The following Maui restaurants are no longer open
The following Maui restaurants have since closed. We’ve shared some information about them in case you’re wondering where they went or are just being nostalgic. And for those looking for existing restaurants, see some I’ve reviewed below:
- Fine Dining Maui restaurants – (expensive)
- Moderate Maui restaurants – (mid-price)
- Inexpensive Maui restaurants
- Vegetarian Maui restaurants
- Gluten Free Maui restaurants
- Maui restaurants – ALPHABETICAL list
Restaurants tend to come and go on Maui, so let us know if we’re missing any that have gone out of business.
808 Bistro was a moderately priced dinner & breakfast restaurant in Kihei, just south of the Rainbow Mall and across the street from Kamaole II beach, at 2511 South Kihei Road (behind Fred’s Mexican). Phone 808-879-8008. It closed in the first part of 2018.
The food at 808 Bistro was good and the covered open-air ambiance was enjoyable, though there’s no view. The dinner menu had just six appetizers, four salads, and nine entrees. The early bird menu from 5 to 6 PM gave a discount on three-course dinners. Breakfast had all the usuals plus a few surprises. There’s no alcohol, but you can bring your own.
AK’s was an inexpensive small local restaurant at 1237 Lower Main Street in Wailuku. Phone 808-244-8774. It was CLOSED in 2016.
This was a modern restaurant with a long list of very good food. It’s only known to Maui residents, so you will find very few tourists there. AK’s Cafe is open for lunch and dinner on weekdays, closed on weekends. The menu includes about 10 appetizer choices, 27 entrees that each come with two sides, 8 sides to pick from, plus a few soups, salads, and children’s items.
Aloha Mixed Plate
Aloha Mixed Plate was a casual outdoor restaurant on the ocean side of Front Street, behind the Lahaina Cannery Mall (behind Safeway grocery store). Now at its location of 1285 Front Street, you’ll find the new location for Star Noodle.
Aloha Mixed Plate is a very well-known Maui restaurant that was there for many years, but it was completely remodeled in 2017. Since then, the decor and menu had much improved and modernized. They even changed from paper plates and napkins, and plastic silverware to real plates, cloth napkins, and metal silverware.
It was open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Aloha Mixed Plate was unusual in that it was an inexpensive place, yet it had a very good ocean view like some more expensive restaurants.
Amasia was a restaurant that opened in the Grand Wailea hotel in 2012 and CLOSED in late 2014.z
The owner of Amasia was Alan Wong, a famous chef who has two outstanding restaurants in Honolulu on the island of Oahu. So the food at Amasia was wonderful. They had foods from many countries, a “global marketplace of different cultures where east meets west in Hawaii.” There were small plates perfect for sharing and tasting. In addition to a sushi bar, Amasia had a robata, which is a grill used to prepare Japanese food for customers seated around the cooking area. The main sections of the long menu were soups & salads, seafood, poultry, pork, beef, rice & noodles, vegetables, and sushi. There was also a 5-course tasting menu.
Everything my dining companions and I tasted at Amasia was excellent and beautifully presented.
Ami Ami was Maui’s least expensive fine-dining restaurant, and the food was wonderful. Each dish was perfectly prepared and beautifully presented. The long innovative dinner menu included 19 appetizers, soup, 5 salads, 7 steaks and chops, 6 fish and seafood entrees, chicken, duck, vegetarian choices, and 6 desserts. The dining area was open-air but mostly covered.
Antonio’s Italian Cuisine
Antonio’s restaurant was in the Long’s Center at 1215 South Kihei Road in Kihei. Phone 808-875-8800. It CLOSED in May of 2018 and has been replaced at this location by a new restaurant called Tanpopo Dandelion.
Antonio’s was open for dinner every day except Monday. It was a small casual restaurant with tasty food, indoor seating, and Italian decor.
The menu at Antonio’s included many kinds of pasta, a couple of types of pizza, salads, sandwiches at lunch, and meats at dinner. See below for some specific Antonio’s menu items as well as photos.
The food at Antonio’s was very good, and the prices were moderate for Maui.
Any Kine Diner
Any Kine Diner was a casual restaurant adjacent to the main front entrance of the Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center in Kahului, at 275 West Kaahumanu Avenue. Phone 808-269-1108. It closed in 2016 or early 2017.
This was a 1950’s or 1960’s style diner with a Hawaiian flair. The service is exceptionally friendly. They offered numerous appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, tacos, entrees, shakes, malts, and desserts. The decor and menu had some similarities to the Ruby Tuesday restaurant that was previously at this location. The current owner, Kirk Baldridge, was the franchisee for Ruby’s here from 2001 to 2011, and he was dedicated to making Any Kine Diner the best place for good comfort food in central Maui. Kirk considers this a “mission-based” restaurant, which means he works with work readiness programs and other local vocational rehabilitation groups in preparing local Maui residents for the workforce.
“Any Kine” is pidgin for “any kind.”
Arias Maui in Wailuku served lunch and dinner daily, and breakfast only on the weekends. They also did a carry-out and catering business. The lunch and dinner menus were mostly the same and included about five appetizers, two soups, four salads, plus burgers, fish & chips, three kinds of pasta, and five entrees. At lunch, there were also seven sandwich choices, and at dinner, there were four additional entree choices.
Aroma D’Italia Restaurant Kihei
Aroma D’Italia restaurant CLOSED in 2012. It was in the Foodland shopping center in the north half of Kihei, at 1881 South Kihei Road. Phone 808-879-0133.
Aroma D’Italia was only open for dinner. There were a few outdoor tables on a patio surrounded by light shades, and a beautiful indoor dining area. The menu was long and the food was excellent.
The menu at Aroma D’Italia included all your Italian favorites, with numerous appetizers, salads, side dishes, pasta, lasagnas, and meat or vegetarian entrees. See below for some specific Aroma D’Italia menu items as well as photos.
This was the place on Maui for a good Italian dinner at reasonable prices.
I last visited Chez Meme Baguette Bistro in 2013, and I don’t know when it permanently closed.
Basil Tomatoes (not Tomatoes or Tomato’s or Tomatoe’s) CLOSED in February of 2014. It was an Italian restaurant that stood since 1995 on the grounds of the Royal Lahaina Hotel, adjacent to the 5th tee of the Royal Kaanapali (formerly called the North Kaanapali) Golf Course, in Kaanapali. Phone 808-662-3210.
The building was originally the clubhouse for the first Kaanapali golf course, so the restaurant had beautiful views of the golf course, with the ocean in the distance. The menu was long, with delicious versions of all of the expected Italian choices and more. Dinner only. Service could be slow.
Beach Bums Napili
Beach Bums Napili was a BBQ restaurant in the Napili Shopping Center, just north of Lahaina and Kaanapali. It closed in 2018, but its other location at Beach Bums Maalaea is still open. The closed Napili location was at 5095 Napilihau Street, at the corner of the Honoapiilani Highway, phone 808-868-0494. The other Beach Bums (still open) is in the Maalaea Shops adjacent to the aquarium and Maalaea Harbor in central Maui.
The menu at Beach Bums Napili was long, and there were many good choices besides the barbecue items. The five-page menu includes 11 appetizers, 5 salads, 9 sandwiches, 5 kinds of burgers, 5 pizzas, 13 entrees, 8 sides, and 6 choices on the kid’s menu. My favorite of all these items is the “BBQ Sampler.” It is listed as an appetizer, but is really a full barbecue meal, with several ribs, two slices of brisket, pulled pork, chopped brisket, and one “hot link” which is a super-delicious sausage. My wife’s favorite appetizer is the sweet potato fries, but I prefer the onion strings. Asparagus avocado & citrus is a good salad. That great hot link is available in a sandwich, but if you don’t want BBQ for your sandwich, you can have grilled fish or teriyaki chicken. All the burgers are good, but if you don’t care about calories, go for the half-pound burger with bacon, cheese, and onion strings. I haven’t tried their pizza, which just didn’t seem to me to belong in a barbecue restaurant. If you’ve got room for an entree, of course, there are ribs, brisket, and pulled pork, or that BBQ Sampler with two sides added for just $2 more than the appetizer version. But there are also chicken, turkey, steak, fish, tofu, and even surf or turf tacos.
The decor was new and modern. If you like barbecue and you were staying on the west side, you could have planned on a lunch or dinner here. You would not leave Beach Bums Napili hungry.
Big Beach BBQ
Big Beach BBQ was a food truck with excellent barbecue food in generously sized portions, at food truck prices. It was usually on the main road outside of Big Beach, or sometimes in Kihei, at 1819 South Kihei Road on the street side of the Kukui Mall. Phone 808-214-8739. It was bright green, so easy to spot.
As with all food trucks, the menu was short here, with nine items to choose from. Every one of them was delicious, beautiful, large, and surprising. By surprising, I mean that, even though I have eaten at most Maui restaurants and food trucks, I never saw or tasted anything prepared exactly like any one of the items at the Big Beach BBQ food truck.
If I had to choose one item as the most amazing here, it would have been the Big Beach Nachos. Friends had told me that I have to try the nachos from this truck, but I didn’t understand why since I previously assumed that nachos were simply a few tortilla chips with melted cheese on top. The menu at this truck said “not your traditional nachos” and boy oh boy is that ever right. They served a huge plate covered with lots of crisp fresh tortilla chips, which were then covered with loads of the tastiest tender Kiawe smoked pulled pork, and then that was all covered with garlic lemon aioli, guava chili aioli, barbecue sauce, tomatoes, limes, cabbage, peppers, and wedges of fresh pineapple. The flavors, especially the three sauces, were outstanding.
But I couldn’t settle for only tasting the one most famous item above. I had to go back to try the others. I was not disappointed. The tacos (fish or pork), the pulled pork sliders, and the pine dog (butterflied and grilled) were great too. The owners of Big Beach BBQ, Linda and Jerry Lauther, are super friendly, cheery, helpful, and always glad to see you, making your visit to their food truck always a fun experience.
Big Wave Cafe
Big Wave Cafe CLOSED in the last half of 2012. It was at 1215 South Kihei Road in the Kihei Center, the same shopping center that contains Longs Drugs. Phone 808-891-8688.
Big Wave breakfast and lunch menus were both available from 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM. There were some lunch items from 2 to 5 PM, and the full dinner menu from 5:00 to 9:00 PM. They had a great bargain in their early-bird specials, buy one entree and get one half-off from 5:00 to 6:30 PM (call before you go to verify they are still doing this).
The atmosphere was very casual and there was no view. But the food was excellent. It’s as good as at Maui’s fine dining restaurants, for a lot less money. See below for some specific Big Wave Cafe menu items as well as photos.
This place was a surprising Maui gem. On the other side of Maui, see its sister restaurant, Kahana Sands, owned by the same chef.
BJs Chicago Pizza
BJ’s Chicago Pizzaria changed its name in early 2010 to Lahaina Pizza Co. Lahaina Pizza Company has the same owner and a similar menu to BJ’s. It’s open for lunch, dinner, and late-night entertainment. They have four pizza sizes with your choice of 20 toppings, plus pasta, salads, sandwiches, and a lot more food choices.
Blue Lagoon Restaurant
Blue Lagoon CLOSED in about 2013. It was an inexpensive restaurant on the bottom level of the Wharf Cinema Center, across from the Banyan Tree, in Lahaina. 658 Front Street, phone 808-661-4900.
About half of the menu items were seafood, much of it fried, including fish, shrimp, calamari, and oysters. But there were also burgers, kalua pork, ribs, chicken, and even a pastrami sandwich. There were the usual accompaniments, fries, onion rings, nachos, plus the less usual ahi poke and crab rangoon. They also had a few soups and salads, so everyone could find something to eat here. The location was convenient for lunch while touring Lahaina, but service could be slow. And there’s better food at Pioneer Inn across the street.
