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Jul 7, 2011 07:43 AM

Searching for casual spots in Maui

Hey everybody,

I'm going to Maui with my family for New Years. I've done some research on places to eat and most of the recommended spots that I've come across are fancy restaurants usually located inside some kind of resort....

What are the top casual spots to eat in Maui? I'm looking for beach shacks with good inexpensive seafood, where you can go with your swimsuit and flip flops. Like the stuff you see in Thailand and Mexico.


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  1. Where on Maui?

    Will you have an auto, and are you willing to drive?

    Any budgets?



    1 Reply
    1. re: Bill Hunt

      Check out Aloha Mixed Plate in Lahaina, you an wear your swimsuit and flip flops there, they have a nice outdoor patio area with pretty views of the ocean. :)

      Aloha Mixed Plate
      1285 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761

    2. Some of my favorite casual inexpensive non-resort restaurants on Maui are
      Da Kitchen at the Wharf center in Lahaina
      Eskimo Candy a few blocks inland in Kihei
      Gazebo for breakfast or lunch with a view in Napili
      Coconuts Fish Cafe for fish in Kihei
      Penne Pasta Cafe a couple blocks off Front Street in Lahaina


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

      Eskimo Candy
      2665 Waiwai Pl, Kihei, HI 96753

      Penne Pasta Cafe
      180 Dickenson St Ste 113, Lahaina, HI 96761

      1. You're not going to find those types of places on Maui. There's plenty of casual places like you describe, but not directly on the beach. They don't have beach clubs or mom and pop places like Cozumel or PV. If you find any let me know.

        3 Replies
        1. re: rexster314

          Concur that beach shacks in the Hawaiian islands are pretty much non-existent but they do have some great shrimp trucks that I'm still jonesing for.. Giovanni's garlic sticky shrimp..da best in North Shore O'ahu.
          Gazebo in Napili, Maui has great breakfast/lunch oceanfront and if the wait is over an hour, I've been known to swim while I wait..
          Hula Grill in Ka'anapali has a great happy hour with app's on the sand that is a good time.

          1. re: Beach Chick

            Yep, the Barefoot Bar at the Hula Grill is probably the closest you'll find for a beachfront, sand in the feet type place. This is a good spot, buy your shrimp plate, go to the boat ramp parking area and chow down

            1. re: rexster314

              I've seen that shrimp truck but haven't had the famous Hawaiian shrimp plate..
              When I go body surfing in Makena, I hit up the Jawz truck for some good grub..

              Breakfast at Plantation House at Kapalua Golf Course is one of the best deals going..and with the no wait and best views of golf course and ocean.
              Ahi benedict with wasabi hollandaise screams of aloha love..

        2. Breakfast and lunch only - Sam Sato's in Wailuku

          Lunch and dinner - Star Noodle is a lot of fun

          Both places are casual but a swim suit would be a bit too casual.

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

          Star Noodle
          286 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761

          3 Replies
          1. re: DriverPhil

            Just had lunch at Star Noodle...Thank You DrverPhil!! It was excellent and great service too!!

            1. re: bonesbrunet

              See Star Noodle chef Sheldon Simeon on this season's Top Chef. He's made the cut for the first two shows. His team won the challenge in show 2.

              1. re: terijoy

                I can't wait to get home to watch Top Chef!When we had lunch there(2nd time in a week)yesterday... our waitress mentioned that Chef Sheldon was on the show. If you go to Star Noodle do try to get to their by 11:30 it starts filling up fast .

          2. Maui isn't Thailand or Mexico, beach front property is too expensive in Maui for beach shacks.

            There are places like Honokowai Okazuya Deli (Honokawai Beach) a great local and deli food.
            The Gazebo at the Outrigger Napili Shores, great breakfasts, get there early or you wait. Mama's Ribs & Rotisserie in Napili Plaza, Maui Tacos also in Napili Plaza. Ba-Le Vietnamese Sandwiches at the Lahaina Cannery Mall, Sunrise Cafe (Lahaina), Nagasako Okazuya (Lahaina) and Hamburger in Paradise (Lahaina), eat upstairs in the bar, not downstairs.

