After a long day exploring the natural beauties of the Valley Isle, enjoy the best island fare on Maui’s South Shore. Here are our favorite dinner experiences near and around Kihei and Wailea.
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.
If you’re happy with your meal, tag us @HawaiiIslander on Instagram to share the love.
Feature Image: Morimoto Maui
5 Palms Restaurant
Offering a menu of fresh local fish and produce, 5 Palms boasts breathtaking coastline views as well as a Bloody Mary that’s like a meal and a drink in one. There are two times to catch happy hour every day — 3pm to 5pm and a late night option from 9 pm to 10pm. Open 7am to 2:30pm and 5pm to 9pm. Happy hour is daily 3pm to 5pm and 9pm to 10pm. 5palmsrestaurant.com
Ocean Vodka Farm Distillery
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
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
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
Sure, the Craigslist casual encounter section has closed down, but its spirit is alive and well at Morimoto Maui. Peruse the drink specials while scoping out someone special for yourself. The epic sunsets create quite the vibe. Open every day 12pm to 8pm. morimotomaui.com
This menu serves local beef, fish and produce with a focus on the flavors being as authentic as they are sustainable. Inspired by the plantation era, Ko’s cuisine is a modern blend of various Hawaiian dishes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Open daily 11am to 3pm and 5pm to 8:30pm. korestaurant.com
It’s a sad but true part of life — good service often comes at a cost. Here, however, you can have high quality drinks and pupus at a great value AND great service. Rum drinks like the Crazy Cuban and Painkiller are known crowd pleasers. Happy hour is every day 2pm to 5pm. Open 12pm to 8pm every day. tommybahama.com