Traditional recipes

10 Chain Restaurants Worth Visiting Slideshow

10 Chain Restaurants Worth Visiting Slideshow

The Cheesecake Factory

Founded in 1978 in Los Angeles by David Overton, whose parents owned a small cheesecake bakery, The Cheesecake Factory is admittedly pretty cheesy; witness the faux Italianate columns decorated with Pharoah faces, the soaring trompe l’oeil ceilings, and the red glass wall sconces the size of toddlers. But it’s much better than a mere last resort if you happen to be snowed in at an office park in Cleveland or someplace similar. The place may have way too many menu items (more than 200, not counting more than 30 types of cheesecake), but a whole lot of it tastes really good.

Don't miss: Nation’s Restaurant News hailed the miso salmon entrée — inspired by Nobu Matsuhisa's famous black cod with miso—as the “Best New Menu Item” of 2002, and believe it or not, it's even tastier than the original. Also, the bartenders make gigantic, perfect, reliably ice-cold martinis.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Denver native Steve Ells trained at the Culinary Institute of America and cooked under Jeremiah Tower at Stars in San Francisco for a couple of years before he headed home in 1993, bought an old ice cream shop, and opened the first Chipotle Mexican Grill. Ells’s commitment to eliminating antibiotics in our food supply (a subject on which he’s testified before Congress) is exemplary, and his burritos are fine if not exactly authentic. The fact that everything on the menu is made to order before a diner’s eyes remains a key selling point.

Don't miss: The homemade tortilla chips, spiked with fresh lime and kosher salt, and the freshly made, chunky guacamole.

Five Guys

Does the world really need another burger joint? Probably not — but this one breathes some new life into the genre. The first Five Guys was opened in 1986 in suburban Washington, D.C. by Janie and Jerry Murrell (the “five guys” in question are their sons) with a very simple concept: handmade burgers served with a long list of (gratis) toppings, and fresh-cut, never-frozen French fries. A little star power helped: President Obama is a huge fan, and has been known to show up to get a sack of burgers for his staff.

Don't miss: The thin, mouthwateringly greasy Five Guys burgers are habit-forming, but the grilled cheese is far too good to be left to vegetarians (at least partly because the chain owns its own bakeries, and the buns are all homemade).

Jason’s Deli

There is no Jason, and this under-the-radar franchise isn't a deli, though its 200-plus outlets do offer deli-style sandwiches. What Jason’s Deli is is a combination salad bar, sandwich shop, and cafeteria — a bustling, kid-friendly, geriatric-friendly, down-to-earth chain with a commitment to organic foods, fresh vegetables, gigantic stuffed baked potatoes, and the Italian family, rife with grocers and cooks, who started it all in Beaumont, Texas, in 1976.

Don't miss: The homemade soups, especially the chicken potpie, are great, and the kids meals, none of which cost more than $4, and all of which are completely lacking in trans fats, nitrates, or high-fructose corn syrup, are a revelation.

Outback Steakhouse

Is Australia lousy with steakhouses? Not really, but that didn’t stop a small crew of Florida-based Chilis franchise-holders from establishing Outback in Tampa in March of 1988. The goal was to sandwich an affordable, but high (enough) quality steak in the niche between, say, a Bennigan’s and a Morton’s. Success? Today there are Outbacks in all 50 states and 21 countries around the world. If you can get past all that “shrimp on the barbie” and “kookaburra” lingo and the Crocodile Dundee-inspired service, the steak, which is pretty much what you should stick to, is surprisingly well-cooked, well-seasoned, and consistently delicious.

Don't miss: The Outback Special: For $9.99, you get a sirloin and two sides (like salad and a baked potato).

California Pizza Kitchen

In 1985, two L.A. lawyers decided to try their luck in the restaurant business by riffing on the gourmet pizzas popularized by Wolfgang Puck. They pooled resources and opened shop in Beverly Hills offering a menu of internationally-flavored pies including barbecue chicken and pear-gorgonzola. There are now California Pizza Kitchens in 32 states and in ten countries. The chain is nothing if not dependable: the service is polished, the food — not only the pizza — is of high quality. You may not be moved to try “Mango Tandoori Chicken Pizza,” but you might really like to have a tall, well-made cocktail with a nice bowl of tortilla soup some night while you’re stuck at a business conference.

Don't miss: The gorgeous salads, particularly the Chinese chicken and the Cobb.

Ted’s Montana Grill

Media entrepreneur Ted Turner is just a guy who likes a good bison burger — so in 2002 he partnered with George McKerrow, founder of the LongHorn Steakhouse franchise, to create a place where he could kick up his cowboy boots and chow down. Or so he’d have you believe, at any rate. The fact is that, no matter how you feel about Turner, the idea was a winner. The food at Ted's Montana Grill — mostly upscale comfort fare — is downright stick-to-your-ribs good, and there's plenty of it.

Don't miss: The “skinny dip,” a giant, cooked-to-order bison burger topped with slices of fresh avocado. The meatloaf is pretty good, too.

Houston’s

Houston's was the first restaurant concept launched by George Biel's Los Angeles-based Hillstone Restaurant Group, in business since 1975. The eateries are comfortable, with overstuffed chairs, and tables positioned a respectable distance apart. The menu offers dishes that don’t much belong together — barbecued ribs, tuna sashimi salad — but the food is presented with a spirit of friendliness, abundance, and more discretion and taste than most franchise restaurants bring to the table — which will be much appreciated if you’re quarantined in, say, Winter Park, Fl., without a clue of where to eat.

Don't miss: Hot spinach-and-artichoke dip is a cliché disco-era appetizer, but here it’s downright addictive, especially when presented with extra large, salty, warm, homemade tortilla chips. Strips of the chips show up again on the grilled chicken salad, an extravaganza dressed with fresh lime juice and peanut sauce.

Melting Pot

One day in 1975, Mark Johnston, an enterprising waiter at a Maitland, Florida-based fondue restaurant, looked at the simmering pots of cheese on every table and saw gold. He and his two brothers bought the rights to the place, and set out to prove that fondue could have a life beyond the Alps. If you can overlook the (admittedly substantial) cheese factor and skip the many promotionally-planned meals that seem to revolve around boiling cauldrons of oil in which to dip raw meat, Melting Pot can be great fun, and a decidedly different way to spend an evening.

Don't miss: The classic cheese fondue, into which you may dip apple slices, bread, and/or roasted potatoes.

In-N-Out Burger

California’s first drive-through hamburger stand was the brainchild of Harry Snyder, back in 1948. There are more than 150 In-N-Outs today, mostly on the West Coast), but it’s not a “chain” in the modern sense of the word. The company is still privately held and has never licensed a franchise. There are only three things on the menu: burgers, fries, and drinks (milkshakes being the highlight), and all of them are made on-site and all of them are delicious.

Don't miss: The house specialty “animal-style” burger, which comes with pickles, extra “spread” (the house condiment, a Thousand Island-esque caloric extravaganza), extra grilled onions, and mustard fried onto each meat patty.


The Best Restaurants on Maui

Enjoy Maui like a local with these recommendations for the best seafood, shave ice, plate lunch and more.

Related To:

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Monkeypod

Named for a tree that grows on the Hawaiian islands and nourishes the plants that grow around it, Monkeypod serves reinvented takes on local fare, in a rollicking setting that often features live music. Run by revered local chef Peter Merriman, Monkeypod aims to please. Shareable starters include shrimp-mushroom potstickers and poke tacos. Corn chowder is bolstered with local coconut milk and lemongrass wood-fired pizzas include a reinvented take on the Hawaiian pizza, with Kalua pork, roasted pineapple, macadamia nut pesto and jalapeno. Grilled day-boat ahi is topped with a soy-sesame-Maui onion sauce, but Merriman's Nightly Upcountry Special is often the dish to beat, and can feature homey fare, like pork chops or noodles. Pair it all with a Monkeypod Mai Tai, which updates the classic with house macadamia orgeat syrup and an airy puff of honey-lilikoi foam on top.

Sam Sato’s

There&rsquos nearly always a wait at Sam Sato&rsquos, a tiny diner in Wailuku. Open only for breakfast and lunch, the restaurant turns out impressively hearty island staples, including loco moco, banana hot cakes and noodle dishes, including saimin, chow fun and dry mein. The latter is a Chinese-Hawaiian hybrid of pork-topped lo mein noodles with a side of broth to dip them into or pour over the top. If you have the choice, opt for a spot at the counter, where the banter between servers and regulars is as homey as the food.

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

One of the best ways to cool off, Hawaiian shave ice is practically ubiquitous around Maui. Of all the places to try it, Ululani&rsquos might be the best. Sure, the ice is fluffy enough to taste more like frozen cloud puffs than mere ice. But the vividly colored homemade syrups are what set it apart, in flavors like guava, salty plum, lilikoi, pickled mango and sour lemon, as well as kid favorites like pink bubble gum and root beer. There are six locations around Maui, with one in Kailua-Kona, but the main one is in Lahaina, on Front Street, right by the ocean. Sneak a peek at what is in store by watching our Facebook video of the mesmerizing action, which has generated 27 million fans and counting.

The Sandbar

Set off the bright, welcoming lobby of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, The Sandbar lounge is a breezy lanai with panoramic Pacific views. The locally focused menu includes poke cones, housemade charcuterie, sliders and coconut shrimp, all ideal for pairing with sunset drinks like the signature Sandbar Mai Tai (made more special with Hawaiian rum and housemade macadamia nut syrup). Sip the nicely spiced Stormy Season, with coconut liqueur, pineapple syrup and Maui Brewing Company's ginger beer, while looking out over the island's landmark Pu'u Keka'a rock, in search of double rainbows. The Sandbar is also open in the mornings for pastries like a lilikoi-caramel cinnamon roll and toasted coconut scones with vividly colorful ube.

Leoda’s

South of Lahaina on a stretch of highway not far from the beach, Leoda&rsquos bakes some of the best pies, not just on Maui, but in the world. Park in the dusty lot, where chickens might strut by, and join the queue inside for a sandwich and one of the superlative pies. There are plenty of flavor options &mdash berry pies, apple pies &mdash but the best feature local ingredients &mdash lilikoi cheese, guava chiffon, banana cream, coconut cream, chocolate macadamia nut and Olowalu Key lime (made with fruit plucked from the owner&rsquos trees).

Humuhumu

Arriving at Humuhumu means weaving through the Grand Wailea&rsquos maze of pathways, past tropical plants, pools and the occasional parrot. But the restaurant, named for the Hawaiian state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua&rsquoa, is worth the stroll. In a thatched pavilion atop a lagoon, chef Alvin Savella showcases local ingredients in reinvented local preparations, like squid ink bao buns with octopus and ginger-lime aioli, lobster ramen with a red miso-coconut broth, and seared scallops with yuzu and truffle vinaigrette. The restaurant is special, with a giant circular bar, prime water views, and servers who go above and beyond to connect with patrons. But Table 70 is probably the most-spectacular dining experience on the island, an al fresco torch-lit pier off the main restaurant, tucked away from other diners and over the lagoon, making the perfect island recipe for romance.

Merriman's

One of the 12 named founding chefs of Hawaiian cuisine, Peter Merriman is a champion of local flavors, sourcing from area farms and fisherman for dishes that nod to Hawaiian traditions. At Merriman's in Kapalua, taste the fusion of classic and creative in dishes like kalua pig and sweet onion quesadillas or the enchilada with Kona-caught lobster and butter-poached local corn.

Flatbread Company

The sole Hawaiian outpost of a Massachusetts-based chainlet, Flatbread Company in Paia has adapted seamlessly to the tropics. The menu uses local ingredients whenever possible, including farm-sourced produce for toppings. Start with the house salad, topped with local papaya, Hawaiian goat cheese and Maui pineapple vinaigrette. The pies are extra-popular as post-surfing fortification for locals, who love the Mopsy&rsquos Kalua Pork flatbread, a most-flavorful reinvention of a Hawaiian pizza, with smoked free-range shoulder, mango barbecue sauce, red onions, local pineapple and garlic oil.

Coconut Glen's

On the road to Hana? Stop to chill at this cheerful little spot on the Hana Hwy. Coconut Glen&rsquos specializes in vegan ice cream made from &mdash and served in &mdash island coconuts. Rich and creamy, the frozen desserts &mdash in flavors like banana-rum raisin, pineapple curry, chocolate-chile, salted caramel and, of course, classic coconut &mdash don&rsquot taste vegan, so they&rsquoll please even the most devoted dairy fans.

Maui Brewing Co.

Tucked in the hills above Kihei, Maui Brewing Co. offers tours, tastings and a full-on restaurant that&rsquos ideal for sampling flights of craft beers &mdash including seasonal and small-scale beers made with local fruits, like a tart lilikoi saison, and non-alcoholic options like house-brewed root beer. Dishes are great for sharing, and pairing with beer, including pizzas made with ale-bolstered dough the Brewmaster is topped with spicy sausage, pepperoni, roasted peppers and olives. Beer even makes its way into a few dishes, including a hearty loco moco slathered in gravy made with the brewery's Big Swell IPA.

Komoda

If you plan to catch the sunrise at Haleakalā, reward yourself on the drive back with a stop in Makawao, at historic Komoda (3674 Baldwin Ave.). Open since 1916, the tiny bakery specializes in cream puffs, malasadas (beignet-like doughnuts) and stick doughnuts, which are skewered fritters. The tiny no-frills spot &mdash there isn't even a website &mdash opens at 7 a.m., often selling out of the best stuff within a few hours. They're closed on Sundays and Wednesdays, so plan accordingly.

Star Noodle

As the name might imply, noodles are the thing to try at Star Noodle, but it&rsquos not hard to fill up on appealing shared small bites &mdash which borrow from Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines &mdash before a single noodle arrives. Start with a seafood-studded Vietnamese crepe, Chinese broccoli, vegetable Rangoon, pork buns or taro dumplings before transitioning to mains like dashi-spiked saimin with Spam, punchy garlic noodles and curry-infused Singapore noodles. Those who manage to save room can dive into mango pudding or puffy beignet-like malasadas.

