SOUTH MAUI DINING GUIDE

Dining in Maui

Whether you are dreaming of Maui’s aromatic mangos, buttery avocados, organic produce, free range meats, or the freshest of seafood – we have compiled a guide of our favorite local hotspots for your dining pleasure. This is by far not an extensive list and you can find any number of dining guides on line, but we hope this helps you find what you are looking for during your stay on Maui!

Check out our selections and be sure to let us know if you have any you think we should add!

SURFSIDE DELI  ( $ ) 
This old-school locals’ lunch joint is more than a hidden gem, it’s a local treasure. They don’t advertise, their sign is faded and nondescript, and their approach is as basic as it gets: cook up deep trays of four or five incredibly tasty entrees (shredded pork, turkey, chicken adobo, mashed potatoes, etc.), and serve until you sell out. Favorites vanish early in the lunch rush. Johnson, co-founder and proprietor (along with his wife, Vicki) is usually around – check out his surfing photos. Island Surf Building, next to the bicycle shop.

MAUI BREAD COMPANY  ( $ ) 
In the mood for a quick bite or just some fresh bread? Make sure to check out Maui Bread across the street from KAM III beach. You can drive all over the island and you will be hard pressed to find better bread than in this local shop.

KIHEI CAFFE  ( $$ ) 
You just can't go wrong at Kihei Caffe. Even if you're thinking of a very normal breakfast like bacon and eggs, you can't get anything non-extraordinary here!  Counter-serve cafe & patio is a local go-to for breakfast deals including omelets & cinnamon rolls.

MATTEO’S OSTERIA  ( $$ ) 
A hidden gem in the heart of Wailea Town Center, Matteo’s Osteria has a warm and hip ambience that feels as if it were transported to Matteo's home town in Italy. An inviting dining room, open kitchen and a lively wine bar greet you. Featuring 64 wines by the glass, and a canteen filled with hundreds of hand-selected bottles from around the world. Sample the diverse offerings from their seasonally inspired menus; dine al fresco on the patio or enjoy a spritz and stuzzichini at the bar. Walk in the door and their family is your family!

MANOLI’S PIZZA COMPANY  ( $$ ) 
The fare at Manoli’s is centered on fresh, organic, and sustainable products whenever possible in crafting all of their pizzas, salads, and even when choosing the wines on their list. Manoli’s is where healthful, flavorful foods and beverages come together in a place where friends and family meet.

KINAOLE GRILL FOOD TRUCK  ( $$ ) 
While there are too many food trucks on the island to list them all here – this one located in Central Kihei is one of our favorites. The main course is accompanied by one of the better salads that you’ll ever find from a food truck and a side of herb rice. Grab your plate and a drink and walk across the street to Kam III beach.

SOUTH MAUI FISH COMPANY  ( $$ ) 
We’re not especially fond of food trucks, and Maui suddenly has a fleet of them. South Maui Fish Company isn’t exactly a truck – it’s stationary, with an always-engaged barbeque alongside. Its physiology and form are irrelevant in the presence of absolutely splendid fish tacos and other fresh ocean fare. The co-owner does the fishing, and they cook until sold out. Poke and ceviche are also amazing, but the fish tacos will bring you back. Up from the Union 76 Station on South Kihei Rd.

DA KITCHEN  ( $$ ) 
When you’re really hungry and want to eat like the locals – huge portions of fish or chicken, juicy burgers, Kalua pork, and traditional Hawaiian “grinds” like Loco Moco, and similarly filling fare -- there is no place like Da Kitchen. This unassuming dine-in and take-out landmark serves up basic, good-tasting “plate lunch” and dinners in very happy quantities, and they know how to do it. Well hidden, below Café O’Lei, by the liquor store.

KAMANA KITCHEN  ( $$ ) 
In the mood for something with a little more spice? Kamana Kitchen offers freshest food made from traditional homemade recipes and choice spices utilizing the finest handpicked ingredient found both here and abroad. All its dishes are freshly made right after you place you orders and will customize to satisfy every palate’s request.

CAFÉ O’LEI  ( $$ ) 
Nightly excellence on display, with an incredibly varied dinner menu, and the best value on the island at lunch. Dinner brings generous portions of wonderfully prepared fish and meats, with signature sauces. We’ve never had a bad meal here. There’s another restaurant within a restaurant, an independent sushi bar that equals its counterpart’s superior standards. With their volume, we don’t see how they do it, but day in, day out, Café O’lei rules South Kihei. Upstairs, near the liquor store on South Kihei Rd

NALU’S SOUTHSHORE GRILL  ( $$ ) 
Quickly becoming an island favorite, this relative newcomer sparks the mood with its full-scale, casual island motif, then satisfies with a super-tasty lineup of burgers, fish, salads, and sandwiches. Counter ordering, table delivery. The staff is friendly and efficient, the atmosphere relaxing, the food excellent. Full bar and great Hawaiian entertainment most evenings after 6 pm. In Azeka Center, next to Ace Hardware.

THAILAND CUISINE  ( $$ ) 
The genuine item, with an extensive menu of classic Thai cuisine – including traditional favorites -- in an authentic setting that is an extension of the thoughtful and flavorful preparation. Conservative spicing, but they’ll amp it up upon request. Service can be spotty and sometimes rushed, and pricier than the mainland, but the food is the thing. Next to Starbucks, South Kihei Rd.

AMIGOS  ( $$ ) 
The best and most consistent traditional Mexican restaurant in Kihei, with a well-rounded menu of favorites. Friendly wait staff, and the menu lacks nothing. Their daily burrito special is a great value. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a full bar. Located near Longs Drugs on S. Kihei Rd.

