Maui

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Of all of the Hawaiian islands, Maui is known to have the best, albeit most expensive, restaurants. You’ll find Maui’s most famous locally grown foods – Kula goat cheese, upcountry tomatoes, and, of course, Maui pineapple and onion – integrated into menus across the island. At lunchtime, make for one of Maui’s non-descript shopping centers in search of joints that serve tasty plate lunches – a popular Hawaiian dish that combines two scoops of white rice, a scoop of macaroni salad, and a meat entrée.

Top Restaurants in Maui

Flatbread Company

Homemade pizza gets socially responsible at this laidback eatery in Paia. The dough, made with nothing more than spring water, organic flour, kosher salt, and cake yeast, is baked in a wood-fired clay oven, while organic tomatoes, fresh herbs, and other natural ingredients jazz up the sauce. Toppings include free-range chicken and nitrate-free pepperoni.

89 Hana Hwy., HI, 808-579-8989, www.flatbreadcompany.com
Tags: moderate | pizza

Grandma's Coffee House

Organically grown in the fertile, volcanic soil on the slopes of Haleakala, a cup of Grandma's Maui Coffee - roasted on site - is a must for java aficionados. The bright, cheerful eatery also offers rotating lunch specials like beef stew and chicken curry. Sandwiches, loaded with fresh Kula vegetables, are perfect to pack for a hike.

153 Kula Hwy., Kula, HI, 808-878-2140, www.grandmascoffee.com
Tags: family | budget | great value | diner

Humuhumunukunukuapua'a

Brilliant sunset views add to the romantic ambiance of this resort standout (named after the state fish) that serves beautifully plated Polynesian and Hawaiian-inspired cuisine to diners in thatched huts over a saltwater lagoon. The seafood is excellent and fresh-you can even select your own lobster straight out of the lagoon.

3850 Alanui Dr., Wailea, HI, 800-888-6100, www.grandwailea.com
Tags: seafood | expensive | waterfront | patio

Joe’s Simply Delicious Food

Celebrity Chef Beverly Gannon's famous flagship restaurant is a tribute to comfort food (seafood pot pie is a staple) and her rock n' roll stage-designing hubby, Joe. The airy, deck-like interior is clothed in wooden planks and features panoramic views of the Pacific and Haleakala, as well as a 43-foot-long copper bar handcrafted by a local Maui artist. The meat loaf, pork chop, and ribs, when paired with a dirty martini, are as fantastic as the fresh fish special. Don't miss the chocolate bread pudding for dessert.

131 Wailea Ike Place, HI, 808-875-7767, www.bevgannonrestaurants.com/joes
Tags: moderate | notable chef | views

Ko Restaurant

Ko is the Hawaiian word for sugarcane, the emblem for this inspired restaurant that celebrates Hawaii's unique, multi-ethnic culinary tradition - a blend of Filipino, Japanese, Portuguese, Hawaiian, Chinese, and Korean influences. Chef Tylun Pang, a Hawaiian native with experience working around the globe, finds harmony in these diverse cuisines with savory offerings like shichimi with an orange-ginger miso sauce and a zesty tofu stir-fry featuring vegetables grown in Kula.

4100 Wailea Alanui Dr., HI, 808-875-4100, www.fairmont.com/kealani
Tags: asian

Lahaina Grill

Lahaina Grill is a permanent fixture on lists of "Best Maui Restaurants," and for good reason. Inventive offerings like Maui onion-crusted seared ahi and Kona-coffee-roasted lamb paired with fine wines (choose from 350 vintages) please sophisticated palettes. Chef-owner Jurg Munch likes to use fresh, locally grown produce to create the bistro's specials. Don't skip the from-scratch triple berry pie.

127 Lahainaluna Rd., HI, 808-667-5117, www.lahainagrill.com
Tags: expensive | hawaiian

Mala Ocean Tavern

Spectacular oceanfront views and light Mediterranean-influenced plates like seared tombo bruschetta and beet and Kula goat cheese salad are the highlights of this Lahaina eatery. True to their menu concept - small plates, organic whenever possible, whole grains, no preservatives, and no hydrogenated oils - the food is tasty and healthy to boot.

1307 Front St., Lahaina, HI, 808-667-9394, www.malaoceantavern.com
Tags: moderate | editor pick

Mama's Fish House

This local hideaway set in a coconut grove on a white-sand beach near Pa'ia town is hands-down one of the island's best seafood restaurants. Old Polynesia lives in the décor, warm service, and especially in the cuisine: Try the opakapaka marinated in coconut milk and lime, Tahitian-style, served in a Maui coconut.

799 Poho Pl., HI, 808-579-9764, www.mamasfishhouse.com
Tags: seafood | expensive | editor pick | smart splurge

Merriman’s Kapalua

Famed chef Peter Merriman helped pioneer Hawaii Regional Cuisine, an approach to food that honors the connection between the farmer, the cook, the community, and the earth. The Maui outpost of Merriman's renowned Big Island eatery presents a candle-lit terrace and largely organic offerings such as Hirabara Farm greens, Kama'aina clams, and fresh-caught ahi sashimi.

1 Bay Club Place, HI, 808-669-6400, www.merrimanshawaii.com
Tags: moderate | seafood | organic

Paia Fish Market

If you're in the town of Paia, don't miss the chance to taste a perfectly grilled fish sandwich topped with coleslaw. A casual atmosphere belies the culinary excellence of this laidback establishment, a longtime favorite of residents and visitors alike. Patrons can chow down while marveling at the beautiful gyotaku prints (an ancient oriental artwork) of the fish you'll be eating.

2 Baldwin Ave., HI, 808-579-8030, www.paiafishmarket.com
Tags: seafood | local favorite

Pineapple Grill

Mouth-watering aromas waft from the exhibition kitchen at this fabulously designed resort restaurant overlooking lovely golf greens. Fusion dishes such as lobster coconut Thai bisque and furikake-crusted calamari characterize the menu, and the chef strives to incorporate Maui-grown ingredients like poha berries from Kula and pohole ferns from Hana.

200 Kapalua Dr., HI, 808-669-9600, www.pineapplekapalua.com
Tags: seafood | expensive

Pita Paradise

This open-air café, a local favorite, serves up delicious Mediterranean fare like kebabs, falafel, lamb gyros with ziziki sauce, and Italian pasta with jumbo shrimp. The owner catches fresh fish for the daily specials, and the homemade hummus is a must-try. Still have room? Try the baklava ice cream cake.

Kihei Kalama Village, 1913 South Kihei Rd., HI, 808-875-7679
Tags: budget

Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar

One of Kapalua's most noteworthy restaurants, Sansei features D.K. Kodama's imaginative sushi using ingredients such as foie gras and roe aioli. After 10 pm on Thursday and Friday nights, the extravagant sushi rolls and appetizers are half-price - truly an unbelievable bargain. Other island outposts can be found on Oahu and the Big Island.

600 Office Rd., Kapalua Resort, HI, 808-669-6286, www.sanseihawaii.com
Tags: moderate | seafood | hotel restaurant | sushi

South Shore Tiki Lounge

Sold as pies or by the slice, the pizza menu is extensive, but the winner at this kitschy joint is the grilled sausage sandwich. Choose from bratwurst, kielbasa, Portuguese sausage, and more. Wash it down with a cold beer at the bar, and stay to watch Kihei's late night scene unfold on the dance floor after 10 pm.

1913 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei, HI, 808-874-6444, www.southshoretikilounge.com
Tags: budget | pizza

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