We at Maui Trip Guide have certainly made the rounds while dining on the island — many places more than once. Unfortunately, not every popular must-eat spot lives up to the hype.
That’s why we created this list of best eateries on Maui. We’ve vetted each location multiple times, and these are the places that keep us coming back for more.
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Best Maui spots to satisfy a sweet tooth
Dessert first, anyone? We won’t tell.
Artisan Ice Cream
website | 40 Baldwin Ave, Paia | go-to for: ice cream
Without a doubt, Artisan Ice Cream offers the best scoops on the island. A newer addition to Maui’s food scene, the family run ice cream shop opened in 2019. Family members also own longtime Paia mainstay and Mediterranean restaurant Cafe Des Amis — Artisan’s next door neighbor.
At Artisan you’ll find small batch ice cream made with organic ingredients — primarily dairy based, but with some dairy-free and soy-free flavors.
What to try: While they have rotating seasonal flavors, I always come back to their sea salted peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream. It’s a signature flavor that remains on Artisan’s menu year round. And don’t forget to order a waffle cone. They’re delectable: freshly formed with a hint of cinnamon in the batter.
Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread
website | 210 Keanae Rd, Ke‘anae | go-to for: banana bread
I once adjusted my Road to Hana driving plans to accommodate Aunty Sandy’s open hours. It just didn’t seem right to drive the windy highway without stopping for the quintessential island treat. They sell other foodstuffs at the famous family-owned stand, but I have eyes for only one item on their menu.
What to try: The banana bread, of course. Every time I’ve been there I’ve received a soft, warm loaf. There are no nuts, chocolate chips, or other accouterments to contend with. Aunty Sandy’s basic banana bread recipe remains the best.
Cinnamon Roll Place
website | 2463 S Kihei Rd Ste A14, Kihei | go-to for: cinnamon rolls
This tiny mom-and-pop shop gives me nostalgic vibes. I discovered this popular bakery during my first stay on Maui years ago. Every time I visit the island, I make sure to stop in at least once during my stay — usually more. And I’m only slightly embarrassed to reveal that the owners now recognize me.
If you arrive mid-morning, be prepared to wait in line. The Cinnamon Roll place has a loyal following among residents and tourists alike. They also sell coffee and some savory breakfast fare, such as egg and cheese bagel sandwiches, for those who need more than just a sugar rush.
What to try: The cinnamon rolls are both fluffy and gooey, drenched in brown syrupy goodness. Keep in mind that toppings — including cream cheese — are an additional charge. My go-to order is a standard cinnamon roll topped with cream cheese and macadamia nuts. The chocolate banana bread is also worth a taste.
Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop
website | 820 Olowalu Village Rd, Lahaina | go-to for: sweet + savory pie
Leoda’s is a famous Maui eatery among tourists, but it’s no tourist trap. Housed in a plantation style building, Leoda’s kitchen churns out comfort food such as seared ahi sandwiches, cheese steak hoagies, burgers, and hot dogs. But it’s their pie selection that keeps people coming back for more.
What to try: They’re best known for the Olowalu lime pie, a local take on key lime pie. Their chicken pot pie, sold as an individually sized portion, is also worth ordering.
Maui Cookie Lab
website | 140 Ho’ohana Street, Kahului (also mobile) | go-to for: bakery-style cookies
We first stumbled across Maui Cookie Lab while at the Wailea farmer’s market. John’s sweet tooth can’t resist a good cookie, and the colorful cookie display looked too good to resist. We soon discovered that the cookie tasted as good as it looked.
Started as an event catering venture, Maui Cookie Lab in its current incarnation opened its doors as a mobile cookie bar in 2020. Heidi, the owner, has been baking professionally on Maui for 20 years.
What to get: Maui Cookie Lab specializes in classic, fresh-from-the-oven cookies. We love the chocolate chunk with sea salt flavor.
Maui Cookie Lady
website | 3643 Baldwin Ave, Makawao | go-to for: tennis ball-sized cookies
A celebrity Instagram post first led me to the Maui Cookie Lady. I sought out the cookie proprietor at the next Made in Maui County festival, and their cookies soon became a mainstay with every Maui visit thereafter.
