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Jul 25, 2008 03:07 AM

Maui local eats

Headed to Maui in Oct, would love to avoid the tourist places and hit the local faves. Looking for suggestions in every price range for places locals go to celebrate b-days, anniversaries, good surfing weather and Tuesdays. Any type of cuisine is fine. Staying in Kaanapali. Thanks!

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  1. I like the gazebo for breakfast in Napili...Plantation House at Kapalua Golf Course for breakfast, lunch or dinner..and Sansei for sushi for the killer happy hour.
    Kimo's or Hula Grill is great for drinks
    I think it will be quite difficult to avoid tourist places all together in Maui..especially in Kaanapali.

    21 Replies
    1. re: Beach Chick

      Beach Chick,

      I agree completely. The only hope that one would have on "avoiding tourist" spots would be to dine only in Wailuku, and do not venture out anyplace else.

      I do second The Gazebo, and also plan on doing Plantation House (was not in existance last trip), plus a few favs., and a few favs., that have changed, since last visit.

      Will report in late Dec, on what we found.


      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Plantation House for breakfast is one of those gems in Maui that not many people think to go to except if you are playing golf..
        Great prices, food and the ahi or salmon benedict..
        Love Gazebo and since there is always a wait, I just go out and swim and wait for my table..
        Look forward to your report back in December!
        Aloha and Mahalo

        1. re: Beach Chick

          We'll probably hit it for dinner, as we have friends from O`ahu joining us for golf at Kapalua, and they'll likely stay at the Ritz, so we'll look into dining with them, after a round. I'm not sure exactly how we'll do breakfast, as we'll be playing golf at the four close-in courses over the six days. We'll definitely do The Gazebo for one day, but do not know when. As we'll be staying at the Westin at Kā`anapali, and playing those two courses, plus the two Kapalua courses, we'll likely grab something at the hotel on many days. Still, we hope to make it to some of our old favs, and some new spots, as well.



          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Love the bay and village course at Kapalua..plantation just kicks my butt!
            Always enjoy the Kaanapali north course..if I can shoot bogey to double bogey golf..I'm happy..
            Hula grill is always a good move with feet in the sand having drinks on the beach.

            1. re: Beach Chick

              There has been no Village course for a year now.

              1. re: manomin

                Where did it go? : )
                It's been a couple of years..did they blend the two?

                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Thanks everyone for your replies. We will definitely check out your recommendations!

                2. re: manomin

                  Thanks for that non-food updatre. I was wracking my feeble brain on that.

                  Still, we hope to do some serious dining on the property, and I'll report, more quickly, than with my last O`ahu trip.



                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    OK, I guess I have a minority report on Plantation House based on one lunch and one dinner. We (the Mrs. and I) thought that the view was fine and the room is nice. However the food and menu seemed like a corporate affair - that is to say uninspired.

                    1. re: DriverPhil

                      I think for breakfast the Plantation House is the place to go..ahi benedict for around $11 bucks with the killer views and no wait.

                      Aloha, Marissa

                      1. re: DriverPhil

                        I'm sorry to hear that. We felt the same about the previous (five + years ago) venue there, the Anuinui Room. Nice place, with poor service, expensive, unimaginative food and a wine list for someone on a major expense account. I do not hesitate to pay big $'s for great food and wine, but was left feeling fleeced. I had hoped that the Plantation House was doing things right. We'll probably try it, but now I'm not holding out great hopes. Over the year, the Ritz properties have been all over the board, with regards to food and food service. Given the competition on Maui, I'd hoped for better. We'll see.

                        Thanks for the report,


                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          The Anuenue Room is within the Ritz Hotel. The Plantation House is at the Plantation course away from the hotel. Presently there is still no restaurant in the former Anuenue space it is used as a meeting and banquet room.

                          1. re: manomin


                            Mahalo for that clarification. I was under the mistaken impression that the Plantation House had "replaced" the Anuenue Room, but must have been mistaken. Not sure how I got so confused - just been too long, since I was on Maui, I guess. Is the Anuenue Room still open IN the hotel?



