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Maui: Lahina & Kapalua; where to eat?

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Will be in Kapalua for Christmas. Only been to Maui once before and that was late Spring. My only memory was crowds and how difficult it was to get into any restaurant at all at mealtimes.

What would you-who-know, suggest for good but relaxed dining -- a great burger being on equal footing with four star cuisine? What can not be missed? Must I carry dress clothes? What requires a reservation?

We're looking for choices and variety for a 5-day stay.

Thanks so much in advance.

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  1. just came back from there and i would personally recommend:

    fine dining - merriman's kapalua (reservations definitely needed)
    cheap eats - poke from foodland or times supermarket
    somewhere in the middle - da kitchen in lahaina or aloha mixed plate (strongly suggested by the "locals" in the area)
    breakfast - the plantation house (we didn't need reservations)

    other recommendations that we didn't get to try out: mama's ribs for bbq, cool cat cafe for some burgers and onions rings.

    outside of lahaina: if you find yourself in the small town haiku by haleakala, you have to try lynn's cafe. $5 steak and eggs, a great loco moco, and tasty shoyu chicken.

    some pics if interested:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/renandro...

    have fun!

    2 Replies
    1. re: rquitaso

      I am in full agreement with rquitaso. I would also add: For breakfast, the Gazebo. For a dinner slightly below fine dining, Kimo's.

      1. re: mnadel

        thanks mnadel. i made reservations at kimo's, but never made it. my bad.

        forgot to mention:
        luau - feast at lele (in terms of food), make reservations and ask for private front row seating (free)
        if you take the drive on hwy 30 - stop by julia's banana bread.