Special rates require proof of eligibility at check-in
You're one step closer to paradise...
Article Source: Copyright © 2012 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.
Chef-owner Mark Ellman started Maui's culinary revolution of the late '80s with his restaurant Avalon, but Mala is a more than satisfactory successor. The place is adorable; the best tables are on the lanai, which actually juts out over the water. The menu reflects Mark's and his wife Judy's world travels with dishes influenced by the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Italy, Bali, and Thailand. Every single item on the menu is delicious, and there's a focus on ingredients that promote local sustainability. The cocktails and wine list are great, to boot. Another location of Mala is at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort, but the Lahaina original is highly recommended. www.malaoceantavern.com. Credit cards accepted.
A Lahaina landmark created by "a man who loves to eat," Longhi's has been serving pasta and other Italian fare to throngs of visitors since 1976. That "man" is owner Bob Longhi, and although his children pretty much run the place now, his influence is still strong. Many of the classic dishes on the menu are his—prawns Amaretto, steak Longhi, and the signature lobster Longhi for two. The wine list is award winning and gigantic. Before the rest of Lahaina (or Wailea) wakes up, have yourself a cup of orange juice, a fluffy frittata, and some good, strong coffee to start the day. The in-house bakery shines with outstanding breakfast pastries, as well. There are two spacious, open-air dining levels; and there's a second Maui restaurant at the Shops at Wailea. www.longhis.com. Credit cards accepted.
This casual open-air restaurant set right on the Kaanapali beach walk is a good, reasonably priced dinner choice for anyone staying within the resort area. The signature calamari and coconut shrimp pupu are delicious and everything is artfully plated. Besides fresh local fish prepared four ways, choices include chicken, ribs, teriyaki beef, and fish tacos. Would you like fries with that? Try the ono-licious sweet-potato fries for a change of pace. The sunset views are great, the decor is, well, surf-y, and the service is pleasant. www.marriott.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
Slow down as you drive through the little roadside village of Olowalu, about 15 minutes before Lahaina town if you're coming from the airport, because you don't want to miss this adorable farmhouse-chic restaurant and pie shop where everything is prepared with care. Old photos of the area, distressed wood, and muted colors set the mood. Have a sandwich or a burger with Kula onions. All the breads are home baked and excellent, and most ingredients are sourced locally. Don't get too full: you must try the pie. The banana cream is out of this world, or dig into the yuzu-lemon tart. www.leodas.com.
It's been a popular, casual spot with locals since it first opened—several owners ago—in 1989. And to be around that long, they've got to be doing something right. With separate salad, pizza, bar and pupu menus, the variety of lunch options here is mind-boggling. Since this restaurant buys its fish from Lahaina Harbor anglers, the catch is always a good bet. www.lahainacoolers.com. Credit cards accepted. No dinner.
At the top of many best-restaurants lists, this upscale bistro is about as fashionably chic as it gets on Maui. The food and service are consistently excellent and the place is abuzz with beautiful people every night of the week. The Cake Walk (little samples of Kona lobster crab cake, sweet Louisiana rock-shrimp cake, and seared ahi cake), toy-box tomato salad, and Kona-coffee-roasted rack of lamb are a few of the classics customers demand. Newer items include Maine lobsters flown in seasonally and seared California lion-paw scallops. The full menu—including dessert—is available at the bar. The interior is as pretty as its patrons. www.lahainagrill.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
Year after year, Koho proves itself as a casual, family-friendly restaurant still worth recommending. If Hawaii had city-style diners, this would be Maui's version. For those looking for a hearty breakfast, a business lunch, or a quick, simple dinner, this is a great choice. Burgers, sandwiches, salads, sizzling fajitas, and pastas are all menu staples. Credit cards accepted.
This small, unassuming place across the street from Kalama Beach Park has a breakfast menu that runs the gamut from healthy yogurt-filled papaya to the local classic, loco moco—two eggs, ground beef patty, rice, and brown gravy—and everything in between. And the best thing about it is that the breakfast menu is served all day long. Prices are extremely reasonable and it's a good spot for people-watching. This is a popular place with locals so, depending on the time and day, you may have to wait for a table. www.kiheicaffe.com. Credit cards accepted. No dinner.
For a quiet, light dinner, or to meet friends for a cocktail and some ultrafresh sushi, head to this handsome restaurant on the lobby level of the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. You have your choice of sushi, sashimi, and a list of rolls. The especially good Kai special roll combines spicy tuna, yellowtail, and green onion. In keeping with the hotel's commitment to the culture, the restaurant's design was inspired by the story of Native Hawaiians' arrival by sea; the hand-carved ceiling beams resemble outrigger canoes. www.ritzcarlton.com/kapalua. Credit cards accepted. Closed Tues. and Wed. No lunch.
Chef-restaurateur Beverly Gannon's second restaurant—named for her husband Joe—serves up classy comfort food alongside Island-inspired dishes (think ahi carpaccio, Joe's favorite meat loaf, and pumpkin seed-crusted fresh catch). Don't miss Joe's pastry chef daughter Cheech Shurilla's chocolate bread pudding. The wine list is user-friendly and features selections from both well-known and boutique vineyards. The restaurant overlooks the Wailea Tennis Center and is adorned with lots of fun memorabilia from Joe's days in show biz. www.bevgannonrestaurants.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
As suggested by our Facebook fans:
Oahu: Hau Tree Lanai
Maui: Mama's Fish House
Kauai: The Beach House