Bubba Gump was a restaurant whose theme is from the movie Forrest Gump. There were a few Bubba Gumps around the country, including this one at 889 Front Street in Lahaina, Maui.
Bubba Gump had the same menu at lunch and dinner. The menu had a variety of preparations of shrimp, plus a few non-shrimp items. It was right on the ocean, with great views all day long and a beautiful view at sunset. If you like shrimp, or if you like the 1994 movie Forrest Gump, then this would have been fun.
Buzz’s Wharf CLOSED in 2014, after 47 years in business. It was a famous longstanding restaurant at Maalaea Harbor in the southwest corner of Maui’s central valley, at 1540 Upper Maalaea Road. Phone 808-244-5426.
Buzz’s was open for lunch and dinner seven days per week. They served “American, Hawaiian and Tahitian food.” It was a family restaurant, but sometimes slow service could make the kids impatient. Many tables had a pretty view of the boats in Maalaea Harbor, a section of ocean, and Haleakala volcano in the distance.
Maui restaurants often come and go, but Buzz’s was here for 47 years. It was never a favorite of mine, but they must have done something right.
Cafe Carmen Restaurant
Cafe Carmen has been replaced at this location by a different restaurant called Cow Pig Bun. Cafe Carmen was a small restaurant at the Tech Park, 535 Lipoa Parkway, in Kihei. Phone 808-875-8100.
Tourists don’t usually find this place, but it’s known and enjoyed by Maui business people and other residents. It’s a little hard to find, uphill on the mountain side of the Piilani Highway, in an office building. They served all three meals on weekdays, breakfast, and lunch on weekends.
This restaurant was well known locally for fresh salads and sandwiches, plus a few specialties and desserts.
Cafe Del Vino
Cafe Del Vino Maui was an upscale Italian restaurant in the Harbor Shops, near the aquarium, in the south part of Maui’s central valley, the area known as Maalaea. It CLOSED in 2018.
I like Italian food, and I like fine-dining Maui restaurants, so I had great hopes for my dinner at Cafe Del Vino Maui. But my first impression here was surprised at all the negatives listed on the menu and the signs. No persons under 16 are allowed. No splitting dishes. No t-shirts. No tank tops. No take-out. Women’s restroom out of order. It’s not that any one of these “no’s” was so bad, but just the fact that so many rules were prominently listed, unlike at any other restaurant I have seen on Maui. The tables are small, with not enough space for all the food for our party of four. There is very little cramped legroom under the tables, and the tables are very close together, making it noisy and crowded in the restaurant. The service was slow. I would have forgiven everything in this paragraph if the food was great. But the food was just good, not great.
Cafe Del Vino Maui was only open for dinner. The three-page menu includes sections for tapas, soup, salad, house specials, seafood, and desserts. There is one good deal on the menu, and that is the Sunset Dinner Special from 5 to 7 PM, including very limited choices of soup or salad, entree, and dessert.
If you want good Italian food on Maui, at lower prices, I suggest Casanova in Makawao.
Kapalua Cafe and Espresso Bar CLOSED in 2009. It was replaced at the end of 2010 by the Village Cafe And Sweet Shop in the same location, but that one closed in 2011.
Cafe Kapalua was a casual restaurant in the Kapalua Adventure Center, the former site of Vino’s restaurant in the former Village Golf Course clubhouse. It was at 2000 Village Road, near the Ritz Carlton Hotel, in Kapalua. Phone 808-665-8220.
Cafe Kapalua was open for breakfast, lunch, and early dinner. It was adjacent to a golf school and practice area, so it attracted golfers as well as people staying at the nearby condos (Kapalua Golf Villas, Ridge Villas, Bay Villas). The menu included delicious wraps, sandwiches, and salads. See below for a list of some specific menu items and food photos.
Cafe O’Lei Napili / Dunes
Cafe O’Lei Napili CLOSED in November of 2012. It was an excellent mid-priced dinner restaurant in the Napili Shores condo in Napili, on the west side of Maui, a few miles north of Lahaina and Kaanapali Beach. It was at 5315 Lower Honoapiilani Road, at the former location of Fish & Poi, and before that the location of Orient Express. This is at the same condo complex as the Gazebo restaurant. Phone 808-442-3700.
Cafe O’Lei is a group of Maui restaurants that included this Cafe O’Lei Napili, plus Cafe O’Lei Kihei and Cafe O’Lei at the Dunes Maui Lani. All are very good and all give you the opportunity to enjoy some of Maui’s best food without having to pay the high prices of many of Maui’s fine dining restaurants.
Cafe O’Lei Napili was an indoor restaurant with a small view of the distant ocean, plus a pretty view of gardens, a koi pond, and a small waterfall. The menu included Maui’s best French Onion Soup en Croute, and several sandwich choices, as well as seafood, chicken, and steak entrees. See the menu list and food photos below for details. It was open for dinner only, Tuesday through Saturday (closed Sunday-Monday).
If you are staying on West Maui, this was a very good place for dinner at reasonable prices, away from the crowds.
Cane & Taro
Cane & Taro changed its name to Maui Fish & Pasta in 2012. It originally opened in 2009 at the location of the previous Rusty Harpoon restaurant, in the middle of Whalers Village, the shopping center on Kaanapali Beach.
The restaurant was covered but open-air, and most tables had an ocean view. This was one of my several favorite Maui restaurants, and my favorite dinner entrees were today’s fresh fish (usually 5 choices) and my favorite appetizer was chicken wings with Kochujang sauce.
Canoes Restaurant Lahaina
Canoes was replaced by Five Palms in 2011. Same phone number 808-661-0937.
Canoes was a longstanding Lahaina landmark, though it was formerly called Chart House. It’s at the north end of Front Street (1450 Front Street), where Front meets the Honoapiilani Highway. Phone 808-661-0937.
Canoes menu included what they claimed was Maui’s largest salad bar. They have a few outdoor tables with views of the road intersection and the ocean (with sunset view), plus more tables indoors, some of which also have partial ocean views. (See below for some specific Canoes menu items as well as photos.)
Prices at Canoes were a little less than at Maui’s most expensive fine-dining restaurants.
The food was excellent at this delightful Italian restaurant, but the prices were extremely high. One of the best and most popular items on the menu was their mushroom risotto. The Braised Lamb Shank was also wonderful at Capische, but I have not tried these items since the change to “The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea.” There was only one fish dish on the menu, and in my opinion, it was not as good as fish entrees at Maui’s other top fine-dining restaurants.
Cascades CLOSED in February of 2010. It has been replaced by a new restaurant called Japengo at that location. Cascades was a beautiful outdoor and indoor restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Maui Hotel on Kaanapali Beach. Cascades served innovative island cuisine and sushi for dinner only. Phone 808-661-1234.
Cascades was located on the ocean side of the Hyatt’s lobby level. At sunset, the views were wonderful. Each evening there were three or four kinds of fresh Hawaiian fish in your choice of four preparation styles. There were also meats and a complete sushi menu, as well as a separate sushi bar. See below for some specific Cascades menu items as well as photos.
For beautifully presented food in a beautiful setting, Cascades was a great choice.
Charley’s was a well-known, longstanding, casual restaurant in Paia, a small town on the north side of east Maui. It was at 142 Hana Highway near Baldwin. The landlords wouldn’t negotiate during and after COVID, so they couldn’t afford to stay. Tragic.
Charley’s was famous for breakfasts, but it was crowded at lunch and dinner, so you could expect a wait for a table almost any time. You had to deal with the traffic getting into Paia from central Maui, and sometimes it was hard to find a place to park. But both locals and tourists kept coming back. There was live music many evenings. Charley’s was named after the original owner’s Great Dane.
If you wanted to escape from the tourist areas near the resorts, or if you were looking for a good meal not too far from the airport, or on your way to or from Hana, Charley’s restaurant in Paia was a legendary spot. Let’s hope they open up again somewhere else.
Chez Meme Baguette Bistro
Chez Meme (formerly called Baguette Bistro) was a small restaurant a few blocks from the ocean in Kihei. It was at 115 Kio Loop, phone 808-879-5425. It CLOSED in 2016.
This casual inexpensive French restaurant had amazingly delicious food at both breakfast and lunch (not open for supper). You could eat in the open-air indoors, or outside on the garden patio.
For breakfast, the French toast was made with fresh-baked Brioche, and there were many omelet choices. For lunch, the sandwiches were on delicious baguettes and came with soup or salad or fries. This was one of the best inexpensive restaurants on Maui.
Chez Paul Restaurant Francais
Chez Paul CLOSED in 2009. It was an elegant small French restaurant in Olowalu, about 4 miles south of Lahaina, on the west side of Maui. Phone 808-661-3843.
Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop opened in 2011 at this location.
Chez Paul had only about a dozen tables, all indoors. There was no view and it was not Hawaiian like most of Maui’s other top restaurants. But the French food was wonderful, with great flavors and beautiful presentations. Most of the delicious sauces were cream-based, rich French sauces. It was open for dinner only. Very expensive.
Cilantro Mexican Restaurant
Cilantro Fresh Mexican Grill CLOSED in November of 2013. It was a fast-food restaurant in Lahaina. But the food was amazingly delicious in spite of the fast-food atmosphere, the paper plates and the plastic silverware. It was in the Old Lahaina Shopping Center. Phone 808-667-5444.
The owners of Cilantro opened a new Mexican restaurant called Sangrita at the Fairway Shops in Kaanapali in 2014.
Cilantro had a long menu that included several kinds of appetizers, Enchiladas, Tacos, Burritos, Salads, and full Plates. You ordered at the cash register and they called your number so you could pick up your food at the counter when it was ready a few minutes later. There weren’t very many tables, and it could get crowded at lunch or dinner, but you could also carry out.
Whether you usually like Mexican food or not, you could find something to eat for lunch or dinner from the many choices at this quick and inexpensive casual restaurant in Lahaina.
CJ’s Deli & Diner
CJ’s Deli & Diner closed during the pandemic in 2020. They used to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 7 AM to 8 PM daily. It was a casual place and great for families. In addition to a wide variety of plate lunches and dinners, they also had numerous sandwich choices.
Compadres Restaurant Lahaina Cannery Mall
Compadres CLOSED in 2008 and was replaced by Los Pelenos (which then closed in 2009). Compadres was a Mexican-themed restaurant in the Lahaina Cannery Mall (the shopping center with the Safeway grocery store and Long’s drugstore). Phone 808-661-7189.
Compadres Bar & Grill was open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The breakfast menu had omelets, fruits, huevos rancheros, and more. The long lunch and dinner menu included appetizers, soups, salads, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, Rellenos, chimichanga, and sandwiches. The food was all tasty, but ask about which items are hot and spicy if that is a concern. Compadres described their food as “Western cooking with a Mexican accent.”
Cow Pig Bun
Cow Pig Bun was a small inexpensive restaurant uphill, away from the beach, in the Kihei tech park area. It CLOSED in the second half of 2018. It was at 535 Lipoa Parkway. Phone 808-875-8100.
Tourists don’t usually find this place, but it’s known and enjoyed by Maui business people and other residents. It’s a little hard to find, uphill on the mountain side of the Piilani Highway, in an office building. They’re open for lunch, dinner, and late-night, closed Sundays.
The one-page menu at Cow Pig Bun includes several kinds of burgers, sandwiches, and salads. There are several “shareables” or appetizers, plus a couple of desserts. The food is very good, and it costs a lot less than similar food at the touristy restaurants closer to the beach.
