Eat Where the Maui Locals Eat

The best way to discover just where to eat on vacation, is to discover just where the locals go. We have put together a list of some of the top food joints Maui locals frequent. Though many of these eateries are in no way fancy, they are in every way ono (delicious), and will more than likely become your favorites too!

Aloha Mixed Plate

Aloha Mixed Plate

Aloha Mixed Plate is where locals and tourists go to get their fix of the best "local grindz.". The mixed plate (for which this restaurant was named) is what the place is famous for. This local favorite consists of a main dish with two scoops of rice and macaroni salad. Plantation workers would break for lunch, and it was this delicious mix of local foods, that became their favorite. A mix of Japanese, Filipinos, Chinese and Hawaiian workers came together to share their lunches. The "mixed plate" was born!

This outdoor restaurant sits right on the water in Lahaina, and features some of the best views Maui has to offer. The tropical and casual ambiance is everything you want in a restaurant.

Try their award winning "Coconut Prawn" mixed plate with pineapple chutney, or their signature Ali`i Plate which includes traditional Lau Lau (pork wrapped in taro leaves), Kalua Pua`a and Cabbage, Lomi Lomi Salmon, Poi, Mac Salad, Rice and Haupia for dessert.

Location: 1285 Front Street Lahaina, HI 96761
Phone: 1-808-661-3322
Tamura`s Fine Wine & Liquors (Come for the Poke!)

Tamura`s Fine Wine & Liquors (Come for the Poke!)

Tamura`s is located in the industrial district of Lahaina, and has one of the best selections of specialty beer, wine, liquor, cigars and the BEST selection of Poke on the island.

If you haven`t tried Poke, now would be the time and Tamura`s would be the place to go. Poke is a local favorite and there are a large variety of ways it can be prepared. Poke is fresh Ahi (Sashimi grade) that is prepared with sea salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, Maui Onions and other ingredients.

With over ten different varieties to choose from, you`re sure to become a fan of Tamura`s award winning Poke!

Besides Poke, Tamura`s is the place to go to get some of the best deals and all things alcohol. Be sure to stock up when you get to Maui.

Location: 226 Kupuohi Street Lahaina, HI 96761
Phone: 1-808-667-9000

Sam Sato`s

Sam Sato’s is located in Wailuku, but is well worth the drive! Sam Sato’s is an institution on Maui, and is probably one of the most popular restaurants for locals. Sam Sato’s is not fancy by any means; they do not serve a giant menu but they do serve the BEST “Dry Noodles” you will ever have! If you have never tried Dry Noodles, now is the time. Sam Sato’s serves up their house made noodles, fried with char siu, been sprouts, green onions and a bowl of dashi on the side. Sometimes it is the simple things that prove to be the most memorable. This spot is one of them.

This counter-service restaurant serves both breakfast and lunch, but it is the lunch that you should not miss.  While on that side of the island, be sure to reserve a bit of your day for Sam Sato’s.  The hours are from 7 am to 2 pm.

Location: 1750 Wili Pa Loop Wailuku, HI 96793
Phone: 1-808-244-7124

Honokowai Okazuya & Deli

This fabulous cash only eatery is usually filled with locals. If you are not looking for it, you will probably will miss it. Located in a small shopping center on Lower Honoapiilani Rd, this small eatery is one of the best hidden gems on the island.

Okazuya serves primary local dishes, served with the classic side of rice and mac salad. Their Mahi Mahi Lemon Caper Sautee is to die for! Also, try their famous Chicken Katsu or Korean Style Chicken B-B-Q.

Take a break from all the fancy restaurants on Maui, and see where the locals eat! We can promise you this will be one of your new go-to eateries.

Location: 3600 Lower Honoapiilani Rd Lahaina, HI 96761
Phone: 1-808-665-0512
The Gazebo

The Gazebo

While The Gazebo has its fair share of tourists, locals seem to know the secret to dining at this oceanfront restaurant-get there early! The line can get pretty long, so we suggest getting there as early as you can.

Located on the point of Napili Bay, The Gazebo is in walking distance from the villas. Open from 7:30 am to 2 pm, this nostalgic restaurant is famous for their pancakes. Try their Mac Nut Pancakes, White Chocolate Mac Nut and Banana Mac Combo.

Pancakes are not the only thing they do right; everything at the Gazebo is comforting, filling and absolutely delicious!

This an open-air restaurant, and there is nothing more tropical than the sensation of soft trade winds caressing your skin during your meal. With views of world famous Napili Bay and neighboring islands, the Gazebo is well worth the wait.

Location: Napili Shores Condos 5315 Lower Honoapiilani Rd Lahaina, HI 96761
Phone: 1-808-669-5621
Ululani`s Hawaiian Shave Ice

Ululani`s Hawaiian Shave Ice

Let us state the simple truth – there is no better shave ice in the world than that at Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice. You have had a snow cone on the mainland?  Sorry, no competition. Nothing compares.

Ululani’s awards are endless. Year after year, Ululani continues to win the title of, “best shaved ice on the island.” Their homemade syrups and creative add-ons are nothing short of heavenly. With dozens of flavors, and premium island made ice cream to add to the bottom, it is tough to refrain from that second helping!

Try their “No Ka Oi,” a combination of coconut, mango and lilikoi. Add Roselani’s premium macadamia nut ice-cream, and toasted coconut to the top.

Or, try their “Haleakala,” a creation of coconut and leche flavor, topped with sweetened condensed cream.

