Everywhere we ate during our trip to Maui

Our last visit to Hawaii took us to the island of Maui and instead of a quick 24 hour adventure, we had the pleasure of staying for a full week in Lahaina. What better way to chronicle our trip than highlight all the amazing restaurants we dined at during our stay?

This is by no means a “best of list” or extensive guide to everything on the island, but we hope you’ll enjoy this compilation as a reference for your future travels.

Merriman’s Kapalua

One of the highlights of our trip was dinner at Merriman’s in Kapalua. This gorgeous restaurant is perfect for date night or a fancy dinner out. Boasting numerous awards, Merriman’s is a full hospitality experience complete with a prix fixe tasting menu. We snagged a reservation at the bar and loved the live music and ambiance of dinner. Don’t forget to try their signature Mai Tai with honey-lilikoi foam.

Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman

For a more casual meal with the same Merriman hospitality, check out Monkeypod Kitchen. We loved the ahi poke tacos and ocean views. The Ka’anapali location is located in a tourist hub between different resorts and shops, so this is a great stop if you are visiting other attractions in the area.

Kimo’s Maui

Kimo’s is a not to miss dinner spot with great drinks and stunning views, in old town Lahaina. We especially enjoyed the seasonal menu and locally sourced ingredients. Pro tip: enjoy your dinner during sunset and you can continue your evening walking around Old Town’s many art galleries and shops afterwards.

Kihei Caffe – Lahaina

A loco moco is a hawaiian staple but Kihei Caffee offers a fun twist on the classic with an Irish loco moco, (which includes corn beef hash instead of a traditional hamburger). A key reason we loved this casual breakfast spot? They offer a full coffee bar and fresh juices for a perfect start to your day.

Maui Wine

If you venture toward upcountry, be sure to stop for some of Maui’s famous pineapple wine. This sweet wine is made still or sparkling and is perfectly refreshing in the Hawaiian heat. We especially loved the many small bites offered during the tasting experience.

Maui Brewing Co

If you prefer beer over wine, check out Maui Brewing Co. Their location in Lahaina is perfect for a casual family dinner with great service. The chicharrones and beer cheese dip was a clear favorite at our table!

Joey’s Kitchen

Another casual dinner spot we enjoyed was Joey’s Kitchen. Featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-In’s, & Dives”, this restaurant highlights the fusion of different cuisines available in Hawaii.

The Plantation House

We spent one of our afternoons at The Plantation House Restaurant for brunch. This golf club restaurant overlooks the beautiful course. Although it was close to tourist shopping in Whalers Village, the restaurant was quiet and removed from the crowds which made us feel like we stumbled upon a hidden gem.

Maui Nui Luau

We would be remiss to not mention our dinner at the Maui Nui Luau. Although this was undoubtedly a tourist attraction, we were traveling with our young nephews and this luau provided the perfect format for learning about Hawaii’s rich culture. The buffet style meal was delicious and the sunset was spectacular.

Homemade Fish Dinner

Bonus Meal: During our trip Matthew and my brother in law joined my dad for a fishing charter where they caught 17 Mahi-mahi! Much of the fish was sent to a local market to be sold to nearby restaurants, but the rest was taken home to be freshly grilled and made into fish tacos and homemade ceviche.

A Final Word

Clearly, dining at the handful of restaurants above were not the only times we ate during our trip. Many of our meals and snacks were prepared in our Airbnb. If you’ve visited Hawaii, you know that groceries tend to be very expensive. If you haven’t visited, you should plan for these costs accordingly.

At the beginning of our stay, as we were leaving for the luau, our Airbnb neighbors mentioned they had some leftover groceries from their trip and asked if they could leave them with us to enjoy during our stay. We came back to an astounding amount of foods, snacks and drinks left at our doorstep. The generosity was overwhelming.

I share this experience because this grocery haul saved us so much money during our stay. Similar to one of our nephews favorite books, Too Many Mangos, it also served as a reminder about the joy we receive from sharing.

Mālama is the Hawaiian word for “to care for, protect and nurture.” Mālama ka ‘aina means to take care of the land in the same way you would take care of someone you love.

We leave these last words for you as a gentle reminder to be generous and care for others and the land during your trip to Hawaii. As you dine out, remember that our resources are fixed and precious. Remember that while you vacation, the locals caring for you live on the land you are visiting. If you are lucky enough to visit Hawaii, please do so with the spirit of aloha in your heart.


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