So you’re visiting Maui, or perhaps you’ve just moved there, and you are looking for good grub. Who can blame you? Hawaii’s cuisine is one of the best things about it, and Maui is no exception. We asked one of our favorite Maui photographers, Molly Khana, to give us the 411 on the best places that locals eat in Maui, and these were her suggestions:
Smash burgers, sushi and noodles, all with a Hawaiian flair, in beautiful Kihei? Where do you go wrong? Don’t let this hole in the wall fool you, either. It’s got big flavor in a little kitchen, and you don’t want to miss out on this local eatery.
Food trucks have taken over Maui like everywhere else, and we’re not mad about it. If you love good street food, check out Gyro King in Kahului, located in the Ka Makeke lot. You’ll find falafel, spanakopita, and salads in addition to gyros at this Greek restaurant on the go.
Looking for similar food in Haiku? Try the straightforwardly named Mediterranean Grill, where you’ll find lamb gyros, garlic shrimp, falafel salad, and dolmas. It’s like you’re taking a trip to the Continent, but without the expensive plane fare.
808 on Main or 808 Deli
Want to enjoy a classic twist on bistro food? Check out 808 on Main in Wailuku or its sister shop 808 Deli in Kihei. Both serve contemporary sandwiches, lettuce wraps, salads, breakfast foods, and more. Try the pupus, small dishes with big Hawaiian flavor.
808 Antojitos (Lahaina food truck)
Looking for a Mexican spin? The 808 Antojitos food truck in Lahaina is here to provide. Try their sopes, flour quesadillas, gorditas, and tacos – all delicious and all ready in five minutes or less.
With almost 25 years of history, this beloved café has two locations, in Kihei or Lahaina. You can grab food to go or enjoy their lovely patio, where you can take it slow with home-cooked omelets and cinnamon rolls.
Move over, street food and sweet buns! If you’re visiting Maui and budgeting for a nice restaurant experience, choose Māla Tavern. It offers gorgeous ocean views, accompanied by food that fuses Mediterranean flavors with Pacific Rim cooking styles. Expect to spend a little more … but it’s worth every dollar.
Local flavors and extra-large portions abound at Da Kitchen, a Kihei institution. A self-proclaimed provider of comfort food, it offers pupus, teriyaki and katsu chicken, ribs and noodles – and much more, of course.
With locations across Hawaii, you won’t have to go far to find an L&L Barbecue. This well-loved franchise offers ready-to-go barbecue chicken, beef bowls, and Kalua pork for the discerning diner.
Fish Market Maui
Whether you want to rustle up some fresh seafood for dinner or dine in, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Fish Market Maui in Lahaina. With burritos, full plates, and all the fried food your heart could dream of, it’s a can’t-miss.
Choice Health Bar
With locations in Ka’anapali, Lahaina, and Pā’ia, you have your choice of one-stop shops for smoothies, superfood salads, and acai bowls – all with a sustainable Hawaiian bent. The JavaWow is, for instance, a great way to get your kick of coffee with a macadamia nut twist.
My Thai Maui
My Thai Maui in Kahului serves up hearty traditional Thai food in a trendy warehouse, the perfect place to dine in or pick up food to go. Here you’ll get your fill of pad kee mao, pad thai, steak, seafood and bao – all straight from the land of smiles to the Valley Isle.
Sushi lovers rejoice! Umi Maui in Wailuku is the perfect place to get your fishy fix. Try its classic sashimi and Nigiri, a Japanese twist on steak, or Negi Hami and Natto Maki rolls.
A Saigon Cafe
Maui dwellers can’t get enough of their Pacific Rim food, and A Saigon Café also hails from Southeast Asia. Vietnamese food at its best in Wailuku, you can enjoy crisped whole fish, scallops and snow peas, or clams with black bean sauce. It’s like you’re actually in Vietnam!
With a menu as cute as its name, Cupies in Kahului is a flashback to 50s drive-through fare. Burgers, shakes, and breaded teriyaki – among oodles of other sides – will give you that cozy, comfortable Hawaiian feeling.
No matter where you are on Planet Earth, you can find good pizza – and Pā’ia is no exception. Flatbread Co. offers free-range meats and organic foods, all prepared the traditional way in wood-fired ovens.
Down the Hatch
In addition to cocktails and shave ice, Down the Hatch in Lahaina also offers happy hour daily from 2 to 5 and live music that starts at 3. Enjoy their open-air courtyard patio for some extra Maui goodness.
Still trying to complete that Pacific Rim tour? Kitoko in Kihei is the perfect one-stop shop for Hawaiian food with a Japanese flair. Try their bento boxes or, for a really fun Hawaiian spin, the Lilikoi meringue pie.
Farm-to-table dining is as popular in Maui as it is anywhere else, and Moku Roots in Lahaina offers an extra spin with vegan food. If you’re totally plant-based, you’ve got to try their café fare, kombucha, and cocktails.
Tasaka Guri Guri
You know when a restaurant always has a huge line out the door, there’s something good inside. This cash-only Kahului fro-yo parlor serves a range of ice creams and sorbets as well. The locals love to eat here. Bet you can’t try all the flavors!
Maui Coffee Attic
For your daily fix, try the Maui Coffee Attic in Wailuku. It’s a 50s-style café offering pastries, pizza, salads, patio dining, and live music. Make sure to give yourself an hour or two to really soak in the vibes.
A favorite for Hana locals, Poke Bob’s is food truck dining at its finest. Get poke bowls, as the name suggests, or opt for other traditional favorites such as fish, rice dishes, and steak kabobs.
You’ve got no excuse for a bad meal on Maui. You know exactly where the locals eat in Maui now. So, which one are you going to try first?