With over six locations on the island, you are never too far away from one of the best treats on Maui. Two of their locations are located on Front Street in Lahaina.

Phone: 1-808-877-3700
The Honolua Store

The Honolua Store

Originally built in 1929, the Honolua Store served workers on the plantation that once occupied the Kapalua grounds. This historic building is now home to one of, if not the most beloved landmark on all Maui.

Today, you can find gifts, wine, gourmet food, groceries, cosmetics, apparel, an espresso bar and bakery, a full service deli, and more.

What draws locals and returning visitors to the Honolua Store each and everyday, is the large variety of delicious food served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When you see the line of locals, you know the food must be good.

We recommend taking a stroll down to the Honolua Store in the morning, grabbing some items for breakfast, and enjoying those on their beautiful lanai. This is also a good time to pick some Spam Musubi. Their Spam Musubi sells out by lunchtime, and is a local favorite! You have to try this at least once on your vacation.

The traditional lunches are also fantastic; part of that menu changes daily. A local Friday favorite is their Kalua Pork and Cabbage.

The Honolua Store is located just a quick walk down from your villa on Office Road.

Location: 502 Office Road Lahaina, HI 96761
Phone: 1-808-665-9105
Star Noodle

Star Noodle

Star Noodle is located in the industrial district of Lahaina, and is a “must do” while vacationing on Maui. This award winning noodle house has a huge following, with both locals and visitors. Their homemade noodles and creative Asian dishes will succeed in exciting all your senses!

Star Noodle is open for lunch and dinner from 10:30 am to 10:00 pm.

We recommend the Vietnamese Crepe, Steamed Pork Buns and Malasadas with decadent dipping sauces for dessert. However, you cannot go wrong with anything on the menu.


Location: 286 Kupuohi St Lahaina, HI 96761
Phone: 1-808-667-5400
The Coffee Store in Napili

The Coffee Store in Napili

Stepping into The Coffee Store in Napili, feels like stepping into your favorite coffee shop back home. The ambiance is warm, the staff is friendly and the coffee and baked goods are phenomenal! Every morning you can expect to see the regulars; Maui surfers getting back from the morning swell or friends just catching up and "talking story."

Get away from the crowds and indulge in one of their signature coffees or sweet delights!

Location: 5095 Napilihau St. Napili, HI 96761
Phone: 1-808-669-4170
Maui Prime

Maui Prime "Steamer Pots"

One of our all-time favorite meals comes from Maui Prime, located in Lahaina. The locals will tell you that Maui Prime sells some of the best seafood and meat on the island. They are equally famous for their "Maui Steamer Pots." These pots are designed by you, and filled with a variety of fresh seafood, corn, sausage and more. They also come with a baguette and you even get to keep the pot. Our personal favorite steamer pot includes fresh shrimp, lobster, crab, scallops, corn and sausage with a white wine broth.

Once you design your pot, simply take it home to boil, or boil on the grill at the beach, and enjoy! What we love most is how versatile this meal is. We like to cook ours at home and then enjoy it during sunset at Kapalua Bay. Maui Steamer Pots are perfect for a special occasion, or just a casual dinner in your favorite Maui location. We promise you, this is a meal you will never forget.

Location: 142 Kupuohi St. F7 Lahaina, HI 96761
Phone: 1-808-661-4912
A Saigon Cafe

A Saigon Cafe

A Saigon Café is one of the most popular Asian restaurants on Maui. This unassuming restaurant has gained attention from all over the world, including Rachel Ray.  If you are planning on visiting the other side of the island, or flying home from Kahului airport, we strongly suggest stopping by and enjoying an unforgettable meal.

The prices at A Saigon Café are very affordable, which means you can sample many items on their menu. You cannot leave the restaurant without trying their famous “Vietnamese Burritos.” This is by far their most popular dish on the menu, and was even featured on The Food Network. We also recommend the Fried Spring Rolls and their Flat Rice Noodles with Chicken. There are far too many dishes to mention, the best thing to do is sample their menu yourself!  

Location: 1792 Main Street Wailuku, HI 96793
Phone: 808-243-9560

T Komoda Store and Bakery

If you ask any local on Maui where the very best place to get Malasada’s would be, they would tell you T Komoda Store and Bakery. If you aren’t familiar with Malasadas, they are Hawaii’s form of a doughnut- but better! Malasada’s are a Portuguese doughnut but without the hole. They can be filled with a variety of fillings including haupia (coconut), guava, chocolate and more.

T Komoda Store and Bakery is located up country in historic Makawao Town and on any given morning you will find the line out the door of hungry customers eager to purchase their famous, warm Malasadas. A trip to T Komoda Store and Bakery is a trip worth taking.

Location: 3674 Baldwin Ave Makawao, HI 96768
Phone: 808-572-7261

The Tasty Crust

The Tasty Crust hands down takes the title of the “neighborhood diner” of Maui. You won’t find a lot of frills, no fancy menu or décor, but you will find some of the most delicious comfort food and traditional diner menu favorites, but with an island spin. The Tasty Crust is a legend on Maui, and has even been showcased on Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown.”

We recommend coming for breakfast and trying their famous Banana Pancakes, or the very popular island favorite, the Loco Moco. The Loco Moco consists of white rice, topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg and gravy.

If you want to get away from all the tourist and dine where the locals eat, it can’t get more local than the Tasty Crust.

Location: 1770 Mill Street Wailuku, HI 96793
Phone: 808-244-0845