The Hali’imaile General Store

Upcountry, tucked among Maui's pineapple fields, Hali&rsquoimaile General Store occupies a 1920s-ear former general store for plantation workers. Run by legendary chef Bev Gannon, the General Store is renowned for Bev's creative updates to classic flavors, including a sashimi Napoleon with layers of ahi, smoked salmon and wontons under a punchy wasabi vinaigrette, her famous crab-topped pizza, and baby back ribs with citrus barbecue sauce.

The Pint & Cork

Tucked inside The Shops at Wailea, this low-key tavern is the ideal spot to catch a break from the sun &mdash or watch games on several TVs. The menu is also a nice balance to the seafood-centric options at nearby resort restaurants. Sure, you'll find a light poke bowl studded with local big eye tuna, but the go-to dishes are the sandwiches, like a gooey crab melt, a short rib grilled cheese and the Bib Burger, a messy, juicy bacon-Cheddar burger bolstered with charred onion, arugla, a fried egg and whiskey-based sauce, all on a brioche bun. (Note that since Hawaii is up to six hours behind the East Coast, games start pretty early, so doors open at 7 a.m. on Sundays.)

Da Kitchen

Hawaiian food is a beautiful composite of cultural influences over the decades, inspired by tropical produce, locally available meats, and the flavors and ingredients beloved by immigrants who arrived to work on pineapple plantations and in sugar cane fields. One enduring tradition is the plate lunch, a hulking assortment of rice, with pasta salad and protein, like teriyaki chicken or Kalua pork. Try some at Da Kitchen, in Kahului, along with spam musubi, a sushi-inspired combo of nori-wrapped spam and rice. At Da Kitchen, it's deep-fried for crunch.

On the road to Hana, past Paia, Jaws Country Store sells coffees, smoothies and breakfast sandwiches for those who get an early start. For ramblers, it&rsquos a favorite lunch stop. Try a banh mi with local brisket or tempeh, or go for a poke bowl, like the Poisson Cru, a Tahitian-inspired take, with ahi in coconut milk with cucumbers, local tomatoes, Maui onion and mint. Come dinner, they fire up the pizza oven and turn out creative pies topped with spicy chicken, guava-barbecue pork and cheeseburger fixings.

Paia Fish Market

In the heart of surfer-hub Pa'ia, near some of the island&rsquos best waves, the Pa'ia Fish Market lets locally caught seafood shine. Opt for a burger with your choice of fish or simply grilled mahi mahi, ono or opah, with cole slaw and fries, and a Maui Brewing Co. beer. Though the original location is worth a stop, there are locations in Lahaina and Kihei, as well as Waikiki, on Oahu.

Mama’s Fish House

Truthfully, Mama&rsquos Fish House could steal most any category &mdash icon, romantic restaurant, fish, Mai Tais and more. Its setting, right on the sand, with stellar sunset views, makes it so the food doesn&rsquot even need to be great. But the iconic family-owned destination does indeed serve fantastic food, including local fish caught by fishermen who bring their hauls directly to the chefs. Read the menu, and you&rsquoll see each fish on the menu showcases not just its preparation, but the fisherman who caught it. "Ahi caught near our deep ocean buoys by Matt Smith" might be grilled in a ti leaf and served with local banana and papaya. "Papio caught by Layne Nakagawa in deep reefs off Keanae" is steamed with island-grown ginger, Asian vegetables and sizzling macadamia nut oil. The macadamia nut-crusted lobster- and crab-stuffed fish has been a fan favorite since the restaurant opened in 1973.Try it with the signature Mai Tai Roa Ae and relish that few things in life are better than Mama&rsquos.


The Best Restaurants on Maui

Enjoy Maui like a local with these recommendations for the best seafood, shave ice, plate lunch and more.

Related To:

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Monkeypod

Named for a tree that grows on the Hawaiian islands and nourishes the plants that grow around it, Monkeypod serves reinvented takes on local fare, in a rollicking setting that often features live music. Run by revered local chef Peter Merriman, Monkeypod aims to please. Shareable starters include shrimp-mushroom potstickers and poke tacos. Corn chowder is bolstered with local coconut milk and lemongrass wood-fired pizzas include a reinvented take on the Hawaiian pizza, with Kalua pork, roasted pineapple, macadamia nut pesto and jalapeno. Grilled day-boat ahi is topped with a soy-sesame-Maui onion sauce, but Merriman's Nightly Upcountry Special is often the dish to beat, and can feature homey fare, like pork chops or noodles. Pair it all with a Monkeypod Mai Tai, which updates the classic with house macadamia orgeat syrup and an airy puff of honey-lilikoi foam on top.

Sam Sato’s

There&rsquos nearly always a wait at Sam Sato&rsquos, a tiny diner in Wailuku. Open only for breakfast and lunch, the restaurant turns out impressively hearty island staples, including loco moco, banana hot cakes and noodle dishes, including saimin, chow fun and dry mein. The latter is a Chinese-Hawaiian hybrid of pork-topped lo mein noodles with a side of broth to dip them into or pour over the top. If you have the choice, opt for a spot at the counter, where the banter between servers and regulars is as homey as the food.

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

One of the best ways to cool off, Hawaiian shave ice is practically ubiquitous around Maui. Of all the places to try it, Ululani&rsquos might be the best. Sure, the ice is fluffy enough to taste more like frozen cloud puffs than mere ice. But the vividly colored homemade syrups are what set it apart, in flavors like guava, salty plum, lilikoi, pickled mango and sour lemon, as well as kid favorites like pink bubble gum and root beer. There are six locations around Maui, with one in Kailua-Kona, but the main one is in Lahaina, on Front Street, right by the ocean. Sneak a peek at what is in store by watching our Facebook video of the mesmerizing action, which has generated 27 million fans and counting.

The Sandbar

Set off the bright, welcoming lobby of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, The Sandbar lounge is a breezy lanai with panoramic Pacific views. The locally focused menu includes poke cones, housemade charcuterie, sliders and coconut shrimp, all ideal for pairing with sunset drinks like the signature Sandbar Mai Tai (made more special with Hawaiian rum and housemade macadamia nut syrup). Sip the nicely spiced Stormy Season, with coconut liqueur, pineapple syrup and Maui Brewing Company's ginger beer, while looking out over the island's landmark Pu'u Keka'a rock, in search of double rainbows. The Sandbar is also open in the mornings for pastries like a lilikoi-caramel cinnamon roll and toasted coconut scones with vividly colorful ube.

Leoda’s

South of Lahaina on a stretch of highway not far from the beach, Leoda&rsquos bakes some of the best pies, not just on Maui, but in the world. Park in the dusty lot, where chickens might strut by, and join the queue inside for a sandwich and one of the superlative pies. There are plenty of flavor options &mdash berry pies, apple pies &mdash but the best feature local ingredients &mdash lilikoi cheese, guava chiffon, banana cream, coconut cream, chocolate macadamia nut and Olowalu Key lime (made with fruit plucked from the owner&rsquos trees).

Humuhumu

Arriving at Humuhumu means weaving through the Grand Wailea&rsquos maze of pathways, past tropical plants, pools and the occasional parrot. But the restaurant, named for the Hawaiian state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua&rsquoa, is worth the stroll. In a thatched pavilion atop a lagoon, chef Alvin Savella showcases local ingredients in reinvented local preparations, like squid ink bao buns with octopus and ginger-lime aioli, lobster ramen with a red miso-coconut broth, and seared scallops with yuzu and truffle vinaigrette. The restaurant is special, with a giant circular bar, prime water views, and servers who go above and beyond to connect with patrons. But Table 70 is probably the most-spectacular dining experience on the island, an al fresco torch-lit pier off the main restaurant, tucked away from other diners and over the lagoon, making the perfect island recipe for romance.

Merriman's

One of the 12 named founding chefs of Hawaiian cuisine, Peter Merriman is a champion of local flavors, sourcing from area farms and fisherman for dishes that nod to Hawaiian traditions. At Merriman's in Kapalua, taste the fusion of classic and creative in dishes like kalua pig and sweet onion quesadillas or the enchilada with Kona-caught lobster and butter-poached local corn.

Flatbread Company

The sole Hawaiian outpost of a Massachusetts-based chainlet, Flatbread Company in Paia has adapted seamlessly to the tropics. The menu uses local ingredients whenever possible, including farm-sourced produce for toppings. Start with the house salad, topped with local papaya, Hawaiian goat cheese and Maui pineapple vinaigrette. The pies are extra-popular as post-surfing fortification for locals, who love the Mopsy&rsquos Kalua Pork flatbread, a most-flavorful reinvention of a Hawaiian pizza, with smoked free-range shoulder, mango barbecue sauce, red onions, local pineapple and garlic oil.

Coconut Glen's

On the road to Hana? Stop to chill at this cheerful little spot on the Hana Hwy. Coconut Glen&rsquos specializes in vegan ice cream made from &mdash and served in &mdash island coconuts. Rich and creamy, the frozen desserts &mdash in flavors like banana-rum raisin, pineapple curry, chocolate-chile, salted caramel and, of course, classic coconut &mdash don&rsquot taste vegan, so they&rsquoll please even the most devoted dairy fans.

Maui Brewing Co.

Tucked in the hills above Kihei, Maui Brewing Co. offers tours, tastings and a full-on restaurant that&rsquos ideal for sampling flights of craft beers &mdash including seasonal and small-scale beers made with local fruits, like a tart lilikoi saison, and non-alcoholic options like house-brewed root beer. Dishes are great for sharing, and pairing with beer, including pizzas made with ale-bolstered dough the Brewmaster is topped with spicy sausage, pepperoni, roasted peppers and olives. Beer even makes its way into a few dishes, including a hearty loco moco slathered in gravy made with the brewery's Big Swell IPA.

Komoda

If you plan to catch the sunrise at Haleakalā, reward yourself on the drive back with a stop in Makawao, at historic Komoda (3674 Baldwin Ave.). Open since 1916, the tiny bakery specializes in cream puffs, malasadas (beignet-like doughnuts) and stick doughnuts, which are skewered fritters. The tiny no-frills spot &mdash there isn't even a website &mdash opens at 7 a.m., often selling out of the best stuff within a few hours. They're closed on Sundays and Wednesdays, so plan accordingly.

Star Noodle

As the name might imply, noodles are the thing to try at Star Noodle, but it&rsquos not hard to fill up on appealing shared small bites &mdash which borrow from Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines &mdash before a single noodle arrives. Start with a seafood-studded Vietnamese crepe, Chinese broccoli, vegetable Rangoon, pork buns or taro dumplings before transitioning to mains like dashi-spiked saimin with Spam, punchy garlic noodles and curry-infused Singapore noodles. Those who manage to save room can dive into mango pudding or puffy beignet-like malasadas.

The Hali’imaile General Store

Upcountry, tucked among Maui's pineapple fields, Hali&rsquoimaile General Store occupies a 1920s-ear former general store for plantation workers. Run by legendary chef Bev Gannon, the General Store is renowned for Bev's creative updates to classic flavors, including a sashimi Napoleon with layers of ahi, smoked salmon and wontons under a punchy wasabi vinaigrette, her famous crab-topped pizza, and baby back ribs with citrus barbecue sauce.

The Pint & Cork

Tucked inside The Shops at Wailea, this low-key tavern is the ideal spot to catch a break from the sun &mdash or watch games on several TVs. The menu is also a nice balance to the seafood-centric options at nearby resort restaurants. Sure, you'll find a light poke bowl studded with local big eye tuna, but the go-to dishes are the sandwiches, like a gooey crab melt, a short rib grilled cheese and the Bib Burger, a messy, juicy bacon-Cheddar burger bolstered with charred onion, arugla, a fried egg and whiskey-based sauce, all on a brioche bun. (Note that since Hawaii is up to six hours behind the East Coast, games start pretty early, so doors open at 7 a.m. on Sundays.)

Da Kitchen

Hawaiian food is a beautiful composite of cultural influences over the decades, inspired by tropical produce, locally available meats, and the flavors and ingredients beloved by immigrants who arrived to work on pineapple plantations and in sugar cane fields. One enduring tradition is the plate lunch, a hulking assortment of rice, with pasta salad and protein, like teriyaki chicken or Kalua pork. Try some at Da Kitchen, in Kahului, along with spam musubi, a sushi-inspired combo of nori-wrapped spam and rice. At Da Kitchen, it's deep-fried for crunch.

On the road to Hana, past Paia, Jaws Country Store sells coffees, smoothies and breakfast sandwiches for those who get an early start. For ramblers, it&rsquos a favorite lunch stop. Try a banh mi with local brisket or tempeh, or go for a poke bowl, like the Poisson Cru, a Tahitian-inspired take, with ahi in coconut milk with cucumbers, local tomatoes, Maui onion and mint. Come dinner, they fire up the pizza oven and turn out creative pies topped with spicy chicken, guava-barbecue pork and cheeseburger fixings.

Paia Fish Market

In the heart of surfer-hub Pa'ia, near some of the island&rsquos best waves, the Pa'ia Fish Market lets locally caught seafood shine. Opt for a burger with your choice of fish or simply grilled mahi mahi, ono or opah, with cole slaw and fries, and a Maui Brewing Co. beer. Though the original location is worth a stop, there are locations in Lahaina and Kihei, as well as Waikiki, on Oahu.

Mama’s Fish House

Truthfully, Mama&rsquos Fish House could steal most any category &mdash icon, romantic restaurant, fish, Mai Tais and more. Its setting, right on the sand, with stellar sunset views, makes it so the food doesn&rsquot even need to be great. But the iconic family-owned destination does indeed serve fantastic food, including local fish caught by fishermen who bring their hauls directly to the chefs. Read the menu, and you&rsquoll see each fish on the menu showcases not just its preparation, but the fisherman who caught it. "Ahi caught near our deep ocean buoys by Matt Smith" might be grilled in a ti leaf and served with local banana and papaya. "Papio caught by Layne Nakagawa in deep reefs off Keanae" is steamed with island-grown ginger, Asian vegetables and sizzling macadamia nut oil. The macadamia nut-crusted lobster- and crab-stuffed fish has been a fan favorite since the restaurant opened in 1973.Try it with the signature Mai Tai Roa Ae and relish that few things in life are better than Mama&rsquos.


The Best Restaurants on Maui

Enjoy Maui like a local with these recommendations for the best seafood, shave ice, plate lunch and more.

