Every traveler to Maui should indulge in some of the island’s amazing cuisine, featuring Hawaiian specialties likes fresh fish and mixed plates, as well as little known spots to check out to leave the crowds behind and dine like a local. Here are the top can’t miss places to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner as you eat your way across the island:
Best Breakfast Bets
Heading back from a sunrise hike at Haleakala? Make sure to stop at Komoda Bakery in Makawao. The family owned and operated bakery has been a local favorite since it opened in 1916. Specialties include guava-filled doughnuts, legendary cream puffs, chocolate Chantilly cake, and stick doughnuts. Lines often form by 7 a.m. and the goods sell out by 10, so make sure to go early to sample these legendary treats!
Named best bakery by Maui News, Stillwell’s is a great option if you’re near the airport. They’ve got your usual pancake and egg options, but be sure to try a cream horn or the creme brulee for a memorable sweet breakfast before catching your flight out of Kahului.
Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop
If you want both sweet and savory options, Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop is your best bet. Try something classic with a twist, like the seared Ahi eggs benedict, or go for a pie highlighting local flavors, like Olowalu Lime. This is one of the best hidden gems in Maui, so be sure to stop by as you head to Lahaina, and take a pie for the road.
Amazing Lunch Spots
Aloha Mixed Plate
An ode to Hawaii’s multicultural past, in which plantation workers often shared Japanese, Filipino, Korean and traditional Hawaiian cuisine with one another, the mixed plate has endured to become one of Hawaii’s favorite lunch meals. Comprised of two scoops of rice, a scoop of macaroni salad, the some form of protein (whether pork, chicken or fish), this plate is a winner. The New York Times described Aloha Mixed Plate like this: “Paper plate meets million dollar view.” Located on the waterfront in Lahaina, go for the laid back vibe and the Ali’i Plate (traditional pork wrapped in taro leaves and roasted in an underground oven) and spend the afternoon on the beach afterwards.
A local favorite located in Wailuki, Sam Sato’s has a great selection of plate lunches and noodle dishes. Teriyaki beef sticks and dry mein are can’t miss eats here. Sam Sato’s is only open for breakfast and lunch, so be sure to come before closing time at 2 pm.
Geste Shrimp Truck
Voted best food truck two years running, Geste is where you’ll want to go when you get hungry hanging out at Kahului Beach. Be sure to try the shrimp plate with crab salad and rice—you can choose your flavor of shrimp, from spicy pineapple to Hawaiian scampi. Get there early before they sell out!
Eskimo Candy Seafood Market & Deli
Eskimo Candy is a local favorite for fish and plate lunch specials. Try the local plate lunch with battered fish, the crab cakes, or the Poke bowl. You can also buy your seafood here to cook at home.
Hawaii Tasting Tours
Mixing history, culture and great food into an evening event, Hawaii Tasting Tours is a good way to shake up your restaurant routine and feed your five senses with something new. Guided walking tours allow you to experience the best cuisine at local favorite restaurants around Maui. This is a fun way to explore the island and learn from a local.
Coconut’s Fish Cafe
Honored by both CNN and Travel & Leisure as a top spot to eat like a local in the U.S., Coconut’s Fish Cafe has some of the best seafood in all of Hawaii, and at reasonable prices. Try the fish tacos or a fish burger featuring some of the best local fish, like Mahi Mahi, Ahi or Opakapaka. This is a great laid back spot with a beach vibe perfect for the whole family.
One of the most innovative restaurants on Maui, Da Kitchen has been featured on the Food Network and has also cooked for the first luau at the White House. Serving big portions of traditional Hawaiian food, favorites at Da include the Fried Spam Musabi and the Chicken Katsu Plate.
Old Lahaina Luau
Because no trip to Hawaii is complete without a traditional luau, be sure to visit Old Lahaina for the authentic experience of dancing and feasting. A plentiful buffet lets you sample traditional Hawaiian foods, and outdoor seating lets you take in the show along with the sunset.
Saved Room for Dessert?
Ululani’s Shave Ice
If you’ve still got room for dessert, head to Ululani’s Shave Ice for a local treat. Shave ice is a Hawaiian favorite, and Ululani’s is tops because they’ve got the most flavors and serve gigantic portion that are perfect for sharing. Just watch out for cold freeze setting in!