Maui has a ton of great food if you know where to eat! The abundance of fresh fish and meats, fruits, and vegetables make Maui a true eating paradise. From the fancy fine dining to local restaurants and the most wonderful desserts on the island, here are the best restaurants in Maui.
Welcome to Maui! Whether you're a first time visitor, seasoned return traveler, or a local looking for onolicious eating ideas, you've come to the right place.
This list includes fancy Maui restaurant, casual restaurants, takeout shops, and even doughnuts and fresh mochi!
A few notes:
- These are place I wholeheartedly recommend to friends and family visiting Maui. Some have been open for a very long time and some are new.
- This list is diverse so no matter your budget or craving, there will be something to satisfy.
- I update this list quarterly so it will always be current.
A must! Tin Roof Maui is just a few minutes drive from Kahului Airport (OGG). I like to time flight arrivals so that I land right at lunch time. Get off the plane and head straight to Tin Roof Maui. It is owned by Sheldon Simeon of Top Chef fame and is the ideal welcome to Maui. Everything is super tasty and the menu is packed with the good local stuff! It's located in a strip mall with plenty of parking.
Tin Roof Maui is takeout only, so plan to eat in your car or find a nearby bench. Must try dishes: mochiko chicken, ulu mac salad, ahi poke and the daily fish catch, fat chow funn, and chocolate bibingka. Check their Instagram for daily specials.
Read: our complete post and tips for visiting Tin Roof Maui.
The name says it all. It's all about the noodles at Star Noodle! Lucky because we love noodles in all shapes and forms in Hawaii. Star Noodle recently moved to a new location in Lahaina with outdoor seating. Make reservations in advance.
We like the ahi-avocado, hapa ramen, local saimin, *pohole salad, the sashimi salad and any raw fish dish, Singapore noodles, and garlic noodles. It's special enough to feel like a real night out, and casual enough to roll up in slippers.
*Pohole which is edible fiddlehead fern. If you haven't tried it yet, please do so! You can pretty much only find this dish in Hawaii.
Mama's Fish House in Paia looks touristy and is always busy with visitors, but even locals have fun here. This is a must-eat restaurant when in Maui. It's pricey but worth visiting at least once. It's also a great place to take out of town guests, everyone loves it here.
Order the mai tai. Order any of the seafood dishes, and especially any dish that involves raw fish. Order the coconut chiffon cake for dessert. And the black pearl (lilikoi chocolate mousse) if you have extra stomach space.
Reservations can be hard to get if you don't book in advance, but don't let that stop you. Most times, I just show up at off hours on a weekday and get a seat at the bar. Feels like I'm on vacation!
Sam Sato's has been around since 1933 and it is still packed every day and loved by locals and visitors alike. This is a real old school institution, most famous for a dish called dry mein. Think samin, but without the soup. It's similar to fried saimin but without the frying part ^_^
Go during off hours or be prepared for a wait. I usually visit with a friend and this is our go-to order: dry mein/dry noodle, bbq sticks, and share one teriyaki burger and order of fries. We also get some local style manju to take home.
Read: our complete post and tips for visiting Sam Sato's.
Lineage is must visit! Everyone was so excited when they first opened in 2018 because the Wailea area is known mostly for the fancy (definitely gorgeous) hotels. There are so many great dishes on the menu and the portions are generous. We like to come with friends and share a lot.
We love the Korean fried chicken and daily fish with black bean sauce. The black pepper crab fried rice and crisp noodles are a must. Everything is big, shareable and fun. And most importantly, delicious!
Tamura's is technically a wine shop and market, but it is sooo much more than that. You'll find everything at Tamura's from local snacks, lots of li hing mui type gummies and treats, and a gorgeous poke counter. They have ahi poke, salmon poke, tako (octopus) poke, even tofu poke and a ton more.
You can order the poke by pound (this is what we usually do, then take it home and cook rice...voila, dinner!) Or you can get poke bowls which are great for taking to the beach or for a quick and delicious meal.
You'll notice there are price differences between the same type of fish. It's fresh versus frozen and the fresh/local fish will always cost more. Order the fresh/local option if you can, it makes a huge difference. Or order both and do a side by side comparison.
P.S. There is one location of Tamura's on Maui, and two on Oahu. So make sure to check them out on both islands.
Go to Leoda's for the pies. Pies galore! I'm partial to the lush banana cream pie and the chocolate haupia pie. If you haven't had the layered chocolate and haupia combination before, please try that. It is a Hawaii classic!
The coconut cream pie is also very wonderful. And oh boy, the graham cracker crust. Don't forget about the chocolate macadamia nut pie. Basically if the word cream is in pie name or if the pie has local fruits and/or nuts, you can't go wrong.
If you happen to be there during lunch hours, the sandwiches (seared ahi and avocado-cucumber are tasty), but the gorgeous pies are the star of the show.
Koiso Sushi Bar
Koiso a tiny (15 seats max) and very unassuming sushi bar in Kihei. Reservations are a required, and be prepared to reserve about a month or two in advance. You also might have to call a few times or you might get lucky with a last minute cancellation.