Related To:

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Monkeypod

Named for a tree that grows on the Hawaiian islands and nourishes the plants that grow around it, Monkeypod serves reinvented takes on local fare, in a rollicking setting that often features live music. Run by revered local chef Peter Merriman, Monkeypod aims to please. Shareable starters include shrimp-mushroom potstickers and poke tacos. Corn chowder is bolstered with local coconut milk and lemongrass wood-fired pizzas include a reinvented take on the Hawaiian pizza, with Kalua pork, roasted pineapple, macadamia nut pesto and jalapeno. Grilled day-boat ahi is topped with a soy-sesame-Maui onion sauce, but Merriman's Nightly Upcountry Special is often the dish to beat, and can feature homey fare, like pork chops or noodles. Pair it all with a Monkeypod Mai Tai, which updates the classic with house macadamia orgeat syrup and an airy puff of honey-lilikoi foam on top.

Sam Sato’s

There&rsquos nearly always a wait at Sam Sato&rsquos, a tiny diner in Wailuku. Open only for breakfast and lunch, the restaurant turns out impressively hearty island staples, including loco moco, banana hot cakes and noodle dishes, including saimin, chow fun and dry mein. The latter is a Chinese-Hawaiian hybrid of pork-topped lo mein noodles with a side of broth to dip them into or pour over the top. If you have the choice, opt for a spot at the counter, where the banter between servers and regulars is as homey as the food.

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

One of the best ways to cool off, Hawaiian shave ice is practically ubiquitous around Maui. Of all the places to try it, Ululani&rsquos might be the best. Sure, the ice is fluffy enough to taste more like frozen cloud puffs than mere ice. But the vividly colored homemade syrups are what set it apart, in flavors like guava, salty plum, lilikoi, pickled mango and sour lemon, as well as kid favorites like pink bubble gum and root beer. There are six locations around Maui, with one in Kailua-Kona, but the main one is in Lahaina, on Front Street, right by the ocean. Sneak a peek at what is in store by watching our Facebook video of the mesmerizing action, which has generated 27 million fans and counting.

The Sandbar

Set off the bright, welcoming lobby of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, The Sandbar lounge is a breezy lanai with panoramic Pacific views. The locally focused menu includes poke cones, housemade charcuterie, sliders and coconut shrimp, all ideal for pairing with sunset drinks like the signature Sandbar Mai Tai (made more special with Hawaiian rum and housemade macadamia nut syrup). Sip the nicely spiced Stormy Season, with coconut liqueur, pineapple syrup and Maui Brewing Company's ginger beer, while looking out over the island's landmark Pu'u Keka'a rock, in search of double rainbows. The Sandbar is also open in the mornings for pastries like a lilikoi-caramel cinnamon roll and toasted coconut scones with vividly colorful ube.

Leoda’s

South of Lahaina on a stretch of highway not far from the beach, Leoda&rsquos bakes some of the best pies, not just on Maui, but in the world. Park in the dusty lot, where chickens might strut by, and join the queue inside for a sandwich and one of the superlative pies. There are plenty of flavor options &mdash berry pies, apple pies &mdash but the best feature local ingredients &mdash lilikoi cheese, guava chiffon, banana cream, coconut cream, chocolate macadamia nut and Olowalu Key lime (made with fruit plucked from the owner&rsquos trees).

Humuhumu

Arriving at Humuhumu means weaving through the Grand Wailea&rsquos maze of pathways, past tropical plants, pools and the occasional parrot. But the restaurant, named for the Hawaiian state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua&rsquoa, is worth the stroll. In a thatched pavilion atop a lagoon, chef Alvin Savella showcases local ingredients in reinvented local preparations, like squid ink bao buns with octopus and ginger-lime aioli, lobster ramen with a red miso-coconut broth, and seared scallops with yuzu and truffle vinaigrette. The restaurant is special, with a giant circular bar, prime water views, and servers who go above and beyond to connect with patrons. But Table 70 is probably the most-spectacular dining experience on the island, an al fresco torch-lit pier off the main restaurant, tucked away from other diners and over the lagoon, making the perfect island recipe for romance.

Merriman's

One of the 12 named founding chefs of Hawaiian cuisine, Peter Merriman is a champion of local flavors, sourcing from area farms and fisherman for dishes that nod to Hawaiian traditions. At Merriman's in Kapalua, taste the fusion of classic and creative in dishes like kalua pig and sweet onion quesadillas or the enchilada with Kona-caught lobster and butter-poached local corn.

Flatbread Company

The sole Hawaiian outpost of a Massachusetts-based chainlet, Flatbread Company in Paia has adapted seamlessly to the tropics. The menu uses local ingredients whenever possible, including farm-sourced produce for toppings. Start with the house salad, topped with local papaya, Hawaiian goat cheese and Maui pineapple vinaigrette. The pies are extra-popular as post-surfing fortification for locals, who love the Mopsy&rsquos Kalua Pork flatbread, a most-flavorful reinvention of a Hawaiian pizza, with smoked free-range shoulder, mango barbecue sauce, red onions, local pineapple and garlic oil.

Coconut Glen's

On the road to Hana? Stop to chill at this cheerful little spot on the Hana Hwy. Coconut Glen&rsquos specializes in vegan ice cream made from &mdash and served in &mdash island coconuts. Rich and creamy, the frozen desserts &mdash in flavors like banana-rum raisin, pineapple curry, chocolate-chile, salted caramel and, of course, classic coconut &mdash don&rsquot taste vegan, so they&rsquoll please even the most devoted dairy fans.

Maui Brewing Co.

Tucked in the hills above Kihei, Maui Brewing Co. offers tours, tastings and a full-on restaurant that&rsquos ideal for sampling flights of craft beers &mdash including seasonal and small-scale beers made with local fruits, like a tart lilikoi saison, and non-alcoholic options like house-brewed root beer. Dishes are great for sharing, and pairing with beer, including pizzas made with ale-bolstered dough the Brewmaster is topped with spicy sausage, pepperoni, roasted peppers and olives. Beer even makes its way into a few dishes, including a hearty loco moco slathered in gravy made with the brewery's Big Swell IPA.

Komoda

If you plan to catch the sunrise at Haleakalā, reward yourself on the drive back with a stop in Makawao, at historic Komoda (3674 Baldwin Ave.). Open since 1916, the tiny bakery specializes in cream puffs, malasadas (beignet-like doughnuts) and stick doughnuts, which are skewered fritters. The tiny no-frills spot &mdash there isn't even a website &mdash opens at 7 a.m., often selling out of the best stuff within a few hours. They're closed on Sundays and Wednesdays, so plan accordingly.

Star Noodle

As the name might imply, noodles are the thing to try at Star Noodle, but it&rsquos not hard to fill up on appealing shared small bites &mdash which borrow from Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines &mdash before a single noodle arrives. Start with a seafood-studded Vietnamese crepe, Chinese broccoli, vegetable Rangoon, pork buns or taro dumplings before transitioning to mains like dashi-spiked saimin with Spam, punchy garlic noodles and curry-infused Singapore noodles. Those who manage to save room can dive into mango pudding or puffy beignet-like malasadas.

The Hali’imaile General Store

Upcountry, tucked among Maui's pineapple fields, Hali&rsquoimaile General Store occupies a 1920s-ear former general store for plantation workers. Run by legendary chef Bev Gannon, the General Store is renowned for Bev's creative updates to classic flavors, including a sashimi Napoleon with layers of ahi, smoked salmon and wontons under a punchy wasabi vinaigrette, her famous crab-topped pizza, and baby back ribs with citrus barbecue sauce.

The Pint & Cork

Tucked inside The Shops at Wailea, this low-key tavern is the ideal spot to catch a break from the sun &mdash or watch games on several TVs. The menu is also a nice balance to the seafood-centric options at nearby resort restaurants. Sure, you'll find a light poke bowl studded with local big eye tuna, but the go-to dishes are the sandwiches, like a gooey crab melt, a short rib grilled cheese and the Bib Burger, a messy, juicy bacon-Cheddar burger bolstered with charred onion, arugla, a fried egg and whiskey-based sauce, all on a brioche bun. (Note that since Hawaii is up to six hours behind the East Coast, games start pretty early, so doors open at 7 a.m. on Sundays.)

Da Kitchen

Hawaiian food is a beautiful composite of cultural influences over the decades, inspired by tropical produce, locally available meats, and the flavors and ingredients beloved by immigrants who arrived to work on pineapple plantations and in sugar cane fields. One enduring tradition is the plate lunch, a hulking assortment of rice, with pasta salad and protein, like teriyaki chicken or Kalua pork. Try some at Da Kitchen, in Kahului, along with spam musubi, a sushi-inspired combo of nori-wrapped spam and rice. At Da Kitchen, it's deep-fried for crunch.

On the road to Hana, past Paia, Jaws Country Store sells coffees, smoothies and breakfast sandwiches for those who get an early start. For ramblers, it&rsquos a favorite lunch stop. Try a banh mi with local brisket or tempeh, or go for a poke bowl, like the Poisson Cru, a Tahitian-inspired take, with ahi in coconut milk with cucumbers, local tomatoes, Maui onion and mint. Come dinner, they fire up the pizza oven and turn out creative pies topped with spicy chicken, guava-barbecue pork and cheeseburger fixings.

Paia Fish Market

In the heart of surfer-hub Pa'ia, near some of the island&rsquos best waves, the Pa'ia Fish Market lets locally caught seafood shine. Opt for a burger with your choice of fish or simply grilled mahi mahi, ono or opah, with cole slaw and fries, and a Maui Brewing Co. beer. Though the original location is worth a stop, there are locations in Lahaina and Kihei, as well as Waikiki, on Oahu.

Mama’s Fish House

Truthfully, Mama&rsquos Fish House could steal most any category &mdash icon, romantic restaurant, fish, Mai Tais and more. Its setting, right on the sand, with stellar sunset views, makes it so the food doesn&rsquot even need to be great. But the iconic family-owned destination does indeed serve fantastic food, including local fish caught by fishermen who bring their hauls directly to the chefs. Read the menu, and you&rsquoll see each fish on the menu showcases not just its preparation, but the fisherman who caught it. "Ahi caught near our deep ocean buoys by Matt Smith" might be grilled in a ti leaf and served with local banana and papaya. "Papio caught by Layne Nakagawa in deep reefs off Keanae" is steamed with island-grown ginger, Asian vegetables and sizzling macadamia nut oil. The macadamia nut-crusted lobster- and crab-stuffed fish has been a fan favorite since the restaurant opened in 1973.Try it with the signature Mai Tai Roa Ae and relish that few things in life are better than Mama&rsquos.


The Best Restaurants on Maui

Enjoy Maui like a local with these recommendations for the best seafood, shave ice, plate lunch and more.

Related To:

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Monkeypod

Named for a tree that grows on the Hawaiian islands and nourishes the plants that grow around it, Monkeypod serves reinvented takes on local fare, in a rollicking setting that often features live music. Run by revered local chef Peter Merriman, Monkeypod aims to please. Shareable starters include shrimp-mushroom potstickers and poke tacos. Corn chowder is bolstered with local coconut milk and lemongrass wood-fired pizzas include a reinvented take on the Hawaiian pizza, with Kalua pork, roasted pineapple, macadamia nut pesto and jalapeno. Grilled day-boat ahi is topped with a soy-sesame-Maui onion sauce, but Merriman's Nightly Upcountry Special is often the dish to beat, and can feature homey fare, like pork chops or noodles. Pair it all with a Monkeypod Mai Tai, which updates the classic with house macadamia orgeat syrup and an airy puff of honey-lilikoi foam on top.

Sam Sato’s

There&rsquos nearly always a wait at Sam Sato&rsquos, a tiny diner in Wailuku. Open only for breakfast and lunch, the restaurant turns out impressively hearty island staples, including loco moco, banana hot cakes and noodle dishes, including saimin, chow fun and dry mein. The latter is a Chinese-Hawaiian hybrid of pork-topped lo mein noodles with a side of broth to dip them into or pour over the top. If you have the choice, opt for a spot at the counter, where the banter between servers and regulars is as homey as the food.

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

One of the best ways to cool off, Hawaiian shave ice is practically ubiquitous around Maui. Of all the places to try it, Ululani&rsquos might be the best. Sure, the ice is fluffy enough to taste more like frozen cloud puffs than mere ice. But the vividly colored homemade syrups are what set it apart, in flavors like guava, salty plum, lilikoi, pickled mango and sour lemon, as well as kid favorites like pink bubble gum and root beer. There are six locations around Maui, with one in Kailua-Kona, but the main one is in Lahaina, on Front Street, right by the ocean. Sneak a peek at what is in store by watching our Facebook video of the mesmerizing action, which has generated 27 million fans and counting.

The Sandbar

Set off the bright, welcoming lobby of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, The Sandbar lounge is a breezy lanai with panoramic Pacific views. The locally focused menu includes poke cones, housemade charcuterie, sliders and coconut shrimp, all ideal for pairing with sunset drinks like the signature Sandbar Mai Tai (made more special with Hawaiian rum and housemade macadamia nut syrup). Sip the nicely spiced Stormy Season, with coconut liqueur, pineapple syrup and Maui Brewing Company's ginger beer, while looking out over the island's landmark Pu'u Keka'a rock, in search of double rainbows. The Sandbar is also open in the mornings for pastries like a lilikoi-caramel cinnamon roll and toasted coconut scones with vividly colorful ube.

Leoda’s

South of Lahaina on a stretch of highway not far from the beach, Leoda&rsquos bakes some of the best pies, not just on Maui, but in the world. Park in the dusty lot, where chickens might strut by, and join the queue inside for a sandwich and one of the superlative pies. There are plenty of flavor options &mdash berry pies, apple pies &mdash but the best feature local ingredients &mdash lilikoi cheese, guava chiffon, banana cream, coconut cream, chocolate macadamia nut and Olowalu Key lime (made with fruit plucked from the owner&rsquos trees).