                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              Bill - it's easy to get confused - happens to me all the time!
                              In the above post I mentioned that Anuenue room is now a
                              meeting/banquet room. For the Kapalua W&FF for example they
                              held the trade show in there.

                          2. re: Bill Hunt

                            The other thing that bugs me is that the original poster wanted to avoid tourist places. I find it hard to believe that many locals go to a place like the Plantation House or the Pineapple Grill.

                            I'd expect to find locals at "A Saigon Cafe" in Wailuku, for example. Better food too.

                            1. re: DriverPhil

                              I often wonder what the aversion to "tourist" places is. It should be about the food. It can be great in a dive, that only locals might know of, or at a world-class resort. I even started a thread on this subject (seems it was on the NOLA board), because I rate the food, not who is likely to be at the next table. Unless someone is so hung up on finding something that no one else knows of, what is the point?

                              You do make a good *point* though. However, in Phoenix, my hometown now, I am likely to be dining based on the food, and some of the spots might well be typified as "tourist," as they are highly rated by many publications and are hardly secrets to anyone, who knows good food. Still, if the other diners behave themselves, I do not care if they live down the street, or across the nation, or an ocean or two. It should be about the food, at least in my book.

                              Though I may have gotten the thread off-topic a bit, and apologize for doing so, I'm also trying to find the great dining on Maui now, with a Dec trip coming up.

                              Sorry if I got tangential,


                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                Bill Hunt.. Not sure when your going in December to Maui but just so you know Plantation is closed 28th of december on to get ready for PGA..

                                My spouse is going out as a single to plantation the week before.. ARe you going to be around that week just before christmas?

                                Looks like this course is not far from Ka'anapali so the kids and I might go there for breakfast with hubby and then head to the beach after while he gets his DREAM golf game in at Plantation!

                                1. re: palmtree38

                                  Plantation House is our favorite place for dinner on Maui based on food, ambiance and views and we like breakfast there better than dinner.

                                  Don't miss the Gazebo and/or Sea House in Napili for breakfast. We also love the Pioneer Inn and Sunrise Cafe in Lahaina.

                                  Local places we like are Sam Sato’s, Star Noodle, Honokowai Okazuya, Nagasako Okazuya, Stella Blue, Da Kitchen, A Saigon Cafe, Mama's Ribs & Rotisserie, Lulu's, Fish Market Maui & Honolua Store.

                                  Bistro Cassanova is great too. A great place to hit before heading to the Airport.

                                  Da Kitchen
                                  2439 S Kihei Rd Ste 107A, Kihei, HI 96753

                                  Sam Sato's
                                  1750 Wili PA Loop, Wailuku, HI 96793

                                  A Saigon Cafe
                                  1792 Main St, Wailuku, HI 96793

                                  Plantation House Restaurant
                                  2000 Plantation Club Dr., Kapalua, HI 96761

                                  Fish Market Maui
                                  3600 Lower Honoapiilani Rd Ste Ha, Lahaina, HI 96761

                                  Pioneer Inn
                                  Lahaina, Lahaina, HI 96761

                                  Stella Blues Cafe
                                  1279 S Kihei Rd Ste 201, Kihei, HI 96753

                                  Honolua Store
                                  502 Office Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761

                                  Star Noodle
                                  286 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761

                                  1. re: palmtree38

                                    In our case(s), we got the rounds in, just as the preps were being completed for the MB at the Plantation Course. It was in great shape, and I just imagined all of the bleachers filled with MY adoring fans, as I either hit into them, or came up short in a hazard...

                                    At least the upcoming event did not negatively impact on the dining, though on the second trip, the Banyan Tree restaurant at the Ritz was closed for renovations. Missed them, but then made up for their absence from my list.