It's simple, homey, and delicious. Order the sushi omakase and enjoy a very tasty and satisfying evening. Quality sushi but without pretension. In addition to the sushi, also try the crab sunomono, abalone, and ankimo (monkfish liver).
Paia Fish Market has three locations on Maui and one on Oahu. We usually visit the Paia location which has been open since 1989. Order at the counter and seat yourself. If you love fresh fish that's prepared simply, you'll be super happy here. Pick a fish from options that include mahi mahi, ono, ahi, and more.
Then pick a cooking style, either grilled, sautéed, Cajun style, or blackened. Pick a side dish like Cajun rice, home fries, french fries, or rice and home potatoes. I always pick the last option of rice and home potatoes...it's so local, we love our rice and all carbs in Hawaii. Then they cook it, and you eat it! So simple, so good, super fresh.
Ka'ana Kitchen is located at the Andaz Maui. It's a hotel restaurant, and it's an excellent one. The focus is on local ingredients treated with fine dining flair. We love the ahi tataki which comes with lilikoi (passion fruit) and burrata.
The signature watermelon salad is always on the menu, a refreshing classic with feta (from the Big Island!) and li hing mui dressing. The daily fresh fish is served with pork belly chorizo. Don't skip the rum cream chocolate cake for dessert. Come early, enjoy one of those insane Maui sunsets and a stroll around the hotel before dinner.
In Hawaii we call it shave ice (not shaved ice). Ululani's has locations all over Maui, so just visit the location nearest you. There are so many flavors on the menu. Think mango! Lilkoi (passion fruit)! Root beer! My three favorites are pickled mango, wet lemon peel, and lychee.
You can also add a scoop of ice cream which will be tucked under the shave ice. It's like a little delicious surprise at the end. They have all the classic shave ice toppings like snow cap (aka sweetened condensed milk), fresh mochi, and li hing mui powder.
Check out our ultimate Hawaii Shave Ice Guide.
Aunty Sandy's and Halfway to Hana (Banana Bread)
Hawaii, and Maui in particular, is super famous for banana bread. Aside from an abundance of very good bananas, I can't pinpoint exactly what makes Hawaii's banana bread so delicious except for the fact that it is just SO GOOD.
Lots of people make banana bread at home, you'll get it from your aunty, your cousin, at the school bake sale, at the local store. I'd happily eat banana bread everyday if I could. There are many popular banana bread spots all over Hawaii, but the ones located up the road to Hana are extra popular.
There are two: Aunty Sandy's and Halfway to Hana. Sandy's is super buttery and so flavorful. Sometimes you can get a still warm loaf from Halfway to Hana, and man the crust on that loaf is nice. They are both wonderful. I can't pick a favorite. Just get one loaf from each place and sample them side by side. You'll love both!
Guri guri is one of those "only in Hawaii" dessert. It's like a cross between sherbert and ice cream and is utterly refreshing on a hot Hawaii afternoon. Tasaka Guri-Guri is where you go to get a taste of the original guri guri. They come in two flavors: strawberry and pineapple. Get a scoop of each in a little cup, and enjoy!
No one knows exactly what goes in their Tasaka's guri guri recipe, but homemade guri guri recipes call for a mix of fruit juices or fruit sodas, 7Up (or any lemon and/or lime soda), and sweetened condensed milk.
Papa'aina is a newer restaurant opened by Lee Anne Wong (of Koko Head Cafe on Oahu). It's located in Lahaina and and the concept is farm to table brunch. If you like Koko Head Cafe, you'll love this place. They have open air seating and relaxed breezy vibe.
The macadamia nut ricotta pancakes are topped with coconut cream. The breakfast ramen is a dream and a must order for your first visit. It comes with ham, bacon, cheese, and egg. Order the tropical fruit plate to get a sample of the local fruits that we are lucky to have in Hawaii. Come early, or budget time for a wait.
Donut Dynamite is open on Saturdays from 7am to 1pm. Plan ahead. We love these big and fluffy brioche donuts which come is so many local flavors. I love the bright and tart lilikoi (passion fruit) which is topped with meringue, the purple sweet potato, miso honey, and so much more. They also just started making malasada ice cream sandwiches which you must try. Malasadas are basically Hawaii's version of doughnuts (with Portuguese origins) and they are delicious.
It's all about local fruits and flavors when it comes to Donut Dynamite. Pre-orders (which can be done online) are highly recommended. You can try walk in early on Saturday mornings but there is no guarantee of availability.
It's called Maui Speciality Chocolates, but everyone comes here for the amazing mochi (we LOVE mochi in Hawaii). Specifically, the peanut butter and milk chocolate stuffed mochi. Pictured one perfect round of mochi, pillowy and chewy. You bite and the inside is this soft and oozey peanut butter chocolate filling. Oh boy!! It's the perfect combination of textures and flavors.
They also make stuffed mochi in two other flavors: dark chocolate truffle and azuki (sweet red bean). A few boxes of mochi makes the perfect omigaye (gift to bring back home to friends and family). The mochi is made daily, and best enjoyed the same day, but will keep 1-2 days at cool temperatures. You can also freeze them, it will still be tasty but not as good when defrosted. They are located close to Kahului Airport (OGG), so it's easy to make a stop right before you head home.