Over a lifetime on Maui and many years as a personal chef, these are my favorite places to eat on Maui.
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If you thought taking a six-hour drive on the Hana Highway was the only way to experience adventure on Maui, then get ready to be pleasantly surprised!
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Try the Ahi Benedict or Goat Cheese Pancakes for breakfast, and the Spice Rubbed Fish or Poke Tacos for lunch.
Several kids can split the classic Hawaiian "Mixed Plate," which comes with slow cooked pork, rice, and macaroni salad. Or take it all on yourself!
Mouth-watering Pork Adobo is marinated to perfection at this local hole in the wall.
Near the Lahaina Harbor, it's a great place to fuel up before your ocean adventure. Get the Lox and Bagel Benedict!
Poke, or raw cubed, marinated fish is a centuries-old Hawaiian specialty. This food truck serves it straight up or fried.
Pick up a burrito, taco, or enchilada at one of their three locations in Maui.
This place is a local legend! They serve simple, perfectly cooked fish in a casual picnic table setting. Their fish burgers are legendary.
It's Maui's answer to In-N-Out Burger and the best spot on the island to grab a tasty burger and fries.
It's a favorite spot among locals for their decadent Katsu Moco with delicious gravy. For something light, try their Chinese Chicken Salad.
Kids will love watching silly goats with hilarious old-man beards and grown ups get to sample fresh cheese. Stop by casually or book a hands-on milking tour.
A 30-minute ferry ride takes you to one of Hawaii's smallest inhabited island. Check out the beach at Manale, a playground for spinner dolphins.
It's the "Old Faithful of the Pacific." Watch a plume of sea water shoot 100 feet in the air out of an ancient lava tube. Don't get too close (trust me on this one)!
Dive 100 feet below the surface and explore an underwater world inaccessible to snorkelers and scuba divers.
A finger of lava hangs out into the sea, about halfway down the Road to Hana. Stop by for fresh banana bread, a small arboretum, and an old stone church.
2,500 species of plants and trees line a landscape of lava rocks, natural streams, and koi ponds. These gardens give you a sense of Hawaii's stunning biodiversity.
Take an easy 2-mile hike to a scenic ridge with panoramic views of central Maui. Ioa Valley was also the site of an epic battle and served as a burial ground in ancient Hawaiian history.
It feels like an alien world in the cinder cone gardens of Mt. Haleakala. Come for the view at sunrise or sunset, heck, come anytime, it's out of this world!
Like something out of a Tim Burton movie, the Maui Banyan Tree drapes its vines through a shaded park in front of the courthouse in downtown Lahaina. It's a great spot for a picnic!
Grab a picnic lunch at Paia Fish Market and head to the beach to watch some of the best windsurfers fly off the waves. Expect wind.
Long, forgiving surf break and warm water make Maui an ideal place to learn to surf. Betcha someone in your family will catch a wave. It'll be sweet, brah.
Is pineapple wine any good? Head to Ulupalakua Vineyards for free tastings and find out. Worst case, you get to see a vineyard on a volcano.
The mall here hosts free Ukulele and hula lessons. Learn how to play "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," and then act it out in smooth rhythmic dance moves.
Serene wetlands in Maui's central valley make for a great place to watch dozens of exotic bird species. Come in the mornings when the sun is out and wind is less.
Give back to the island by helping keep its shorelines, forests, and beaches clean.
If you're a proud astronomy geek and want to meet other proud astronomy geeks, join this Maui astronomy group and find you're posse.
Once you spot one whale, you'll start seeing them everywhere. There are so many whales out there that during the winter, you can watch them for free on the beach.
Last time Haleakala erupted, 400-500 years ago, it made this surreal lava field in Makena State Park.
Every night from Black Rock Beach, you can watch a torch lighting ceremony that ends with a 30-foot plunge into the ocean.
Luaus can be pricey, but this hula show is free from 6-8 pm, every night at the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel.
Mama's Fish House might not be free, but the tide pools around it are. It's a great place for kids to see (and try to pronounce) anemones and baby crabs.
It's a smaller theater showing 3 movies near the wharf in downtown Lahaina.
This mammoth movie complex features 12 screens and the biggest one on the island.
Located at Queen Ka'ahumanu Shopping Center you have 6 movies to choose from.
On Ka'anapali Beach, this open air shopping pavilion is filled with restaurants, shops, and a whale museum.
