Lahaina, Hawaii’s former royal capital, has a rich and diverse history. The town is as rich in history as it is in picturesque vistas. It was once a fishing hamlet, then a kingdom, and today it is a tourists paradise.
Lahaina is divided into numerous smaller sections and offers a variety of exciting activities, not the least of which are some of the greatest places to dine in Lahaina. Views of neighboring islands Lanai and Molokai may be seen from the west coast of Maui on a regular basis. Every night, a sunset casts a kaleidoscope of hues across the sky.
Lahaina has long been recognized for its vast sugarcane fields and bustling beaches, but it has also built a reputation for itself in the culinary arts. Some of their most notable Lahaina restaurants have only been open for a few years, while others have shown to be consistent and innovative enough to survive the test of time. These are our top nine picks.
Interested in visiting other places in Hawaii? Please see my other guides:
- 7 Must-Try Ko Olina Restaurants
- 13 Best Traditional Hawaiian Dishes
- 10 Best Restaurants In Maui
- 10 Must-Try Breakfast Places On Maui
- 6 Must-Try Haleiwa Restaurants
Don’t miss out on these activities in Lahaina that will let you immerse yourself in the city (get them while they’re hot!):
- Maui: Deluxe Sunset Sail from Lahaina
- Lahaina, Maui: Lana’i Snorkeling and Dolphin Encounter
- 1 The Top Nine Restaurants in Lahaina
- 2 Which of these Lahaina eateries are you going to try first? Please let us know in the comments!
The Top Nine Restaurants in Lahaina
Leodas Restaurant & Pie Store
Olowalu Village Road (808) 662-3600820 Olowalu Village Rd
Leodas Restaurant & Pie Shop is hidden behind a bend on Highway 30 (Honoapiilani Hwy), hidden by huge trees, with just the queue at the entrance to give it away. It has become a frequent stop for our family as we travel from Kahului to the west side of Maui. The queue is there all year, a foreshadowing of the delight to come and more confirmation that it belongs on any list of the top restaurants in Lahaina.
Leodas is well-known for their pies, but that’s not all they’re good at. We enjoy stopping here for the large sandwiches that keep us fuelled for the day’s travels.
The roasted turkey is a traditional served on their famed Hapa bread, a butter white and wheat blend. Two enormous slices of bread are stuffed with an amount of fresh roasted turkey that would be considered a double meal elsewhere, as well as sandwich essentials like lettuce, tomatoes, and onion.
A popular sandwich is the Roast Beef sandwich. This sandwich is served on butter white bread and features one of our favorite toppings, bean sprouts! It’s bliss slathered with mayo and a creamy horseradish sauce! Good tip: ask for more horseradish on the side to dip.
For the vegetarian in your family, there’s the Avocado & Cucumber sandwich, which comes with practically every vegetable you can think of. This alternative is anything from dull, thanks to an earthy basil pesto aioli and tart balsamic vinaigrette sauce.
Try the Reuben if you like warm sandwiches. Its house-made sauerkraut has all the flavor you’d expect, but with an added crunch. It’s delicious any time of year, served on toasted rye bread with corned beef and house-made thousand island dressing.
The sandwiches are large enough to make a meal on their own, but Leodas also serves handmade mac & cheese as a side dish, along with the famed Maui onion chips. Even though you know you won’t be able to finish it all, you must take at least one pie home.
Our favorite is the Chocolate Mac Nut. Whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and, of course, macadamia nuts top a luscious chocolate pie. The Olowalu Lime pie comes in a close second. It’s a pleasant delight on a hot Hawaiian day, similar to key lime but considerably tangier.
If you’re pressed for time, Leodas now offers online ordering. You have a limited number of substitutes, and they offer a walk-up window where you may grab and leave. If you have more time and a few kids, head next door to the Butterfly Farm.
We’ve been going here for years, and have sent friends for even longer, and we’ve never been disappointed. You won’t be either, no matter what you order. Leodas is one of the top Lahaina lunch spots.
Dukes Beach Resort
30 Kai Malina Pkwy (808) 662-2900130 Kai Malina Pkwy
Dukes is the next must-visit restaurant in Lahaina. It is linked to the Honua Kai Resort & Spa and is simpler to approach from the beach walk than from the road. Dukes serves breakfast as part of the resort, but their specialty is lunch and supper.
