Food at Coconut's Fish Café, Maui, Hawaii

Coconut's Fish Café

There's nothing charming about the location of Coconut's Fish Café: located in a shopping plaza in busy Kihei, it is flanked by a diner and a tattoo parlor. However, the long lines attest to the fact that this unassuming little spot serves what many consider to be Maui's best fish taco, served with a delicious mango salsa. (Coconut's is in fact the go-to spot for various fresh, simply prepared seafood, from grilled mahi mahi to coconut shrimp.) Diners order at a counter, then sit at tables made from polished surfboards. There’s an excellent coffee shop a few doors down for a post meal caffeine fix.


The Four Seasons’ most formal dining room, Duo, is one of the finer restaurants on Maui. The mostly steak and seafood house features the exceptionally tender locally raised Kobe-style beef, island seafood and produce, and such comforting options as goat-cheese fritters and Maui onion soup with three-cheese crust. The Duo tartare features both natural beef and locally fished snapper. Tropical flowers decorate the dining room and the tables, which are set with fine china, silver and crystal. Before dining, sit back with a flute of Champagne and take in the sunset over Wailea Beach.

Bar at Ferraro’s Bar & Ristorante, Maui, Hawaii

Ferraro’s Bar & Ristorante

One of the Four Season’s eateries, Ferraro's has an unbeatable seaside setting, with tables overlooking the ocean. Lunch includes a wonderful selection of seafood favorites, like ahi wraps and lobster sandwiches, while the dinner menu morphs into rustic Italian and the ambience is super romantic.

Gannon's Restaurant

Gannon’s Restaurant comes to you from local Maui chef, Bev Gannon, of the beloved Upcountry jaunt Hali’imaile.
Exterior View - Hali’imaile General Store, Maui, Hawaii

Hali’imaile General Store

This wonderful neighborhood joint was founded in 1988 by Bev Gannon, former road manager for Liza Minnelli. After moving to Maui in 1980, she worked as a caterer until starting the Hali’imaile General Store in the middle of a pineapple field in the Upcountry. A half hour’s drive from Wailea, the little clapboard restaurant/general store is well worth the effort it takes to get there. Perhaps the fact that the Maui News voted Gannon the best chef on Maui some years ago says it all. Her menu is eclectic: crab pizza, a raw bar, macadamia-nut-crusted fresh catch, and Paniolo Ribs with mashed potatoes. In short, it puts a creative spin on Hawaiian regional cuisine, and everyone raves about it; our concierge at the Four Seasons called it a must. On any given night, at least a third of the customers are locals. Many sit at the bar, the neighborhood’s social center. After dinner, check out the regional art and pottery that comprise the general-store part of the restaurant. This not only is a good time but also gives you a glimpse of the scene in this part of the island.

Humble Market Kitchin

Nestled off the main lobby of the Marriott’s Wailea Beach Resort sits this modern restaurant from Hawaiian native Roy Yamaguhci.
Food at KO, Maui, Hawaii


Since it opened in 2012, the brightly decorated restaurant at the Fairmont Kea Lani has caught everyone’s attention, winning rave reviews. Ko means sugarcane in Hawaiian, and Chef Tylun Pang focuses on dishes handed down from Maui’s 19th Century sugar cane plantation era, and the various ethnic groups – Hawaiian, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese and Chinese – that populated the island. Portuguese bean soup might be followed by Maui-raised beef ribs in Korean seasonings. Desserts include pão doce frito, fried Portugese sweet bread with coconut gelato and black raspberry jam. Ko also has a popular bar with tempting, not-too-sweet tropical cocktails.

Food at Koiso Sushi Bar, Maui, Hawaii

Koiso Sushi Bar

Maui's best sushi and sashimi is served at this small but acclaimed restaurant, which is also one of Maui's most difficult spot to get into. Like many of the top sushi bars in Tokyo and Los Angeles, Koiso is tucked in the back of a non-descript shopping plaza in Kihei, and the well-lit dining room is nothing special. But the super-fresh, beautifully presented, traditionally prepared fish here is nothing short of extraordinary, and the rice alone will make sushi lovers weep. A white board behind chef Hiro-san lists the day's offerings but it is best to trust his picks and indulge in the omakase here, letting the chef decide on a combination of dishes. Koiso can seat about 15 people, so follow the advice of the locals who told me before my recent trip: "Call as soon as you know your dates on island and take whatever night and time they offer. It's that good."