                                    Banyan Tree
                                    1 Ritz Carlton Dr, Lahaina, HI

                                  2. re: Bill Hunt

                                    I think the aversion is that tourist places have a reputation of being be overly priced and lacking in service since they do not rely on returning clientele. That is certainly true in most metropolitan areas; however, places like Maui (and other isolated areas) can be the exception, since the plethora of higher end restaurants wouldn't survive without tourists. Getting listed in the guidebooks is essential to them.

                      2. re: Bill Hunt

                        Longhei's has a excellent breakfast, I really enjoy their coffee and sweet buns while watching the foot traffic outside, totally relaxing. Kimo's has a good burger. Also, you should look for some Masalada, fresh Hawaiian donuts, usually available in the afternoon but, you'll have to go looking for them. Ask your conciere, they'll know where to send you. Whatever you do, don't rely on the food critic on cable out there.

                3. I wrote this post last year but it still holds true. Don't miss this place. You can do a search and see what the natives think.
                  We were in Maui a couple of years ago and drove inland, to Paia, to eat at a well-known restaurant which happened to be closed. We were disappointed and hungry but explored the few shops in the area. We heard the owner of one of the stores tell her salesperson she was going around the corner for lunch. We asked the girl what was around the corner. She sent us to a nondescript, unadvertised, hole in the wall place with mismatched chairs and a limited menu. BUT, wow! The entire menu consisted of crepes with maybe 8 different fillings, savory or sweet and about as many different smoothies, all made with fresh local ingredients. I had a ratatouille crepe and a papaya,mango, ginger smoothie. One of the best and most satisfying meals I've ever had. That meal was so good we drove the 40 miles from our hotel to eat the same meal the next day. The owner was a young Frenchman married to a local Islander.

                  Will someone please tell me the name of this place, if it's still there and why it isn't touted all over the board?

                  I found out it's called Cafe des Amis and it's on the Hana Hwy at Paia. 42 Baldwin Rd
                  Phone: 579-6323.
                  They have since expanded their menu and people wait in line to eat here at night.
                  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

                  1. I am headed to Maui in the next couple weeks and will post when I get back, as I am going to try some new places. However, I have been there many times and like to eat local food. My parents are from Hawaii, so we like to eat local food whenever we are there. We eat lunch out and since we stay in a condo, we get take-out and eat in for dinner. Probably not places that you want to go celebrate special occassions, but more for everyday eating. Here are some of the places that we like its not gourmet, but its good:

                    Da Kitchen - awesome teriyaki beef sticks and Hawaiian plate. Their poi and lomi are really good.

                    Gazebo - Very good. We love their fried rice. We usually go there in the afternoon when there is no line, buy the fried rice, take it back to the condo and eat it for a couple days.

                    Matsu - Excellent Japanese food (161 Alamaha St, Kahului). Everything they have is really good. You can either eat in or take out. There noodles are great. Its a small, whole in the wall place, but a lot of locals eat there. They open early, like around 10:30, so its great to go to on the way to the airport.

                    TJ's Warehouse - 876 Alua St in Wailuku. This is a market that sells all kinds of things and its in a real industrial area. They have great take-out choices and awesome miso butterfish. They have good things to take with you on the airplane.

                    Homemaid Bakery - 1005 Lower Main St, Wailuku. They have good baked goods including manju and malasadas. But the malasadas sell out early.

                    Pukalani Superette - 15 Makawao Ave. This is a market that is upcountry in Pukalani. They have great take-out and premade foods. Go early.

                    Paia Fish Market - 110 Hana Highway, Paia. This place has great fish that you can eat there or take-out. It comes mostly fried, but you can have it grilled as well. The fish and chips are great and my dad likes the grilled Ono. Their portions are huge.

                    Wei-wei BBQ & Noodle House - 55 Pukalani St. This place is awesome and they have a huge menu. They have take out and order off the menu. Their eggplant is out of this world. They have all kinds of noodles and bbq meats.

