With stunning volcanoes, massive national parks, and pristine blue water, the island of Maui is one of the most loved vacation destinations ever.
There are so many things to enjoy there that people sometimes forget about the incredible food, so that’s where we come in!
Read Next: The Best Restaurants in Hawaii in 2023
15 Best Restaurants in Maui, Hawaii in 2023
Maui has one of the most underrated food scenes in the United States. Because of Hawaii’s long colonial history and with such a mix of cultures, this island has endless food options.
Maui has some of the freshest seafood and produce you’ll find, along with a growing scene of innovative chefs.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best food on the island, from high-end spots perfect for a special occasion to hole-in-the-wall joints, we have something for every pallet.
Legendary Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto brings his iconic Japanese creations to this special restaurant on the island’s southwest side. The restaurant serves refined food in an open-air, beachfront space with unbeatable views.
The restaurant has an à la carte menu as well as a tasting menu that’s perfect for people who want to sample everything the chef has to offer. Some of the highlights include rock shrimp tempura and the surf and turf entrees.
Hali’imaile General Store is known as Maui’s first true farm-to-table restaurant. It’s located on an old pineapple plantation, where you can still see pineapples nestled amongst the beautiful sugar-cane fields along the property.
The restaurant is helmed by acclaimed chef Bev Gannon, who brings years of experience and innovation to each dish. Along with delicious native fish, the General Store also has a wide range of fresh vegetarian options.
Star Noodle truly showcases the varied influence that makes Hawaiian cuisine so special. The cozy restaurant is run by the creative chef Abby Ferrer right on the beach on the northwest of the island.
The menu mixes Filipino, French, and Japanese cuisine blended seamlessly together. They are also known for their shared plates, perfect for a family or group of friends.
The motto for this restaurant is “this too shall pasta”, which is particularly fitting during these trying times. Chef Michele di Bari brings traditional Italian flavors with a twist in this unassuming eatery on the island’s east side.
Everything on offer at this restaurant is spectacular and many gravitate toward the wood-fired pizzas with creative toppings. But as the motto suggests, the pasta is the star of the show. Every shape is hand-made and filled or topped with the freshest ingredients.
Brooklyn brunch meets traditional Hawaiian at this trendy spot run by acclaimed chef Lee Ann Wong. This hot spot is located in the historic Pioneer Inn, with quaint surroundings and overlooking the Lahaina harbor.
Wong takes traditional brunch food like eggs benedict and avocado toast and gives each a distinctly Hawaiian upgrade. Make sure to try the breakfast ramen and fish benedict, and don’t sleep on the creative cocktails either.
Chef Ed Morita’s creative and classic restaurant is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. This Olowalu staple takes American classics and elevates them with a Hawaiian twist.
The salads and sandwiches are delicious for your main course. But try to get there before the crowds to sample what this spot is known for. Some of the best are coconut cream, pineapple-macadamia nut, and Olowalu lime.
Ichiban Okazuya is one of Maui’s last remaining mom and pop shops making it essential for anyone who wants to support local businesses and eat like the locals. The menu has stayed the same for generations and each item is delicious.
While the spot used to only be open for lunch, this unassuming spot has now expanded its hours and serves takeout.
Merriman’s is located inside the luxurious Kapalua resort on Maui’s west side. It is one of the most beautiful restaurants on the island both for its interior design and unbeatable ocean views from every table.
The menu is 90% locally sourced and most produce and protein are directly farm-to-table. Each item is simple yet sophisticated. Try their macadamia nut-crusted mahi-mahi and pair any dish with a glass from its extensive wine list.
If you loved Merriman’s and are looking for something worthy of a follow-up meal, try the new Monkeypod Kitchen. Both are run by renowned chef Peter Merriman, so here you’ll find the same unbeatable seafood and classic atmosphere.
Monkeypod has two locations that both have gorgeous oceanfront views. The restaurants are more low-key than the higher-end Kapalua and are perfect for families or groups of friends.
Another standout hotel restaurant with unreal ocean views, Ka’ana Kitchen is run by Maui local Chef Isaac Bancaco. He takes traditional Hawaiian flavors and works them into classic American dishes.