If you’re looking for fish tacos in Hawaii, this is the place to go. We have a thing for fish tacos and have been known to dine here numerous times in the same trip. The seafood provided changes daily dependent on the fresh catch. Often, it is Mahi Mahi, Ahi, or Ono.
If they don’t have it the day you come, the Mahi Mahi is worth the wait. The crisp cabbage and the roasted tomatillo salsa complement the light, flaky fish finest. Prepare an additional batch of the tomatillo sauce. It’s vibrant and rich, and you’ll want to use it on everything.
If you don’t like seafood, the Korean sticky ribs should be on your list. They are available as an appetizer or as part of the Rib & Chicken plate, which includes sides of macaroni salad, a Hawaiian specialty, steaming rice, and pickled cucumbers.
The pork ribs are obtained locally and roasted till they fall off the bone delicious. They’ve been thrown in a fiery gochujang sauce. Gochujang is a fermented Korean chili paste, so expect some heat. They are so excellent that you may want to place additional orders.
Try Dukes lemonade for a refreshing drink. It’s ideal for patio drinking since it’s made with citrus vodka, lemonade, and a dash of cranberry juice. Maui Brewing Co. is also available at most restaurants. The Big Swell IPA goes nicely with almost everything on the menu!
Dukes is one of the greatest places to dine in Lahaina, Maui, whether your taste buds are craving seafood or BBQ.
Beach House Fridas
Front Street (808) 661-12871287
Being from Texas, our family is generally skeptical of places that promote Mexican cuisine, but Fridas delivered! Although mainstays like fajitas, enchiladas, tacos, and margaritas are available, there are some menu tweaks that we suggest trying. Then, decide on your preparedness. After you’ve made your decision, you may choose from a variety of proteins to create your own masterpiece.
We knew Fridas would live up to our expectations when we saw the Torta Ahogada on the menu. A torta is a typical Mexican sandwich filled with carnitas (pork) and served on buttered bread that has been cooked to perfection.
Fridas’ take is a bit unique. Although the process is the same, the grilled sandwich is placed on top of heated salsa, which is absorbed by the bread. Refried beans, avocado, and crema sprinkled on top make this a fork-and-knife sandwich. Its warm, cozy, and a superb representation of true Mexican cuisine in Lahaina, of all places!.
Another family favorite is the Mala burrito. It’ll probably weigh one or two pounds when finished, with your choice of protein, rice, beans, lettuce, and pico de gallo. The burrito is smothered in savory red enchilada sauce and crumbled queso fresco and garnished with guacamole, sour cream, and additional pico. It has all of your favorite components in one meal that can easily serve two people.
Go no farther than the Desert Flower for the ideal drink to compliment your adventure. It ticks every box. After a mezcal rinse, a wonderful blend of top-shelf tequila, prickly pear, and lime is poured before being topped with black lava sea salt. It’s as lovely as it is tasty!
For the really courageous, start your dinner with the Mezcal Oyster Shooter. Whatever you anticipate from your eating experience, Fridas is likely to surpass it! Fridas is one of the greatest restaurants in Lahaina for a taste of Mexico in our 50th state.
Kaanapali Hula Grill
667-66362435 Kaanapali Pkwy (808) 667-66362435
There are several places to dine and be entertained in Lahaina’s famed Whalers Village. Both are available at Hula Grill. The restaurant, which is located on the seashore of the Village, has a huge outdoor terrace with live music every night. Views of the sunset and a serenade may also be booked. Hula Grill is one of the few restaurants in the neighborhood that accepts patio reservations. All of this adds up to Hula Grill being one of the top places to dine in Lahaina.
Hula Grill, however, offers more than simply gorgeous looks and scorching music. Even without them, the meal would be enough to keep you coming back for more. To begin, they create handmade bread that will appear in your future dreams. Consider the dark cherry sourdough. It appeals to all tastes, with a zesty sweetness that pervades each mouthful. Salads are also innovative and packed with fresh local ingredients.
The flatbreads on the Pupu menu are large enough to serve as an entree. Seasonally, the toppings may alter, but all variants are worth tasting. The Kiawe Grilled Flatbread with local goat cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, braised fennel, and roasted garlic aioli was one of the greatest we’d ever eaten.
Our favorite fish dish here is the Crab Topped Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi. It is the essence of Maui on a platter. The lightly flavored coconut sesame rice is the ideal canvas for the buttery pineapple beurre blanc with a dash of sweetness. It makes an excellent supper when served with vegetables.