                    Hanafuda Saimin - 1279 Kihei Road, Kihei, I think there is another one on Dairy Road in Kahului. They have good saimin with a lot of sides.

                    Alexander's Fish and Chips - They is one in Kihei and one at the Queen K mall. I ate at the one at the mall. Their fish and chips are really good, but their fried calamari was excellent.

                    Kanaapali Beach Hotel - Went there for brunch on Sunday and they have a really big spread. I don't think it was super expensive, but the food was good. A lot of variety. I recommend making reservations in advance as its very popular.

                    Genki Sushi - If you are looking for some decent sushi and want to have fun with it, go to Genki. Its not high end liked Sansei, but its pretty good and they have some different things. Its conveyor belt style and not too expensive.

                    Tasaka Guri Guri - If you are near the Maui Mall (and even if you aren't) you've gotta try the Guri Guri. It is kind of like gelato, but different. Its really hard to explain, but its so good. This is the only place you can get it outside of Japan, I think. It costs less than $1 for two scoops. You will be addicted once you eat it. Its located behind Long's in the Maui Mall.

                    Long's drugs - They carry some food stuff. They have good sushi (hawaii people like to inari (cone sushi) and norimaki and they carry it at Longs). You have to go early to get it. They also have a good california roll. Long's also carries a variety of local baked goods and fruits and vegetables.

                    I hope this helps.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: lomo

                      Hey lomo, you didn't mention Sam Sota's for breakfast or lunch, awesome local and cheap. Also, they have the best home made Japanese noodles on the island.

                      1. re: lomo

                        home maid bakery??? yuk! "we" all know if you want ono ....fresh from the oven pastries...KOMODA'S (3674 baldwin ave. makawao) is the ONLY place to go.

                        i also enjoying shopping at pukalani super. ...but i"ll admit...i will drive the few extra miles just for the friendly smiles and the more than happy to help folks at MORIHARA STORE.

                        your list got me ono for guri-guri. i'm soooo going there later today. sure do miss the sweet beans though. ;-/

                        gr8 list. i'm sure many found it to be very helpful


                      2. in local locals?

                        Da Kitchen (Kihei) and Tasty Crust (Wailuku), Sunrise Cafe (Lahaina).

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: ML8000

                          " in local locals?" lol. dats to funny. kinda easy fo spot dah "local locals" on dis site. we all list tasty crust to our list of best places fo eat ( breakfast...lunch....AND dinner! ;-) ).


                          1. re: NoTanLines

                            By "locals" I think they mean residents, not 'da kine folk'.

                            1. re: NoTanLines

                              Hey NTL...I heard Tasty Crust started serving real butter instead of margarine. Is that so?

                              Tasty Crust Restaurant
                              1770 Mill St, Wailuku, HI 96793

                              1. re: ML8000

                                anyone know this is true? We started taking our own stick of butter for breakfast! Cause those pancakes deserve real butter, not margarine

                          2. Todays San Francisco Chronicle had a really good spread on Maui eats. If you are not in the SF Bay Area, go to When page opens, click on todays paper and scroll down the left side 'till you find it.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Fog City Kid

                              Maybe someone here can help me.
                              Years ago we were on Maui for a friends wedding. We ate at a restaurant that located a bit inland near the sugar cane fields. It had originally started up to feed the field workers of the area and then developed into a full blown restaurant. It was so good and I have had no luck remembering of finding the name. It was in white house like
                              building and I just remember having an incredible lunch. We stayed in the Kihei area and I just remember it was inland from there... Thanks for the help.

                              1. re: chris2269

                                I think you're talking about Bev Gannon's place, the Hali'imaile General Store. Best food on the island, IMO.

                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                  Thank you so much, I just did a search and that is it. mmmmm Brie and Grape Quesadilla
                                  ~ With cilantro Macadamia nut pesto and sweet pea guacamole

                                  Now I just need to get back for a visit.

                                  1. re: chris2269

                                    If you do go back, you must try the crab pizza. Amazing!!!