Da Kitchen at the Wharf
Da Kitchen CLOSED this Lahaina location. The Lahaina branch used to be at the Wharf shopping center in Lahaina. It was across the street from the Banyan Tree, at 658 Front Street. Phone 808-661-4900. That location was replaced by Blue Lagoon in 2011.
Like its older sibling, Da Kitchen at the Wharf served big portions of Hawaiian plate lunches at good prices. West side tourists could discover what Maui’s big-city locals have known for years, and taste some delicious casual Hawaiian food. See below for some specific Da Kitchen at the Wharf menu items as well as photos.
For something different than you can eat either at home or in the resort areas, you’ll have to go to Kahului instead of stopping in for lunch or dinner at Da Kitchen at the Wharf shopping center in Lahaina.
Da Kitchen Kahului
Da Kitchen was a small, very casual restaurant where the locals ate, in Kahului, Maui’s largest city. It was at 425 Koloa Street in the Triangle Square strip mall, near U-Haul (close to the airport). There was a second Da Kitchen at the Rainbow Mall in Kihei, phone 808-875-7782.
Da Kitchen was known for huge servings of plate lunches, local and Hawaiian-style food. They had the same menu all day. Open for lunch Monday-Saturday, dinner Monday-Friday.
A plate lunch is a modern Hawaiian staple meal, consisting of meat or fish accompanied by scoops of sticky rice and potato salad (or green salad).
David Paul’s Island Grill
David Paul opened this restaurant in May of 2009, and it CLOSED in September 2012. It was at 900 Front Street, in Lahaina. Phone 808-662-3000.
This top Maui chef formerly had David Paul’s Lahaina Grill on Lahainaluna Road, but he is no longer there, and that restaurant is now called Lahaina Grill. David Paul’s Island Grill was at the former location of Zuihau and of Sam Choy’s, near Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Hard Rock Cafe.
David Paul’s Island Grill, was open for dinner every day, and for lunch on weekdays. The decor was modern and gorgeous. In addition to the indoor seating, there was an open-air patio with great views of the ocean just across the street. The menu included unusual and tasty soups, salads, meats, and seafood, priced with the high-end Maui restaurants. See below for some specific David Paul’s Island Grill menu items as well as photos.
This was one of the best places in Lahaina for great food with an ocean view.
Dibs On Da Ribs Food Truck
Dibs On Da Ribs food truck is OUT OF BUSINESS. It was usually alongside Kahului Beach Road, a couple of blocks from Kaahumanu Avenue, near the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, in Kahului, from Monday through Friday.
Of course, with a name like Dibs On Da Ribs, this truck featured pork ribs (Texas style). But my favorite thing here is their kalua pork plate lunch, which in my opinion is the best kalua pork on Maui. They also have chicken, steak, shrimp, wraps, and banana cornbread. A great thing about getting your lunch from a food truck is that you are usually dealing with the owner, and here you will find Mike West very helpful and friendly, in addition to being an excellent chef.
E & O Trading Company
E & O Trading Co was a restaurant that opened in 2006 and CLOSED in 2007, in the Lahaina Cannery Mall (the shopping center with the Safeway grocery store and Long’s drugstore). The initials stand for European and Oriental. E & O Trading Company was open for lunch and dinner.
I’d describe the food at E and O Trading Co as Full of Fabulous Flavors. It’s very tasty, without being burn-your-mouth spicy. The E & O Trading Company menu is divided into Satays, Indian Flat Bread, Salads, Small Plates, and Big Plates. Your dinner entree can be one “big” plate or two “small” plates, and still, be less expensive than many of Maui’s top restaurants. There was no view, but the decor is beautiful, with some tables even being in booths with large gauze curtains. If you love flavorful food, this was a restaurant to try, and you can still find them in other cities outside of Hawaii.
Famous Dave’s Barbecue
Famous Dave’s CLOSED in 2012. They opened this, their first Hawaii location, on Maui in 2010. It was at 736 Front Street in Lahaina, upstairs on the second floor. Phone 808-661-1125.
Famous Dave’s is a chain of about 175 restaurants in 38 states. The food is almost all smoked barbecue meats, including ribs, brisket, burgers, chicken, and fish, plus a dozen choices of sides. You can choose from several flavors of sauces, in a range of hotness. The Maui restaurant in Lahaina was air-conditioned inside, but I preferred the open-air tables on the railing, with a view of the tourists walking by on Front Street. See below for menu details and photos.
If you want barbecue on Maui, this was the place to get it.
Fish & Poi
This restaurant CLOSED in 2008. In 2010, Cafe O’Lei Napili opened at that location.
Fish & Poi was part of the Cafe O’Lei group of Maui restaurants from 2003 to 2007. It then changed ownership, changed menus, and changed its name to Napili Tavern for a few months in 2008, before it closed. Maui Grill opened in 2009 at the former location of Fish & Poi. Maui Grill was then replaced by Cafe O’Lei Napili in 2010.
Fish & Poi Restaurant was one of the best places to eat delicious food at prices much lower than in Maui’s other top restaurants. It was on the Lower Honoapiilani Road in Napili, in the Napili Shores Condo, less than 15 minutes north of Kaanapali.
Fish and Poi had the same menu at lunch and dinner. The chef-owners were the same as Cafe O’Lei in Kihei.
Fish Fish Fish at Whalers Village
Fish Fish Fish was the name that Cane & Taro restaurant was planning to change to in 2011, but they canceled this name change. Instead, they changed their name in 2012 to Maui Fish & Pasta. It is in the middle of Whalers Village, the shopping center on Kaanapali Beach. It’s at 2435 Kaanapali Parkway. Phone 808-662-0668.
Fish Fish Fish (Maui Fish & Pasta, Cane and Taro) is owned by the same people as Sansei, a popular Japanese restaurant in Kapalua and Kihei. It has a few of the same menu items, plus much more. The restaurant is covered but open-air, and most tables have at least a partial ocean view. There were many menu changes in 2011 and 2012, emphasizing today’s fresh fish, plus more pasta, as well as sushi, and a few steaks, salads, for those who don’t want fish.
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. See below for some Cane and Taro menu items and photos. The menu is changing frequently in 2011-2102, so some of the below items may no longer be on the menu.
If you are staying at any of the hotels or condos on Kaanapali Beach, Fish Fish Fish (now called Maui Fish & Pasta) is within walking distance. Or if you are shopping at Whalers Village, you are already there.
Five Palms Restaurant in Lahaina
Five Palms Lahaina CLOSED in 2013. They opened in 2011 at the north corner of Front Street and Honoapiilani Highway, in the former location of Canoe’s and Chart House, at 1450 Front Street, phone 808-661-0937.
Five Palms Lahaina had the same owners and menu as the longstanding favorite Five Palms in Kihei, adjacent to Wailea. This Lahaina location was open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including the breakfast menu available until 2:30. Most tables were inside, though a few are on an outside patio. Many tables had an ocean view. There were early bird discount dinners available from 5 to 6 PM, and half-price sushi and appetizers available from 3 to 7 and again from 9 to 11 PM every day. Prices were a little lower than at most of Maui’s fine-dining restaurants.
Fresh Mint Vietnamese Vegetarian Restaurant Maui
Fresh Mint was one of the few vegetarian restaurants on Maui. It closed in 2014, but a new vegetarian restaurant opened nearby, called Maka by Mana. Both are in Paia, at 115 Baldwin Avenue, former phone for Fresh Mint was 808-579-9144, and now Maka’s phone number is 808-579-9125
The long menu at Fresh Mint was divided into 5 appetizers, 4 salads, 4 soups, 15 entrees, 5 noodles, 2 burritos, and 8 chef specials. The food is said to be Vietnamese, though many of the dishes appear to be from other Asian countries as well. They are open every day for dinner, and Wednesday through Sunday for lunch. I am not usually a vegetarian, but I found several tasty dishes to like here.
Garden Sushi was a vegetarian Japanese restaurant, at 1087 Limihana Place, just off the Honoapiilani Highway, in Lahaina. Phone 808-661-7711. It CLOSED in 2017.
Garden Sushi was open for dinner, from 6 PM onward. In the daytime, this same restaurant is called Choice Health Bar. Together, these two were the only vegetarian restaurants on the west side of Maui, but now only Choice Health Bar remains.
I like sushi, and I am not a vegetarian, so I wondered how they were going to make sushi without fish. I was very pleasantly surprised. The food here was both delicious and beautiful. They had nigiri sushi, sushi rolls, appetizers, soups, salads, and house specialties. The atmosphere was casual and the prices were lower than at Maui’s fancier sushi restaurants.
Gerard’s was a long-standing French restaurant in Lahaina. It was at 174 Lahainalua Road, a block and a half off of Front Street.
Gerard Reversade, the chef and owner, is from France but has lived on Maui for over 30+ years, and that combination showed in all of his wonderful food creations. The restaurant had won many awards, including Mobil Travel Guide 4 stars, “one of Maui’s best” from Zagat, and “best chef on Maui” from Maui News readers poll. The restaurant was small, with several inside tables in an elegant room, plus more outside tables on the beautiful front porch. It was very expensive. The Plantation Inn B&B is in the same building. For an outstanding dinner or a special occasion in a lovely setting in Lahaina, Gerard’s was the place.
Gian Don Maui
Gian Don’s CLOSED in 2010. It was a restaurant in a beautiful building in the style of a Mediterranean Villa with Roman pillars. It was at 1445 South Kihei Road in the former location of Marco’s. Phone 808-874-4041.
Gian Don was open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Most tables were indoors, but some were out on the lovely patio in front. Breakfast included three kinds of eggs Benedict, two kinds of French Toast, and omelets that can be made into breakfast sandwiches. Lunch included a wide variety of sandwiches and pasta. Appetizers available at both lunch and dinner were Italian Nachos, baby back ribs, bruschetta, and a cheeseboard. Dinner included four fish choices in any of three preparations, pizzas, veal, chicken, and steaks. Even if you spell it Giandon, that’s a lot of food choices. See below for some specific Gian Don’s menu items as well as photos. The food at Gian Don’s was delicious, portions were generous, and the service was very good.
Giovani’s Tomato Pie Restaurante
Giovani’s CLOSED in 2008. It was at the entrance to Kaanapali, on the corner of the Honoapiilani Highway and Kaanapali Parkway. It was upstairs from Johnny’s Burger Joint, which also CLOSED in 2008. You could eat indoors or on the covered open-air patio. Phone 808-661-3160.
Giovani’s was a casual Italian restaurant open for dinner only. They had big bowls of pasta, allowing you to choose any of eight preparations and any of six types of pasta, plus any of thirty additional toppings. They also served pizzas, salads, stuffed pasta, five varieties of parmigiana, and more. They even had early bird specials (good discounts on the pasta from 5:30 to 6:00 PM). See below for some specific Giovani’s menu items as well as photos.
This was a great choice for families or for casual dining at much less than the usual Kaanapali restaurant prices.
Gyro Food Truck
Gyro Food Truck billed itself as “Greek & Mediterranean Gourmet Cuisine.” The menu at Gyro Food Truck was longer than at most other food trucks. There were appetizers, Greek gyros, main dishes, and Mediterranean favorites. All were delicious. They even had Mediterranean smoothies instead of the usual ordinary drinks you find at most other food trucks.
Gyro’s Food Truck
Similar but not the same, Gyro’s was a food truck usually parked on Kahului Beach Road, a couple of blocks from Kaahumanu Avenue, near the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, in Kahului.
