Spam, Squid, and More: Maui’s Local Restaurants

Maui is famous for its pretty beaches and a vibe that’s perfect for chillin’ for hours on end.

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Maui is famous for its pretty beaches and a vibe that’s perfect for chillin’ for hours on end. Even better, the amazing views from the top of Haleakala Volcano Park are guaranteed to leave you speechless. In a place like this, you definitely expect the food to measure up — and it does! From casual plate lunch spots to fancy restaurants with celebrity chefs, this Hawaiian island covers all the bases for any random craving. Check out these must-eats.

Local-Style Eats

Colorful sushi rolls sit on a slate platter with floral garnish at Morimoto on Maui

Surfing and snorkeling burn tons of calories — makes you want to hit the water, doesn’t it? — so that probably explains why Maui’s crazy popular “plate lunches” are heaped with a ton of food. Don’t miss the chicken katsu and the Kalua pork, served with a mound of rice and macaroni salad. Prefer to snack? Grab some Spam musubi — think of it as a cheap version of sushi with grilled Spam on top of seasoned rice.

The straight-up hole-in-the-wall known as Honokowai Okazuya & Deli serves up massive portions of all the local faves, including Grandma’s Tofu. You could also pick up some poke or a chopped raw fish salad from the seafood counter at Foodland Supermarkets in Lahaina for a perfect “pupu” (Hawaiian for appetizer).

Amazing Waterfront Dining

View of coastal walkway in Maui where beautiful green grass and palm trees meet the shore of the Pacific ocean on a sunny day.

If you want to be close enough to the sea to feel the spray from the pounding surf, choose a spot like Mala Ocean Tavern. This way popular spot has a wall full of awards for seafood dishes that are the bomb. Try the ahi tartare or the crunchy calamari, and ask for a table near the open-air windows — the spray, remember? Reservations are essential.

Merriman’s is a splurge — but so worth it! Don’t miss the signature Caesar salad with a fried green tomato crouton.
Another excellent excuse to bust your budget, Morimoto Maui combines a great view with first-rate food from the soft-spoken star of “Iron Chef.” Go for the omakase menu to let the chef choose the best of the best for your dinner.

The Day’s Most Important Meal

Spam and eggs, aka Loco Moco, sunny side up with toast on white plate in Maui restaurant

Breakfast is a really big deal on Maui, and macadamia nut pancakes, tropical fruit French toast, and Loco Moco top the list of favorites. Fore! Okay, actually The Plantation House isn’t just for golfers, even though it’s at Kapalua Golf Course and the locals call it “the 19th hole.” Go for breakfast, and try one of the signature eggs benedict dishes or the pineapple upside-down pancakes.

Joey’s Kitchen in Whaler’s Village is possibly one of the best food court restaurants on the planet. It definitely has the island’s most interesting Loco Moco, a belly-filling breakfast dish with rice and a fried burger topped with gravy and a fried egg. Auntie’s at Westin’s Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas takes that signature Hawaiian dish to the next level by adding a super juicy Waygu beef patty. It’s da kine.

Love espresso drinks? Head to MauiGrown Coffee for specialty coffees made with locally grown beans roasted in-house. This casual cafe has a chill vibe, incredible pastries, and free Wi-Fi, so hang loose for at least a cup or two.

Hungry for more? Stop by our Facebook page for awesome advice on the best places to eat around the U.S.

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