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Foodie Suggestions for Lahaina Restaurants

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The hubs and I are headed to Lahaina Dec 29 - Jan 5. We love great food at all price points, but are interested in the best of what the area has to offer. We will have a car, and are happy to drive. So far, we are going to Feast at Lele for NYE (more for the experience than the food; I have moderate to low expectations about the food); I'm thinking Banyon Tree for the hubs' birthday, and maybe Mama's for dinner the day we're leaving (our flight isn't until 11:30 or so that evening - would 5:30 reservations be too early/late? Is that not a good idea?).

I'd appreciate any comments on the above, and would welcome any comments on places (at all price ranges) that we shouldn't miss.


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  1. For the birthday, skip Banyan Tree.

    Here are the restaurants we like. On the high end (in the West) we like Merriman's (Kapalua), it is one of my two favorite high end places in West Maui. Plantation House (Kapalua) is my actual favorite West Maui restaurant. It isn’t just the great food, but also the very different perspective from being down on the ocean. The location up in the old pineapple fields is great and the views terrific. Roy's Fusion Hawaiian (Kahana), like Roy's every place, very good food and very good service, just no views. David Paul’s Lahaina Grill (Lahaina), superb, fresh ingredients, well prepared in a great setting. Gerard's (Lahaina) great French, nice ambiance and service and Sansei (Kapalua) if you have to have a sushi fix.

    I certainly think Spago's, DUO & Ferraro’s Restaurante at all worth the drive over to Wailea and so are Nick's Fishmarket (Fairmont) and Bev Gannon's, Joe's Bar & Grill.

    More local places that we like a lot are Sam Sato’s (Wailuku), they have the best noodles on Maui I think. Star Noodle (Lahaina), great local food, a true joy. Nagasako Okazuya (Lahaina), a classic old Hawaiian okazuza (Japanese deli), Mama's Ribs & Rotisserie (Napili Plaza), we always get it to go and enjoy it on our lanai. Fish Market Maui we don't go to eat at as a restaurant, but get their poke, sashimi, etc to go and to buy the freshest fish or lobster tails to throw on the barbie (if you are staying in a condo).

    For the birthday I'd consider Merriman's, Spago and Plantation House as my top three probably.

    As to Mama's, a lot of people love it, I just like it. i think they charge a hefty premium for the setting. It is a good idea to go, but I think only if you go before sunset, otherwise I think you miss half of what you are paying for. Sunset should be close to 7PM, but double check that.

    Lahaina Grill
    127 Lahainaluna Rd., Lahaina Maui, HI 96761

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

    Joe's Bar & Grill
    131 Wailea Ike Pl, Kihei, HI 96753

    3900 Wailea Alanui Dr, Kihei, HI 96753

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

    Nick's Fishmarket
    2070 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

    Star Noodle
    286 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761

    5 Replies
    1. re: scottca075

      Mama's is WAY cheaper at lunch and you get to enjoy the beautiful view. We always spend half an hour or so on the beach directly in front of the restaurant and take some photos. We also loved Monkeypod Kitchen in Wailea for lunch. It's about a 45 minute drive from Lahaina so plan accordingly.

      1. re: scottca075

        These are amazing suggestions. Thank you so much!!

        1. re: scottca075


          Have you dined at Banyan Tree, since the re-do?

          Before, we were impressed, but on the last trip, they were closed for the refurb, and we have not been back, since they opened.

          Just curious,


          Banyan Tree
          1 Ritz Carlton Dr, Lahaina, HI

          1. re: Bill Hunt

            No, we went once early on and they good, but not great so they have never gotten back into the rotation.

            We only do one or two 'fancy' restaurants every trip because we can get those in lots of places, we do more local food and Hawaiian stuff we just can't find in CA. Next time we are in West Maui, we'll go back.

            1. re: scottca075

              We hope to go back, as the refurb. is now complete. When we were there (two trips back), things were great, and the experience was at the very top. My wife rated them as # 1, and I as #2, with some real competition. Not sure how things are now.

              Going back, when the signature restaurant was the Anui1nui Room, we were not wow'ed, but with Banyan Tree, we were.

              Normally, Maui comes up about every five years, but then we did two trips in a row - but only one with the Banyan Tree. Hope that they pull it off.



              Banyan Tree
              1 Ritz Carlton Dr, Lahaina, HI

        2. Aloha..
          Mama's for lunch is cheaper and you get the view..
          Plantation House for breakfast at Kapalua..awesome ahi benedict with wasabi hollandaise.
          Breakfast in Maui is long waits of an hour plus and that is why I love the Plantation House...great food, views and no wait.
          Bev Gannon's General store is wonderful.
          Happy Hour at Hula Grill, Duke's or Kimo's.

          1. Here is my list:

            I'O, but you are doing the Feast, and the same chef does both, so one is good.
            Merriman's Kapalua
            Lahaina Grill

            Would mention Banyan Tree, but they did a major refurb., since we dined there last, so cannot comment on the new version.

            For that time of the year, 5:30PM would not be too early, especially if there is a sunset view.

            If you are in West Maui, Mama's is a haul. We would never do it, but then we love our wines, so that is a personal consideration. If you do not drink, then it would be worth the effort, IMHO.



            Lahaina Grill
            127 Lahainaluna Rd., Lahaina Maui, HI 96761

            Banyan Tree
            1 Ritz Carlton Dr, Lahaina, HI

            Merriman's Kapalua
            , Lahaina, HI 96761

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Thank you all so much. Mr. Hunt, I know we have similar tastes from the NOLA board, so I really appreciate your input. I made reservations at Merriman's for the hubs' birthday. Mama's is open New Year's Day, so we are headed there for lunch. I checked the driving directions, and it's about an hour. I grew up in the sticks, so that doesn't seem to bad to me. We tend to drink less wine with lunch (except in NOLA, : ), so we should be good. Mahalo to everyone for your input!

              1. re: txgrl99

                Great! We are both winos, and limiting my wife's dinner intake (especially considering their wine list) is just not something that I am comfortable with. After a half-dozen lunches, we just could not control ourselves, and I could not limit either of us, so we passed on a very gracious offer, and booked the Inn At Mama's. I cannot say enough about that choice, as they were fabulous. The accommodations were different, than the Kapalua Ritz-Carlton, but no less welcoming, and having about 20' from the restaurant to my cottage, was worth the difference. I regret nothing in that choice.

                Glad that you have enjoyed some of my ramblings on the NOLA Board. I was once a native (sort of), but still have some great memories. However, and like with Hawai`i, I grade hard, have few, if any, "sacred cows," and though some old fav's. might be on my "chopping block," that is how it is. I try to express my feelings, and try not to pull punches, where they are deserved. However, one must remember that all of my reviews, and comments, are filtered through me, and my personal choices. Those might not be the same as others', but I try to offer reviews, that others can use, with few subjective elements.

                Most of all, please enjoy!