Lahaina, Maui is known for its beautiful beaches, historic sites, and of course, Hawaii Ocean Project boat tours! If you feel a bit peckish while you’re waiting to go on your HOP boat tour, why not check out these delicious eateries? Our list covers a variety of different types of food, as well as varying price points.
1. Star Noodle is an Asian fusion restaurant located at 286 Kupuohi Street in Lahaina. Well-known among locals for its delicious and innovative cuisine, you will not regret giving Star Noodle a try. They are moderately priced and serve their dishes family style, meaning that everyone at the table will get to sample a little bit of everything. Star Noodle’s former Head Chef, Sheldon Simeon, participated in the 10th season of Top Chef and made it all the way to the semi-finals; needless to say, you expect only the best when you dine at Star Noodle! You should expect to spend around $80 for two people.
2. Genki Sushi is located in the Lahaina Gateway Center. Genki Sushi is a kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi restaurant. Price is set per plate and you could easily spend as little as $10 or as much as $100 on your meal, depending on how hungry you are. The staff here is very friendly and upon entering the establishment you will be greeted with a hearty, “Irrashaimase!” or “Welcome!” Genki Sushi in Hawaii offers sushi not typically found elsewhere in the world, such spam and egg nigiri sushi or tuna salad in inari. Genki Sushi is a Japanese-style eatery with local offerings!
3. Shaka Vibe is more of a snack shop than a sit-down eatery, but if you’re only a little hungry then this may be the place for you. With two convenient locations in Lahaina to choose from – one in the Wharf Cinema Center on Front Street and one at Kaanapali Beach Hotel – you can’t go wrong. They specialize in bubble tea and tornado taters (curly cut potatoes on a stick), both of which come in a variety of flavors; this is a light snack that will leave you feeling glad you stopped by. Shaka Vibe is very affordable; you should expect to spend less than $10 per person. If you’re a visitor to the islands, let the staff know! They love to feature visitors from off island on their Instagram page.
4. Dairy Queen. Okay, okay, we know Dairy Queen is a fast food chain restaurant but it’s the only one left on Maui so it’s very special to us! If you have a craving for a dilly bar or a pepperoni hot dog (that’s a hot dog in a bun covered in pepperoni and cheese) how could you not want to stop by? This Dairy Queen, located in Lahaina Cannery Mall, is also an Orange Julius so you open yourself up to a world of delicious, sugary options by having your lunch here. They occasionally have a special where for $6 you can have a hot dog of your choosing, a small drink, chips, and a sundae; for a dollar more you can upgrade your sundae to a blizzard.
5. Casa Maya Mexican Restaurant is also located in Lahaina Cannery Mall; in fact they’re just across the way from Dairy Queen! The food here is served up fast, fresh, and hot. The food is moderately priced, but fair for authentic Mexican cuisine; you should expect to spend about $12 per person. Furrgus from Spokane, Washington left a review on TripAdvisor that says everything they ate here was, “over the top wonderful.” Furrgus liked it, maybe you will too!
6. Slappy Cakes is fairly new to Maui but has been well received by both locals and tourists. Rated 4/5 stars on both Yelp! and TripAdvisor, it’s a can’t miss novelty. As the name suggests, their main attraction is pancakes! There’s a Japanese grill built into the table which the server will turn on for you (be careful, it is hot!), you pick your batter flavor and toppings, and then design and eat your own pancakes! Other than pancakes, they have delicious entrees and seasonal drinks. It’s a little pricey (you can expect to spend about $40.00 for two people) but worth it. It is a very popular spot, so there is usually around a twenty minute wait time; be sure to plan accordingly. Slappy Cakes is open from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm.
7. Bubba Gumps is conveniently located right on Front Street and is a popular location for tourists to dine at, not just because it’s a fun tie-in to the movie Forrest Gump, but because it’s right on the water. Imagine eating your shrimp and veggie skewers while looking out at the waves crashing up on the rocks right below you; is there anything more relaxing? We think not. Bubba Gumps is one of the pricier restaurants on our list but the service is great and they offer a gluten free menu. They were also voted Best Kid Friendly Restaurant in 2013. If you’ve never eaten at a Bubba Gumps restaurant before, you’re in for some fun! The servers will ask you trivia questions relating to Forrest Gump; this is especially exciting if you’re with a group of friends and you’re the competitive type. Here’s some fun trivia: Did you know that famous actor Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World) worked at the Bubba Gumps on Front Street when he was an undiscovered actor?
8. Choice Health Bar serves breakfast and lunch, and all of their items are 100% vegan. Located at 1087 Limahana in Lahaina, Choice has all of their produce locally sourced and has been recognized as a “Best Healthy Choice” restaurant by the ‘Aipono Awards from 2012 to 2014. Choice’s moderately priced menu is innovative and healthy; they are the only place on Maui where you can get organic, non-GMO, all vegetarian sushi.
9. Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice has two locations in Lahaina – 819 Front Street and 790 Front Street. The latter location opens a bit earlier than the other, with store hours being 10:30 am to 9:00 pm. (The 819 Front Street location opens at 12:30 pm and stays open until 10:00 pm.) Ululani’s is an island favorite that serves shave ice and only shave ice. With an extensive list of flavors, you may want to read their menu before stopping by so you’ll have a good idea of what you want. Although they don’t serve food, we felt it prudent to include it on our list of places to eat because their refreshing shave ice will help you fight off the humidity that Lahaina is well known for.
10. Lahaina Pizza Company is another popular spot that is rated 4/5 stars on Yelp! and TripAdvisor. If you love pizza, as most people do, you must try Lahaina Pizza Company. Every one of their critically acclaimed pizzas has their special slow cooked tomato topping on it. They offer a variety of refreshing tropical drinks and local beers. Lahaina Pizza Company is located at 730 Front Street, and opens at 11:30 am.
We hope everyone enjoys our suggestions of places to dine and snack while you’re in Lahaina. There are so many wonderful places to consider both – local and chain restaurants – that it was difficult narrowing it down to ten. If you’ve tried any of the places listed above or have any recommendations of other delicious eateries that simply can’t be missed, please feel free to share it with us in the comment section below.
We look forward to seeing you on one of our boat tours that leaves out of Lahaina harbor, and supports legitimate marine research here in beautiful Hawaii. If you’re interested in learning more about how we support marine research, please read about Our Mission and our Donation Recipients. Mahalo!