Built on the site of Maui's last ruling chief, this museum houses native tools, paintings, and photography that give you a glimpse into the lives of Maui's former Royal Family.
Their succulent rotisserie chicken is roasted over a wood-burning fire with kiawe and guava wood. It's a great place to grab lunch by the Maui Ocean Center.
It's the largest salt-water tropical aquarium in the US. There are walk-through tunnels, jellyfish exhibits, and an interactive tidepool area.
In the highlands is a forest created by a botanist using trees from around the world. You can hike, mountain bike, or even zipline through it.
Lahaina has 40 art galleries with works from Picasso, Rembrandt, Any Warhol, and whole host of local artists inspired by the beauty of the island.
They stock lots of locally-grown organic produce and an extensive hot and cold salad bar.
If you're visiting Mt. Haleakala, this is a great place to stop by for ready-made food and local snacks.
Skip a trip to the market altogether and order everything to your residence.
With sweeping views of the island and a warm fireplace, this is a cozy place to relax and dine after a long day exploring Haleakala Volcano.
Before booking it to the summit, you can stop by this forest grove for a picnic and quick walk around.
When summiting a volcano, don't be afraid to ask directions. Here, you'll find park rangers ready to answer your questions, as well as a bathroom, and gift shop.
This spectacular overlook is a great place to snap a photo of Maui's lush greenery fading into red and black lava rock.
Catch a final glimpse of the cinder cones on your way down Mt. Haleakala (you won't be able to turn left here on your way up).
You're on top of the world! You can see the rainforests of Hana, the Big Island in the distance, and maybe even your resort, far below.
This 1/4-mile trail delivers maximum breathtaking views at minimum effort. It's a good option for families with young kids who still want to see Haleakala.
Hike down into moon-like valleys of dormant cinder cones. You can take on this entire 11-mile odyssey or turn back at any point for a hike of any length.
In the cool air of the Upcountry, Kula Bistro is a great place to stop for lunch and snacks on your way up Haleakala Volcano.
This cool local grocery is a great place to get sandwiches and snacks after a day of snorkeling at Olowalu Beach.
A gently sloping entrance and sandy bottom means you won't step on coral as you go in. Underwater, you'll find butterflyfish and cool multi-colored sea slugs.
Turtles are everywhere here. It's their safe hideaway with ample resting spots and plenty of green algae to chomp on.
Centuries-old coral colonies grow to a whopping 25-feet in diameter on lava rocks to create a vibrant reef.
In Maui's rugged north, you'll find sea turtles, white-spotted puffers, octopuses, unicorn fish, and maybe even a giant manta ray.
Tucked away in a nice family resort, this place is great for a drink and bite to eat by the pool.
The manager at Maui Hill resort puts on a weekly Mai Tai party with live music and free drinks. Seriously, Dennis is the the man!
Right on Ka'anapali Beach, you can hear the waves as you dine. Try their seasonal specialty cocktail at happy hour, which runs from 3-5 pm everyday and includes live music.
The decor is funky, really funky. See for yourself! They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner with live jazz. Say hi to Farzad, the super friendly owner.
Grab some local kula greens, Hawaiian avocados and fresh fish at Fish Market Maui, next door.
Grab local fruits and veggies with views of the ocean and mountains in the background.
The Sharwil avocado is so good, it's been banned on the mainland. But you can get it here. You can also pick up local juices, jams, and fresh baked goods.
There's a wide variety of local fruits, veggies, and confectionaries at this Saturday morning market.
Cool off in the shade of the banyan tree and see work from local artists. There's also a face painting booth and kid's crafts for the little ones.
On the last Thursday of the month, The Baldwin Home Museum puts on a free outdoor concert with local musicians from 6-7:30 pm.
This isn't your typical luau music. It's a celebration of authentic Hawaiian folk music, epitomized by the distinct sound of the slack-key guitar.
With the "wow" factor of Cirque du Soleil, this powerful retelling of Hawaiian history is a blend of dance, music, and acrobatics.
Like something out of the Partridge Family, this family troupe, puts on a magic dinner show infused with family-friendly comedy.
Every Friday from 6-9 pm, the galleries of Lahaina host a free "Art Walk" with featured artists and refreshments.
Maui's capital knows how to party! Join on first Fridays for a street party with craft vendors, food stands, and a beer garden serving local brews.
