Eating Out Strategy
"Where should we eat?" With scores of restaurants competing for your appetite—not to mention your dollars—the very idea of having to choose may seem daunting. But our expert writers and editors have done most of the legwork—the dozens of selections here represent the best eating experiences Maui has to offer. Search "Best Bets" for top recommendations by price, cuisine, and experience. Or find a restaurant quickly; reviews are ordered alphabetically within their geographic area.
Hawaii is an extremely kid-friendly place. The vibe is casual, and even the fancy restaurants have a keiki, or children's, menu, and usually a box of crayons or other diversion tucked away somewhere. Some of the hotel restaurants feature cute-as-a-button "knee-high buffets" for the kids. Take advantage of local treats and experiences such as shave ice and a luau.
Smoking is prohibited in all Hawaii restaurants and bars, including on patios and other outdoor dining areas.
Maui is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. It's always best to make reservations in advance, especially if you're traveling in a group of four or more. If you're determined to go to places like Mama's Fish House or the Old Lahaina Luau, you should make reservations as far in advance as possible. Most other places will do their best to accommodate you, even at the last minute.
What to Wear
Casual clothing works for just about every restaurant on Maui. For dinner at hotels and other upscale restaurants, it's nice to see men in shirts with collars and women in evening resort wear, but nothing dressier is required anywhere. Bring a sweater or cover-up in winter months—many restaurants are open-air and can be breezy.
Hours and Prices
Restaurants on Maui are busiest from 5 to 7, the early-bird-special hours and sunset time. By 8:30 many dining rooms are quiet, and by 10 most are closed. Places with popular bars and karaoke usually keep the kitchens open, too, but serve a limited menu. Unfortunately, many hotel restaurants are expensive and not very good; the best are listed here. To dine well on the cheap, look for coupons in the Maui News, found mostly in the Maui Scene section on Thursday, or check online for coupons at sites such as www.originalcouponbook.com. Or go into Central Maui and enjoy the great ethnic restaurants where locals eat. Many upscale restaurants offer discounts of up to 50% during slow months (September through November). As for tipping, 18% to 20% is considered standard for quality service.