If you want to see the sunset, book a reservation for 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. and settle back for a show! Excellent meal, wonderful view, and even better entertainment. Easily one of the nicest restaurants in Lahaina.
Tacos de Maui
(808) 665-02225095 Napilihau St #111A (808) 665-02225095 Napilihau St #111A
I recall well our first visit to Maui Tacos. We believed it would be similar to Taco Bell because of the informal environment. We marched up to the counter and ordered tostadas, burritos, and tacos for everyone. We were astonished when our order was ready! The tostada alone may have sufficed as a supper!
The tostada, unsurprisingly, has subsequently become a family favorite. Beans, pork, lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream are heaped high on the typical round corn chip. The tower of ingredients is so tall that it is ringed by additional chips to help you consume it! Every excursion requires it.
The Wikipedia Wiki Shrimp tacos are grilled with Aztec seasonings and topped with cabbage, chipotle ranch, mango salsa, and cotija cheese. It’s like having a vacation on a platter! Combine either a Baja Grilled Fish Taco or the classic Maui Taco with BBQ pork.
After you’ve placed your order, walk to the salsa bar to choose the ideal topping. Try a moderate salsa like pineapple passion or Hula Hot, our favorite spicy salsa, and stock up on jalepeo pickled vegetables.
Maui Tacos provides fresh Aqua Frescas every day for a refreshing twist. Maui Tacos, a typical Mexican beverage prepared from blended fruit, water, and lime juice, employs local fruits to provide a genuine flavor of the islands. Maui Tacos is one of the greatest places to dine in Lahaina for casual meals in a casual island environment.
The Star Noodle
Front Street (808) 667-54001285
Star Noodle, which was formerly housed in cramped premises off a little side street in downtown Lahaina, had a well-deserved facelift this year. It is now all outside seating on famed Front Street, directly on the river. Yet the landscape is simply the icing on the cake at this Lahaina Asian eatery.
Bring all of your friends since this is a wonderful venue for large gatherings. We easily split 90% of the menu on our most recent trip. If you can’t try everything, here are a few must-try products.
Begin with a couple of sharing plates. Each one comes with a certain quantity of things, but they may add individual portions to ensure that no one in your party goes hungry.
The Steamed Pork Buns are out of this world. The fluffiest bun you’ve ever tasted is cradling pork belly glazed in a homemade hoisin sauce. It’s melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.
The Vietnamese Crepe is essentially a seafood variant of lettuce wraps. With a sweet dipping sauce and a crunchy saffron rice pancake, it’s sure to surprise even the most seasoned eater.
If you have a bigger group, we also suggest the Tempura Shrimp, Miso Salmon, and the Ribeye served with yuzu butter that is so wonderful it could be drunk.
Yet, since the restaurant is named Star Noodle, you’ll want to make sure you have enough space to sample as many as possible. Our top suggestion is the Singapore Noodles. In an incredibly light curry sauce, thin rice noodles are mixed with chicken, shrimp, and sliced vegetables. It’s difficult to quit eating them.
The Pad Thai is also some of the greatest we’ve eaten. It’s done traditionally and not drowned with sauce, so all of the tastes receive their due. If you have space, try the Garlic Noodles. After that, you may not want to go too near to anybody, but the ultimate roasted garlic sweetness is worth it.
The Ginga Ninja is a fantastic palate cleanser for drinks, while the Dragonsilk 2.0 is a unique discovery. Lemon sour, fresh ginger juice, Aperol, Jameson, and Nigori sake mix to satisfy all five palates. If you like Asian-style cuisine and a waterfront environment, you will enjoy this Lahaina restaurant.
The Mla Tavern
Front Street (808) 667-93941307
Mla Tavern is not far from Star Noodle. This is one of Maui’s most premium restaurants, although it nevertheless emphasizes a laid-back holiday attitude. There’s no need for a black tie here; just shorts, sandals, and a big appetite.
Most people spend their mornings at the beach, so brunch is an excellent time to experience Mla. Tropical Mimosas are made with POG juice (pineapple, orange juice, and guava) or Hibiscus. The more creative enthusiast may even create their own Bloody Mary bar.
Eggs that are gluten-free Benedict is served with your choice of creative meats on flaxseed bread. To go outside of your comfort zone and discover a new favorite, I propose the Lamb Sausage with Traditional Hollandaise or the Seared Ahi with Wasabi Hollandaise. The lamb sausage lends umami to the creamy, tangy hollandaise. The seared ahi has a tender yet firm texture against the poached egg, which imparts a velvety feel to the wasabi hollandaise. Both are fantastic.
