If you’re headed to Lahaina in West Maui and want to eat right, this guide has some delicious choices. I’ve gone through and found Lahaina restaurants across many cuisines and prices, from high-class dining halls to local holes in the wall, from fresh sushi to southern barbecue. I hope you’re hungry!
Photo: Aloha Mixed Plate
This Lahaina restaurant has a certain funky charm to it that you can only get in Hawaii. The oceanside establishment serves authentic local favorites such as teriyaki beef, kalua pork, poi, macaroni salad, and of course lomi lomi salmon. If you order the Ali’i Plate you get a nice mix of them all. The whole restaurant is outdoors and right in front of the ocean. Since it’s also next door to the Old Lahaina Luau, you can hear music from the show starting around 8 pm. The food here is well priced and gives you a good taste of what Maui cuisine is all about.
Photo: Fish Market Maui
If you’re searching for the best fish on Maui for the best prices, then you’ve just found it. Maui Fish Market is an authentic Lahaina fish market with a little outdoor patio where you can get 'ahi sandwiches slathered in secret sauce, crab cakes, poke, and extra fresh oyster shots for only $1. But the best part is that you can browse their market and take home something for dinner. Come at noon for the best selection of fresh fish. They also sell prepared marinades and other toppings to go along with your meal.
Photo: Hula Grill
This is THE Lahaina restaurant to grab lunch in the Whalers Village shopping area of Ka’anapali Beach. Definitely get a table on the sand at the Barefoot Bar and enjoy the live music. The food covers Maui staples, such as fish burgers and tacos, but they also have some interesting dishes to go along. Their ceviche is marinated in a coconut sauce, which gives it a Polynesian flare. You can also come here for dinner and enjoy the views on the second floor dining room above the beach.
Photo: Lahaina Grill
Lahaina Grill has consistently ranked as the top fine dining establishment in downtown Lahaina. If you enjoy dishes that combine seared ahi and foie gras and other decadent creations, then it’s worth the money to come here for a night. From start to finish, the entire experience is top notch. The 'opakapaka fish is their specialty and they prepare it differently each night. Feeling adventurous? Try the baked escargot, or stick to classics like wagyu beef ravioli. Whatever you order, you’ll be treated to some of the best Pacific Rim-inspired cuisine on the island.
Photo: Lahaina Grill
Perched above the cliffs overlooking the Pacific, this open-air sushi restaurant welcomes in the gentle trade winds. Often you can catch live music paired with their top grade nigiri, sashimi, and specialty rolls. For something cooked, the black cod poached in butter with a lobster cream sauce or the pork chop in plum wine sauce with a side of potato bacon hash are a must. The curry calamari is also quite popular. Even their desserts are really good. Try the malasadas (Portuguese donuts) or the flaming piña colada crème. Though this Lahaina restaurant can be expensive, they do have a pre-fix menu for $50 per-person, which includes 2 starters, entrée, and dessert.
What you need to know
Website: Japengo menu
Address: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, 200 Nohea Kai Dr, Lahaina, HI 96761
Phone: (808) 661-1234
Hours: 5:30 pm – 10 pm
“Best Food!!! Best Value!!! Best Service!!!” These cries from Yelp reviewers certainly ring true. Lahaina Luna is all around the best restaurant for an affordable meal. Don’t expect table service and dining room seating. But do expect delicious and authentic Hawaiian comfort food, under $10, cooked and served by a very friendly staff. Between Korean beef tacos, chicken katsu, quesadillas, fries drenched in Korean sauce, and sweet Maui onion rings, this place epitomizes the Asian, native, and mainland US fusion that defines Hawaiian cuisine. For something lighter get the kale and brussels sprout salad served with grilled chicken. This local treasure is actually owned by Hawaii's famous shave ice shop, Ululani' Hawiian Shave Ice, so you know they do it right!
What you need to know
Address: 790 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761
Phone: (808) 757-8286
Hours: 10:30 am – 9 pm
Photo: Mala Ocean Tavern
For something casual, yet sophisticated, where you can actually hear the waves lapping against the side walls of the restaurant, Mala Tavern is your spot. It’s also a nice relief from all the heavy food in Hawaii. They really nail healthy, organic cuisine. Try the baby Waipoli romaine wraps or the roasted beets with goat cheese and Kula baby green salad. Wasabi tobiko, mahi mahi ceviche, and the Big Island mushrooms with garlic and parsley, are a must. Of course if you just want some steak, the all-natural angus filet mignon will not disappoint. Or for something a little more affordable, but equally delicious, order the Rolls Royce Kobe beef cheeseburger for $16.
Photo: Koa's Seaside Grill
Voted ‘Best New Restaurant of 2013-2014’ by The Maui News 'Best of Maui' poll, Koa’s offers delicious oceanfront dining at very reasonable prices. And you know they do it right at this Lahaina restaurant, since it was started by the owners of the back door brunch haven, Gazebo. Try the seared ahi Benedict, goat cheese pancakes or the biscuits with country gravy and eggs. If you need an eye-opener, order the “Keoki Coffee Cocktail,” “Lahaina Lemonade,” or the “Bloody Malia.” For lunch and dinner, I’d recommend the spice-rubbed fish, poke tacos with sesame dressing and papaya-mango slaw, or the Korean ribs with beer-battered shrimp.
You can get a coupon good for a free appetizer or dessert with dinner, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line “Koa’s coupon.” If you’re struggling to find parking, head over to the lot behind Lahaina Coolers where you can find a spot for $1 an hour.
Photo: Iron Imu
Iron Imu is Maui’s spot for authentic southern barbecue with a local twist. Load up on slow cooked brisket, the best smoked ribs in Maui, and their unique tropical 5-bean salad. Their sauces resemble the Kansas City style, but with some local flavors mixed in. Don’t forget the veggies. They’ve got some seriously tasty green beans, and fresh salad dressed in papaya seed vinaigrette. True to the island, they also offer butter boil shrimp. The vibe is very friendly and servers will often hand out flower hair clips. This restaurant is also great for takeout if you want to enjoy a night in, but don’t want to cook or pay for room service. I found this promo deal of $20 for $10 that might interest you.
Famous for its homemade pies and well-crafted lunches, Leoda’s is the culinary gateway to West Maui. It’s your last stop as you leave, and could well be your first when you arrive. Skip dessert at other restaurants and come to Leoda’s for apple crumbles and the best banana cream pie you’ve ever tasted. Off to explore the island one day? Pick up a bacon breakfast sandwich and coffee to go. Need a quick lunch? Order the gourmet all-beef hot dog topped with pineapple chutney and poha berry mustard, or a toasted sandwich with local basil pesto, apricot-tomato jam, and garlic aioli.
Photo: Honua Kai Resort