Humuhumu

Arriving at Humuhumu means weaving through the Grand Wailea&rsquos maze of pathways, past tropical plants, pools and the occasional parrot. But the restaurant, named for the Hawaiian state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua&rsquoa, is worth the stroll. In a thatched pavilion atop a lagoon, chef Alvin Savella showcases local ingredients in reinvented local preparations, like squid ink bao buns with octopus and ginger-lime aioli, lobster ramen with a red miso-coconut broth, and seared scallops with yuzu and truffle vinaigrette. The restaurant is special, with a giant circular bar, prime water views, and servers who go above and beyond to connect with patrons. But Table 70 is probably the most-spectacular dining experience on the island, an al fresco torch-lit pier off the main restaurant, tucked away from other diners and over the lagoon, making the perfect island recipe for romance.

Merriman's

One of the 12 named founding chefs of Hawaiian cuisine, Peter Merriman is a champion of local flavors, sourcing from area farms and fisherman for dishes that nod to Hawaiian traditions. At Merriman's in Kapalua, taste the fusion of classic and creative in dishes like kalua pig and sweet onion quesadillas or the enchilada with Kona-caught lobster and butter-poached local corn.

Flatbread Company

The sole Hawaiian outpost of a Massachusetts-based chainlet, Flatbread Company in Paia has adapted seamlessly to the tropics. The menu uses local ingredients whenever possible, including farm-sourced produce for toppings. Start with the house salad, topped with local papaya, Hawaiian goat cheese and Maui pineapple vinaigrette. The pies are extra-popular as post-surfing fortification for locals, who love the Mopsy&rsquos Kalua Pork flatbread, a most-flavorful reinvention of a Hawaiian pizza, with smoked free-range shoulder, mango barbecue sauce, red onions, local pineapple and garlic oil.

Coconut Glen's

On the road to Hana? Stop to chill at this cheerful little spot on the Hana Hwy. Coconut Glen&rsquos specializes in vegan ice cream made from &mdash and served in &mdash island coconuts. Rich and creamy, the frozen desserts &mdash in flavors like banana-rum raisin, pineapple curry, chocolate-chile, salted caramel and, of course, classic coconut &mdash don&rsquot taste vegan, so they&rsquoll please even the most devoted dairy fans.

Maui Brewing Co.

Tucked in the hills above Kihei, Maui Brewing Co. offers tours, tastings and a full-on restaurant that&rsquos ideal for sampling flights of craft beers &mdash including seasonal and small-scale beers made with local fruits, like a tart lilikoi saison, and non-alcoholic options like house-brewed root beer. Dishes are great for sharing, and pairing with beer, including pizzas made with ale-bolstered dough the Brewmaster is topped with spicy sausage, pepperoni, roasted peppers and olives. Beer even makes its way into a few dishes, including a hearty loco moco slathered in gravy made with the brewery's Big Swell IPA.

Komoda

If you plan to catch the sunrise at Haleakalā, reward yourself on the drive back with a stop in Makawao, at historic Komoda (3674 Baldwin Ave.). Open since 1916, the tiny bakery specializes in cream puffs, malasadas (beignet-like doughnuts) and stick doughnuts, which are skewered fritters. The tiny no-frills spot &mdash there isn't even a website &mdash opens at 7 a.m., often selling out of the best stuff within a few hours. They're closed on Sundays and Wednesdays, so plan accordingly.

Star Noodle

As the name might imply, noodles are the thing to try at Star Noodle, but it&rsquos not hard to fill up on appealing shared small bites &mdash which borrow from Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines &mdash before a single noodle arrives. Start with a seafood-studded Vietnamese crepe, Chinese broccoli, vegetable Rangoon, pork buns or taro dumplings before transitioning to mains like dashi-spiked saimin with Spam, punchy garlic noodles and curry-infused Singapore noodles. Those who manage to save room can dive into mango pudding or puffy beignet-like malasadas.

The Hali’imaile General Store

Upcountry, tucked among Maui's pineapple fields, Hali&rsquoimaile General Store occupies a 1920s-ear former general store for plantation workers. Run by legendary chef Bev Gannon, the General Store is renowned for Bev's creative updates to classic flavors, including a sashimi Napoleon with layers of ahi, smoked salmon and wontons under a punchy wasabi vinaigrette, her famous crab-topped pizza, and baby back ribs with citrus barbecue sauce.

The Pint & Cork

Tucked inside The Shops at Wailea, this low-key tavern is the ideal spot to catch a break from the sun &mdash or watch games on several TVs. The menu is also a nice balance to the seafood-centric options at nearby resort restaurants. Sure, you'll find a light poke bowl studded with local big eye tuna, but the go-to dishes are the sandwiches, like a gooey crab melt, a short rib grilled cheese and the Bib Burger, a messy, juicy bacon-Cheddar burger bolstered with charred onion, arugla, a fried egg and whiskey-based sauce, all on a brioche bun. (Note that since Hawaii is up to six hours behind the East Coast, games start pretty early, so doors open at 7 a.m. on Sundays.)

Da Kitchen

Hawaiian food is a beautiful composite of cultural influences over the decades, inspired by tropical produce, locally available meats, and the flavors and ingredients beloved by immigrants who arrived to work on pineapple plantations and in sugar cane fields. One enduring tradition is the plate lunch, a hulking assortment of rice, with pasta salad and protein, like teriyaki chicken or Kalua pork. Try some at Da Kitchen, in Kahului, along with spam musubi, a sushi-inspired combo of nori-wrapped spam and rice. At Da Kitchen, it's deep-fried for crunch.

On the road to Hana, past Paia, Jaws Country Store sells coffees, smoothies and breakfast sandwiches for those who get an early start. For ramblers, it&rsquos a favorite lunch stop. Try a banh mi with local brisket or tempeh, or go for a poke bowl, like the Poisson Cru, a Tahitian-inspired take, with ahi in coconut milk with cucumbers, local tomatoes, Maui onion and mint. Come dinner, they fire up the pizza oven and turn out creative pies topped with spicy chicken, guava-barbecue pork and cheeseburger fixings.

Paia Fish Market

In the heart of surfer-hub Pa'ia, near some of the island&rsquos best waves, the Pa'ia Fish Market lets locally caught seafood shine. Opt for a burger with your choice of fish or simply grilled mahi mahi, ono or opah, with cole slaw and fries, and a Maui Brewing Co. beer. Though the original location is worth a stop, there are locations in Lahaina and Kihei, as well as Waikiki, on Oahu.

Mama’s Fish House

Truthfully, Mama&rsquos Fish House could steal most any category &mdash icon, romantic restaurant, fish, Mai Tais and more. Its setting, right on the sand, with stellar sunset views, makes it so the food doesn&rsquot even need to be great. But the iconic family-owned destination does indeed serve fantastic food, including local fish caught by fishermen who bring their hauls directly to the chefs. Read the menu, and you&rsquoll see each fish on the menu showcases not just its preparation, but the fisherman who caught it. "Ahi caught near our deep ocean buoys by Matt Smith" might be grilled in a ti leaf and served with local banana and papaya. "Papio caught by Layne Nakagawa in deep reefs off Keanae" is steamed with island-grown ginger, Asian vegetables and sizzling macadamia nut oil. The macadamia nut-crusted lobster- and crab-stuffed fish has been a fan favorite since the restaurant opened in 1973.Try it with the signature Mai Tai Roa Ae and relish that few things in life are better than Mama&rsquos.


The Best Restaurants on Maui

Enjoy Maui like a local with these recommendations for the best seafood, shave ice, plate lunch and more.

Related To:

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Monkeypod

Named for a tree that grows on the Hawaiian islands and nourishes the plants that grow around it, Monkeypod serves reinvented takes on local fare, in a rollicking setting that often features live music. Run by revered local chef Peter Merriman, Monkeypod aims to please. Shareable starters include shrimp-mushroom potstickers and poke tacos. Corn chowder is bolstered with local coconut milk and lemongrass wood-fired pizzas include a reinvented take on the Hawaiian pizza, with Kalua pork, roasted pineapple, macadamia nut pesto and jalapeno. Grilled day-boat ahi is topped with a soy-sesame-Maui onion sauce, but Merriman's Nightly Upcountry Special is often the dish to beat, and can feature homey fare, like pork chops or noodles. Pair it all with a Monkeypod Mai Tai, which updates the classic with house macadamia orgeat syrup and an airy puff of honey-lilikoi foam on top.

Sam Sato’s

There&rsquos nearly always a wait at Sam Sato&rsquos, a tiny diner in Wailuku. Open only for breakfast and lunch, the restaurant turns out impressively hearty island staples, including loco moco, banana hot cakes and noodle dishes, including saimin, chow fun and dry mein. The latter is a Chinese-Hawaiian hybrid of pork-topped lo mein noodles with a side of broth to dip them into or pour over the top. If you have the choice, opt for a spot at the counter, where the banter between servers and regulars is as homey as the food.

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

One of the best ways to cool off, Hawaiian shave ice is practically ubiquitous around Maui. Of all the places to try it, Ululani&rsquos might be the best. Sure, the ice is fluffy enough to taste more like frozen cloud puffs than mere ice. But the vividly colored homemade syrups are what set it apart, in flavors like guava, salty plum, lilikoi, pickled mango and sour lemon, as well as kid favorites like pink bubble gum and root beer. There are six locations around Maui, with one in Kailua-Kona, but the main one is in Lahaina, on Front Street, right by the ocean. Sneak a peek at what is in store by watching our Facebook video of the mesmerizing action, which has generated 27 million fans and counting.

The Sandbar

Set off the bright, welcoming lobby of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, The Sandbar lounge is a breezy lanai with panoramic Pacific views. The locally focused menu includes poke cones, housemade charcuterie, sliders and coconut shrimp, all ideal for pairing with sunset drinks like the signature Sandbar Mai Tai (made more special with Hawaiian rum and housemade macadamia nut syrup). Sip the nicely spiced Stormy Season, with coconut liqueur, pineapple syrup and Maui Brewing Company's ginger beer, while looking out over the island's landmark Pu'u Keka'a rock, in search of double rainbows. The Sandbar is also open in the mornings for pastries like a lilikoi-caramel cinnamon roll and toasted coconut scones with vividly colorful ube.

Leoda’s

South of Lahaina on a stretch of highway not far from the beach, Leoda&rsquos bakes some of the best pies, not just on Maui, but in the world. Park in the dusty lot, where chickens might strut by, and join the queue inside for a sandwich and one of the superlative pies. There are plenty of flavor options &mdash berry pies, apple pies &mdash but the best feature local ingredients &mdash lilikoi cheese, guava chiffon, banana cream, coconut cream, chocolate macadamia nut and Olowalu Key lime (made with fruit plucked from the owner&rsquos trees).

Humuhumu

Arriving at Humuhumu means weaving through the Grand Wailea&rsquos maze of pathways, past tropical plants, pools and the occasional parrot. But the restaurant, named for the Hawaiian state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua&rsquoa, is worth the stroll. In a thatched pavilion atop a lagoon, chef Alvin Savella showcases local ingredients in reinvented local preparations, like squid ink bao buns with octopus and ginger-lime aioli, lobster ramen with a red miso-coconut broth, and seared scallops with yuzu and truffle vinaigrette. The restaurant is special, with a giant circular bar, prime water views, and servers who go above and beyond to connect with patrons. But Table 70 is probably the most-spectacular dining experience on the island, an al fresco torch-lit pier off the main restaurant, tucked away from other diners and over the lagoon, making the perfect island recipe for romance.

Merriman's

One of the 12 named founding chefs of Hawaiian cuisine, Peter Merriman is a champion of local flavors, sourcing from area farms and fisherman for dishes that nod to Hawaiian traditions. At Merriman's in Kapalua, taste the fusion of classic and creative in dishes like kalua pig and sweet onion quesadillas or the enchilada with Kona-caught lobster and butter-poached local corn.

Flatbread Company

The sole Hawaiian outpost of a Massachusetts-based chainlet, Flatbread Company in Paia has adapted seamlessly to the tropics. The menu uses local ingredients whenever possible, including farm-sourced produce for toppings. Start with the house salad, topped with local papaya, Hawaiian goat cheese and Maui pineapple vinaigrette. The pies are extra-popular as post-surfing fortification for locals, who love the Mopsy&rsquos Kalua Pork flatbread, a most-flavorful reinvention of a Hawaiian pizza, with smoked free-range shoulder, mango barbecue sauce, red onions, local pineapple and garlic oil.

Coconut Glen's

On the road to Hana? Stop to chill at this cheerful little spot on the Hana Hwy. Coconut Glen&rsquos specializes in vegan ice cream made from &mdash and served in &mdash island coconuts. Rich and creamy, the frozen desserts &mdash in flavors like banana-rum raisin, pineapple curry, chocolate-chile, salted caramel and, of course, classic coconut &mdash don&rsquot taste vegan, so they&rsquoll please even the most devoted dairy fans.

Maui Brewing Co.

Tucked in the hills above Kihei, Maui Brewing Co. offers tours, tastings and a full-on restaurant that&rsquos ideal for sampling flights of craft beers &mdash including seasonal and small-scale beers made with local fruits, like a tart lilikoi saison, and non-alcoholic options like house-brewed root beer. Dishes are great for sharing, and pairing with beer, including pizzas made with ale-bolstered dough the Brewmaster is topped with spicy sausage, pepperoni, roasted peppers and olives. Beer even makes its way into a few dishes, including a hearty loco moco slathered in gravy made with the brewery's Big Swell IPA.

Komoda

If you plan to catch the sunrise at Haleakalā, reward yourself on the drive back with a stop in Makawao, at historic Komoda (3674 Baldwin Ave.). Open since 1916, the tiny bakery specializes in cream puffs, malasadas (beignet-like doughnuts) and stick doughnuts, which are skewered fritters. The tiny no-frills spot &mdash there isn't even a website &mdash opens at 7 a.m., often selling out of the best stuff within a few hours. They're closed on Sundays and Wednesdays, so plan accordingly.

Star Noodle

As the name might imply, noodles are the thing to try at Star Noodle, but it&rsquos not hard to fill up on appealing shared small bites &mdash which borrow from Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines &mdash before a single noodle arrives. Start with a seafood-studded Vietnamese crepe, Chinese broccoli, vegetable Rangoon, pork buns or taro dumplings before transitioning to mains like dashi-spiked saimin with Spam, punchy garlic noodles and curry-infused Singapore noodles. Those who manage to save room can dive into mango pudding or puffy beignet-like malasadas.