Begin your meal with the Hood Canal Oyster Shooter. Ponzu’s citrus complements the earthiness of wasabi and chive to emphasize the oyster as a strong mignonette.
When we visit to regions famed for their seafood, our family has tunnel vision, therefore the Catch of the Day comes highly recommended. The day we were there, it was Kampachi (yellowfin tuna). It comes with several unusual sides, like breadfruit puree. It is grown on the island and has a texture similar to potatoes, making it a popular replacement for residents and a unique gastronomic experience for visitors.
If you’re looking for some locally sourced protein, try the Mla burger. You will not be hungry with this big burger of Maui Cattle Beef topped with smoky bacon and caramelized onions. Just in case, a massive stack of crispy French fries is included.
One of the greatest restaurants in Lahaina for a perfect combination of casual and elegant, with a cuisine that caters to both the seafood lover and the carnivore.
On the Beach with Leilanis
(808) 661-44952435 Kaanapali Pkwy (808) 661-44952435 Kaanapali Pkwy
Check out Leilanis on the Beach for a romantic night out or any occasion you may be celebrating. Leilanis is located in Whalers Village, immediately across from Hula Grill. Probably the nicest thing about them is that there is something on the menu for everyone.
Where you dine inside the restaurant might potentially result in two very distinct experiences. Choose the terrace for a more relaxing, beachy atmosphere. Choose a seat inside or upstairs for the aforementioned romantic ambience. Large balconies float over the patio below, providing an excellent vantage point for the sunset.
Leilanis also has an upmarket cuisine that is reasonably priced. When you settle down at your table, you’ll discover the ideal setting for a glass of Maui Wines Lokelani, a crisp, dry sparkling ros with a faint note of strawberry. It’s a great wine for a gorgeous location.
If you’re searching for a dish to split, the Beachside Nachos are an excellent choice. They’re pretty huge and may be topped with Kalua pig or chicken, as well as all the other fixings. The Sriracha-Guava Chicken Wings are another interesting take on an old classic. The sauce is the ideal combination of sweet and spicy. To balance the spice, they’re served with fresh cilantro, green onions, jicama slaw, and herb buttermilk.
The Maui Fresh salad is a tasty and light option. Greens are combined with strawberries, Maui onions, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and a papaya seed vinaigrette. We requested one to share as an appetizer for two, and the service gladly provided it already divided between two plates!
If you want more fish, the Parmesan Crusted is a must-order here. It’s so wonderful you’ll want to lick the dish, lightly coated and served over creamy mashed potatoes, drizzled in a lemon-caper reduction, and accompanied with a pineapple jicama slaw. Go for this one no matter what the fresh fish of the day is.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the legendary Hula Pie. You’ll find it on menus all throughout town, and after you try it, you’ll understand why. A chocolate cookie crust is topped with a colossal dish of macadamia nut ice cream. Before being cut into a scrumptious portion for your table, a chocolate fudge shell is frozen on top. It comes with toasted macadamia nuts on top, whipped cream, and as many spoons as you need. Honestly, one slice can easily feed four to six people. In any case, we always order two!
Leilanis is a must-try for exquisite dining in Lahaina.
Hawaiian Shave Ice Ululanis
Front Street ((808) 877-3700790)
Ululanis has suddenly become a need. They’ve expanded to various sites around Hawaii, beginning in Lahaina. Warning: the queue is lengthy, and they do not yet allow online purchasing, but it is well worth it.
The founders are dedicated about their craft and only utilize clean water, pure sugarcane, fresh fruit, and quality syrups. They also provide a range of gastronomic add-ons to make each visitor feel special.
Consider the Sunset Beach Combination. It’s shave ice with passion orange, coconut, and guava, but here’s where the magic occurs. You may put an ice cream scoop to the bottom of the cup! With this combination, I suggest the Haupia (coconut) to provide a creamy, sweet base for the more tangy fruit tastes. It feels sumptuous while being light. For a Hawaiian spin on the traditional float, try root beer flavored shave ice over vanilla ice cream!
If you’re searching for plain shave ice, consider the sour lemon. It’s fun and unexpected in the greatest way. You will not be disappointed regardless of whom you select initially.
That concludes our list of the top nine restaurants in Lahaina. Combining the wonders of this tropical paradise with some of the top restaurants on the islands is a win-win scenario for everyone.