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Maui restaurants

The restaurants in Maui are some of the most sophisticated in the state, even though the island is neither the most populous nor the largest in Hawaii. Mama's Fishhouse, perhaps the most scenic restaurant in Maui, is located in a coconut grove on a beach near Paia, a funky town with a number of other healthy, mid-range restaurants as well. In Kahalui, Kihei, and Lahaina, you'll find a few gems among the fast-food joints and familiar chains: Mala and Pacific'O on the waterfront in Lahaina; Jaws Tacos in Kihei. Be warned: Driving distances on Maui can be considerable (the trip from Kapalua to Paia, for example, is about two hours).

Hawaiian specialties like grilled short ribs, poke (marinated raw fish), and shredded pork dominate both take-out joints and fine restaurants. Foodies come for the "Hawaii regional cuisine" made popular in the early '90s by chefs like Roy Yamaguchi, Beverly Gannon, and Peter Merriman. Although the cuisine generally focuses on fresh, local ingredients, it's not for vegetarians or dieters. The food tends to be salty and oriented toward the red-meat crowd.

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Haliimaile General Store, Makawao

This is the showplace of Hawaiian regional cuisine chef Beverly Gannon—an old general store located up-country in Makawao, converted into a picturesque...more

Editors' Pick
Jawz Tacos, Kihei

Jawz started as a roadside taco truck outside Makena State Park. You can still get killer fish tacos there (in fact, there are two trucks now—one inside...more

Editors' Pick
Main Street Bistro, Wailuku

Adored by local foodies, the unpretentious fare here is made with Maui-grown ingredients and paired with unaffected environs (the key to the bathroom out back...more

Editors' Pick
Mala Wailea, Lahaina

Despite its somewhat esoteric—albeit oceanside—location behind the Safeway supermarket, Mala is the hippest casual eatery in Lahaina. Chef Mark...more

Editors' Pick
Mana Foods, Paia

Quite possibly the best, most affordable health-food grocery store in the United States. Whether you feel like a breakfast burrito or a marinated tofu and...more

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MonkeyPod Kitchen, Kihei

This casual, family-friendly restaurant in a convenient mini mall on the highway to Wailea prides itself on its fine selection of microbrews and hearty...more

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Pacific'o on the Beach, Lahaina

This oceanfront restaurant is a far cry from the rowdy, tacky venues farther down on Front Street advertising a sunset view with dinner. Exclusive but relaxed,...more

Editors' Pick
Pauwela Café, Haiku

While Paia is primarily a surfer town, Haiku, a few miles east on the Hana Highway, is the windsurfer hangout of choice. Down-to-earth Pauwela Café is...more

Editors' Pick
Spago, Wailea

Even if you're not staying at the Four Seasons, it's de rigueur to visit the hotel's Hawaiian version of Spago, decorated with bright wallpaper murals of pink...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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