Their monstrous 8-ounce cookies are individually wrapped for easy freezing and transport, making them perfect for both on-the-go snacking and gifting to friends and family back home. Maui Cookie Lady takes pride in their use of local ingredients and infusion of tropical flavors that you won’t find at standard bakeries.
What to get: Don’t pass up “The Original,” butterrum triple chunker, which contains three types of chocolate and a subtle buttered rum cookie flavor. I also love their peanut butter perfection and white chocolate macadamia.
Maui Ono Donuts
website | 1819 S Kihei Rd, Kihei (food truck) | go-to for: made-to-order donuts
You won’t find fresher donuts on Maui than at Maui Ono Donuts. Every donut is made to order, guaranteeing you a fresh, warm donut.
We chatted with the owner’s father while we waited for a recent order, and he couldn’t hide his pride for his son’s venture. Maui Ono Donuts was voted one of the top donut shops in the U.S., he boasted, adding that they have the best donuts. Yes, we replied in agreement. We’re frequent customers.
What to get: You can mix and match toppings that include macadamia nuts, rainbow sprinkles, crushed Oreos, and more. My favorite is the maple donut with churro seasoning. The plain chocolate donut is great, too.
Pro tip: Maui Ono tends to sell out early and hours seem to change frequently, so check their social media accounts before driving over to make sure they’re open. Or place an online order to pick up.
Also, donuts here are served hot out of the fryer. Wait a few minutes to let it cool before chowing down after seeing your order hit the pickup window.
website | 1280 S Kihei Rd, Kihei | go-to for: sweet + savory pie
While Leoda’s pies garner more attention as THE place for pies on Maui, I’m partial to the sweet, buttery concoctions from Maui Pie. Don’t be fooled by its strip mall location. The small bakery was named as the best place to get a pie in Hawaii by Buzzfeed. And in 2017, Hawaii Magazine awarded Maui Pie its Best New Restaurant award.
What to get: I don’t know what manner of witchcraft the bakers at Maui Pie use to concoct their blueberry pies. We pick up a blueberry pie on every trip to Maui, and it never fails to impress. The pie somehow balances the subtle sweetness of the berries with its craggy crumble topping. Combined with the buttery crust, Maui Pie’s blueberry dish is close to perfection.
Sugar Beach Bake Shop
website | 61 S Kihei Rd, Kihei | go-to for: warm malasadas
Nestled between Ululani’s Shave Ice and ABC Store, Sugar Beach Bake Shop has made a name for itself with its array of baked goods made from island flavors (think mango, lilikoi, and mac nut) using fresh ingredients. While they carry bakery staples such as sweet and savory pies, scones, breads, muffins, and croissants, Sugar Beach Bakery may be best known for their hot malasadas. Get an early start and prepare to stand in line — they start serving the in-demand fluffy sweets at 6 a.m.
What to get: Start your day with a cream-filled lilikoi malasada and hot cinnamon sugar malasada. The lilikoi cream is creamy and just tart enough to avoid being too sweet, and the warmth of the cinnamon sugar malasada is absolutely mouthwatering.
Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice
website | multiple locations around Maui | go-to for: flavored ice treats
I wasn’t a huge fan of shave ice until I tried the fluffy ice concoctions served at Ululani’s. Their motto is that “all shave ice is not created equal,” which is entirely true. Ululaniʻs uses purified water, 100% pure cane sugar, and natural fruit purees and juices (made in house) for their recipes. And it makes a difference in taste. Thatʻs why theyʻre often rated #1 for shave ice on review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor.
What to get: Try one of their most popular flavor combos, such as sunset beach (passion orange, mango, and guava). Top your shave ice off with fresh mochi or a snow cap (a sweetened condensed milk mix) if youʻre feeling sassy.
Yee’s Orchard & Fruit Stand
facebook | 1165 S Kihei Rd, Kihei | go-to for: mangoes
This blink-and-youʻll-miss-it farm and fruit stand lies along a residential section of South Kihei Road. But the family run stand, a Maui staple since the 1940s, supplies some top quality fruit to both walk-up customers and resort restaurant chefs alike. Just make sure you have green in your pocket when you stop by — Yee’s accepts cash only.