KA’ANA KITCHEN (breakfast)  ( $$$ ) 
Don’t even think about calling this morning feast inside the Andaz Hotel a buffet. It’s true that familiar food islands present the goods, but the similarity ends there. Chefs stand by to craft omelets, griddle pancakes, and otherwise answer every whim with incredible eats. From the healthiest bran, oats, and fruit, to the most decadent pork belly bacon, I can think of nothing they’ve left out of this most elaborate spread. The variety of flavorful concoctions (rich Macadamia Nut Pancakes, for example) and convections poses a blatant challenge to your ability to consume – bring your appetite and leave any semblance of will power at the door.

NICKS FISH MARKET  ( $$$ ) 
Tucked beneath the stars and enveloped in the elegance and grandeur of Wailea’s Fairmont Kea Lani, Nick’s is a go-to favorite of local and tuned-in visitors alike, whether indulging in a special-occasion or celebrating Maui’s locally-grown and raised fare presented as only they can do it. Magical sauces and accents and locally-caught seafood make Nick’s a great fish house, but the menu has even greater depth. Like wine? Love Nick’s.

GANNON’S   ( $$$ ) 
Voted one of the Top 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in America, Gannon’s Restaurant in Wailea is a celebration of the classic dishes for which Chef Beverly Gannon is best known from her award-winning Maui restaurants and contemporary dishes inspired by the fresh local ingredients of Hawaii. The outdoor lanai features panoramic ocean views and spectacular sunsets and The Red Bar is always a lively gathering spot featuring an extended Happy Hour and live music on the weekends. Open daily, Gannon’s Restaurant is the perfect spot in Wailea for those looking for something unique and off-the-beaten-tourist-path.

DUO STEAK AND SEAFOOD ( $$$ ) 
For a little more upscale dining experience, the award-winning chefs take centre stage, expertly preparing a diversity of steak and seafood masterpieces, including Durham Ranch all-natural beef. Further your experience with a refreshing specialty cocktail or order from the impressive international wine list. A private dining room near the picturesque waterfall pool is the perfect setting for small parties.

SARENTO’S ON THE BEACH  ( $$$ ) 
Our vote for South Maui’s most romantic dining experience. The trades flow off the surf of Keawakapu Beach 50 feet away, wafting through an open-window setting. Sunsets are wonderful (but can be warm), but any time of the day you pick is amazing here – even breakfast, a big winner. A notoriously attentive staff enhances a full-bodied dinner menu of artfully prepared seafood and meat, with grand desserts to follow. Consistently excellent and satisfying in every way.

RUTH’S CHRIS   ( $$$ ) 
If you haven’t indulged in this classic marque lately and island fare has left you longing for a deeply substantial meal, Ruth’s Chris is a great option. The steaks are still as buttery soft and flavorful as you remember, and the sides just as magical. Located at the Shops at Wailea.

TOMMY BAHAMA’S  ( $$$ ) 
A lively indoor-outdoor setting with a high-energy tropical vibe and an array of great tropical drink options to support a wonderfully varied menu, Tommy Bahamas flows around its centerpiece island bar. Upscale island vibe, with a classic selection of tasty meats and fish. Shops at Wailea.

THE RESTAURANT AT THE HOTEL WAILEA  ( $$$ ) 
Hawaii’s first and only Relais & Châteaux restaurant, The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea offers relaxed elegance infused with creative island-to-table cuisine. Menus are created around what is readily available from Maui’s own farms and fisherman ensuring that each dish is prepared using only the finest local, seasonal and artisanal products; including those grown in the restaurant’s own garden and farming operation.


A short list of restaurants that are outside of the Kihei / Wailea area - but worth stopping in if you are in the area while touring this beautiful island.

THE MILL HOUSE  ( $$ ) 
Venture out of Kihei toward our business district (Wailuku), and you’ll find the Maui Tropical Plantation, worth a stop and look during the daytime for its variety of local plants and vegetation. That stroll through the plantation is also a preview of the menu: the “farm to table” approach focuses on ingredients grown and raised on site. Maui’s abundance of rich, local ingredients and this staff’s evident knowledge of just what to do with them has created a rising star. A thoroughly appetizing concept in a very cool location. 1670 Lower Honoapiilani Hwy, 5 miles from the north end of Kihei Road.

A SAIGON CAFÉ  ( $$ ) 
Another local favorite, the established restaurant has been delighting customers since 1993. With a reputation for quality ingredients, jovial service, and a fair price, this is definitely one to check out if you are in Wailuku.  The menu is packed with your favorite Vietnamese dishes - many with a local flair to go along with the fresh ingredients from the area.

KULA BISTRO  ( $$ ) 
Located on the majestic slopes of Haleakala in beautiful Upcountry Maui, Kula Bistro offers fresh, flavorful cuisine in a casual family-style setting. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the bistro specializes in homestyle food with an Italian flair. Menu items range from classic entrées and local favorites to authentic pastas and pizzas. A decadent selection of homemade desserts and pastries are crafted daily.

MAMA’S FISH HOUSE  ( $$$$ ) 
Make a night of it at Maui’s famous and enduring ocean front eatery, a lush visual and culinary experience that spares no effort or ingredient in a fully-engaged collaboration to create a memory, not just a meal. Mama’s culture is rooted in its’ founders’ extensive travel throughout Polynesia, and the delights they discovered. Fresh fish is inherent in that approach, and local fishermen assure that the tradition is ongoing. Creative libations, great views, and superior service, in a dining experience meant to play out over time. Located on Maui’s North Shore, 2.5 miles past the town of Paia.