All the galleries light up until 10 pm and Front Street buzzes with music, food, family activities, and performers from Ulalena.
Maui's cowboy town puts on a street party with locally farmed food, classical Hawaiian music, dancing, and a fire show.
The Keiki/Youth Zone has lots for the little ones, and parents can browse booths set up by local shops.
There's live music here everyday. Bring the family for lunch at this Whalers Village restaurant on Ka'anapali Beach.
Every ship is like a "floating classroom" where you get the inside scoop on Maui's whales from highly trained naturalists. Your ticket also helps fund conservation.
Every ship is like a "floating classroom" where you get the inside scoop on Maui's whales from highly trained naturalists. Your ticket also helps fund conservation.
Walk along Ka'anapali beach for brunch at this restaurant. Get the Cinnamon French Toast for breakfast, or fish tacos for lunch.
Right above the beach, you can watch the sunset over the ocean. Come at 3-7 pm or 9-11 pm for happy hour specials, or brunch for their "pour your own champagne" mimosa station.
Enjoy macadamia nut pancakes, eggs benedict, and other brunch favorites with a view of surfers in the distance. It's Maui's most famous brunch spot for good reason.
This is where you'd come to propose in grand style. Set in a tropical garden with gorgeous views of the Island, Capische? serves delicious Italian food with a local twist.
It's hard to be closer to the ocean without being in it. Sea House is known for its extensive happy hour menu and views of Napili Bay.
If you drive by here and blink you might miss it. But if you can find it, this calm, uncrowded beach is really special.
Dine on pork cooked in an underground oven, while the sun sets over the ocean to traditional Hawaiian music and dance. It's an intimate venue great for families.
Relax in the cedar wood sauna, eucalyptus steam room, or get a Lomi Lomi massage. Then cool off in bamboo rainfall showers that run with water from the peaks above.
Pineapple scrub gently exfoliates and the Lomi Lomi and Swedish massage loosen tension. This large spa has 16 individual treatment rooms and 3 private couples rooms.
You can hear the soothing sound of the ocean from the cliffs above Napili Bay, as a delicate Lomi Lomi massage releases tension under the moonlight.
They're known for their hot stone treatments and soothing Himalayan Salt Room. They also have special massages for the mother-to-be.
Lie-down in a shaded beach cabana, and let the masseur to the rest. Then hop in the steam room to finish off.
Indulge in seared ahi and foie gras or try their daily opakapaka fish special. This is one of the fanciest restaurants in Lahaina.
It's half fish market where you can buy the daily catch to grill or cook at home, and half deli serving ahi sandwiches slathered in secret sauce.
Perched on cliffs above the Pacific, this elegant open-air restaurant serves top grade sushi rolls and sashimi.
In the heart of Whalers Village, it's a great place to dine with the family on the beach. Try the ceviche marinated in coconut sauce!
It's Lahaina's tasty lunch for under $10. Treat the family to Maui favorites such as Korean tacos, chicken katsu, or fries drenched in delicious sauce.
Maui Chef, Mark Ellman makes some seriously tasty fish. Best of all you can watch boats go in and out of Lahaina Harbor as you dine.
It's a casual, family BBQ joint with slow-cooked brisket and smoked ribs. They also have takeout for when you just want to eat back at your place.
Kids will love the delicious homemade pies and treats. They also make great specialty sandwiches, perfect for a quick lunch.
It's a smaller luau, where you'll get your own individual table. The show takes place against the colorful backdrop of sunset over Ka'anapali Beach.
Five dancers toss flaming knives across the stage and acrobats pull a number of stunts. This luau is less crowded and about 1/2 the size of other luaus.
The perfect romantic date, it's a beautifully choreographed show with some of the "most fabulous cooking on Maui."
Even teenagers would have a hard time texting through the show. This spectacle blends hula and exciting Samoan fire knife dancing.
One of Maui's most affordable Luau's, you get one free ticket for kids 6-11, and all kids under 5 get in free.
It's like the Paia Fish Market of South Maui. If you're in Kihei, stop by for lunch to take to the beach or up to the top of Haleakala.
If you're staying on West Maui, this is a great restaurant to grab snacks before venturing out to Hana. Grab their signature Hana Lunch Box (everything you need for $12).
Located in the Shops at Wailea, choose between hot and cold prepared foods and pre-made deli sandwiches.