The Hali’imaile General Store

Upcountry, tucked among Maui's pineapple fields, Hali&rsquoimaile General Store occupies a 1920s-ear former general store for plantation workers. Run by legendary chef Bev Gannon, the General Store is renowned for Bev's creative updates to classic flavors, including a sashimi Napoleon with layers of ahi, smoked salmon and wontons under a punchy wasabi vinaigrette, her famous crab-topped pizza, and baby back ribs with citrus barbecue sauce.

The Pint & Cork

Tucked inside The Shops at Wailea, this low-key tavern is the ideal spot to catch a break from the sun &mdash or watch games on several TVs. The menu is also a nice balance to the seafood-centric options at nearby resort restaurants. Sure, you'll find a light poke bowl studded with local big eye tuna, but the go-to dishes are the sandwiches, like a gooey crab melt, a short rib grilled cheese and the Bib Burger, a messy, juicy bacon-Cheddar burger bolstered with charred onion, arugla, a fried egg and whiskey-based sauce, all on a brioche bun. (Note that since Hawaii is up to six hours behind the East Coast, games start pretty early, so doors open at 7 a.m. on Sundays.)

Da Kitchen

Hawaiian food is a beautiful composite of cultural influences over the decades, inspired by tropical produce, locally available meats, and the flavors and ingredients beloved by immigrants who arrived to work on pineapple plantations and in sugar cane fields. One enduring tradition is the plate lunch, a hulking assortment of rice, with pasta salad and protein, like teriyaki chicken or Kalua pork. Try some at Da Kitchen, in Kahului, along with spam musubi, a sushi-inspired combo of nori-wrapped spam and rice. At Da Kitchen, it's deep-fried for crunch.

On the road to Hana, past Paia, Jaws Country Store sells coffees, smoothies and breakfast sandwiches for those who get an early start. For ramblers, it&rsquos a favorite lunch stop. Try a banh mi with local brisket or tempeh, or go for a poke bowl, like the Poisson Cru, a Tahitian-inspired take, with ahi in coconut milk with cucumbers, local tomatoes, Maui onion and mint. Come dinner, they fire up the pizza oven and turn out creative pies topped with spicy chicken, guava-barbecue pork and cheeseburger fixings.

Paia Fish Market

In the heart of surfer-hub Pa'ia, near some of the island&rsquos best waves, the Pa'ia Fish Market lets locally caught seafood shine. Opt for a burger with your choice of fish or simply grilled mahi mahi, ono or opah, with cole slaw and fries, and a Maui Brewing Co. beer. Though the original location is worth a stop, there are locations in Lahaina and Kihei, as well as Waikiki, on Oahu.

Mama’s Fish House

Truthfully, Mama&rsquos Fish House could steal most any category &mdash icon, romantic restaurant, fish, Mai Tais and more. Its setting, right on the sand, with stellar sunset views, makes it so the food doesn&rsquot even need to be great. But the iconic family-owned destination does indeed serve fantastic food, including local fish caught by fishermen who bring their hauls directly to the chefs. Read the menu, and you&rsquoll see each fish on the menu showcases not just its preparation, but the fisherman who caught it. "Ahi caught near our deep ocean buoys by Matt Smith" might be grilled in a ti leaf and served with local banana and papaya. "Papio caught by Layne Nakagawa in deep reefs off Keanae" is steamed with island-grown ginger, Asian vegetables and sizzling macadamia nut oil. The macadamia nut-crusted lobster- and crab-stuffed fish has been a fan favorite since the restaurant opened in 1973.Try it with the signature Mai Tai Roa Ae and relish that few things in life are better than Mama&rsquos.


The Best Restaurants on Maui

Enjoy Maui like a local with these recommendations for the best seafood, shave ice, plate lunch and more.

Related To:

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Monkeypod

Named for a tree that grows on the Hawaiian islands and nourishes the plants that grow around it, Monkeypod serves reinvented takes on local fare, in a rollicking setting that often features live music. Run by revered local chef Peter Merriman, Monkeypod aims to please. Shareable starters include shrimp-mushroom potstickers and poke tacos. Corn chowder is bolstered with local coconut milk and lemongrass wood-fired pizzas include a reinvented take on the Hawaiian pizza, with Kalua pork, roasted pineapple, macadamia nut pesto and jalapeno. Grilled day-boat ahi is topped with a soy-sesame-Maui onion sauce, but Merriman's Nightly Upcountry Special is often the dish to beat, and can feature homey fare, like pork chops or noodles. Pair it all with a Monkeypod Mai Tai, which updates the classic with house macadamia orgeat syrup and an airy puff of honey-lilikoi foam on top.

Sam Sato’s

There&rsquos nearly always a wait at Sam Sato&rsquos, a tiny diner in Wailuku. Open only for breakfast and lunch, the restaurant turns out impressively hearty island staples, including loco moco, banana hot cakes and noodle dishes, including saimin, chow fun and dry mein. The latter is a Chinese-Hawaiian hybrid of pork-topped lo mein noodles with a side of broth to dip them into or pour over the top. If you have the choice, opt for a spot at the counter, where the banter between servers and regulars is as homey as the food.

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

One of the best ways to cool off, Hawaiian shave ice is practically ubiquitous around Maui. Of all the places to try it, Ululani&rsquos might be the best. Sure, the ice is fluffy enough to taste more like frozen cloud puffs than mere ice. But the vividly colored homemade syrups are what set it apart, in flavors like guava, salty plum, lilikoi, pickled mango and sour lemon, as well as kid favorites like pink bubble gum and root beer. There are six locations around Maui, with one in Kailua-Kona, but the main one is in Lahaina, on Front Street, right by the ocean. Sneak a peek at what is in store by watching our Facebook video of the mesmerizing action, which has generated 27 million fans and counting.

The Sandbar

Set off the bright, welcoming lobby of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, The Sandbar lounge is a breezy lanai with panoramic Pacific views. The locally focused menu includes poke cones, housemade charcuterie, sliders and coconut shrimp, all ideal for pairing with sunset drinks like the signature Sandbar Mai Tai (made more special with Hawaiian rum and housemade macadamia nut syrup). Sip the nicely spiced Stormy Season, with coconut liqueur, pineapple syrup and Maui Brewing Company's ginger beer, while looking out over the island's landmark Pu'u Keka'a rock, in search of double rainbows. The Sandbar is also open in the mornings for pastries like a lilikoi-caramel cinnamon roll and toasted coconut scones with vividly colorful ube.

Leoda’s

South of Lahaina on a stretch of highway not far from the beach, Leoda&rsquos bakes some of the best pies, not just on Maui, but in the world. Park in the dusty lot, where chickens might strut by, and join the queue inside for a sandwich and one of the superlative pies. There are plenty of flavor options &mdash berry pies, apple pies &mdash but the best feature local ingredients &mdash lilikoi cheese, guava chiffon, banana cream, coconut cream, chocolate macadamia nut and Olowalu Key lime (made with fruit plucked from the owner&rsquos trees).

Humuhumu

Arriving at Humuhumu means weaving through the Grand Wailea&rsquos maze of pathways, past tropical plants, pools and the occasional parrot. But the restaurant, named for the Hawaiian state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua&rsquoa, is worth the stroll. In a thatched pavilion atop a lagoon, chef Alvin Savella showcases local ingredients in reinvented local preparations, like squid ink bao buns with octopus and ginger-lime aioli, lobster ramen with a red miso-coconut broth, and seared scallops with yuzu and truffle vinaigrette. The restaurant is special, with a giant circular bar, prime water views, and servers who go above and beyond to connect with patrons. But Table 70 is probably the most-spectacular dining experience on the island, an al fresco torch-lit pier off the main restaurant, tucked away from other diners and over the lagoon, making the perfect island recipe for romance.

Merriman's

One of the 12 named founding chefs of Hawaiian cuisine, Peter Merriman is a champion of local flavors, sourcing from area farms and fisherman for dishes that nod to Hawaiian traditions. At Merriman's in Kapalua, taste the fusion of classic and creative in dishes like kalua pig and sweet onion quesadillas or the enchilada with Kona-caught lobster and butter-poached local corn.

Flatbread Company

The sole Hawaiian outpost of a Massachusetts-based chainlet, Flatbread Company in Paia has adapted seamlessly to the tropics. The menu uses local ingredients whenever possible, including farm-sourced produce for toppings. Start with the house salad, topped with local papaya, Hawaiian goat cheese and Maui pineapple vinaigrette. The pies are extra-popular as post-surfing fortification for locals, who love the Mopsy&rsquos Kalua Pork flatbread, a most-flavorful reinvention of a Hawaiian pizza, with smoked free-range shoulder, mango barbecue sauce, red onions, local pineapple and garlic oil.

Coconut Glen's

On the road to Hana? Stop to chill at this cheerful little spot on the Hana Hwy. Coconut Glen&rsquos specializes in vegan ice cream made from &mdash and served in &mdash island coconuts. Rich and creamy, the frozen desserts &mdash in flavors like banana-rum raisin, pineapple curry, chocolate-chile, salted caramel and, of course, classic coconut &mdash don&rsquot taste vegan, so they&rsquoll please even the most devoted dairy fans.

Maui Brewing Co.

Tucked in the hills above Kihei, Maui Brewing Co. offers tours, tastings and a full-on restaurant that&rsquos ideal for sampling flights of craft beers &mdash including seasonal and small-scale beers made with local fruits, like a tart lilikoi saison, and non-alcoholic options like house-brewed root beer. Dishes are great for sharing, and pairing with beer, including pizzas made with ale-bolstered dough the Brewmaster is topped with spicy sausage, pepperoni, roasted peppers and olives. Beer even makes its way into a few dishes, including a hearty loco moco slathered in gravy made with the brewery's Big Swell IPA.

Komoda

If you plan to catch the sunrise at Haleakalā, reward yourself on the drive back with a stop in Makawao, at historic Komoda (3674 Baldwin Ave.). Open since 1916, the tiny bakery specializes in cream puffs, malasadas (beignet-like doughnuts) and stick doughnuts, which are skewered fritters. The tiny no-frills spot &mdash there isn't even a website &mdash opens at 7 a.m., often selling out of the best stuff within a few hours. They're closed on Sundays and Wednesdays, so plan accordingly.

Star Noodle

As the name might imply, noodles are the thing to try at Star Noodle, but it&rsquos not hard to fill up on appealing shared small bites &mdash which borrow from Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines &mdash before a single noodle arrives. Start with a seafood-studded Vietnamese crepe, Chinese broccoli, vegetable Rangoon, pork buns or taro dumplings before transitioning to mains like dashi-spiked saimin with Spam, punchy garlic noodles and curry-infused Singapore noodles. Those who manage to save room can dive into mango pudding or puffy beignet-like malasadas.

The Hali’imaile General Store

Upcountry, tucked among Maui's pineapple fields, Hali&rsquoimaile General Store occupies a 1920s-ear former general store for plantation workers. Run by legendary chef Bev Gannon, the General Store is renowned for Bev's creative updates to classic flavors, including a sashimi Napoleon with layers of ahi, smoked salmon and wontons under a punchy wasabi vinaigrette, her famous crab-topped pizza, and baby back ribs with citrus barbecue sauce.

The Pint & Cork

Tucked inside The Shops at Wailea, this low-key tavern is the ideal spot to catch a break from the sun &mdash or watch games on several TVs. The menu is also a nice balance to the seafood-centric options at nearby resort restaurants. Sure, you'll find a light poke bowl studded with local big eye tuna, but the go-to dishes are the sandwiches, like a gooey crab melt, a short rib grilled cheese and the Bib Burger, a messy, juicy bacon-Cheddar burger bolstered with charred onion, arugla, a fried egg and whiskey-based sauce, all on a brioche bun. (Note that since Hawaii is up to six hours behind the East Coast, games start pretty early, so doors open at 7 a.m. on Sundays.)

Da Kitchen

Hawaiian food is a beautiful composite of cultural influences over the decades, inspired by tropical produce, locally available meats, and the flavors and ingredients beloved by immigrants who arrived to work on pineapple plantations and in sugar cane fields. One enduring tradition is the plate lunch, a hulking assortment of rice, with pasta salad and protein, like teriyaki chicken or Kalua pork. Try some at Da Kitchen, in Kahului, along with spam musubi, a sushi-inspired combo of nori-wrapped spam and rice. At Da Kitchen, it's deep-fried for crunch.

On the road to Hana, past Paia, Jaws Country Store sells coffees, smoothies and breakfast sandwiches for those who get an early start. For ramblers, it&rsquos a favorite lunch stop. Try a banh mi with local brisket or tempeh, or go for a poke bowl, like the Poisson Cru, a Tahitian-inspired take, with ahi in coconut milk with cucumbers, local tomatoes, Maui onion and mint. Come dinner, they fire up the pizza oven and turn out creative pies topped with spicy chicken, guava-barbecue pork and cheeseburger fixings.

Paia Fish Market

In the heart of surfer-hub Pa'ia, near some of the island&rsquos best waves, the Pa'ia Fish Market lets locally caught seafood shine. Opt for a burger with your choice of fish or simply grilled mahi mahi, ono or opah, with cole slaw and fries, and a Maui Brewing Co. beer. Though the original location is worth a stop, there are locations in Lahaina and Kihei, as well as Waikiki, on Oahu.

Mama’s Fish House

Truthfully, Mama&rsquos Fish House could steal most any category &mdash icon, romantic restaurant, fish, Mai Tais and more. Its setting, right on the sand, with stellar sunset views, makes it so the food doesn&rsquot even need to be great. But the iconic family-owned destination does indeed serve fantastic food, including local fish caught by fishermen who bring their hauls directly to the chefs. Read the menu, and you&rsquoll see each fish on the menu showcases not just its preparation, but the fisherman who caught it. "Ahi caught near our deep ocean buoys by Matt Smith" might be grilled in a ti leaf and served with local banana and papaya. "Papio caught by Layne Nakagawa in deep reefs off Keanae" is steamed with island-grown ginger, Asian vegetables and sizzling macadamia nut oil. The macadamia nut-crusted lobster- and crab-stuffed fish has been a fan favorite since the restaurant opened in 1973.Try it with the signature Mai Tai Roa Ae and relish that few things in life are better than Mama&rsquos.


The Best Restaurants on Maui

Enjoy Maui like a local with these recommendations for the best seafood, shave ice, plate lunch and more.