            The TS restaurants like Duke's, Leilani's, Kimo's and Hula Grill all have great bars that serve good, casual lunches and nice happy hours without the expense of the main dining rooms.

            Betty's Beach Cafe and Lahaina Pizza Co (formerly BJ's) are good too. Look at CJ's Deli as well.

            I would have no problem going into any of these places in my trunks (not wet, damp maybe) and flips flops.

            Lahaina Cannery Mall
            , Lahaina, HI 96761

            Napili Plaza
            Napili Smoothie Cafe, Napili, HI 96761

            Betty's Beach Cafe
            505 Front St Ste 120, Lahaina, HI 96761

            13 Replies
            1. re: scottca075

              I think you meant to say Cheeseburger in Paradise....beachfront in Old Lahaina Town :=)

              1. re: scottca075


                Great points. Many think that Maui (and most Hawaiian Islands, other than O`ahu & Honolulu) is like San Blas, Mexico was, 30 years ago. Some are highly disappointed, when they find electricity, running water, and a paved parking lot.



                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  We dined upstairs at Cheeseburger in Paradise which had a great ambiance with pretty views from out table by the window but the food quality was disappinting to us here. :)

                  1. re: syrahgirl

                    Well, as the CH Team has told me that I cannot comment on my experiences with Cheeseburger in Paradise, I will only say that we found the food to be less than edible, but maybe that is just us. It was a mistake, that we'll never make again.

                    Hope that those comments pass muster, but somehow, I rather doubt it.


                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      I will be happy to comment on my experience there. it was quite a while ago, on vacation with my partner of the time and his son, age 12. When a 12 year old sends a burger back because it is too greasy, that should tell you something. I didn't even know he knew you could do something like that. He told the waiter to take it away, that the food at McDonalds was better. This was the Lahaina CBinP. Horrible Horrible.

                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        why oh why can't you comment? I went a dozen years ago before the big lawsuit with a certain parrot head, and yes, we thought it was part of the parrot head's brand. The burgers were terrrible, the service was terrible, the view were lovely. Such a sad use of space.

                        I would love to believe that after the dust settled, they have transformed themselves into a great burger and pupu joint. Alas, I have yet to be convinced from reviews I have read.

                        1. re: Bellachefa

                          Well, as my comment has remained, I will say that the burger was one of the worst, that I have ever experienced. It was just a poor choice on my part, as we had many great meals (and have had the same, over the years) in Lahiana.

                          Now, we were surprised some years later, and some years ago, when we did the Margaritaville Restaurant in Las Vegas. i held out no hope, but was really, really surprised. Their burger was amazingly good. Who knew? Though their wine list was limited, they had some selections, that went quite well, and considering a "resort" setting, were pretty fairly priced.



                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                            but of course Margaritaville is associated LEGALLY with Jimmy Buffet, whereas Cheeseburger in Paradise got sued big time for using the name. I've sometimes wondered if they would have been sued if they turned out a decent burger.

                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                              Ah, that info, I did not know. Thank you for educating me.

                              For some obvious reasons, I thought they were part of the same corporate structure.

                              Mahalo and aloha,


                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                Cheeseburger in Paradise, when started in the early 90's, actually got permission from Buffett by promising that they would not expand beyond Maui. That lasted a couple of years when the owners broke that promise by expanding to the mainland and Oahu using Cheeseburger in Paradise. That's when Buffett and his lawyers slapped them down. The Cheeseburger in Paradise places you see outside of Hawaii are owned by Jimmy Buffett.

                                1. re: rexster314

                                  sorry, but I think you've got some of your facts mixed up

                                  1. re: rexster314

                                    If you are looking for good food, CIP is not the place to go.

                                    1. re: DriverPhil

                                      I would say if you are looking for great food Cheeseburger in Paradise isn't the place to go. We usually eat upstairs and have never had a bad burger. It isn't OMG the best burger ever, but it is okay and the setting upstairs is just great.