Need Maui Help
I'm a frequent poster on the Southwest board, from Scottsdale, AZ. My wife and I will be in Maui for 8 days in August and would like to know the best places to eat. We are staying at the Kea Lani, in Wailea. Seeking all kinds of cuisine....price is not an issue. We'll have a car.
We have already been to Nick's, Mama's, Hula Grill (no thanks) and the Feast at Le Le.
What other "must eat" places are there? We're open to both "nice" and casual places and would also like some "non-touristy" places where locals eat, if possible.
re: Bill Hunt
One place in the area that wasn't mentioned was Kihei Cafe. Open for breakfast and lunch. Great food for great prices - I fell in love with the biscuits and gravy, the hubby opted for the loco moco fry - fried rice with a hamburger patty, eggs any style topped with gravy. The patio is a bit dirty (don't leave your plate unattended or it'll be attacked by birds in seconds), but just make sure to bring handiwipes with you and you're good to go.
We are just back from two weeks in Maui. Our best fine dining experience was at Gerard's in Lahaina.
They overcame our prior fav 'Lahaina Grill' by having a more relaxed dining experience and better menu choices.
For casual dining we like Sam Sato's and A Saigon Cafe (both in Wailuku) and the Honokowai Okazuya and Deli which is just up from Kaanapali.
127 Lahainaluna Rd., Lahaina Maui, HI 96761
Honokowai Okazuya & Deli
3600 Lower Honoapiilani Rd Ste D, Lahaina, HI 96761
174 Lahainaluna Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761
1750 Wili PA Loop, Wailuku, HI 96793
A Saigon Cafe
1792 Main St, Wailuku, HI 96793
We just got back from Maui and stayed at the Westin Maui near Lahaina. Unfortunately, we didn't get out to eat at more "locals" places so I'm not coming up with any new restaurant names here. Figured I'd still weigh in with my comments and recommendations, however.
Pineapple Grill - This is is on the same grounds as the Kapalua Bay Golf Resort. Of all the restaurants we went to, this was the best value IMHO. They had a good wine list, especially their pinot noir section, and had a good mix of pupus (small dishes) and regular entres. We enjoyed visiting with their sommelier as well and thought all his recommendations were good.
Lahaina Grill - Expensive, but good. Probably one of the "fancier" places in Lahaina. I thought their wine list was just ok, however, considering the type of restaurant this is and the style of food they serve here. They had less than a handful of syrahs on their entire wine list, which I thought was very odd for this type of restaurant.
Sansei - This place gets a ton of press on Chowhound and we had a lot of people at our hotel recommend it as well. However, we were pretty underwhelmed by the place. I think our expectations were too high going in. For those who consider themselves sushi hounds, there's nothing special here. The fish they have is good, but the selection is VERY limited and basic... salmon, tuna, uni, saba and that's about it. We asked for snapper, halibut, toro, etc. and they had none of these. Don't even think about asking for the more unusual stuff beyond this because they won't have it. This is more of a sushi rolls type place and then they have a lot of Japanese-like dishes and entres. We got an appetizer of agedashi tofu that would never pass in even your average Japanese restaurant. The miso butterfish is a must have, however. We thought everything else was average. If you've got a craving for Japanese-like food, this place will suffice. However, don't go in expecting greatness, especially not on the sushi front.
Lahaina Fish Company - We had hoped to go to Pacific'O, but they were closed the evening we had available. We had run out of choices by this point so we just opted for this place. This place reminds me of your typical Fisherman's Warf seafood place - very cheesy, very touristy and very average. I wouldn't go back or recommend this place. This was probably our only disappointment of the places we visited.
Plantation House - This is another place that seems to get a lot of good press. We enjoyed it and would definitely go back. It's located right on the Kapalua Plantation Golf Course. I'd recommend getting there for sunset. The view is very nice. Prices are up there, but the food we had was really good. Good wine list as well.
Mama's Fish House - Man, would I like to own this place - talk about a gold mine! Don't know many places that can charge $16 for a mai tai and $50+ for a piece of fish and some asparagus and still pull in throngs of people on a week night. Like the road to Hana, this is something to do once and that's it. The food and drinks are decent, but not at these prices. You won't find much of a wine list here either.
My husband and I have been going to Maui at least once a year for the past 14 years. We've stayed all over the island, but have recently been staying in Wailea too!
We like good food and we go to both fancy and local places. Here's our favorites:
Ferraro's at the Four Seasons- the view can't be beat and the seafood is excellent. Go at sunset and ask for a table nearest the water.
Maui Tacos- cheap eats at their finest.
Eskimo Candy- just a fish market with a few tables, but the fish is to die for! The fish and chips are great (don't be put off by the frozen fish, it doesn't seem frozen and it's done to perfection. We also buy their fresh fish and grill at our condo. (Only ever see locals at this place.)
Sansei- great sushi.
Thailand Cuisine- the Thai food is fresh and we always pick it up to go for our plane ride home.
Marco's Italian for lunch- sandwiches are great! Sometimes we pick these up instead for the plane. (Casual, mostly locals)
Sam Sato's for lunch- the only noodles I ever had that were better than these were the ones my Dad (a Japanese chef) made by hand at home. (Casual, mostly locals)
Have a great time!
We just got back from a 14-day trip to Maui and the Big Island. If you're up for a drive, check out the Gazebo in Napili Shores, about 15 minutes north of Lahaina. Go for breakfast and have either an omlette or a pancake specialty; it's awesome. Mellow vibe, excellent breakfast food. It's hard to find, though, and lines out the door could have you waiting up to 45 minutes for a table. But worth it.
You can make a day or morning out of it by staying at the bay to snorkel. The beach is lovely, and we saw a ton of sea turtles swimming around. We ate there twice in a week, and I'd go back tomorrow if I could!
Here are a couple of suggestions. Some are near Wailea, others will require a little drive.
Da Kitchen - Excellent local food primarily known for "plate lunch".
Sansei - Best Sushi... Period!
Hali'imale General Store - In the middle of nowhere, but some of the best dining on the island. Owner is one of the original Hawaiian Fusion Chefs.
Capische - Great Italian, very close to your resort. It's at the Diamond Resort.
Ma'alaea Waterfront - Great Seafood. Great Views, Good Wine
Pacific'O - Great Chef, Great PAcific Rim Cuisine, local ingredients.
These are some of our favourites and in my opinion you can't go wrong. LEt me know your thoughts if try any of these places out while on your vacation.