Related To:

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Monkeypod

Named for a tree that grows on the Hawaiian islands and nourishes the plants that grow around it, Monkeypod serves reinvented takes on local fare, in a rollicking setting that often features live music. Run by revered local chef Peter Merriman, Monkeypod aims to please. Shareable starters include shrimp-mushroom potstickers and poke tacos. Corn chowder is bolstered with local coconut milk and lemongrass wood-fired pizzas include a reinvented take on the Hawaiian pizza, with Kalua pork, roasted pineapple, macadamia nut pesto and jalapeno. Grilled day-boat ahi is topped with a soy-sesame-Maui onion sauce, but Merriman's Nightly Upcountry Special is often the dish to beat, and can feature homey fare, like pork chops or noodles. Pair it all with a Monkeypod Mai Tai, which updates the classic with house macadamia orgeat syrup and an airy puff of honey-lilikoi foam on top.

Sam Sato’s

There&rsquos nearly always a wait at Sam Sato&rsquos, a tiny diner in Wailuku. Open only for breakfast and lunch, the restaurant turns out impressively hearty island staples, including loco moco, banana hot cakes and noodle dishes, including saimin, chow fun and dry mein. The latter is a Chinese-Hawaiian hybrid of pork-topped lo mein noodles with a side of broth to dip them into or pour over the top. If you have the choice, opt for a spot at the counter, where the banter between servers and regulars is as homey as the food.

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

One of the best ways to cool off, Hawaiian shave ice is practically ubiquitous around Maui. Of all the places to try it, Ululani&rsquos might be the best. Sure, the ice is fluffy enough to taste more like frozen cloud puffs than mere ice. But the vividly colored homemade syrups are what set it apart, in flavors like guava, salty plum, lilikoi, pickled mango and sour lemon, as well as kid favorites like pink bubble gum and root beer. There are six locations around Maui, with one in Kailua-Kona, but the main one is in Lahaina, on Front Street, right by the ocean. Sneak a peek at what is in store by watching our Facebook video of the mesmerizing action, which has generated 27 million fans and counting.

The Sandbar

Set off the bright, welcoming lobby of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, The Sandbar lounge is a breezy lanai with panoramic Pacific views. The locally focused menu includes poke cones, housemade charcuterie, sliders and coconut shrimp, all ideal for pairing with sunset drinks like the signature Sandbar Mai Tai (made more special with Hawaiian rum and housemade macadamia nut syrup). Sip the nicely spiced Stormy Season, with coconut liqueur, pineapple syrup and Maui Brewing Company's ginger beer, while looking out over the island's landmark Pu'u Keka'a rock, in search of double rainbows. The Sandbar is also open in the mornings for pastries like a lilikoi-caramel cinnamon roll and toasted coconut scones with vividly colorful ube.

Leoda’s

South of Lahaina on a stretch of highway not far from the beach, Leoda&rsquos bakes some of the best pies, not just on Maui, but in the world. Park in the dusty lot, where chickens might strut by, and join the queue inside for a sandwich and one of the superlative pies. There are plenty of flavor options &mdash berry pies, apple pies &mdash but the best feature local ingredients &mdash lilikoi cheese, guava chiffon, banana cream, coconut cream, chocolate macadamia nut and Olowalu Key lime (made with fruit plucked from the owner&rsquos trees).

Humuhumu

Arriving at Humuhumu means weaving through the Grand Wailea&rsquos maze of pathways, past tropical plants, pools and the occasional parrot. But the restaurant, named for the Hawaiian state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua&rsquoa, is worth the stroll. In a thatched pavilion atop a lagoon, chef Alvin Savella showcases local ingredients in reinvented local preparations, like squid ink bao buns with octopus and ginger-lime aioli, lobster ramen with a red miso-coconut broth, and seared scallops with yuzu and truffle vinaigrette. The restaurant is special, with a giant circular bar, prime water views, and servers who go above and beyond to connect with patrons. But Table 70 is probably the most-spectacular dining experience on the island, an al fresco torch-lit pier off the main restaurant, tucked away from other diners and over the lagoon, making the perfect island recipe for romance.

Merriman's

One of the 12 named founding chefs of Hawaiian cuisine, Peter Merriman is a champion of local flavors, sourcing from area farms and fisherman for dishes that nod to Hawaiian traditions. At Merriman's in Kapalua, taste the fusion of classic and creative in dishes like kalua pig and sweet onion quesadillas or the enchilada with Kona-caught lobster and butter-poached local corn.

Flatbread Company

The sole Hawaiian outpost of a Massachusetts-based chainlet, Flatbread Company in Paia has adapted seamlessly to the tropics. The menu uses local ingredients whenever possible, including farm-sourced produce for toppings. Start with the house salad, topped with local papaya, Hawaiian goat cheese and Maui pineapple vinaigrette. The pies are extra-popular as post-surfing fortification for locals, who love the Mopsy&rsquos Kalua Pork flatbread, a most-flavorful reinvention of a Hawaiian pizza, with smoked free-range shoulder, mango barbecue sauce, red onions, local pineapple and garlic oil.

Coconut Glen's

On the road to Hana? Stop to chill at this cheerful little spot on the Hana Hwy. Coconut Glen&rsquos specializes in vegan ice cream made from &mdash and served in &mdash island coconuts. Rich and creamy, the frozen desserts &mdash in flavors like banana-rum raisin, pineapple curry, chocolate-chile, salted caramel and, of course, classic coconut &mdash don&rsquot taste vegan, so they&rsquoll please even the most devoted dairy fans.

Maui Brewing Co.

Tucked in the hills above Kihei, Maui Brewing Co. offers tours, tastings and a full-on restaurant that&rsquos ideal for sampling flights of craft beers &mdash including seasonal and small-scale beers made with local fruits, like a tart lilikoi saison, and non-alcoholic options like house-brewed root beer. Dishes are great for sharing, and pairing with beer, including pizzas made with ale-bolstered dough the Brewmaster is topped with spicy sausage, pepperoni, roasted peppers and olives. Beer even makes its way into a few dishes, including a hearty loco moco slathered in gravy made with the brewery's Big Swell IPA.

Komoda

If you plan to catch the sunrise at Haleakalā, reward yourself on the drive back with a stop in Makawao, at historic Komoda (3674 Baldwin Ave.). Open since 1916, the tiny bakery specializes in cream puffs, malasadas (beignet-like doughnuts) and stick doughnuts, which are skewered fritters. The tiny no-frills spot &mdash there isn't even a website &mdash opens at 7 a.m., often selling out of the best stuff within a few hours. They're closed on Sundays and Wednesdays, so plan accordingly.

Star Noodle

As the name might imply, noodles are the thing to try at Star Noodle, but it&rsquos not hard to fill up on appealing shared small bites &mdash which borrow from Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines &mdash before a single noodle arrives. Start with a seafood-studded Vietnamese crepe, Chinese broccoli, vegetable Rangoon, pork buns or taro dumplings before transitioning to mains like dashi-spiked saimin with Spam, punchy garlic noodles and curry-infused Singapore noodles. Those who manage to save room can dive into mango pudding or puffy beignet-like malasadas.

The Hali’imaile General Store

Upcountry, tucked among Maui's pineapple fields, Hali&rsquoimaile General Store occupies a 1920s-ear former general store for plantation workers. Run by legendary chef Bev Gannon, the General Store is renowned for Bev's creative updates to classic flavors, including a sashimi Napoleon with layers of ahi, smoked salmon and wontons under a punchy wasabi vinaigrette, her famous crab-topped pizza, and baby back ribs with citrus barbecue sauce.

The Pint & Cork

Tucked inside The Shops at Wailea, this low-key tavern is the ideal spot to catch a break from the sun &mdash or watch games on several TVs. The menu is also a nice balance to the seafood-centric options at nearby resort restaurants. Sure, you'll find a light poke bowl studded with local big eye tuna, but the go-to dishes are the sandwiches, like a gooey crab melt, a short rib grilled cheese and the Bib Burger, a messy, juicy bacon-Cheddar burger bolstered with charred onion, arugla, a fried egg and whiskey-based sauce, all on a brioche bun. (Note that since Hawaii is up to six hours behind the East Coast, games start pretty early, so doors open at 7 a.m. on Sundays.)

Da Kitchen

Hawaiian food is a beautiful composite of cultural influences over the decades, inspired by tropical produce, locally available meats, and the flavors and ingredients beloved by immigrants who arrived to work on pineapple plantations and in sugar cane fields. One enduring tradition is the plate lunch, a hulking assortment of rice, with pasta salad and protein, like teriyaki chicken or Kalua pork. Try some at Da Kitchen, in Kahului, along with spam musubi, a sushi-inspired combo of nori-wrapped spam and rice. At Da Kitchen, it's deep-fried for crunch.

On the road to Hana, past Paia, Jaws Country Store sells coffees, smoothies and breakfast sandwiches for those who get an early start. For ramblers, it&rsquos a favorite lunch stop. Try a banh mi with local brisket or tempeh, or go for a poke bowl, like the Poisson Cru, a Tahitian-inspired take, with ahi in coconut milk with cucumbers, local tomatoes, Maui onion and mint. Come dinner, they fire up the pizza oven and turn out creative pies topped with spicy chicken, guava-barbecue pork and cheeseburger fixings.

Paia Fish Market

In the heart of surfer-hub Pa'ia, near some of the island&rsquos best waves, the Pa'ia Fish Market lets locally caught seafood shine. Opt for a burger with your choice of fish or simply grilled mahi mahi, ono or opah, with cole slaw and fries, and a Maui Brewing Co. beer. Though the original location is worth a stop, there are locations in Lahaina and Kihei, as well as Waikiki, on Oahu.

Mama’s Fish House

Truthfully, Mama&rsquos Fish House could steal most any category &mdash icon, romantic restaurant, fish, Mai Tais and more. Its setting, right on the sand, with stellar sunset views, makes it so the food doesn&rsquot even need to be great. But the iconic family-owned destination does indeed serve fantastic food, including local fish caught by fishermen who bring their hauls directly to the chefs. Read the menu, and you&rsquoll see each fish on the menu showcases not just its preparation, but the fisherman who caught it. "Ahi caught near our deep ocean buoys by Matt Smith" might be grilled in a ti leaf and served with local banana and papaya. "Papio caught by Layne Nakagawa in deep reefs off Keanae" is steamed with island-grown ginger, Asian vegetables and sizzling macadamia nut oil. The macadamia nut-crusted lobster- and crab-stuffed fish has been a fan favorite since the restaurant opened in 1973.Try it with the signature Mai Tai Roa Ae and relish that few things in life are better than Mama&rsquos.


The Best Restaurants on Maui

Enjoy Maui like a local with these recommendations for the best seafood, shave ice, plate lunch and more.

Related To:

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Monkeypod

Named for a tree that grows on the Hawaiian islands and nourishes the plants that grow around it, Monkeypod serves reinvented takes on local fare, in a rollicking setting that often features live music. Run by revered local chef Peter Merriman, Monkeypod aims to please. Shareable starters include shrimp-mushroom potstickers and poke tacos. Corn chowder is bolstered with local coconut milk and lemongrass wood-fired pizzas include a reinvented take on the Hawaiian pizza, with Kalua pork, roasted pineapple, macadamia nut pesto and jalapeno. Grilled day-boat ahi is topped with a soy-sesame-Maui onion sauce, but Merriman's Nightly Upcountry Special is often the dish to beat, and can feature homey fare, like pork chops or noodles. Pair it all with a Monkeypod Mai Tai, which updates the classic with house macadamia orgeat syrup and an airy puff of honey-lilikoi foam on top.

Sam Sato’s

There&rsquos nearly always a wait at Sam Sato&rsquos, a tiny diner in Wailuku. Open only for breakfast and lunch, the restaurant turns out impressively hearty island staples, including loco moco, banana hot cakes and noodle dishes, including saimin, chow fun and dry mein. The latter is a Chinese-Hawaiian hybrid of pork-topped lo mein noodles with a side of broth to dip them into or pour over the top. If you have the choice, opt for a spot at the counter, where the banter between servers and regulars is as homey as the food.

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

One of the best ways to cool off, Hawaiian shave ice is practically ubiquitous around Maui. Of all the places to try it, Ululani&rsquos might be the best. Sure, the ice is fluffy enough to taste more like frozen cloud puffs than mere ice. But the vividly colored homemade syrups are what set it apart, in flavors like guava, salty plum, lilikoi, pickled mango and sour lemon, as well as kid favorites like pink bubble gum and root beer. There are six locations around Maui, with one in Kailua-Kona, but the main one is in Lahaina, on Front Street, right by the ocean. Sneak a peek at what is in store by watching our Facebook video of the mesmerizing action, which has generated 27 million fans and counting.

The Sandbar

Set off the bright, welcoming lobby of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, The Sandbar lounge is a breezy lanai with panoramic Pacific views. The locally focused menu includes poke cones, housemade charcuterie, sliders and coconut shrimp, all ideal for pairing with sunset drinks like the signature Sandbar Mai Tai (made more special with Hawaiian rum and housemade macadamia nut syrup). Sip the nicely spiced Stormy Season, with coconut liqueur, pineapple syrup and Maui Brewing Company's ginger beer, while looking out over the island's landmark Pu'u Keka'a rock, in search of double rainbows. The Sandbar is also open in the mornings for pastries like a lilikoi-caramel cinnamon roll and toasted coconut scones with vividly colorful ube.

Leoda’s

South of Lahaina on a stretch of highway not far from the beach, Leoda&rsquos bakes some of the best pies, not just on Maui, but in the world. Park in the dusty lot, where chickens might strut by, and join the queue inside for a sandwich and one of the superlative pies. There are plenty of flavor options &mdash berry pies, apple pies &mdash but the best feature local ingredients &mdash lilikoi cheese, guava chiffon, banana cream, coconut cream, chocolate macadamia nut and Olowalu Key lime (made with fruit plucked from the owner&rsquos trees).