The owner was Zaldy Pascua, who is a local Maui radio personality on 105.5 FM. In this truck, he prepared delicious gyros, Greek salads, and other wonderful tasty foods for lunch.
Hana Ranch Provisions
Hana Ranch Provisions was an organic foods restaurant at 71 Baldwin Avenue in Paia. Phone 808-868-3688. The restaurant closed in September of 2016.
This restaurant was owned by the Hana Ranch, which is a 3600-acre cattle ranch and organic farm in Hana, on the rainforest east coast of Maui. Many of the ingredients for the meals served at the restaurant came from that ranch and farm. They had house-made bread, fresh-squeezed juices, house-smoked meats, and sausages, among their many foods made from Maui-grown plants and animals. Hana Ranch Provisions was open for lunch and dinner.
The lunch menu was made up of soup, salads and sandwiches. Dinner offered a few more choices, including soups, salads, appetizers, and entrees consisting of burgers, fish, pasta, and vegetarian. Desserts at both lunch and dinner had varying choices of pastries.
Hard Rock Cafe
The only Hard Rock Cafe on Maui CLOSED in December 2016. It was in Lahaina, at 900 Front Street, on the ocean side of the Outlets shopping mall. Phone 808-667-7400.
Like other Hard Rock Cafes all over the world, this was a rock and roll themed restaurant loaded with memorabilia and mementos of rock and roll songs. Here on Maui, they added surfing displays. They had the usual menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and standard entrees. Of course, there was a shopping section with Hard Rock t-shirts, pins, and souvenirs.
Io Maui CLOSED in December of 2013. It was the less well-known sister restaurant of PacificʻO restaurant (same owners), both started by James McDonald. Both were side-by-side on the ocean in the 505 Front Street shopping center in Lahaina. Iʻo had the more modern decor, with indoor as well as outdoor seating. Dinner only. Phone 808-661-8422.
Io was one of the premier Maui restaurants for Pacific Rim cuisine. This type of food blends ideas from California with food preparations from Japan and other Asian countries. My wife and my favorite fish preparation here was the “Crabby Catch.” Our favorite dessert was the marvelous “Chocolate Pate.” See below for some specific Iʻo restaurant Maui menu items as well as photos.
The view and the food at Iʻo were both delicious. I recommended it highly and was disappointed when it closed.
Iron Imu Maui BBQ
Iron Imu CLOSED in December of 2016. It was a barbecue restaurant in the Napili Shores condos at 5315 Lower Honoapiilani Road in Napili, on the west side of Maui. Phone 808-442-3700.
Iron Imu had Maui’s best BBQ. Most dinners came with your choice of meat (such as chicken or beef brisket or ribs), plus your choice of any three sides (such as mac & cheese, slaw, beans, or rice). I loved the ribs here. And I highly recommended that you get the macaroni and cheese as one of your sides, because this is the best mac & cheese I have tasted anywhere.
You ordered your food at a counter, and then they cook it and bring it to your table on a metal tray. The restaurant was about 15 minutes north of Kaanapali Beach. Open for dinner only.
Island Froyo CLOSED in 2015. It was a small restaurant in Lahaina where you could make your own frozen yogurt sundae. It was at 170 Papalaua, a block from Front Street, in the Old Lahaina Center, next door to the former location of Cilantro. Phone 808-667-7558.
Froyo is short for Frozen Yogurt. There are dispensers that you work yourself to take as much or as little as you want from about ten different frozen yogurt flavors. Then you add whatever you like from about 16 different toppings, such as fruits, candies, and syrups. You pay by the ounce, so your sundae can be as large or as small as you desire. You could also have a freshly made waffle to put your frozen yogurt on.
Italian Delight in the Lahaina Gateway
Italian Delight opened in July 2012, and CLOSED in 2017, in the Lahaina Gateway shopping center, on the Honoapiilani Highway, at the corner of Keawe, across the street from the Lahaina Cannery Mall. Phone 808-662-0077 or 808-990-8076.
Italian Delight specialized in pizza and pasta. They had hot sub sandwiches, pasta, Philly steak cheese, and more. Dine-in or carry out. Open 7 days per week, 11 AM to 9 PM.
The restaurant was owned by Maui businesswoman Jody Fausek and chef Antonio Carannanty.
Izakaya Matsu was a small Japanese restaurant in the Azeka Makai shopping center in Kihei. It CLOSED in 2018. It was at 1280 South Kihei Road. Phone 808-874-0990.
This restaurant served Maui’s most traditional Japanese food. It was only open for dinner. An izakaya is a Japanese tavern that serves tapas-like Japanese dishes. The menu is long and varied, arranged into these parts: Salads, Sushi-Sashimi, Deep Fried, Roasted-Grilled, Bowls, Noodles, Combination, Ala Carte, Desserts, and Kids Meal. A few daily specials are also posted on the wall. There are many items on the menu that I have not seen anywhere else, and everything I tasted was delicious. (I didn’t try the sushi, since that is not what this restaurant is known for.)
Izakaya Matsu was small, containing only about six tables with twenty seats, plus about ten seats at the sushi bar. All seats are indoors. Service is efficient and friendly, even though the staff (one waitress) does not speak much English.
Jay’s Place was a casual inexpensive mostly-Italian restaurant in the Wharf Cinema Center, across from the banyan tree, in Lahaina. It CLOSED in 2014. It was at 658 Front Street. Phone 808-661-6699.
Jay’s was set back away from the street, on the mid-upper level, in the back of the Wharf Center. It was open every day for lunch and dinner. They had pizza, pasta, burgers, subs, appetizers, soups, and salads. In my experience, the food here has been just adequate, and not what I would call very good.
Joe’s Bar & Grill, a Beverly Gannon restaurant
Joe’s CHANGED from Pacific Rim and American food to Mexican and South American food, in the spring of 2015. But then the new version, called Joe’s Nuevo Latino, CLOSED in the summer of 2015. The information on this page is for the OLD Joe’s before that change, so this is no longer the current information or menu or food photos. Joe’s was formerly a fine-dining restaurant on the upstairs floor of the clubhouse for the Wailea Tennis Club. It’s at 131 Wailea Ike Place, phone 808-875-7767.
Since Joe’s is owned by famous Maui chef Beverly Gannon, it’s no surprise that the food here was wonderful, just like at her other restaurants, Haliimaile General Store and Gannon’s Pacific View. This one, named after Bev’s husband, has a view of the many tennis courts at the Wailea Tennis Club, through large open windows providing an airy feel. Joe and Bev’s daughter Cheech gets in on the family business too, since she is the pastry chef in charge of the wonderful desserts. Was open for dinner only. See below for a list of many of the menu items.
Note that this page is about the old Joe’s, and not the new Mexican and South American restaurant that replaced it in 2015.
Kahana Grill opened at the end of 2012, and CLOSED on August 1, 2013, upstairs in the Kahana Gateway shopping center. That’s at 4405 Honoapiilani Highway, 10 minutes north of Kaanapali Beach. Phone 808-669-4000.
The reason that the food was wonderful at Kahana Grill, was that the chef was Alex Stanislaw. He used to be the chef at Plantation House. But prices here were much lower than at his previous location, and there were more choices on the menu here. Chef Alex produced a great variety of excellent dishes at lunch and dinner, including small and large plates of meats or seafood, plus pizza, sandwiches, and salads. Some of my favorites were Kalua Pork Quesadilla, Beef Short Ribs, Pan-Roasted Fish with Prawn, and Snickers Pie. Sushi was also available.
The service was friendly and helpful. The general manager Mike or the owner Ken were usually around to make sure you were taken care of. This was one restaurant that both visitors and Maui residents loved.
Kaanapali Grille was the main restaurant at the Marriott Maui Ocean Club timeshare resort on Kaanapali Beach. It was at 100 Nohea Kai Drive. The previous restaurant at this location was called Longboards.
Kaanapali Grille had all-open-air seating, some tables on an uncovered patio, and other tables in an inside covered area. It was open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There were many choices on the menu.
The dinner menu had six appetizers, three salads, four pizzas, four sandwiches, and eight entrees. The presentations were beautiful and all the food I had had there was very good.
Kahana Sands was REPLACED in 2015 by Beach House Restaurant at this location. It was formerly the Kahana Terrace restaurant, poolside at the Sands of Kahanacondo, 4299 Lower Honoapiilani Road. Phone 808-669-5000.
Kahana Sands breakfast and lunch menus were both available from 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM. My favorite breakfast item was the Kalua Pork Omelet. Lunch featured several sandwiches and wraps, as well as burgers. There was a smaller lunch menu for the rest of the afternoon, and then complete dinner choices from 5:00 PM onward. You would sit on a covered terrace with beautiful views of the pool and ocean. Food prices were lower than at Maui’s fine-dining restaurants.
Kahuna Kabobs CLOSED in 2009. It was an outdoor stand in the courtyard of the Lahaina Marketplace, just off Front Street and Lahainaluna Road, in Lahaina. The phone was 808-661-9999.
This restaurant was briefly replaced by Lahaina Mixed Plate at the same location, and after that by Hoku’s Grill in 2011.
At Kahuna Kabobs, you could order your food at a window, pick it up at another window, and then eat it at tables in the open courtyard. The food came on plastic plates and styrofoam containers with plastic silverware. See below for some menu items and photos.
This was one of the cheapest places to eat good food in Lahaina.
Kai Wailea was a Japanese restaurant in the Shops at Wailea shopping center, 3750 Wailea Alanui Drive. It CLOSED in 2015. Phone 808-875-1955.
The decor was more upscale than in other shopping center restaurants. The specialties in this small restaurant were sushi and Japanese tapas. But the long menu included cold and hot appetizers, salads, robata (charcoal-grilled), entrees, soups, and three pages of sushi choices.
Koa 156° replaced Koa’s Seaside Grill in 2017 at 839 Front Street in Lahaina. Koa 156 then CLOSED in late 2018. The phone was 808-667-7737.
The food at Koa 156° was excellent and the presentations were beautiful and unique. For example, the dinner appetizer crab cakes are two round balls with a flower on top and corn and stripes of sauce on the plate, and are among the best crabcakes I have tasted. The ahi poke is presented in a squat glass jar with colorful onions, lemon, and flowers sticking out, plus crisps on the plate. The salads have dressings I have not found elsewhere. The onion rings are huge. Among the dinner entrees, the salmon is very moist with an especially tasty topping and is served on a large flat rice cake that is covered with amazing delicious gochujank honey sauce, and it’s topped with optional spicy peppers. The braised short ribs have wonderful mustard seed topping and are served over the most delicious spaetzle. The wild mushrooms and the whipped purple sweet potatoes are terrific side dishes. For dessert, the chocolate decadence is a super-creamy cake decorated with white and chocolate sauces and fruit pieces. The creme brulee (served with fresh berries) is vegan so everyone can enjoy it. See the photos of these foods below.
The view here is also wonderful. After you enter through a small store, you will find that Koa 156° is the only restaurant here on the ocean side of Front Street that has uncovered rooftop dining (and so the best views) for all three meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All meals are also available on the lower deck where the views are also excellent. The two next-door restaurants, Kimo’s, and Lahaina Fish Company do not have that great combination.
Breakfast was served from 9 AM to 1 PM, Lunch 11 AM to 3 PM, Happy Hour 3-4 PM, and Dinner 5-9 PM.
What about that unusual name? The “156 degrees” in the name of this restaurant refers to the fact that Maui is at 156 degrees west longitude.
Koa’s Seaside Grill
Koa’s Seaside Grill was REPLACED in 2017 by a new restaurant at this location. See the page about that new restaurant at Koa 156°.
