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May 31, 2009 08:16 PM

South Maui help!

We are spending a couple weeks in Maui at the end of June, staying in Wailea. Usually we go to the Big Island which we know well and have favorite spots. But this time we're in a hotel (not condo--yikes) and when I am looking around, it looks bigtime pricey. I am happy to spend some money at Mama's or some other nice places but would like the low down on relatively local places for dinner. (I know you have to drive in Maui a bit) We eat all kinds of stuff. We were lucky in the Big Island to find some good local seafood places and decent tiki bars for some (relatively!) inexpensive fishburgers for dinner. Does that exist in South Maui? We love all things Asian too. I just don't want to live on fatty meals or spend $60 a night per person that whole time.

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  1. Just back from a visit. It is pricey but we found two local places you will enjoy. you just need to go to Kihei - two miles away.

    Try the Kihei Cafe for breakfast or lunch -
    Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar for great sushi - it's half price after 10PM.

    Have a great time.

    1. I am slowly getting through the reviews from my trip five months ago. Rather than rehash too much as far as cheap places go:

      A Saigon Cafe
      Paia Fish Market

      These are the ones I haven't written about yet:

      Flatbread - probably my favorite of the cheapies)\

      Maui Tacos (I wasn't as thrilled with this as others that recommended it


      Sansei (good food at a good price; 1/2 price sushi is a mad house)

      Milagros Food Company

      Our pricey dinners (both highly recommended) were:

      Mama's Fish House

      Hali 'imaile General Store

      1. I'm headed to the Big Island next week. Care to share your favorites there? Local food and tiki bars sound like just what I'm looking for. Thanks!

        3 Replies
          1. re: Mimi

            Sure. We stay at the condos at the Mauna Lani in Kohala and tend to stay local. The little tiki bar by the beach there had a great view (and Mai Tais) and was the least expensive in the area with good food. If you want to splurge there, the Canoe House is stellar. We went there for our anniversary. We drive up the road to Kawaihae. There is a place called Kawaihae harbor grill. It has no view (looks out on some gas tanks and Frommer's pans it) but we have never had seafood there that is not wonderful. Even our kids liked the fish. Just next to it if you are wanting some routine Italian, Cafe Pesto is quite good. We were there on July 4th and despite a horrible crowd, the service was great and the food was quite good. Just behind these two, is a cute little shave ice place. We decided to try a luau for the hell of it a few years ago and ended up at some hotel in Kona which had "meh" food but the show was great. I forget which hotel though. There also used to be a great noodle restaurant in Kona that some famous chef had (her name eludes me...maybe Amy something?). We liked the food but they went crazy with the air conditioning and it was uncomfortable eating there. Not sure if it's still there. We've found the people there very friendly and helpful and really helped steer us in the right direction. Have fun--the big island is my favorite!

            1. re: keena

              Amy Ferguson. She was the very first female executive chef of any Ritz Carlton property
              (when the Fairmont was the Ritz in the 80's.) Her place was/is(?) Oodles of Noodles.
              And she was one of the 12 founding chefs of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement.

          2. try da kitchen and mala ocean tavern for happy hour eats.