Humuhumu

Arriving at Humuhumu means weaving through the Grand Wailea&rsquos maze of pathways, past tropical plants, pools and the occasional parrot. But the restaurant, named for the Hawaiian state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua&rsquoa, is worth the stroll. In a thatched pavilion atop a lagoon, chef Alvin Savella showcases local ingredients in reinvented local preparations, like squid ink bao buns with octopus and ginger-lime aioli, lobster ramen with a red miso-coconut broth, and seared scallops with yuzu and truffle vinaigrette. The restaurant is special, with a giant circular bar, prime water views, and servers who go above and beyond to connect with patrons. But Table 70 is probably the most-spectacular dining experience on the island, an al fresco torch-lit pier off the main restaurant, tucked away from other diners and over the lagoon, making the perfect island recipe for romance.

Merriman's

One of the 12 named founding chefs of Hawaiian cuisine, Peter Merriman is a champion of local flavors, sourcing from area farms and fisherman for dishes that nod to Hawaiian traditions. At Merriman's in Kapalua, taste the fusion of classic and creative in dishes like kalua pig and sweet onion quesadillas or the enchilada with Kona-caught lobster and butter-poached local corn.

Flatbread Company

The sole Hawaiian outpost of a Massachusetts-based chainlet, Flatbread Company in Paia has adapted seamlessly to the tropics. The menu uses local ingredients whenever possible, including farm-sourced produce for toppings. Start with the house salad, topped with local papaya, Hawaiian goat cheese and Maui pineapple vinaigrette. The pies are extra-popular as post-surfing fortification for locals, who love the Mopsy&rsquos Kalua Pork flatbread, a most-flavorful reinvention of a Hawaiian pizza, with smoked free-range shoulder, mango barbecue sauce, red onions, local pineapple and garlic oil.

Coconut Glen's

On the road to Hana? Stop to chill at this cheerful little spot on the Hana Hwy. Coconut Glen&rsquos specializes in vegan ice cream made from &mdash and served in &mdash island coconuts. Rich and creamy, the frozen desserts &mdash in flavors like banana-rum raisin, pineapple curry, chocolate-chile, salted caramel and, of course, classic coconut &mdash don&rsquot taste vegan, so they&rsquoll please even the most devoted dairy fans.

Maui Brewing Co.

Tucked in the hills above Kihei, Maui Brewing Co. offers tours, tastings and a full-on restaurant that&rsquos ideal for sampling flights of craft beers &mdash including seasonal and small-scale beers made with local fruits, like a tart lilikoi saison, and non-alcoholic options like house-brewed root beer. Dishes are great for sharing, and pairing with beer, including pizzas made with ale-bolstered dough the Brewmaster is topped with spicy sausage, pepperoni, roasted peppers and olives. Beer even makes its way into a few dishes, including a hearty loco moco slathered in gravy made with the brewery's Big Swell IPA.

Komoda

If you plan to catch the sunrise at Haleakalā, reward yourself on the drive back with a stop in Makawao, at historic Komoda (3674 Baldwin Ave.). Open since 1916, the tiny bakery specializes in cream puffs, malasadas (beignet-like doughnuts) and stick doughnuts, which are skewered fritters. The tiny no-frills spot &mdash there isn't even a website &mdash opens at 7 a.m., often selling out of the best stuff within a few hours. They're closed on Sundays and Wednesdays, so plan accordingly.

Star Noodle

As the name might imply, noodles are the thing to try at Star Noodle, but it&rsquos not hard to fill up on appealing shared small bites &mdash which borrow from Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines &mdash before a single noodle arrives. Start with a seafood-studded Vietnamese crepe, Chinese broccoli, vegetable Rangoon, pork buns or taro dumplings before transitioning to mains like dashi-spiked saimin with Spam, punchy garlic noodles and curry-infused Singapore noodles. Those who manage to save room can dive into mango pudding or puffy beignet-like malasadas.

The Hali’imaile General Store

Upcountry, tucked among Maui's pineapple fields, Hali&rsquoimaile General Store occupies a 1920s-ear former general store for plantation workers. Run by legendary chef Bev Gannon, the General Store is renowned for Bev's creative updates to classic flavors, including a sashimi Napoleon with layers of ahi, smoked salmon and wontons under a punchy wasabi vinaigrette, her famous crab-topped pizza, and baby back ribs with citrus barbecue sauce.

The Pint & Cork

Tucked inside The Shops at Wailea, this low-key tavern is the ideal spot to catch a break from the sun &mdash or watch games on several TVs. The menu is also a nice balance to the seafood-centric options at nearby resort restaurants. Sure, you'll find a light poke bowl studded with local big eye tuna, but the go-to dishes are the sandwiches, like a gooey crab melt, a short rib grilled cheese and the Bib Burger, a messy, juicy bacon-Cheddar burger bolstered with charred onion, arugla, a fried egg and whiskey-based sauce, all on a brioche bun. (Note that since Hawaii is up to six hours behind the East Coast, games start pretty early, so doors open at 7 a.m. on Sundays.)

Da Kitchen

Hawaiian food is a beautiful composite of cultural influences over the decades, inspired by tropical produce, locally available meats, and the flavors and ingredients beloved by immigrants who arrived to work on pineapple plantations and in sugar cane fields. One enduring tradition is the plate lunch, a hulking assortment of rice, with pasta salad and protein, like teriyaki chicken or Kalua pork. Try some at Da Kitchen, in Kahului, along with spam musubi, a sushi-inspired combo of nori-wrapped spam and rice. At Da Kitchen, it's deep-fried for crunch.

On the road to Hana, past Paia, Jaws Country Store sells coffees, smoothies and breakfast sandwiches for those who get an early start. For ramblers, it&rsquos a favorite lunch stop. Try a banh mi with local brisket or tempeh, or go for a poke bowl, like the Poisson Cru, a Tahitian-inspired take, with ahi in coconut milk with cucumbers, local tomatoes, Maui onion and mint. Come dinner, they fire up the pizza oven and turn out creative pies topped with spicy chicken, guava-barbecue pork and cheeseburger fixings.

Paia Fish Market

In the heart of surfer-hub Pa'ia, near some of the island&rsquos best waves, the Pa'ia Fish Market lets locally caught seafood shine. Opt for a burger with your choice of fish or simply grilled mahi mahi, ono or opah, with cole slaw and fries, and a Maui Brewing Co. beer. Though the original location is worth a stop, there are locations in Lahaina and Kihei, as well as Waikiki, on Oahu.

Mama’s Fish House

Truthfully, Mama&rsquos Fish House could steal most any category &mdash icon, romantic restaurant, fish, Mai Tais and more. Its setting, right on the sand, with stellar sunset views, makes it so the food doesn&rsquot even need to be great. But the iconic family-owned destination does indeed serve fantastic food, including local fish caught by fishermen who bring their hauls directly to the chefs. Read the menu, and you&rsquoll see each fish on the menu showcases not just its preparation, but the fisherman who caught it. "Ahi caught near our deep ocean buoys by Matt Smith" might be grilled in a ti leaf and served with local banana and papaya. "Papio caught by Layne Nakagawa in deep reefs off Keanae" is steamed with island-grown ginger, Asian vegetables and sizzling macadamia nut oil. The macadamia nut-crusted lobster- and crab-stuffed fish has been a fan favorite since the restaurant opened in 1973.Try it with the signature Mai Tai Roa Ae and relish that few things in life are better than Mama&rsquos.


The Best Restaurants on Maui

Enjoy Maui like a local with these recommendations for the best seafood, shave ice, plate lunch and more.

Related To:

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Monkeypod

Named for a tree that grows on the Hawaiian islands and nourishes the plants that grow around it, Monkeypod serves reinvented takes on local fare, in a rollicking setting that often features live music. Run by revered local chef Peter Merriman, Monkeypod aims to please. Shareable starters include shrimp-mushroom potstickers and poke tacos. Corn chowder is bolstered with local coconut milk and lemongrass wood-fired pizzas include a reinvented take on the Hawaiian pizza, with Kalua pork, roasted pineapple, macadamia nut pesto and jalapeno. Grilled day-boat ahi is topped with a soy-sesame-Maui onion sauce, but Merriman's Nightly Upcountry Special is often the dish to beat, and can feature homey fare, like pork chops or noodles. Pair it all with a Monkeypod Mai Tai, which updates the classic with house macadamia orgeat syrup and an airy puff of honey-lilikoi foam on top.

Sam Sato’s

There&rsquos nearly always a wait at Sam Sato&rsquos, a tiny diner in Wailuku. Open only for breakfast and lunch, the restaurant turns out impressively hearty island staples, including loco moco, banana hot cakes and noodle dishes, including saimin, chow fun and dry mein. The latter is a Chinese-Hawaiian hybrid of pork-topped lo mein noodles with a side of broth to dip them into or pour over the top. If you have the choice, opt for a spot at the counter, where the banter between servers and regulars is as homey as the food.

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

One of the best ways to cool off, Hawaiian shave ice is practically ubiquitous around Maui. Of all the places to try it, Ululani&rsquos might be the best. Sure, the ice is fluffy enough to taste more like frozen cloud puffs than mere ice. But the vividly colored homemade syrups are what set it apart, in flavors like guava, salty plum, lilikoi, pickled mango and sour lemon, as well as kid favorites like pink bubble gum and root beer. There are six locations around Maui, with one in Kailua-Kona, but the main one is in Lahaina, on Front Street, right by the ocean. Sneak a peek at what is in store by watching our Facebook video of the mesmerizing action, which has generated 27 million fans and counting.

The Sandbar

Set off the bright, welcoming lobby of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, The Sandbar lounge is a breezy lanai with panoramic Pacific views. The locally focused menu includes poke cones, housemade charcuterie, sliders and coconut shrimp, all ideal for pairing with sunset drinks like the signature Sandbar Mai Tai (made more special with Hawaiian rum and housemade macadamia nut syrup). Sip the nicely spiced Stormy Season, with coconut liqueur, pineapple syrup and Maui Brewing Company's ginger beer, while looking out over the island's landmark Pu'u Keka'a rock, in search of double rainbows. The Sandbar is also open in the mornings for pastries like a lilikoi-caramel cinnamon roll and toasted coconut scones with vividly colorful ube.

Leoda’s

South of Lahaina on a stretch of highway not far from the beach, Leoda&rsquos bakes some of the best pies, not just on Maui, but in the world. Park in the dusty lot, where chickens might strut by, and join the queue inside for a sandwich and one of the superlative pies. There are plenty of flavor options &mdash berry pies, apple pies &mdash but the best feature local ingredients &mdash lilikoi cheese, guava chiffon, banana cream, coconut cream, chocolate macadamia nut and Olowalu Key lime (made with fruit plucked from the owner&rsquos trees).

Humuhumu

Arriving at Humuhumu means weaving through the Grand Wailea&rsquos maze of pathways, past tropical plants, pools and the occasional parrot. But the restaurant, named for the Hawaiian state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua&rsquoa, is worth the stroll. In a thatched pavilion atop a lagoon, chef Alvin Savella showcases local ingredients in reinvented local preparations, like squid ink bao buns with octopus and ginger-lime aioli, lobster ramen with a red miso-coconut broth, and seared scallops with yuzu and truffle vinaigrette. The restaurant is special, with a giant circular bar, prime water views, and servers who go above and beyond to connect with patrons. But Table 70 is probably the most-spectacular dining experience on the island, an al fresco torch-lit pier off the main restaurant, tucked away from other diners and over the lagoon, making the perfect island recipe for romance.

Merriman's

One of the 12 named founding chefs of Hawaiian cuisine, Peter Merriman is a champion of local flavors, sourcing from area farms and fisherman for dishes that nod to Hawaiian traditions. At Merriman's in Kapalua, taste the fusion of classic and creative in dishes like kalua pig and sweet onion quesadillas or the enchilada with Kona-caught lobster and butter-poached local corn.

Flatbread Company

The sole Hawaiian outpost of a Massachusetts-based chainlet, Flatbread Company in Paia has adapted seamlessly to the tropics. The menu uses local ingredients whenever possible, including farm-sourced produce for toppings. Start with the house salad, topped with local papaya, Hawaiian goat cheese and Maui pineapple vinaigrette. The pies are extra-popular as post-surfing fortification for locals, who love the Mopsy&rsquos Kalua Pork flatbread, a most-flavorful reinvention of a Hawaiian pizza, with smoked free-range shoulder, mango barbecue sauce, red onions, local pineapple and garlic oil.

Coconut Glen's

On the road to Hana? Stop to chill at this cheerful little spot on the Hana Hwy. Coconut Glen&rsquos specializes in vegan ice cream made from &mdash and served in &mdash island coconuts. Rich and creamy, the frozen desserts &mdash in flavors like banana-rum raisin, pineapple curry, chocolate-chile, salted caramel and, of course, classic coconut &mdash don&rsquot taste vegan, so they&rsquoll please even the most devoted dairy fans.

Maui Brewing Co.

Tucked in the hills above Kihei, Maui Brewing Co. offers tours, tastings and a full-on restaurant that&rsquos ideal for sampling flights of craft beers &mdash including seasonal and small-scale beers made with local fruits, like a tart lilikoi saison, and non-alcoholic options like house-brewed root beer. Dishes are great for sharing, and pairing with beer, including pizzas made with ale-bolstered dough the Brewmaster is topped with spicy sausage, pepperoni, roasted peppers and olives. Beer even makes its way into a few dishes, including a hearty loco moco slathered in gravy made with the brewery's Big Swell IPA.

Komoda

If you plan to catch the sunrise at Haleakalā, reward yourself on the drive back with a stop in Makawao, at historic Komoda (3674 Baldwin Ave.). Open since 1916, the tiny bakery specializes in cream puffs, malasadas (beignet-like doughnuts) and stick doughnuts, which are skewered fritters. The tiny no-frills spot &mdash there isn't even a website &mdash opens at 7 a.m., often selling out of the best stuff within a few hours. They're closed on Sundays and Wednesdays, so plan accordingly.

Star Noodle

As the name might imply, noodles are the thing to try at Star Noodle, but it&rsquos not hard to fill up on appealing shared small bites &mdash which borrow from Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines &mdash before a single noodle arrives. Start with a seafood-studded Vietnamese crepe, Chinese broccoli, vegetable Rangoon, pork buns or taro dumplings before transitioning to mains like dashi-spiked saimin with Spam, punchy garlic noodles and curry-infused Singapore noodles. Those who manage to save room can dive into mango pudding or puffy beignet-like malasadas.