The rest of this page is about the former restaurant called Koa’s Seaside Grill that used to be at this location before 2017. That restaurant in turn had replaced the Mai Tai Lounge in 2013 at 839 Front Street in Lahaina. Phone 808-667-7737.
After you enter through a jewelry store, you found that Koa’s was the only restaurant here on the ocean side of Front Street that had uncovered rooftop dining (and so the best views) for all three meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All meals are also available on the lower deck where the views are also excellent. The two next-door restaurants, Kimo’s, and Lahaina Fish Company do not have that great combination.
At Koa’s Seaside Grill, both the breakfast and the lunch menus were served from 9 AM to 3 PM, and then there’s Happy Hour starting at 3 PM, followed by the dinner menu from 5 PM to 9 PM. Lots of delicious choices at all three meals, plus the great ocean view, are what made that former Koa’s Seaside Grill one of my favorite moderately-priced restaurants on the west side of Maui.
Kolea Maui Restaurant
Kolea was a dinner restaurant that opened in February 2017 and closed just three months later. It was in the former Roy’s location, upstairs in the Kahana Gateway Center, north of Kaanapali and Lahaina, on the west side of Maui, at 4405 Honoapiilani Highway, phone 808-985-5568.
Kolea had wonderful preparations of Southeast Asian, Malaysian, and Pacific Rim foods that you won’t find anywhere else in Maui. They featured small plates, so you can try several of these unique dishes at one dinner. The restaurant used locally sourced ingredients such as Kauai-grown prawns and Maui-raised beef. The Kolea menu included saucy curries, spicy noodles, and fresh salads. Although the atmosphere was fine dining, the prices were between inexpensive and low-moderate for Maui, so local residents, as well as visitors, enjoyed eating here.
The Kolea menu is divided into six sections: Pupus (appetizers), Salads, Soups & Noodles, Plates, Sides, and Desserts. (Details of each section are below.) My two favorite appetizers are the crispy chicken wings and the steak satay. My favorite main dish is the chicken potato coconut curry, and my wife’s is the chow fun mushroom & noodle soup. But there are plenty of other yummy things to try here. I suggest you and your dining companion try at least one item from each of the six sections of the menu.
The owners who manage Kolea are Alison Isabelle and Adam Fuderer, the sister and brother team who own and run Slappy Cakes, a fun breakfast restaurant that is also on the west side of Maui. Adam got ideas for the great foods at Kolea when he was traveling in Asia franchising Slappy Cakes.
Kolea had some of Maui’s tastiest food.
Kono’s On The Green
Kono’s On The Green was a fine-dining restaurant on the Maui Nui Golf Course in Kihei. It’s at 470 Lipoa Parkway. Phone 808-633-4220. In early 2018 it got a new owner, and the name was changed to Sunsets Bar & Grill, which eventually closed and, as of 2023, is called Gilligans Bar & Grill). See that link for info about the new restaurant. All of the below information is about the former Kono’s On The Green.
Kono’s was open for lunch and dinner on weekdays and for all three meals on weekends. There was a Happy Hour in the afternoons every day and live music most days. There are indoor and outdoor tables, most of which have a view of the golf course, plus a sunset view in the evening. The Maui Nui Golf Course, and the restaurant, are on the mountainside of the Piilani Highway, about three-quarters of a mile inland from the ocean.
There’s a shortlist of the usual breakfast items. For lunch, there are soups, salads, quesadillas, wraps, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and pizzas. The afternoon has pizza and pupus (appetizers), some of which are half off during Happy Hour. For dinner, there are appetizers, salads, pasta, pizzas, and about ten entree choices (both types of meat and seafood).
Kupu Maui was an organization that used to put on an outdoor dinner for a limited number of people at a different Maui location each month. Dania Katz was the originator and first organizer. James Simpliciano was the original chef.
Past dinners have been at such diverse locations as the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku, Alii Kula Lavender Farm in Upcountry, Laniupoko Beach Park south of Lahaina, Piliani Coffee Farm on West Maui, and Malama Pig Farm in Haiku. The multi-course dinner is completely different at each event but is always unusual gourmet, and delicious.
The only way to get into one of these amazing dinners was to make a reservation on their website, on the first day they go on sale, two weeks before each event. You used to be able to sign up for their newsletter on the website so you will receive advance notice of each future Kupu dinner. These dinners have not been done by this organization since about 2016.
Lahaina Coolers restaurant was a Lahaina landmark for years. People seemed to find it even though it’s not on Front Street like most Lahaina restaurants. This restaurant was a local hangout and served breakfast, lunch, and dinner indoors and outdoors.
Lahaina Store Grille
Lahaina Store Grille CLOSED in 2008. The Lahaina Store Grille and Oyster Bar opened in Lahaina in 2005 and closed in 2008. It was upstairs at 744 Front Street, across the street from the Seawall. Phone 808-661-9090. Fleetwood’s on Front Street, a new restaurant owned by Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, opened at this location in 2011. In addition to a large indoor room with tables on the second floor of the building for lunch and dinner, Lahaina Store Grille had a unique rooftop seating area (dinner only) with a beautiful view of the ocean, the sunset, and in the other direction the West Maui Mountains. Lahaina Store Grille’s menu included raw oysters, plus beautiful presentations of salads, seafood, meats, and desserts. (See below for some specific Lahaina Store Grille menu items as well as photos.) The view of the food and the scenery were both terrific if you ate outdoors on the roof (not the indoor dining room).
Longboards CHANGED to Kaanapali Grille in 2014. It is the oceanfront restaurant at the Maui Marriott Ocean Club (a timeshare building that was formerly the Maui Marriott Resort Hotel), on Kaanapali Beach. Phone 808-667-8220.
Longboards had all-open-air seating, some tables on an uncovered patio, and other tables in an inside covered area. They were only open for dinner. Fish entrees did not include potatoes or rice or vegetables, which all must be purchased separately. Several types of fish came in your choice of several preparations. Meats and a couple of pasta or vegetarian dinners or flatbreads (pizzas) were also available. See below for some specific menu choices and photos.
The menu and photos below are for the former Longboards restaurant. Info about the new Kaanapali Grille that replaced Longboards is at this link: Kaanapali Grill.
Lulu’s Lahaina Surf Club & Grill was a casual restaurant in the Lahaina Cannery Mall (same mall as Safeway), at 1221 Honoapiilani Highway. It closed in late 2016. Phone 808-661-0808.
Lulu’s Lahaina was open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu was long, with a wide variety of choices. Lunch and dinner include pupus (appetizers), salads, burgers, sandwiches, and flatbreads (pizzas). At dinner, they have all of those same things, plus complete entrees. They have four types of tasty french fries (plain, garlic, volcano, or furikake). Call to ask whether they are still doing their early bird special, with discounts on all food between 5 PM and 6 PM.
Lulu’s was an OK casual restaurant for the whole family, with lower prices than Maui’s fancier restaurants.
Maalaea Grill CLOSED in 2009. A better restaurant, the Maalaea Waterfront, opened in 2012 at the former location of Maalaea Grill, but it closed in 2013. Neither of those should be confused with the unrelated Maalaea General Store nearby.
Maalaea Grill had the best food in the Maalaea Harbor Shops and aquarium area of Maui. It was as good as the food in Maui’s fine-dining restaurants but at lower prices. Maalaea is the southern part of Maui’s central valley. It’s about 30 minutes drive from Kaanapali or Kihei-Wailea. Phone 808-243-2206.
Main Street Bistro
Main Street Bistro was a small casual restaurant at 2051 Main Street in Wailuku. It CLOSED in the second half of 2015, and was replaced at this location by a new restaurant called “808 On Main.” The phone was 808-244-6816 for Main Street Bistro but changed to 808-242-1111 for 808 On Main.
Main Street Bistro was only open on weekdays, no weekends. It served lunch from 11 AM to 3 PM, and then tapas (small plates) from 3 PM to 7 PM. No later dinners. Located in Maui’s capital city, they had daily specials and other delicious food at prices far below the restaurants in the resort areas.
If you were in the Wailuku area, such as when you went to Iao Valley, Main Street Bistro was a good place for lunch.
Mai Tai Lounge
Lahaina Mai Tai Lounge was replaced in early 2013 with a new restaurant called Koa’s Seaside Grill (also closed) at this location on the ocean. Mai Tai Lounge was the only one with uncovered rooftop dining for dinner, so had the best views, especially at sunset. Lunch was on the lower deck but it still had great views. The menu was the same at lunch and dinner, including numerous pupus (appetizers), sandwiches, burgers, salads, fish, and other entrees.
Makawao Steak House
Makawao Steak House has been a mainstay in the cowboy town of Makawao for over 25 years. But it CLOSED in March of 2019. This steak house was at 3612 Baldwin Avenue, a couple of blocks north of Makawao Avenue. Phone 808-572-8711. Dinner only.
Of course, the Makawao Steak House featured steaks. There were six types, and sizes from 8 to 18 ounces. The steaks are ala carte, with an extra charge for vegetables, potatoes, other side dishes, or the salad bar. But there are also other entrees (beef, chicken, fish, etc.) that do come with vegetables or potato, or rice. The food here was excellent, and the prices are lower than at comparable Maui restaurants that are closer to the hotels and condos on the beaches.
This restaurant’s last owner, until 2019, was Hoku Nui. They also have the Hoku Nui Farm Stand open Monday-Friday 8 AM-5 PM, five minutes from the restaurant, at 186 Pi’iholo Road.
Makawao Steak House was formerly owned by the Cafe O’Lei group, which had it from 2012 to 2017. Other restaurants that are still owned and run by Cafe O’Lei are Cafe O’Lei Kihei, Cafe O’Lei at the Dunes, and their fine-dining AmiAmi at the Maui Coast Hotel.
Manana Garage CLOSED in 2008. It was a businessperson’s restaurant in an office building in Kahului, with some of the best food on Maui. It was at 33 Lono Avenue (corner of Kaahumanu) in the green Kahului Office Building. Phone 808-873-0220.
Bistro Casanova opened in 2009 at that same location.
Manana Garage billed itself as Latino or South American or Mexican food but was a lot more than that. The decor was colorful, friendly, and casual, but the food was fine-dining quality. Some of the food was spicy. The restaurant was open for dinner every day and for lunch Monday-Saturday. See below for some specific Manana Garage menu items as well as photos.
Manana Garage was by far the best restaurant in Kahului. If you wanted to get away from the tourists and eat where the local business people eat, this was the place.
Market Fresh Bistro
Market Fresh Bistro was a small restaurant in the courtyard of a little shopping center in Makawao. It CLOSED about 2017. It was at 3620 Baldwin, next to Hot Island Glass. Phone 808-572-4877.
Open just for breakfast and lunch, this popular European-style restaurant had indoor and outdoor tables. The short menu has just a few choices for breakfast and a few salads and soups for lunch. They use mostly local ingredients.
Maui Bake Shop
Maui Bake Shop & Deli CLOSED in December 2012 due to the death of the owner Jose Krall in a small airplane accident. This restaurant was a small inexpensive casual restaurant where Maui residents and very few tourists enjoyed wonderful meals and took home delicious bread and desserts. It was at 2092 Vineyard Street in Wailuku. Phone 808-242-0064.
You ordered your food at the counter, reading today’s menu posted on blackboards, and gazing at the beautiful pastries in the display cases. Your order was taken, and your meal was prepared, by the two chef-owners, Jose and Claire Krall. The plates were then brought to your table. Open for breakfast, lunch, and early dinner.
Some of the best breakfast choices were eggs Benedict or crepes. Any time of day, the Kula onion soup was amazing. For lunch or dinner, I liked their sandwiches on freshly baked bread. See below for the menu list and food photos.
