After a day’s adventure on Maui, you’ll have certainly worked up an appetite. Maui’s food scene includes a wide range of options and we’ve included some of our long-time favorites as well as a few relatively new spots that we can’t get enough of. Every one of them will leave you satisfied and fortified for the next day’s fun.
But wait, there’s more. We’re here to help demystify some of the unusual words you might see on menus like furikake, laulau and lilikoi — and explain which meat is being served and why. And possibly most importantly of all, provide the fun facts on the origins of local dishes. We have cross-checked our picks with top sites like Maui Magazine, Pride of Maui and Tripadvisor to make sure we’re offering the best poke for you to enjoy on Maui.
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Feature Photo: Nuka Maui
When Nuka opened their doors in 2013, they were embraced by Maui’s north shore community. Since then, this intimate, 50-seat Izakaya restaurant and sushi bar has become a favorite of locals and visitors alike. They mill their own rice, which is featured in many of their dishes including the must-try house special nuka roll. Pro tip: lunch is usually easier to get a table; for dinner, be prepared to wait. No reservations. Open Monday through Friday for lunch from 10:30am to 2pm and daily for dinner from 4:30pm to 10pm. nukamaui.com
Born from a love of entertaining and the feeling of sharing warm hospitality with family and friends, Chef Jeff Scheer and his wife Kaili opened this Upcountry gem in August 2021. Specializing in Neapolitan-style sourdough pizza, you’ll find delightful modern takes on traditional Italian dishes such as wood-fired octopus and cioppino with fresh Kauai prawns. Open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday 7am to 2pm and Sunday from 8am to 2pm. Open daily for dinner from 4:30pm to 9pm. restaurantmarlow.com
Ocean Vodka Farm, Distillery, and Cafe
With sweeping views of Maui’s central valley and west Maui mountains, these open air grounds are an ideal spot for a casual sunset dining experience. Try one of their flatbreads with fresh summer rolls or ocean poke nachos paired with a signature cocktail made with the Ocean Vodka that is distilled on-site. Open 11:30am to 7pm. oceanvodka.com
As the name suggests, this is the spot to go for house made ramen, saimin, and udon. The Singapore noodles are always a favorite, and the Lahaina fried soup will have you rethinking your opinion, and indeed definition, of soup. The oceanfront location is a decided improvement from their original location in the nearby industrial area. Open 10:30am to 9pm. starnoodle.com
The fresh ahi poke tacos in crispy wonton shells are worth coming here on their own. Monkeypod also has a hefty selection of beers on tap, delicious locally sourced small plates, and hand tossed kiawe wood fired pizzas. The daily happy hour (3:30pm to 5pm) is one of the best on the island and the sunsets aren’t half bad either. Open Monday through Saturday 5pm to 9pm. www.salepepemaui.com
Climb the stairs, (or hop in the elevator if you must) and you’ll find yourself in a large treehouse-esque area with a bar backed by hundreds of glass fishing balls. The decor will draw you in and the food will keep you there. Try a culinary cocktail or explore their extensive wine menu and be sure to order some garlic truffle fries for the table as you peruse the seasonal menu. Their Makai (ocean) section is a good place to look for a new favorite, but leave room for a slice of cream pie. Open daily from 10am to 11pm with happy hour is 3:30pm to 5pm with live music and food and drink specials. monkeypodkitchen.com
Recognized for their innovative farm-to-table menu, chef Emmanuel Eng creates Asian-American dishes that will etch themselves into your memory. Try the charred tako (octopus), ahi poke and one-ton salad (one-ton chips are a classic local favorite) inspired by traditional Hawaiian family style gatherings that include aunties, uncles, friends, cousins, and often neighbors and surf buddies. Open Thursday through Sunday from 5pm to 9pm. lineagemaui.com
Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar
Chef and owner D.K. Kodama has brought innovative combinations and a contemporary take on sushi to the islands for decades. The menu is extensive, but our favorites include panko crusted ahi sashimi, crispy cauliflower, and mango crab salad hand roll. In addition to their regular dinner hours, they offer early bird specials from 5pm to 5:30pm, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can get your sushi fix with a side of karaoke on Thursdays and Fridays. Open daily from 5pm to 8:30pm. dkrestaurants.com
Did we miss your favorite restaurant?
Our always-hungry team of foodies have compiled this list.
Please let us know if we’ve missed your favorite firstname.lastname@example.org.