What to get: Without a doubt, donʻt miss Yee’s famous Golden Glow mangoes. Theyʻre soft, sweet, and like no other mango you’ve ever tasted. I’ve even seen Yee’s mangoes occasionally pop up on the Four Seasons Spago menu. Thatʻs how good they are.
Best Maui breakfast spots
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so I do everything I can to make sure itʻs a good one. As a friend once proclaimed, “I have only a limited number of breakfasts left!” While I donʻt like thinking about exactly how many breakfasts I’m destined to have, I do everything in my power to make sure the meal isnʻt wasted on subpar fare.
When Iʻm on Maui, these are my go-to breakfast joints for breakfast meals I wonʻt regret:
website | multiple locations: Kahului, Kihei, Wailea | go-to for: local coffee + breakfast plates
Coffee connoisseurs, start your day off right with a cup of joe from Akamai Coffee. While youʻre there, fill up on something from their breakfast menu. While there isnʻt a ton of selection — avocado toast, egg toast, and breakfast sandwiches are some examples — what they do offer always tastes fresh and satisfying.
What to get: For a heartier meal, try the ham and cheese croissant sandwich (and add egg while youʻre at it). Kitchen service hours may vary, so check with the location if youʻre visiting Akamai for more than just the coffee.
DUO at the Four Seasons Wailea
website | 3900 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea | go-to for: resort breakfast buffet with the best skillet station
DUO at the Four Seasons Wailea may be known for its role as the stunning backdrop to HBO’s first season of White Lotus. But we’ve always thought of it as our go-to fancy breakfast spot. When the hotel isnʻt booked up, you don’t have to be a guest to eat here (which is usually the case, in our experience).
What to get: If you feel like a splurge (you are dining at the Four Seasons, after all), opt for DUOʻs breakfast buffet. Place your juice or coffee order with the wait staff and make a beeline for the skillet station. Order a custom omelet — and donʻt forget the pancakes. John opts for chocolate chips in his, but I prefer macadamia nuts. While you’re waiting, pick up one of their hot sides selections such as sausage, bacon, and potatoes — or even white rice and potstickers!
Island Gourmet Market
website | The Shops at Wailea, 3750 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea | go-to for: deli-style plate breakfasts to go
If you’re looking for a quick, hearty, and relatively inexpensive meal while youʻre in Wailea, head over to the deli counter at Island Gourmet Market. They have an extensive breakfast menu that will satisfy most. Bacon and egg plate? Got it. Breakfast burrito? Yup. They even serve kim chee fried rice and ube pancakes.
Donʻt expect high end fare at Island Gourmet. Iʻd rate the food quality as more akin to greasy spoon diner food. But sometimes thatʻs exactly what hits the spot.
What to get: My go-to is corned beef hash and eggs, which is served with two scoops of rice. It isnʻt the most elegant dish (the corned beef is a bit greasy, but when sopped in rice it’s sublime). But it reminds me of breakfasts I had as a child on the weekend, so I adore it.
For more traditional breakfast fare, the breakfast burrito and island breakfast are both solid selections. If you can handle an even bigger meal, pick up spam musubi from the self-serve cabinet as a side.
website | 1279 S Kihei Rd Ste 301, Kihei | go-to for: coffee + breakfast sandwiches
Java Cafe touts its cold-pressed juice offerings, but Iʻm more impressed by their coffee and breakfast sandwich combo. Located in a strip mall with plenty of other breakfast spots in the vicinity, Java Cafe remains a standout as a casual, breezy cafe for a quality morning meal at a reasonable price.
What to get: Donʻt pass up the breakfast special sandwich with egg, cheese, and bacon. I put it on a croissant, but you can choose your own bread. And for only a dollar more, you can get it with a cup of coffee.
Ka’ana Kitchen at the Andaz
website | 3550 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea | go-to for: resort breakfast buffet with the best fruit and pastries
In the past, John and I have vacillated between Ka’ana Kitchen and DUO as our resort buffet go-tos. After several visits to both locations, we decided that the former maintains a superior pastry and fruit selection, while DUOʻs skillet station exceeds Ka’ana Kitchen (editorial note: post-Covid, custom omelets and egg scrambles must be ordered through your waiter instead of at the buffet). But you canʻt go wrong with either choice. Ka’ana Kitchen may have a slightly better ocean view than DUO, since the Andaz restaurant boasts a higher perch than DUO (which is on the ground level).
