Lahaina’s food scene is a laid-back affair, but an abundance of independently owned gems, led by some of the island’s top chefs, make it a top dining destination.
Serving up comfort food right on the water, Mark Ellman’s intimate Honu is located next door to its popular sister properties Mala Ocean Tavern and Frida’s Mexican Beach House. The menu features several Ellman trademarks (including his signature ahi bruschetta), along with New England-style crab shack eats like clam chowder and Maine bay shrimp sandwiches—best washed down with one of the more than 60 beers on offer.
Must try: Fresh mozzarella and San Marzano tomato pizza topped with housemade ahi sausage.
Though an industrial park is the unlikely location for one of Lahaina’s big foodie draws, Star Noodle lures locals and tourists alike for its housemade noodles and pork bao buns. Just follow the cars headed inland to find this out-of-the-way spot.
Must try: Ahi avo, a play on poke made with lemon-pressed olive oil, avocado and sambal chilli.
The husband-and-wife owners of this Italian bistro, Michele and Qiana Di Bari, hail from Milan, Italy, and Brooklyn, New York, respectively. They met at one of Michele’s restaurants but married in Maui on a whim and eventually brought their love of Italian food to the island. Their restaurant is its own successful marriage: traditional Italian (Michele, who was trained at the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli, lets his dough ferment for 72 hours) meets the best of Maui-grown meats and produce.
Must try: Meatballs made with beef from Maui Cattle Company and locally made Uncle Louie Sausage.
Plate lunch—an Asian-style protein (think teriyaki chicken and kalua pork) with a scoop of macaroni salad and two scoops of rice—may be Hawaii’s most iconic dish. Aloha Mixed Plate elevates this traditional plantation-workers’ lunch with its waterfront patio and mango margaritas. Bonus: this fun spot offers great breakfasts, too.
Must try: Hawaiian sweet bread French toast with coconut syrup.
While pies—everything from savoury pot pies to indulgent macadamia chocolate praline dessert pies—are the obvious draw, Leoda’s burgers, sandwiches and hot dogs topped with Maui Gold Pineapple chutney and poha berry mustard are a cut above the typical corner deli.
Must try: Pie. If you want sweet, go for the pineapple macadamia nut. For savoury, opt for Kula corn with lime zest, cotija cheese, chives and cilantro.
Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Maui With Daily Happy Hour Deals
Maui’s “Aloha hour” (happy hour) offers delicious deals on food and tropical drinks and is often paired with live music and a front-row seat to the island’s breathtaking sunsets. Here are some of the best kid-friendly restaurants for happy hour deals, from elegant five-star resorts to casual beachfront eateries.
What to Do in Downtown Lahaina
Once the capital of the Hawaiian kingdom, Lahaina occupies a central place in Maui’s history. Today, its low-slung buildings and oceanfront shops and galleries offer a taste of Old Hawaii. Take a walk through the neighbourhood, making stops at Lahaina Banyan Court Park, Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice and more.