The Hali’imaile General Store

Upcountry, tucked among Maui's pineapple fields, Hali&rsquoimaile General Store occupies a 1920s-ear former general store for plantation workers. Run by legendary chef Bev Gannon, the General Store is renowned for Bev's creative updates to classic flavors, including a sashimi Napoleon with layers of ahi, smoked salmon and wontons under a punchy wasabi vinaigrette, her famous crab-topped pizza, and baby back ribs with citrus barbecue sauce.

The Pint & Cork

Tucked inside The Shops at Wailea, this low-key tavern is the ideal spot to catch a break from the sun &mdash or watch games on several TVs. The menu is also a nice balance to the seafood-centric options at nearby resort restaurants. Sure, you'll find a light poke bowl studded with local big eye tuna, but the go-to dishes are the sandwiches, like a gooey crab melt, a short rib grilled cheese and the Bib Burger, a messy, juicy bacon-Cheddar burger bolstered with charred onion, arugla, a fried egg and whiskey-based sauce, all on a brioche bun. (Note that since Hawaii is up to six hours behind the East Coast, games start pretty early, so doors open at 7 a.m. on Sundays.)

Da Kitchen

Hawaiian food is a beautiful composite of cultural influences over the decades, inspired by tropical produce, locally available meats, and the flavors and ingredients beloved by immigrants who arrived to work on pineapple plantations and in sugar cane fields. One enduring tradition is the plate lunch, a hulking assortment of rice, with pasta salad and protein, like teriyaki chicken or Kalua pork. Try some at Da Kitchen, in Kahului, along with spam musubi, a sushi-inspired combo of nori-wrapped spam and rice. At Da Kitchen, it's deep-fried for crunch.

On the road to Hana, past Paia, Jaws Country Store sells coffees, smoothies and breakfast sandwiches for those who get an early start. For ramblers, it&rsquos a favorite lunch stop. Try a banh mi with local brisket or tempeh, or go for a poke bowl, like the Poisson Cru, a Tahitian-inspired take, with ahi in coconut milk with cucumbers, local tomatoes, Maui onion and mint. Come dinner, they fire up the pizza oven and turn out creative pies topped with spicy chicken, guava-barbecue pork and cheeseburger fixings.

Paia Fish Market

In the heart of surfer-hub Pa'ia, near some of the island&rsquos best waves, the Pa'ia Fish Market lets locally caught seafood shine. Opt for a burger with your choice of fish or simply grilled mahi mahi, ono or opah, with cole slaw and fries, and a Maui Brewing Co. beer. Though the original location is worth a stop, there are locations in Lahaina and Kihei, as well as Waikiki, on Oahu.

Mama’s Fish House

Truthfully, Mama&rsquos Fish House could steal most any category &mdash icon, romantic restaurant, fish, Mai Tais and more. Its setting, right on the sand, with stellar sunset views, makes it so the food doesn&rsquot even need to be great. But the iconic family-owned destination does indeed serve fantastic food, including local fish caught by fishermen who bring their hauls directly to the chefs. Read the menu, and you&rsquoll see each fish on the menu showcases not just its preparation, but the fisherman who caught it. "Ahi caught near our deep ocean buoys by Matt Smith" might be grilled in a ti leaf and served with local banana and papaya. "Papio caught by Layne Nakagawa in deep reefs off Keanae" is steamed with island-grown ginger, Asian vegetables and sizzling macadamia nut oil. The macadamia nut-crusted lobster- and crab-stuffed fish has been a fan favorite since the restaurant opened in 1973.Try it with the signature Mai Tai Roa Ae and relish that few things in life are better than Mama&rsquos.


The Best Restaurants on Maui

Enjoy Maui like a local with these recommendations for the best seafood, shave ice, plate lunch and more.

Related To:

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Photo By: Chelsea Heller Photography

Monkeypod

Named for a tree that grows on the Hawaiian islands and nourishes the plants that grow around it, Monkeypod serves reinvented takes on local fare, in a rollicking setting that often features live music. Run by revered local chef Peter Merriman, Monkeypod aims to please. Shareable starters include shrimp-mushroom potstickers and poke tacos. Corn chowder is bolstered with local coconut milk and lemongrass wood-fired pizzas include a reinvented take on the Hawaiian pizza, with Kalua pork, roasted pineapple, macadamia nut pesto and jalapeno. Grilled day-boat ahi is topped with a soy-sesame-Maui onion sauce, but Merriman's Nightly Upcountry Special is often the dish to beat, and can feature homey fare, like pork chops or noodles. Pair it all with a Monkeypod Mai Tai, which updates the classic with house macadamia orgeat syrup and an airy puff of honey-lilikoi foam on top.

Sam Sato’s

There&rsquos nearly always a wait at Sam Sato&rsquos, a tiny diner in Wailuku. Open only for breakfast and lunch, the restaurant turns out impressively hearty island staples, including loco moco, banana hot cakes and noodle dishes, including saimin, chow fun and dry mein. The latter is a Chinese-Hawaiian hybrid of pork-topped lo mein noodles with a side of broth to dip them into or pour over the top. If you have the choice, opt for a spot at the counter, where the banter between servers and regulars is as homey as the food.

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

One of the best ways to cool off, Hawaiian shave ice is practically ubiquitous around Maui. Of all the places to try it, Ululani&rsquos might be the best. Sure, the ice is fluffy enough to taste more like frozen cloud puffs than mere ice. But the vividly colored homemade syrups are what set it apart, in flavors like guava, salty plum, lilikoi, pickled mango and sour lemon, as well as kid favorites like pink bubble gum and root beer. There are six locations around Maui, with one in Kailua-Kona, but the main one is in Lahaina, on Front Street, right by the ocean. Sneak a peek at what is in store by watching our Facebook video of the mesmerizing action, which has generated 27 million fans and counting.

The Sandbar

Set off the bright, welcoming lobby of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, The Sandbar lounge is a breezy lanai with panoramic Pacific views. The locally focused menu includes poke cones, housemade charcuterie, sliders and coconut shrimp, all ideal for pairing with sunset drinks like the signature Sandbar Mai Tai (made more special with Hawaiian rum and housemade macadamia nut syrup). Sip the nicely spiced Stormy Season, with coconut liqueur, pineapple syrup and Maui Brewing Company's ginger beer, while looking out over the island's landmark Pu'u Keka'a rock, in search of double rainbows. The Sandbar is also open in the mornings for pastries like a lilikoi-caramel cinnamon roll and toasted coconut scones with vividly colorful ube.

Leoda’s

South of Lahaina on a stretch of highway not far from the beach, Leoda&rsquos bakes some of the best pies, not just on Maui, but in the world. Park in the dusty lot, where chickens might strut by, and join the queue inside for a sandwich and one of the superlative pies. There are plenty of flavor options &mdash berry pies, apple pies &mdash but the best feature local ingredients &mdash lilikoi cheese, guava chiffon, banana cream, coconut cream, chocolate macadamia nut and Olowalu Key lime (made with fruit plucked from the owner&rsquos trees).

Humuhumu

Arriving at Humuhumu means weaving through the Grand Wailea&rsquos maze of pathways, past tropical plants, pools and the occasional parrot. But the restaurant, named for the Hawaiian state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua&rsquoa, is worth the stroll. In a thatched pavilion atop a lagoon, chef Alvin Savella showcases local ingredients in reinvented local preparations, like squid ink bao buns with octopus and ginger-lime aioli, lobster ramen with a red miso-coconut broth, and seared scallops with yuzu and truffle vinaigrette. The restaurant is special, with a giant circular bar, prime water views, and servers who go above and beyond to connect with patrons. But Table 70 is probably the most-spectacular dining experience on the island, an al fresco torch-lit pier off the main restaurant, tucked away from other diners and over the lagoon, making the perfect island recipe for romance.

Merriman's

One of the 12 named founding chefs of Hawaiian cuisine, Peter Merriman is a champion of local flavors, sourcing from area farms and fisherman for dishes that nod to Hawaiian traditions. At Merriman's in Kapalua, taste the fusion of classic and creative in dishes like kalua pig and sweet onion quesadillas or the enchilada with Kona-caught lobster and butter-poached local corn.

Flatbread Company

The sole Hawaiian outpost of a Massachusetts-based chainlet, Flatbread Company in Paia has adapted seamlessly to the tropics. The menu uses local ingredients whenever possible, including farm-sourced produce for toppings. Start with the house salad, topped with local papaya, Hawaiian goat cheese and Maui pineapple vinaigrette. The pies are extra-popular as post-surfing fortification for locals, who love the Mopsy&rsquos Kalua Pork flatbread, a most-flavorful reinvention of a Hawaiian pizza, with smoked free-range shoulder, mango barbecue sauce, red onions, local pineapple and garlic oil.

Coconut Glen's

On the road to Hana? Stop to chill at this cheerful little spot on the Hana Hwy. Coconut Glen&rsquos specializes in vegan ice cream made from &mdash and served in &mdash island coconuts. Rich and creamy, the frozen desserts &mdash in flavors like banana-rum raisin, pineapple curry, chocolate-chile, salted caramel and, of course, classic coconut &mdash don&rsquot taste vegan, so they&rsquoll please even the most devoted dairy fans.

Maui Brewing Co.

Tucked in the hills above Kihei, Maui Brewing Co. offers tours, tastings and a full-on restaurant that&rsquos ideal for sampling flights of craft beers &mdash including seasonal and small-scale beers made with local fruits, like a tart lilikoi saison, and non-alcoholic options like house-brewed root beer. Dishes are great for sharing, and pairing with beer, including pizzas made with ale-bolstered dough the Brewmaster is topped with spicy sausage, pepperoni, roasted peppers and olives. Beer even makes its way into a few dishes, including a hearty loco moco slathered in gravy made with the brewery's Big Swell IPA.

Komoda

If you plan to catch the sunrise at Haleakalā, reward yourself on the drive back with a stop in Makawao, at historic Komoda (3674 Baldwin Ave.). Open since 1916, the tiny bakery specializes in cream puffs, malasadas (beignet-like doughnuts) and stick doughnuts, which are skewered fritters. The tiny no-frills spot &mdash there isn't even a website &mdash opens at 7 a.m., often selling out of the best stuff within a few hours. They're closed on Sundays and Wednesdays, so plan accordingly.

Star Noodle

As the name might imply, noodles are the thing to try at Star Noodle, but it&rsquos not hard to fill up on appealing shared small bites &mdash which borrow from Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines &mdash before a single noodle arrives. Start with a seafood-studded Vietnamese crepe, Chinese broccoli, vegetable Rangoon, pork buns or taro dumplings before transitioning to mains like dashi-spiked saimin with Spam, punchy garlic noodles and curry-infused Singapore noodles. Those who manage to save room can dive into mango pudding or puffy beignet-like malasadas.

The Hali’imaile General Store

Upcountry, tucked among Maui's pineapple fields, Hali&rsquoimaile General Store occupies a 1920s-ear former general store for plantation workers. Run by legendary chef Bev Gannon, the General Store is renowned for Bev's creative updates to classic flavors, including a sashimi Napoleon with layers of ahi, smoked salmon and wontons under a punchy wasabi vinaigrette, her famous crab-topped pizza, and baby back ribs with citrus barbecue sauce.

The Pint & Cork

Tucked inside The Shops at Wailea, this low-key tavern is the ideal spot to catch a break from the sun &mdash or watch games on several TVs. The menu is also a nice balance to the seafood-centric options at nearby resort restaurants. Sure, you'll find a light poke bowl studded with local big eye tuna, but the go-to dishes are the sandwiches, like a gooey crab melt, a short rib grilled cheese and the Bib Burger, a messy, juicy bacon-Cheddar burger bolstered with charred onion, arugla, a fried egg and whiskey-based sauce, all on a brioche bun. (Note that since Hawaii is up to six hours behind the East Coast, games start pretty early, so doors open at 7 a.m. on Sundays.)

Da Kitchen

Hawaiian food is a beautiful composite of cultural influences over the decades, inspired by tropical produce, locally available meats, and the flavors and ingredients beloved by immigrants who arrived to work on pineapple plantations and in sugar cane fields. One enduring tradition is the plate lunch, a hulking assortment of rice, with pasta salad and protein, like teriyaki chicken or Kalua pork. Try some at Da Kitchen, in Kahului, along with spam musubi, a sushi-inspired combo of nori-wrapped spam and rice. At Da Kitchen, it's deep-fried for crunch.

On the road to Hana, past Paia, Jaws Country Store sells coffees, smoothies and breakfast sandwiches for those who get an early start. For ramblers, it&rsquos a favorite lunch stop. Try a banh mi with local brisket or tempeh, or go for a poke bowl, like the Poisson Cru, a Tahitian-inspired take, with ahi in coconut milk with cucumbers, local tomatoes, Maui onion and mint. Come dinner, they fire up the pizza oven and turn out creative pies topped with spicy chicken, guava-barbecue pork and cheeseburger fixings.

Paia Fish Market

In the heart of surfer-hub Pa'ia, near some of the island&rsquos best waves, the Pa'ia Fish Market lets locally caught seafood shine. Opt for a burger with your choice of fish or simply grilled mahi mahi, ono or opah, with cole slaw and fries, and a Maui Brewing Co. beer. Though the original location is worth a stop, there are locations in Lahaina and Kihei, as well as Waikiki, on Oahu.

Mama’s Fish House

Truthfully, Mama&rsquos Fish House could steal most any category &mdash icon, romantic restaurant, fish, Mai Tais and more. Its setting, right on the sand, with stellar sunset views, makes it so the food doesn&rsquot even need to be great. But the iconic family-owned destination does indeed serve fantastic food, including local fish caught by fishermen who bring their hauls directly to the chefs. Read the menu, and you&rsquoll see each fish on the menu showcases not just its preparation, but the fisherman who caught it. "Ahi caught near our deep ocean buoys by Matt Smith" might be grilled in a ti leaf and served with local banana and papaya. "Papio caught by Layne Nakagawa in deep reefs off Keanae" is steamed with island-grown ginger, Asian vegetables and sizzling macadamia nut oil. The macadamia nut-crusted lobster- and crab-stuffed fish has been a fan favorite since the restaurant opened in 1973.Try it with the signature Mai Tai Roa Ae and relish that few things in life are better than Mama&rsquos.