Nalu’s South Shore Grill
website | 1280 S Kihei Rd Ste 132, Kihei | go-to for: breakfast plates
Maui residents and tourists rub shoulders at this casual, open-air restaurant. You might even encounter a couple of chickens walking by your table. The food here is always fresh, and the service is always friendly. Weʻve been to Naluʻs so many times that Iʻve tried almost all of their entrees, and Iʻve never been disappointed with a meal here.
This is one of those spots that we never miss when weʻre in town.
What to get: Naluʻs also serves lunch and dinner, but we love them best for breakfast.
Try the Bansai Betty, Naluʻs version of eggs benedict, which is Johnʻs favorite dish. My usuals are the Big Kahuna Omelet (filled with Portuguese sausage, bacon, ham, kim chee fried rice, and cheese) and Island Pancakes, which are topped with pineapple, bananas, and macadamia nuts.
Best lunch and dinner spots on Maui
From walk-up counters to fine dining restaurants, these are the lunch and dinner eateries we come back to time and again:
website | 2511 S Kihei Rd Ste 102, Kihei | go-to for: picnic sandwiches by the beach
Voted best local sandwich by MauiTime, 808 Deli is a walk-up sandwich shop that hits the spot, especially if you’re spending a day at the beach. They serve everything you’d need for a beach picnic: sandwiches, paninis, salads, hot dogs, and sides such as pasta salad and mac salad.
What to get: Grab the toasted wasabi roast beef sandwich if you’re feeling adventurous. Or splurge on a Porkie, 808’s popular pork panini that’s filled with mango salsa, pepper jack cheese, and sweet chili sauce with rye. And while most people rave about the deli’s banana cream pudding, we’re partial to their chocolate chip cookies for dessert.
facebook | 95 E Lipoa St A-104, Kihei | go-to for: curated sushi + sashimi boards
1054 Togoshi is a mom-and-pop sushi spot that feels more like you’ve been invited to the home of a friend (who also happens to be an accomplished sushi chef) than at a restaurant. We have friends who have a standing weekly reservation here. That’s how welcoming the husband and wife team who run 1054 Togoshi are — and how fantastic their sushi is.
There are only about half a dozen tables at this restaurant, so be sure to reserve one in advance.
Read our review of 1054 Togoshi here.
What to get: Start with the edamame and albacore carpaccio. Then choose your favorite sushi or sashimi rolls. Their unagi roll is my favorite. You also can’t go wrong with one of their omakase (chef’s choice) sushi boards.
website | 30 Baldwin Ave, Paia | go-to for: island style fajitas
We like the fun, colorful island vibe at Cafe Mambo. It suits Paia’s artsy beach aesthetic to a tee. Their service is friendly and laid back, and the food is perfect after a day of shopping or snorkeling. Just be sure to arrive hungry, because their portions are generous!
What to get: Come in for Cafe Mambo’s famous crispy duck fajitas. John loves their pork quesadilla.
Cafe O’Lei at the Mill House
website | 1670 Honoapiilani Hwy, Waikapu | go-to for: island fusion dining on a tropical plantation
If you’re looking for a classy restaurant with sub-$40 entrees, Cafe O’Lei at the Mill House is your spot. The interior decor is industrial plantation style (there’s a train car next to the bar). But the real treat is the sweeping view seen from the outdoor patio. In the foreground, admire the ducks swimming serenely on the pond while palm trees sway nearby. A tropical mountain range straight out of Jurassic Park looms in the distance, making this spot the best non-ocean dining view.
And the food is darn good, too.
What to get: Cafe O’Lei’s Maui onion soup will warm up your belly with its flaky puff pastry and endlessly stretchy cheese. I’m also a fan of their macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi.
Coconut’s Fish Cafe
website | multiple locations in Kihei | go-to for: fish tacos
I’m not sure why it took me so long to visit Coconut’s Fish Cafe. It’s been on my list of places to try for years, but I didn’t step inside until 2022.
I admit that I’ve been missing out.
Coconuts Cafe is perfect for casual table dining (or take out) that doesn’t break the bank. Diners order and pay first, before grabbing a table. When your food is ready, a friendly staff member brings it out to you.
