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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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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It's a favorite spot among locals for their decadent Katsu Moco with delicious gravy. For something light, try their Chinese Chicken Salad.
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.
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!
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.
These coveted donuts come with exotic tropical fillings, like guava jam. Located in Upcountry, it's a great place to pick up a treat as reward for summiting Haleakala.
When you're a kid, a small bag of Maui-style potato chips goes fast. Stop by the Maui Potato Chip Factory to see where they're made.
Their battered, fried Mahi-Mahi taco is one of the tastiest on the island. Bet you can't eat just one!
Ululani's is one of the best spots to grab shave ice on Maui. Get it with ice cream on the bottom and sweetened condensed milk drizzled on top!
The pizza is excellent – thin and crispy crust with fresh toppings. It's a great stop if you're visiting the North Shore or on your way to Hana.
The sublime beauty of this rainforest village is the reason why so many people make the drive through seamingly endless winding roads.
Far out there on the rugged Keanae peninsula, is this little treasure. Grab some banana bread or a full lunch and stretch. You're halfway to Hana!
Just before mile marker 29, this tiny food stand makes some of the best coconut candy on the Road to Hana.
It's a short hike to these two waterfalls at the beginning of the Road to Hana. If you're not feeling up to the full journey, you can always call it a day here.
Keep your eyes peeled at mile marker 7. On the left side you'll see a painted forest of eucalyptus trees with multi-colored bark.
Located right next to the Hana Lava Tube, it's a beautiful maze made of cool red plants. It's a fun activity for kids who might be too scared to do the lava tube.
Walk the ancient footpath to a black sand beach with breathtaking scenery.
It's something out of a movie: walk through fragrant bamboo forests paved with fresh guava (eat one!) and cool off in stunning natural pools fed by waterfalls.
There's a famous song about this place, which has provided snacks and supplies to weary travelers for over 100 years.
This black sand cove is a great place to swim and float among the waves. There are also benches where you can enjoy a family picnic.
The sole survivor of the tsunami of 1948, this old stone church still holds services in a tiny village on the rugged Ke'anae Peninsula.
They give you flashlights to explore this 1,000-year-old lava flow. It's great for all ages, but if you're afraid of the dark, you can always stay in the car.
It's an Ideal spot to snap a quintessential photo of the winding road. Kids will be delighted by the wild chickens roaming around here.
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 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.
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.
Lunch bentos, sandwiches, salads, and other Hawaiian specialties make up the menu. Try the fresh made Malasada donuts.
This mom n' pop lunch spot serves local favorites to go. Set in Maui's central valley it's a great place to stop if you're visiting the Ioa Valley.
This hidden gem, is basically in the middle of nowhere. But those who make the trek out to Hali'imaile in the highlands, will be rewarded with some of the island's best cooking.
With an emphasis on local food, you get a real sense of what the island has to offer. Highlights include the Abalone Risotto with Kampachi Bacon and the Surfing Goat Cheesecake for dessert.
It's Hawaiian fusion food done right. This chain may dot the state of Florida, nearly 5,000 miles away, but it still holds its own on Maui.
Now for the holy combination of steak and seafood. That's the specialty here at this open-air, Four Seasons restaurant.