You could get away from the tourists and eat the great food that only the local residents know about, at Maui Bake Shop.
Maui Brick Oven
Maui Brick Oven was a 100% gluten-free restaurant at 1215 South Kihei Road (near Long’s Drugstore) in Kihei.
This was one of the only restaurants I have found on Maui where everything they serve is gluten-free. And the food was good! There was a variety of appetizers, pizzas, salads, sides, and desserts, plus four special entree choices. Their fish and chips were the best on Maui, whether gluten-free or not.
Maui Brick Oven was owned and run by a family in which several members who work in the restaurant have celiac disease and so cannot eat gluten. That makes them very knowledgeable and very careful to prepare only gluten-free foods. Dealing with the family members who own the restaurant created a friendly atmosphere, so it was fun to meet them and chat with them when you ate here.
Maui Fish & Pasta restaurant
Maui Fish & Pasta restaurant was in Whalers Village on Kaanapali Beach as of 2013. This restaurant has closed. Maui Fish & Pasta was the restaurant originally called Cane & Taro, which opened in 2009 at the location of the previous Rusty Harpoon restaurant, in the middle of Whalers Village, the shopping center on Kaanapali Beach. Maui Fish & Pasta CLOSED in mid-2015. It was at 2435 Kaanapali Parkway. Phone 808-662-0668.
Maui Fish & Pasta was owned by the same people as Sansei, a popular Japanese restaurant in Kapalua and Kihei. It had a few of the same menu items (including sushi), plus many more choices. The restaurant is covered but open-air, and most tables have an ocean view. If you are staying at any of the hotels or condos on Kaanapali Beach, Maui Fish & Pasta was within walking distance. Or if you are shopping at Whalers Village, you were already there.
Maui Grill in Napili WAS REPLACED in 2010 by Cafe O’Lei Napili, and then later by Iron Imu, and then after that by Kitchen 5315, at this location. This Maui Grill is NOT the same as the newer Maui Grill at the entrance to Kaanapali Beach (former location of Paradise Grill).
Maui Grill was a restaurant in the Napili Shores condo in Napili, on the west side of Maui, a few miles north of Lahaina and Kaanapali Beach. It was at 5315 Lower Honoapiilani Road, at the former location of Fish & Poi, and before that the location of Orient Express. This is at the same condo complex as the Gazebo restaurant. Phone 808-442-3700.
Maui Grill was an indoor restaurant and did not have an ocean view. Fred, the owner, had years of experience at two other good Maui restaurants, Five Palms and Canoes, so he was there to make sure your food and service are top quality. He managed to keep most of the entrees at moderate (for Maui) prices, though the steaks were expensive. Open for dinner only. See below for some specific Maui Grill menu items as well as photos. If you are staying on West Maui, this was a good place for dinner away from the crowds.
Maui Grill Kaanapali
Maui Grill Kaanapali was the restaurant at the entrance to the Kaanapali Resort area. It was at 2291 Kaanapali Parkway, at the corner of Honoapiilani Parkway. Phone 808-667-6100. It was CLOSED in late 2018.
The menu was classic American food with some Hawaiian-themed dishes. As you would expect, there were appetizers, salads, entrees, local favorites, sandwiches, a kid’s menu, and desserts. But here’s what was different about Maui Grill Kaanapali: they were open until 2 AM, something you don’t find much of on Maui. They often had late-night entertainment. There was a bar area with sports on TV. The whole restaurant was open-air, but about half the tables are indoors and half were out on a covered patio. Paradise Grill was the restaurant that was formerly at this location. The old and the new restaurants were similar.
This spot is adjacent to the Kaanapali golf courses. You pass the restaurant as you go from the main highway toward the major Kaanapali hotels, which are the Hyatt, Marriott, Westin, Sheraton, and Kaanapali Beach Hotel. Across Kaanapali Parkway from the Maui Grill, is the more upscale Roy’s Restaurant.
Maui Sugar Shop
Maui Sugar Shop Bakery was Maui’s only gluten-free bakery. You could buy beautiful and delicious cakes, cupcakes, pies, muffins, bread, quiche, coffee cakes, waffles, cream puffs, cookies, lemon bars, brownies, and more. Everything was gluten-free. Some items were also vegan or paleo. The owners, Zane and Cynthia, were sometimes there and always greeted you with a smile. They used organic and local ingredients and were soy-free. Nothing contained high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors or flavors.
Max World Bistro
Max World Bistro CLOSED in 2011. It was a restaurant in the center of Haiku, on the northwest side of Haleakala (the east half of Maui). It was at 810 Kokomo, near Haiku Road. Phone 808-575-2629. Lilikoi Grill restaurant replaced Max World Bistro at that location in 2011.
Max World Bistro was one of those rare restaurants that managed to serve fine-dining food at moderate-dining prices. The Maui News said this was the place to “take your taste buds on an adventure around the globe” to “expand your culinary horizons.” The exotic menu included food styles from the Middle East, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Italy, Turkey, Malaysia, and Britain. The desserts were great. Gourmet pizzas were also available for dine-in or carry-out. See below for a list of some specific menu items and food photos. If you don’t mind straying far from the tourist areas of Maui, and you are an adventuresome diner, Max World Bistro was good for lunch or dinner.
The Melting Pot CLOSED in February 2013. It was a fondue restaurant, upstairs in the Lahaina Gateway Center, across the main highway from the Lahaina Cannery Mall (Safeway grocery store), at 325 Keawe Street. Phone 808-661-6181.
Melting Pot dinners consisted of any or all of four courses. The first optional course is the cheese fondue. Second is the salad, included with all entrees, and the only course that is not a fondue. The third course is the entree, consisting of beef or chicken or seafood or vegetarian, all including vegetables and several tasty sauces. The fourth course is the chocolate fondue dessert, which comes in several varieties.
The cheese fondue and the chocolate fondue are simple, with several cut-up food items that you can just dip into the fondue or pour the fondue over. But the entree fondue is quite complex because each piece of food requires
fairly precise cooking time. You need to watch the time on your watch carefully, so that you cook, for example, each piece of meat in the fondue pot of broth or oil for two and a half minutes, each vegetable for one and a half minutes, and each potato piece for three minutes. If you leave a piece of food in the oil or broth too long, it gets dried out, or too short and it is raw.
The size of this restaurant was cut in half in late 2011, to make room for a new restaurant opening in 2012 next door, 100 Wines Tapa Bar. But that 100 Wines restaurant also closed in February of 2013.
In my opinion, The Melting Pot is fun once for a different sort of dining experience, but too much bother timing the cooking of each piece of food as you cook your entree.
Migrant was a modern local cuisine restaurant in the Wailea Marriott resort hotel. Migrant CLOSED on May 15, 2016. It may re-open, possibly in Wailuku, in the future. It was at 3700 Wailea Alanui Drive. Phone 808-875-9394.
Everything I have eaten at Migrant has been excellent. Migrant’s chef is Sheldon Simeon, who became famous in 2013 on the Top Chef TV show, where he was the “fan favorite.” He has also won awards from Star Chefs, the James Beard Foundation, and People’s Choice. He previously worked at Star Noodle in Lahaina, before coming to Migrant.
The food at Migrant is sized and priced perfectly for sharing. There are innovative appetizers such as Choy Choi (pak choi & cabbage), Blistered Shishito Peppers, Kale Salad, and Ahi tuna in olive oil.
There is a wide variety of delicious entrees such as Filipino Sweet Pork, Dynamite Bomb fresh fish, and Hibachi Hanger Steak. There are seven noodle dishes, including Garlic Noodles, Pancit Noodles, and Saimin.
Migrant was only open for dinner. There were indoor and outdoor tables, with a beautiful sunset view.
Ohana Kine Grinds Food Truck
This lunch truck featured burgers and fries that were made super-tasty by the marvelous sauces on them. The fries were the best I have ever had and were made with wasabi aioli, kimchee aioli, teriyaki glaze, and furikake mix. The yummy burger plate had teriyaki burgers with kimchee aioli and furikake. The owner, Des Gilmore, made sure everything was delicious.
Ohana Tacos was a very small fast-food Mexican restaurant in Honokowai, about 10 minutes north of Kaanapali Beach. This was your typical Mexican restaurant with limited seating. It was perfect for cheap eating while staying in the Kaanapali and Honokowai areas.
Ono Kau Kau
Ono Kau Kau Mixed Plate was a small local restaurant in Honokowai, about 2 miles north of Kaanapali Beach. It was at 3481 Lower Honoapiilani Road.
This restaurant featured Chinese and local food on a very long menu with over 150 choices. The local food side of the menu had Hawaiian plate lunches that came with macaroni salad and rice. There were only four tables with a total of just 16 seats, so many people used it just for carry-out. The restaurant was open every day, from late breakfast through late dinner. Its location was very close to many condo buildings making it a good place to pick up food to eat back at your condo while sitting on your lanai looking at the ocean. This was a convenient little local restaurant for tasty food and friendly service.
Paradise Found Creperie
Paradise Found CLOSED in 2011. It was a small casual crepe restaurant in the Old Lahaina shopping center, next door to Cilantro (which is also now closed). It was at 170 Papalaua. Phone 808-661-1747.
The crepes at Paradise Found were all made to order where you can watch. In addition to breakfast crepes, savory crepes, and sweet crepes, they also had salads, panini sandwiches, and gelato. There were indoor and outdoor tables. This was one of the least expensive places to have fresh tasty interesting breakfast, lunch, or dinner in Lahaina. The owner, Bob Loar, was often working at the counter.
Paradise Grill was a casual restaurant and sports bar at the entrance to the Kaanapali Beach resort area on West Maui. It closed in mid-2017. It was at 2291 Kaanapali Parkway, at the corner of Honoapiilani Highway, phone 808-662-3700. A different restaurant called Maui Grill replaced it at that location.
This restaurant on the Kaanapali golf course was open for lunch and dinner. It was one of the few Maui restaurants also open for late-night dining until 2 AM every day. There were multiple TVs showing sports. The owner also owned Round Table Pizza, so that was the excellent pizza that you could find at Paradise Grill. But there were many other choices on the menu, too, including appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and complete entrees.
Pho Saigon 808
Pho Saigon 808 was a small Vietnamese restaurant in the Wharf Center, across from the Banyan Tree, in Lahaina. When it closed, it became Pho Huang Nam. This restaurant had a wide variety of Vietnamese dishes, with a seven-page menu. There were sections for appetizers, salad, soup, noodles, wok dishes, rice, yellow curry, clay pots, seafood, other entrees, and a long list of vegetarian entrees. At Pho Saigon Cafe, you would always find something to choose from.
Pi Artisan Pizza
This restaurant was not like other pizza places in Maui or elsewhere. It had better views and a more varied menu. You could see the chefs making your pizza as you watched through the glass windows into the kitchen. They cooked your pizza in their special 800-degree kiawe wood-burning oven. Have a seat on the open-air patio, where you could order pizza or sandwiches, salads, and other choices. They were open for lunch, happy hour, dinner, and late night. The outdoor tables had a great view of the ocean across the street.
Pineapple Grill menus at both lunch and dinner were composed of innovative preparations of seafood and meats. The menu and the food improved greatly when new owners and a new chef came to this restaurant in 2016. Some of my favorite items on the lunch menu were the correctly named “Maui’s Best Baked Mac and Cheese,” and the “Roasted Brussels Sprouts.” (I didn’t even like brussels sprouts until I tasted this delicious preparation.)
