Maui is a magical paradise with so much fresh food and gorgeous ocean views! It’s well worth the experience to find the best local places to eat in Maui Hawaii. We spent an amazing week enjoying the fantastic snorkeling, playing in the waves, and eating the exotic tropical food. See more of our adventures on beautiful Maui in our featured 5 Day Maui Itinerary: https://foodieontheroad.com/5-day-maui-itinerary/
1. Star Noodle
The absolute culinary highlight of our trip was Star Noodle in Lahaina. This is by far the best of the local places to eat in Maui Hawaii. On recommendation of the portion of our party that had been in Maui before, we made reservations several months in advance and it was SO WORTH IT.
Between our party of 7 we tried a variety of drinks, entrees, and appetizers. I have to give a shoutout to the fantastic NA cocktail called Ginzu, a very potent and not too sweet ginger yuzu juice sparkling mocktail. Other cocktail highlights were the Celebration, with Passion-Orange-Mango vodka and Yuzu juice, and the Miso Buzzin’, with Roku gin, aperol, miso, honey, and yuzu.
While I can’t speak from personal experience on these, the rest of the party said they were very tasty. The food here was unbelievable. Flavors are avante-garde Asian/high end ramen. Try anything and everything, but especially the Steamed Pork Buns, Teriyaki Chicken, Hot and Sour Soup, Miso Ramen, and Singapore Noodles.
If you don’t object to Poke’ (raw fish), the Ahi Avo was out of this world. Basically you cannot possibly go wrong here. For Maui, prices are surprisingly reasonable too. This is probably why you need reservations months in advance. https://www.starnoodle.com
2. Leoda’s Pie Shop
Leoda’s Pie Shop is the most classic and adorable Hawaiian lunch stop. We had chicken pot pie—unique, fresh, delicious—and a strange combination for dessert of Pineapple Macadamia Nut Pie, which tasted oddly like a tropical Dutch apple pie. The filling is pineapple and a plum type fruit I couldn’t identify, topped with a crunchy nutty streusel type topping. While I’ve never had anything quite like it, it was completely marvelous.
On a second stop, we also tried the decadent Chocolate Macadamia Nut pie which totally didn’t disappoint, but a pro tip is to eat it inside Leoda’s with real silverware as the caramel cookie type crust is tricky to break up…..but worth it. We whacked it into bits and used it to scoop the filling up. Messy and fantastic. This was our first stop of local places to eat in Maui Hawaii, and we liked it so much that we came back.
The adjoining roadside stand sheltered by the most gorgeous monkey pod trees growing in an arch completely covering the road was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. An open air fruit and food stand offers fresh local produce and some unique Hawaiian treats in flavors like Li Ming Hui, Pineapple, Guava, Coconut, and others you’d expect from a tropical island.
Next to this stand was a magical smoothie bus, but it’s manned by the owner only and lines are really long!!! Try anything involving guava and coconut, or classic strawberry banana. https://www.leodas.com
3. The Gazebo
A small out of the way hut by the ocean in one of the older resorts is insanely famous for its decadent pancakes. We waited in line for nearly two hours for a table, and you have to get there at least a half hour before opening to have a chance at getting in. Worth it? Definitely a great experience once you get in, and the pancake toppings are otherworldly. The local made coconut syrup is something quite special and I just couldn’t get enough of it.
Try the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut or Banana Macadamia Nut Pancakes (obviously all these things are local here!), or the Portuguese Sausage or Fried Rice for outstanding savory options. Maui hack—order different things among the party for sharing. The portions are HUGE. We wished we had tried more variety although what we had was wonderful, and worth mentioning on our list of local places to eat in Maui Hawaii. https://www.mauihawaii.org/restaurants/gazebo/
4. Paia Fish Market
Paia Fish Market—This casual fish market dining place was another outstanding food stop to take advantage of the variety and freshness of the local fish options. By all means try the Fresh Catch Plates. The Ono and Snapper were absolutely delicious, and the Seafood Pasta was also outstanding! This was an amazing addition to. our tour of local places to eat in Maui Hawaii. https://paiafishmarket.com
5. Lahaina Ice Cream Parlor
Dole Whip is a refreshing soft serve pineapple sorbet type concoction peculiar to Hawaii. Very tangy and light, a fellow tourist was waxing eloquent about how unforgettable this stuff was so we had to give it a try, and you should too. You will not be disappointed! https://www.lahainaicecream.com
6. Ululani’s Shave Ice
Shave Ice is a peculiarly Hawaiian thing, and is nothing like you expect. Fresh fruit concentrate over finely shaved ice is a vibrant and light dessert, perfect to finish out the evening strolling downtown. Try Ululani’s Shave Ice in a variety of flavors, but I highly recommend “The Best”, which is pineapple, passion fruit, and coconut. https://www.ululanishawaiianshaveice.com
6. Lahaina Pizza Co
Lahaina Pizza Co—This adorable open front ocean view pizza place gave us a great sunset meal with some wonderful deep dish pizza. Try the Shrimp Thermador, with white sauce and fresh mushrooms, spinach, shallots, local shrimp, and sun dried tomatoes. Wow! Another very Hawaiian option was the Sweet Pig—of course, ham and pineapple. We also thought the classic The Works was really good, a more traditional supreme or everything type pizza. https://www.lahainapizzaco.com
7. Artisan Ice Cream
Despite being completely full from dinner in Paia, we managed to make room for Artisan Ice Cream and were so glad we did. Salted Malted Tahitian Vanilla fudge in homemade waffle cone was probably the best ice cream I’ve ever had, and I come from the dairy state! They also make a pretty mind blowing peanut butter chocolate chip cookie which looks like a tiny mountain and is very fudgy and tender. For desserts, definitely a favorite of the local places to eat in Maui Hawaii. https://artisanpaia.com
Address: 40 Baldwin Avenue Paia, HI 96779
8. Sale Pepe
Sale Pepe is an authentic and highly rated Italian restaurant tucked away on a side street in a small strip mall in Lahaina, and turned out to be one of the favorite local places to eat in Maui Hawaii. A very upscale restaurant with a renowned head chef, this one is an award winner. It’s a great place to have some unexpected fresh food with a local twist!
We got really lucky to get a walk-in spot and had a fantastic dinner and upscale relaxed experience. I highly recommend the Spaghetti Neri Con Gamberi Di Kaua’i e Nduja, which was a slightly spicy delicious red based sauce infused with salami paste with local shrimp and squid-ink spaghetti. Another excellent choice is Spaghetti Alla Carbonara, a rich and smoky cream sauce with guanciale and pecorino. https://www.salepepemaui.com
9. Cafe Mambo
Mai Tais at happy hour are a shocking $5, and the party was really excited to get here after a very hot thirsty hiking day! When friends stayed in Paia and explored the upcountry, they had mai tai here every day and rated it high on their best local places to eat in Maui Hawaii. http://cafemambomaui.com
Returning exhausted from a very active snorkeling and hiking day, it was time to resume the Maui Mai Tai tour, tonight featuring the Monkeypod Restaurant at Whaler’s Village. Luckily for non-drinkers, most places will do a mocktail Mai Tai, but they are all super sweet. The party voted these the best Mai Tais.
For food, I tried the pretty adventurous Fish Tacos with mole sauce, but thought the mole was way too strong for the fish which is fresh and delicious. For the standout, try Kalua Pork and Pineapple Pizza, which is weirdly combined with pesto and jalapeños, but totally delicious. For a more traditional option, try the Maui Cattle Company Cheeseburger with local beef. https://monkeypodkitchen.com