Some of our favorite dishes include the fried chicken coated in mochi and cornflakes and the prime striploin with miso kabocha.
The Plantation House is another fabulous restaurant located in the Kapalua resort. It is located on the grounds of the Plantation Golf Course which gives stunning views of both rolling hills and the Pacific.
This classy restaurant prides itself on outstanding Hawaiian hospitality and its mix of traditional Hawaiian and Mediterranean flavors. Chef Jojo Vasquez gets most of his ingredients from the local Kapalua farm nearby.
Tight Tacos is a local gem in Kahului’s industrial sector that’s worth a trip off the beaten track. Chef Reggies Ballesteros started two famous taco stands in Portland before returning to his native Maui to open up shop.
These affordable and delicious tacos draw a line down the street most days. Each one comes in a freshly made corn tortilla with succulent fillings. The carnitas and rajas are especially good and paired with local pineapple.
This is another hidden gem that locals frequent. Many tourists don’t know about it because it’s located inside a small health food store in the industrial sector of Kahului.
But if you manage to stumble across it you’ll find some of Maui’s absolute best ramen. Each bowl is beautifully presented and adorned with succulent char siu pork that’s been dyed pink with beetroot.
The ramen is served all day but they also have a delicious brunch menu with favorites like the avocado toast that can be topped with miso tahini or curried chicken.
Top Chef Sheldon Simeon opened Tin Roof in 2016 with his wife Janice and people have been lining up for their noodles ever since. This is another local favorite spot in the Kahului industrial sector.
The menu is made up of customizable bowls that start with a base of rice or garlic noodles.
From there, you can add a variety of toppings and sauces to create your stir-fry or poke bowl. Chef Simeon mixes his Filipino upbringing with local Hawaiian ingredients, and everything is shockingly affordable.
Gannon’s is another spectacular food spot from Chef Bev Gannon who created Hali’imaile General Store. The restaurant is located within the Wailea Gold and Emerald Golf Course and offers spectacular island and water views.
Chef Gannon is credited with pioneering the Hawaiian culinary scene in the 90s and she showcases all her classics here.
Starting with their famous crab dip is a must, and some of our favorite entrees include the crispy duck and the blackened citrus ahi.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we’ve covered our favorite restaurants in Maui, you may still have some lingering questions about eating on the island. We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions below!
What is traditional Hawaiian food like?
Hawaiian has some of the most diverse influences of any cuisine. The dishes have European, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Puerto Rican, and Portuguese influences. They are known for their fresh seafood, sweet and savory combinations, and hearty produce like taro, coconut, and jicama.
Are poke bowls Hawaiian?
Poke bowl restaurants have spread like wildfire across the USA and Europe in the last few years. Many people think they come from Japan but they originated in Hawaii. Authentic Hawaiian poke bowls use plain white rice and simply marinated fresh fish.
What fish and seafood are native to Hawaii?
Hawaii’s pacific locale means it has some of the best seafood and fish anywhere. Tuna is the most famous local fish, including the delectable ahi. Some other categories of local fish are marlin, snapper, and grouper.
Is Hawaiian food spicy?
Compared to many other Asian cuisines, Polynesian food is relatively mild when it comes to spice levels. There is a variety of spicy pepper native to Hawaii that is very hot, and it does appear in a few dishes. However, most Hawaiian dishes are sweet rather than spicy.
Is Hawaiian food healthy?
The ancient Hawaiian diet is said to be one of the healthiest in the world. Today, some western influence has changed things, but the staples of the Hawaiian diet like seaweed, taro, and fresh fish are still incredibly healthy.
So, What Are the Best Restaurants in Maui, Hawaii?
We hope you now feel ready to eat your way through the beautiful island of Maui! This beautiful island has it all, and every day you spend adventuring will be perfected by a delicious meal at one of these restaurants.
We have taken you through our all-time favorite restaurants in Maui, from delicious fish spots to places for special occasions. Now, all that’s left to do is plan your trip!