The crab cakes appetizer was also excellent and big enough to be an entree. There were also several very good sandwiches for lunch, especially the BBQ Pulled Pork. For dinner, you could get the same mac & cheese and the same brussels sprouts as at lunch, but instead of the lunch sandwiches, the dinner menu featured several steaks and fish preparations, plus pork chops, chicken, and pasta. For dessert, I loved both the pineapple upside-down cake and the chocolate peanut butter s’mores.
Pita Paradise Kihei
Pita Paradise Mediterranean Bistro CLOSED in Kihei but is still open in Wailea. The Kihei location was a small restaurant set back off the street in the Kalama Village shopping center, across from the whale statue in Kalama Park, in Kihei. The address was 1913 South Kihei Road. Phone 808-875-7679.
Pita Paradise has appetizers, pitas, kabobs, and salads. There are several vegetarian choices. The menu is the same at lunch and dinner. In the former Kihei location, you ordered at the counter. There were a few tables in the air-conditioned interior of the restaurant, and more tables on the shaded porch outdoors. There is a larger newer Pita Paradise Wailea with table service and the same menu at a different location.
Some of the best foods at Pita Paradise are the lamb gyros, hummus, and veggie wraps. The food here is much better than at many other restaurants in this low price range.
Saltimbocca was an Italian restaurant that opened at the end of 2013, and CLOSED in July of 2015, in the Harbor Shops, the shopping center adjacent to the aquarium, in Maalaea (the southern end of Maui’s central valley). Phone 808-243-3463.
This was a wonderful addition to Maui dining. At dinner, they had a wide variety of delicious and beautifully presented foods. The menu had two soups, four salads, four appetizers, four kinds of bruschetta, nine kinds of pasta, six entrees, five sides, and eight desserts. The view was gorgeous, looking out over Maalaea Harbor, with majestic Haleakala in the distance. Most tables were indoors, with a few tables outdoors.
Saltimbocca had food as good as at Maui’s fine-dining restaurants, but at lower prices than the fine dining restaurants.
Sangrita Grill Cantina
Sangrita was a Mexican restaurant in the Fairway shops, on the main highway near the entrance to Kaanapali, at 2580 Kekaa Drive. Phone 808-662-6000. It closed in 2017.
The Sangrita menu was divided into guacamoles & salsas, ceviches & botanas, acompanamientos, ensaladas, tacos, platos fuertes (main courses), enchiladas, children’s items, and desserts. The menu included some vegan and gluten-free items. There was also a store called “The Market at Sangrita” on one side of the restaurant, where you can buy a carryout snack or meal without the wait. The name “sangrita” refers to a non-alcoholic drink often served to cleanse the palate between sips of tequila. The sangrita drink at this restaurant contains tomato juice, orange juice, horseradish, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco.
This restaurant was much more upscale than Cilantro, the former Mexican restaurant in Lahaina by the same owner, Chef Paris Nabavi. No more paper plates or ordering at the counter, but they still had that delicious rotisserie chicken (plus a lot of new items). There are great wooden tables, beautiful decor, and helpful wait-staff. There are regular and high-top tables, with both indoor and outdoor seating. It was open for lunch and dinner.
Sarento’s on the Beach
Sarento’s On The Beach was one of Maui’s most elegant and most expensive restaurants. It was on the south end of Kihei, just north of Wailea, at 2980 South Kihei Road.
Since Sarento’s had a great location right on the ocean, the sunset views are fabulous. And since they were owned by the same people as Nick’s Fishmarket, the service was great. Then there’s the food: it’ was delicious and beautifully presented.
For a special occasion or a romantic sunset dinner, if money is no object, Sarento’s was a very good choice.
Seawatch changed to Gannon’s
Sea Watch was the restaurant in the clubhouse of the Gold and Emerald Golf Courses in Wailea. Phone 808-875-8080. The restaurant was bought in 2009 by Beverly Gannon, the chef-owner of Haliimaile General Store, and the name changed at the beginning of 2010 from Seawatch to Gannon’s: A Pacific View Restaurant.
Unlike most of Maui’s top restaurants, The Seawatch, and now Gannons, allows you to enjoy their fabulous food at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The view of the golf course and ocean is gorgeous no matter which meal you choose. Prior to 2009, Seawatch was owned by the same people as the Plantation House restaurant in Kapalua.
The old breakfast menu at Seawatch included Molokai French Toast and Crabcakes Benedict, along with all the usual breakfast items. Lunch choices included salads such as Seafood Papaya and sandwiches such as Mango Chutney Chicken Wrap. Dinner included several delicious fish and meat preparations, all beautifully presented. See below for a longer list of Seawatch dinner menu choices, plus photos of some of the food.
Shark Pit was a small indoor restaurant in the Old Lahaina shopping center (the center with Foodland, Jamba Juice, and Ulalena). It CLOSED in 2017. It was at 170 Papalaua, phone 808-298-7776.
Don’t confuse this Shark Pit restaurant with the Shark Pit food truck, which was uphill on Ulupono Street (also in Lahaina). To distinguish the two, they called the restaurant “Shark Pit Social” or “R Social.” The food truck had the same chef-owner. But it was more comfortable to eat this wonderful food while sitting down in an air-conditioned real restaurant, instead of standing beside the food truck.
Shark Pit restaurant was open for lunch and dinner. The lunch menu was shorter and less expensive but had several of the same items as the longer dinner menu. Some lunch choices were burgers, subs, and taco plates. Dinner had those, plus salads, tapas, fish, chicken, pork, and steak. One of the several side dishes was their fried rice, which is among the best fried rice I have ever tasted. My favorite tacos here were the fish and the shrimp, each of which came with its own delicious sauce. The owner, Chef Chris, was usually there to make sure your food is perfect.
Shearwater Tavern was an excellent restaurant in the Azeka Mauka shopping center, at 1279 South Kihei Road in central Kihei. Phone 808-793-2324. It CLOSED in early 2019.
When I saw the low (for Maui) prices at this dinner-only restaurant, I wasn’t expecting such great food. But everything I tried here was been delicious, beautifully presented, and in many cases had interesting and unusual preparations.
Life is short, so let’s talk about dessert first. The hot chocolate chip cookie, fresh-baked in a cast-iron skillet, comes with butterscotch sauce, chocolate sauce, nuts, crumpled pretzels, and vanilla ice cream. Need I say more? There are salads, appetizers (my favorite is the crab dip), burgers and sandwiches, large plates (try the beer-braised beef short ribs), pasta (my wife loves the pumpkin ravioli), vegetables (yes, even the vegetables are fabulous, like my favorite, the roasted Moroccan spiced baby carrots, and beets), pizzas, and sides. To make the prices even better, they have half-off for appetizers, pizzas, and vegetables during happy hour every day from 5 to 6 PM.
Most tables are indoors, with a few on the outdoor patio. If you are familiar with Kihei, you will recognize this as the former location of Stella Blues restaurant.
Slightly Salty Food Truck
Slightly Salty is a food truck that was usually parked in a lot at 591 Haleakala Highway, just past the Costco gas station, in Kahului. Phone 310-913-1845. It closed in 2015.
The menu was short, just like for other food trucks, but these lunches have more variety than most food trucks, including crab, pork, chicken, beef, and shrimp. The owner, Gary Terrell, is a real chef, with experience at the Savoy Grill in London, Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, and Maui’s David Paul Island Grill. When they were set up in their usual location (see above), there were a few picnic tables with a tent covering over them, so it’s more convenient to eat here than at some other food trucks that have no tables or shade near them.
Spats Trattoria CLOSED in 2008. Spats was an Italian restaurant downstairs (all indoors) in the Hyatt Regency Maui hotel on Kaanapali Beach. Dinner only. Phone 808-661-1234.
Spats was not Hawaiian like most Maui restaurants. It was all Italian, with wonderful antipasti, salads, soups, seafood, pasta, meat, and desserts. See below for some specific Spats menu items as well as photos.
For excellent tasty Italian food on Maui, Spats was a great dinner choice.
Stella Blues Cafe
Stella Blues Cafe CLOSED in 2014, after 23 years in business. It was a casual, friendly restaurant at 1279 South Kihei Road in the Azeka II Center (the Azeka shopping center on the mountain side of the road). Phone 808-874-3779.
Stella Blues Cafe served breakfast until 11 AM, followed by lunch, and then dinner from 5 PM. They called their food “new American comfort food.” There were plenty of choices to satisfy everyone in the family. The breakfast menu included Loco Moco and Burritos, as well as all the usual breakfast items. The lunch menu had about 20 sandwiches and about 10 vegetarian items. For dinner, there were dozens of choices of appetizers, salads, pizzas, pasta, and fish or meat entrees. See below for some specific Stella Blues Cafe menu items as well as photos.
For good food for the whole family at a reasonable price, Stella Blues was one of the better restaurants in Kihei.
Sugar Cane Maui
Sugar Cane Hawaiian Grill was a Hawaiian and Asian fusion restaurant on the second floor, on the mountain side of Front Street, in Lahaina, at the former location of Famous Daves. It closed in 2016. It was at 736 Front Street, phone 808-214-6662.
The restaurant was open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Most tables are indoors, but there are a few outdoor tables along a railing with a view looking down onto Front Street. There is an ocean view, because there are no buildings to block the view on the other side of Front Street at this point, along the seawall. Breakfast (which they call brunch) has a good variety of Benedicts, omelets, and unique items, as well as the usual. Lunch has multiple appetizers, sandwiches, tapas, and entrees. Dinner has the same tapas, plus sharable appetizers, salads, and several choices of fish and meat entrees.
Sunsets Bar & Grill
Sunsets Bar & Grill Kihei was a restaurant on the Maui Nui Golf Course in Kihei. It closed during the pandemic and a restaurant called Gilligans Bar & Grill has since opened.
Sunsets Kihei called itself “A modern American restaurant at the Maui Nui Golf Club with American-European fusion fare, island twists & scenic views.” Their description said, “Chef Tim Schooler takes pride in preparing dishes that utilize the island’s bounty inspired by local ingredients. We are also a gorgeous event space that spans breathtaking panoramic mountains, ocean, and golf course views. We would be honored to host your special event. Iulia, our events and wedding planner, will work with you throughout the event planning process to tailor every detail so that your special day will be exactly as you envision it.”
We really enjoyed the food here and were sad to see it go.
Sure Thing Burger
Sure Thing Burger CLOSED in 2013. It was a little stand in the open-air Lahaina Marketplace, at 790 Front Street. Phone 808-214-6982.
The very short menu included just a couple of types of burgers, fries, toppings, and sides. They used grass-fed Maui cattle, local lettuce, Maui onions, and their own special Island Sauce. You ordered at the counter and ate at picnic tables in the open marketplace. The burgers and fries were both excellent. This was a great place to get a burger and sit down when you are tired of walking around in Lahaina.
Surfside Pizza was a wood-fired pizza kitchen located in the 505 Front Street shopping center in Lahaina. My wife liked the pizzas, and I liked the calzones here. Both were discounted on their lunch specials. The restaurant was air-conditioned but open-air, with most tables inside and a few outside.
Lahaina Sushi Ko was a small Japanese restaurant in an open-air courtyard set back off of the mountain side of Front Street in Lahaina. It was only open for about a year and closed in 2016. It was at 844 Front Street, phone 808-639-4033.
