the best I have ever tasted, plus it lives up to its $20 price tag. The dinner menu is prepared each afternoon depending on the local catch that is available.
For reservations and information, call 808-579-8488.
Rock legend Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood-Mac opened this restaurant in the historical town of Lahaina, Maui. Located on Front street, it offers the choice of indoor or rooftop seating that has a great view of the surrounding Lahaina area and nearby islands.
We picked rooftop seating at 6:30 on a spectacular early October evening and enjoyed the sunset over Lanai while sipping cocktails. The rooftop seating offers a great view of the ocean and surrounding downtown Lahaina area. However, the numerous power lines were a distraction from the natural beauty.
For the price, I expected more. Service was very slow in between servings but staff was very friendly and attentive. After the sun set, it was very hard to read the menu due to lack of table lighting even with several nearby tiki torches.
I had the panko/lobster crusted Mahi-Mahi. While the taste was average, it was very overcooked to my liking....a real disappointment for same day caught local fish. The beet/goat cheese salad was fantastic but the bread was below average. Others in our group reported the same with their dishes. For six people, our bill was slightly over $800. This included a drink before dinner, two appetizers, salad, main dish, $120 in wine, dessert and the 20% gratuity that is automatically included. Too much $ and average taste overall. The restaurant gets lots of good reviews but everyone in our group agreed that for the price, the experience could be better. We won't be back.
For reservations and information, call 808-669-6425.
For the first time Maui visitor, the Old Lahaina Luau
is a must do. While not one of your typical Maui restaurants, it is more of a
Maui experience. Located directly on the beach in Lahaina, the
experience starts with the presentation of a lei and a great Mai-Tai. A
demonstration is then given on how the pig is prepared and cooked in
the ground. The bar offers all you can drink at no additional charge.
There are different seating locations available and are selected during
the reservation process. All seating is at group tables which is a
great way to meet new friends. The choices are traditional picnic table
style or floor mat. Following an awesome buffet style dinner featuring
Kalua Pua'a - pork roasted in an underground Hawaiian oven, is the
featured show - the history of Hawaii though song and hula. Hint ! - This is one of the Maui restaurants that is extremely popular and you MUST make reservations months in advance of arriving in Maui. If you didn't, and are in Maui now, try calling and going standby. We know a few people that got in at the last minute due to cancellations by others.
The Luau hours are from 5:45pm to 8:45pm from April 1st thru September 30th and from 5:15pm to 8:15pm from October 1st thru March 31st.
For reservations and information, call 808-667-1998
Kimo's is located in downtown Lahaina and right on the waterfront. This is the perfect open-aired restaurant to kick back for a great lunch or dinner.
We stopped by during an afternoon of strolling through Lahaina and had a couple a Mai-Tais and some appetizers. The Calamari was fantastic.
Kimo's surrounds itself with natural beauty and has incorporated trees, beach and the view of Lanai into the design of the bar and restaurant. This is a great place for that perfect sunset dinner.
For reservations and information, call 808-661-4811.