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Longhi’s first opened in Lahaina in 1976, and while the Lahaina location closed its doors in 2020, their Wailea location continues to grow in popularity.
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Mama's Fish House

One mom-and-pop place that hasn’t vanished is the thirty-three-year-old Mama’s Fish House, a landmark restaurant with an outrageous setting right on the beach. Founded by the Christenson family as a little beach haunt, Mama’s is now run by Karen Christenson Marshall, who has turned it into a giant surf shack, albeit one with food so good, guests staying elsewhere on the island regularly make the trek to eat there. At the helm is Perry Bateman, who has been with the restaurant seventeen years and whose specialty is a coconut ono cooked Polynesian style.

There is always a catch of the day, named after whichever fisherman brings it in, an incentive for them to offer Mama’s a sort of first-refusal right. Asking for a table with an ocean view is a must. The restaurant overlooks a prime windsurfing site, so entertaining water action is invariably happening only yards away. For happy hour, make the rowdy bar scene and indulge in drinks such as the Scorpion: four rums, the juices of tropical fruits, and exotic toppings. If you can’t get enough of Mama’s, you can always rent one of the Christensons’ four retro-Hawaiian-style beachside cottages, with flat-screen televisions and other upscale amenities.)

Editors' Picks
Food at Monkeypod Kitchen, Maui, Hawaii

Monkeypod Kitchen

The name Peter Merriman is synonymous with Hawaiian cuisine; the chef and restaurateur has championed the island cooking style for more than two decades and his empire includes numerous restaurants on Maui, Big Island and Oahu. This venture, opened in the hillsides of Wailea, is large, loud and congenial. There are surf boards suspended from the ceiling, sleek wood paneling and the tables are close together, making diners instantly feel like they are part of the scene (request to be seated upstairs on the terrace). The menu is pure Merriman: full of options that celebrate the local bounty, from Upcountry vegetables and fresh herbs to Keahole lobster and mahi-mahi. The menu is long (burgers, noodle dishes, wood-oven pizzas are all represented), and there are some 35-plus draft ales on tap.

Outdoor dining area at Morimoto Maui in Hawaii

Morimoto Maui

Glorious views of Mokapu Beach, excellent sunsets and incredible sushi are the draw at the Morimoto Maui. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner but the setting is particularly magical and romantic in the early evening around sunset.
Exterior View : Paia Fish Market, Maui, Hawaii

Paia Fish Market

When the Fish Market opened in 1989, Pa’ia was a sleepy fishing town frequented by surfers drawn to Maui’s windy North Shore. Since, a throng of haute boutiques and other trendy restaurants have moved in – but the Fish Market, housed in a bright-turquoise building, remains an institution. The crowd is a nice mix of locals, surfers and visitors; you order at the counter, scope out a seat at the communal benches and wait for your meal to be called. Fish, mostly ahi, mahi mahi and ono, is prepared several ways, from simply grilled to burger and taco form. Sides include homemade cole slaw, crispy onion rings and fries as well as Cajun rice. Everything is fresh and delicious. It’s a great way to end a beachy day up north.

Food at Spago, Maui, Hawaii


The sleek, modern dining room is a good match for the delicious fusion cooking designed by Wolfgang Puck and prepared by executive chef Roger Stettler. Traditional Hawaiian flavors mixed with California Pacific Rim cuisine inspired menu greats such as coconut soup with lobster and whole steamed fish with island spices. A master sommelier will suggest an international vintage to go with whatever you choose for dinner. As if to prove that the Four Seasons hasn’t forgotten families, Puck has even come up with a special children’s menu. The bar and lounge area of this restaurant are an alluring spot to take in the ocean views.

Food at Star Noodle, Maui, Hawaii

Star Noodle

The homemade noodles, steamed pork buns and other pan-Asian specialties have made this a Maui hot spot. The location might be strange (on the edge of an industrial park near Lahaina), but the light-wood space with a large communal table running through its center is congenial and modern. Make a reservation or be prepared to wait, even at lunch. Pre-dinner wait time is made happier with sake cocktails.

Tommy Bahama

Walkable from any of the Wailea properties and located within the Shops of Wailea, Tommy Bahama offers California-Hawaiian-inspired cuisine.

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