You didn’t have to eat anything raw, or even eat any fish, if you don’t want to, because the nine-page menu here had many choices, both cooked and raw, both seafood and vegetarian. There was a page of starters that includes Miso Soup, Seaweed Salad, and Edamame. There was a page of Nigiri-Sashimi that includes Shrimp, Yellowtail, Scallop, Eel, and much more. Some of the hand rolls on the Tamaki page are Salmon Skin, Spicy Hamachi, Unagi, and Veggie. The Signature Rolls pages have Alaskan, Dragon, Haleakala, Snow White, and others. The page of 8-piece rolls and spicy rolls includes California and Maguro. On the 6-piece rolls page are 18 choices including Asparagus, Avocado, Sweet Squash, Salmon, Tuna, and Tempura. The rice bowls and platters page has Ahi Poke, Chirashi, and sampler plates among other options. There’s even a Sweets page, not something you find in every sushi restaurant.
Taqueria Cruz was a very small Mexican restaurant in the Dolphin Plaza, at 2395 South Kihei Road in Kihei. It closed in early 2018. The phone was 808-875-2910.
This restaurant was just an order counter with the menu posted on the wall above and behind the counter. A lot of their business was carry-out. But there are several wooden and metal tables and chairs outside the restaurant, in a shaded courtyard surrounded by other stores in this shopping center.
There are just three categories of food on the menu: tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. Each of those three types of plates comes in a choice of nine varieties, such as chicken, beef, pork, veggie, and fish. The burrito and quesadilla plates also include rice and beans. Even though everything is served on paper plates with plastic utensils, each dish that I have tasted here has been excellent.
A taqueria is a Mexican restaurant specializing in tacos. Cruz is a family name. Taqueria Cruz was started as a family business in 1951 in Napa Valley, California. Now the fifth generation of that family has brought their delicious Mexican food to Maui.
Tiki Terrace was the main restaurant in the Kaanapali Beach Hotel, at 2525 Kaanapali Parkway.
The Kaanapali Beach Hotel is an older and more moderately priced hotel than the bigger luxury resorts on that same great beach location. Similarly, the Tiki Terrace was a more moderately priced restaurant than the main restaurants in the more expensive hotels in Kaanapali. In addition, the Tiki Terrace offered a free hula show several nights per week, and live musicians on the other evenings, unlike most of the restaurants in the other hotels.
Tiki Terrace served breakfast and dinner every day, and a buffet brunch on Sunday. About half the tables were indoors and half were outdoors (but covered). The evening hula show could only be seen from the outdoor tables. The food was not as good as at the fancier resort hotels, but it was a good value. There were plenty of fish and meat choices. A special entree at dinner was called the “Native Hawaiian Diet” and was a good opportunity to taste several old-style Hawaiian foods, including pohole fern & ogo salad, steamed fish lau lau, taro leaf, grilled bananas, kalo, sweet purple potatoes, papayas, and poi.
Tropica was the upscale restaurant at the Westin Maui Resort Hotel on Kaanapali Beach, but it changed to Sugar House in 2013, and then to The Relish Oceanside in 2014, so the below menu and photos apply to the old Tropica and not to the current restaurant here. It’s at 2365 Kaanapali Parkway, in the Kaanapali resort area, a couple of miles north of Lahaina. Phone 808-667-2525.
Tropica is open-air, with the tables closest to the ocean being uncovered, and the tables in the back of the restaurant covered by a high ceiling. The views, especially at sunset, are beautiful. The tables nearest the Kaanapali beach walk are great for people-watching. The food is good but in my opinion not good enough to warrant the high prices. I like the food better at other Kaanapali restaurants that are not quite as expensive, such as Hula Grill or Maui Fish & Pasta (both at Whalers Village right next door to the Westin).
If you are staying in the Westin and you want fine dining without leaving the hotel, then Tropica was the place for dinner, though it’s different since the change to Sugar House in 2013. See below for some menu items and food photos.
Ulu Market was a health food store with groceries and prepared foods at 1847 South Kihei Road in Kihei. Phone 808-633-4990. It CLOSED in 2015. It had been at the former location of Rodeo General Store.
Ulu Market was a general store and deli, a juice bar, a health food store, and a place to get a variety of prepared foods for carry-out. These prepared foods included salads, wraps, ahi poke, steak poke, ceviche, stuffed tomatoes, kalua pork or other sandwiches, veggie samosa, lobster salad, vegan pesto pasta, bentos, burritos, bagels, smoothies, acai bowls, and more. (Not all items were available every day.)
Ulu is the Hawaiian name for breadfruit. This is a large fruit that grows in tropical climates. When cooked, it has a bread-like texture (hence the name) and a potato-like flavor. At Ulu Market, you could buy ulu soup, ulu poke, ulu curry, ulu pie, ulu hummus, ulu potato salad, and ulu custard.
Vietnamese Cuisine was an inexpensive restaurant with excellent Vietnamese food at the Azeka I (makai) shopping center in Kihei. There were about 80 items on the long menu, including appetizers, noodle plates, pho, soups, steaks, vermicelli noodle dishes, rice plates, fried rice, Vietnamese burritos, clay pots, wok dishes, and stir-fries. Maui News readers voted this the best Vietnamese restaurant on Maui in 2011.
The Village Cafe and Sweet Shoppe CLOSED in September of 2011. It had only opened at the end of 2010. It was the restaurant in the Village Center at 2000 Village Road (the clubhouse of the former Village Golf Course) in Kapalua. Phone 808-665-1122.
Village Cafe had beautiful views of the golf course, with the ocean in the distance. This was the former location of Vinos and Kapalua Cafe, in what is now called the Village Center at Kapalua Resort. The building also contains the Kapalua Logo Shop, Kapalua Adventures, and Kapalua Villas Reception.
Breakfast was available all day, with omelets, bagels & lox, and more. Also available all day were several appetizers and salads, a wide variety of burgers, and some sandwiches and wraps. Six entree choices were served at lunch and dinner. Besides the five desserts on the menu, there was an adjacent Sweet Shop with many more choices. See below for a detailed list of many of the menu items. Stuart Katz was the owner of Village Cafe and Sweet Shop, and Romi was the manager. They enjoyed meeting the customers.
Vino was the restaurant in the golf clubhouse of the Village Course in Kapalua. It CLOSED in 2007. There are beautiful views of the golf course, with the ocean in the distance.
The restaurant that replaced Vino at this location was Kapalua Cafe, which was subsequently replaced by Village Cafe and Sweet Shop, which also closed.
Vino’s menu at lunch was standard salads and sandwiches. But at dinner, they served tapas-style with an Italian accent. Tapas means small plates so you can try several different tasty items in smaller and less expensive servings, rather than one larger entree.
Wailea Kitchen and Tap
Wailea Kitchen and Tap was the restaurant at the Wailea Tennis Center, at 131 Wailea Ike Place. Phone 808-878-3663. It CLOSED in 2018.
The menu at Wailea Kitchen and Tap was the same all day. It consisted of only seven appetizers, three salads, nine entrees, one dessert, and two children’s choices. Servings were adequate, but none of the items are big meals. They are more like what you might like to eat before or after a game of tennis on the adjacent tennis courts, rather than items you would expect at a leisurely major meal.
This large restaurant was indoors, but the big open windows fill it with outdoor air. It is on the upper level of the Wailea Tennis Center building, with views of the tennis courts, and of the ocean in the distance. It’s open for lunch, dinner, and late evening (to 11 PM).
The Waterfront restaurant CLOSED in August of 2013. They had just re-opened in June of 2012 in the Maalaea Harbor Shops adjacent to Maui’s aquarium. It was formerly in a condominium building nearby. The Harbor Shops is in Maalaea, at the south end of Maui’s Central Valley. Dinner only. Phone 808-244-9028.
At the end of 2013, a new restaurant, Saltimbocca, opened in the former Waterfront location in the Harbor Shops, but that one also subsequently closed.
The Waterfront specialized in seafood. They had the most choices of fish preparations of any restaurant on Maui. Each evening they offered three to six kinds of fish prepared in any of nine different delicious ways. They also had meat and vegetarian entrees.
There were indoor and outdoor tables. The view looked out over the harbor in Maalaea Bay, and on to Haleakala.
WM The Restaurant
Maui’s most elegant restaurant opened in 2005 and CLOSED in 2006 in Honokowai, a couple of miles north of Kaanapali Beach. WM stands for West Maui and it was at the former site of A Pacific Cafe in the Honokowai Marketplace shopping center, on the corner of Honoapiilani Highway and the Lower Honoapiilani Road. Phone 808-667-7898.
Plush dark booths created a romantic ambiance and top-notch service created a fine dining experience. Caesar salad and Pineapple Flambe dessert were created tableside. WM menu included special preparations of meats and seafood, with both the decor and the food being metropolitan style, as you might find in any big American city. (See below for some specific WM menu items as well as photos.) Expensive and luxurious, but not tropical. A bad concept for this area, so only lasted one year.
Wokstar Noodle Restaurant
CLOSED in 2011. In spite of the name, Wokstar International Noodle Cafe was not a franchise of some giant chain restaurant but was an independently owned tiny inexpensive restaurant in Kihei. It was at 1913 South Kihei Road, in the Kalama Village shopping center, directly across from the whale statue in Kalama park. Phone 808-495-0066.
You ordered your food at an indoor counter, but you ate at covered outdoor picnic tables. The Asian-food menu included potstickers and other appetizers, wonderfully delicious Thai coconut chicken soup, noodle salads, and “bowls” of main courses with noodles or rice, that can be made vegetarian or with beef, pork, shrimp, or fish. My favorite dessert was the absolutely yummy Banana Jaffle (a toasted sandwich of peanut butter and bananas). See below for a list of specific menu items as well as photos.
Wokstar was open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week. Say Aloha to the owners, Mark Musante, and Sarah Gray. If you are looking for an inexpensive place for very good Asian food in Kihei, this was it.
Yaziz Food Truck
Yaziz was a food truck that was usually parked in a small parking lot with other food trucks, at 741 Wainee Street, across the street from the Maria Lanakila Church, in Lahaina. Phone 808-268-3229. It CLOSED in 2018.
Yaziz served delicious Greek food. The menu is short, with just beef, lamb, or chicken in pitas, hummus and/or salad pitas, and some daily specials that may include shrimp, steak, or falafel. They were only open for lunch and only on Tuesday through Friday (closed Saturday through Monday). There are only a couple of seats at a small metal picnic table in front of the truck, so most of the business is carry-out. Parking is very limited, so many people call ahead to order so that they can just run up to the truck quickly to pick up their food. If you do need to park, and there is no space in the lot with the food truck or on the adjacent street, the least expensive nearby place to park is off of Wainee Street, south of Dickenson, behind the Dickenson Square building. But it’s worth putting up with the seating and parking problems, to get food that is this good, in generous portions, at lower prices than you would have to spend in a sit-down restaurant here in Lahaina.
The owners of Yaziz food truck are Lance and Yasnaya, a young couple who provide great friendly service as well as wonderful food. (Yaziz is short for Yasnaya.)
Yogurtland Maui was an ice cream store in the Whalers Village shopping center. At Yogurtland, you made your own sundae and then paid by the ounce. First, you took your large cup to the dispensers to take as much as you wanted of any of the flavors of soft-serve frozen yogurt. Then loaded on as much as you like from the numerous toppings, including many fruits, candies, and liquids. Finally, you took your masterpiece to the cashier, where it is weighed, and the price was calculated based simply on the total weight.
Zuihao was an upscale Chinese restaurant that opened in Lahaina in mid-2006 and CLOSED in January of 2007. It was at 900 Front Street, next door to Ruth’s Chris and Hard Rock Cafe. Phone 667-9020.
Zuihao was open for lunch and dinner. It had great ocean views, especially from the outdoor tables (covered by a roof), and especially at sunset. Zuihao had unusually interesting and tasty Chinese foods. And they even had great desserts (not common in Chinese restaurants)