What to get: Coconuts Cafe is known for having the best fish tacos on Maui, and I can attest that they don’t disappoint. Coconuts doesn’t skimp on the fish taco filling — in fact, I had to eat some with a fork before I could fold up the taco in half to eat it. And the mango salsa blends perfectly with fish.
Also, try the onion rings. They’re crisp without being too oily. Just bring a few people with you to share, because Coconuts doesn’t skimp on onion ring portions, either.
website | multiple locations in Kahului, Kihei, Wailuku | go-to for: smash burgers
I’m self-conscious to admit that I’ve never heard of a smash burger before visiting Havens. What I’m not self-conscious about? How Havens has solidified itself as one of my must-eat places to eat whenever I’m on Maui.
We always pick up our meal at their original spot in Kihei, which has a hole-in-the-wall vibe since it’s directly adjacent to a gas station convenience store. Havens credits its use of local suppliers and ingredients for the success of its dishes, which I admire. And the burgers are *chef’s kiss* fantastic.
What to get: The Paniolo. Bacon, onion rings, pickles, cheddar cheese, and BBQ sauce top this tasty smash burger (although I personally hold the BBQ sauce). Havens also serves noodles such as sai min and ramin, but I haven’t had a chance to try one of their noodle dishes yet.
website | 1307 Front St, Lahaina | go-to for: dinner with a view
Mala has to be my favorite overall sit down dinner spot on Maui. Finding an open parking spot along Front Street may be a challenge, but I’m willing to engage in parking wars for a taste of Mala Tavern’s taro sweet bread.
The cozy restaurant also features oceanside dining (indoor and out). Don’t be surprised if you see a sea turtle poking its head out of the water nearby.
What to get: Mala Tavern’s sweet taro bread with honey butter is worth every gram of carbohydrates. Their pan-fried mahi mahi is always a treat, while the braised pork shank is an impressive dish if you’re not in the mood for seafood.
Mama’s Fish House
website | 799 Poho Pl, Paia | go-to for: fresh seafood
Whether you consider Mama’s Fish House a tourist trap or not, I’ve always found their service and fresh seafood to be top notch. We come here to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. It’s also the perfect spot for a date night.
What to order: Their menu varies based on what’s caught that day. I recommend their arugula and strawberry salad as a starter. As far as fish entrees, their mahi mahi and ono selections have never disappointed.
website | multiple locations: Lahaina and Wailea | go-to for: mai tai drinks and happy hour
Helmed by Chef Peter Merriman, Monkeypod Kitchen embraces local and organic ingredients for a unique Hawaii food experience. The vibe feels upbeat, lively, and fun — making it the perfect spot to dine with a group.
What to get: They’re known for the Monkeypod Mai Tai. My go-to meal here: bulgogi pork tacos.
website | 2290 Kaanapali Pkwy Ste A, Lahaina | go-to for: seafood + island fare
I always think of Roy’s as an old school dining spot with a traditional island-themed menu. The Kaanapali location, for example, sits perched on a golf course. The interior feels classy but also slightly old school — almost stuffy. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I savored my dinner at Roy’s.
What to order: I’ll come back again and again for Roy’s misoyaki butterfish. John’s a big fan of their Kaanapali fried chicken. For dessert, don’t miss the chocolate ganache cake.
website | 878 Front St Units 7 + 8, Lahaina | go-to for: Italian dishes
You wouldn’t think that a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean would have an exceptional Italian restaurant, but they do. Sale Pepe’s owners hail from New York and Italy, and the couple have ferried their love of Italian food to the shores of Maui.
What to order: We always start with the Polpette meatballs. The Rigatoni con Speck, Funghi e Zafferano is my usual go-entree. And you can’t go wrong with a pizza . I lean toward a classic tomato, bufala mozzarella, and basil pizza.
Spago by Wolfgang Puck
website | 3900 Wailea Alanui, Wailea | go-to for: fine dining
When we’re looking for something truly fancy (and an epic ocean view), we head to Spago. The dishes never disappoint, and the service is always impeccable.
What to get: Whatever you do, don’t skip the complimentary onion focaccia bread. John loves the tomahawk steak (it serves two). I like to take advantage of fresh Maui seafood as much as possible, so I typically select a fish entree such as the macadamia crusted mahi mahi.