If you’ve flown all this way to our humble little rock in the middle of the ocean, one thing you should definitely partake in is dinner with a view of… the ocean! While not all of Maui’s best restaurants have views, many do. But before we get to the list of the best ocean view restaurants, here are three restaurants that have great food and ambiance, but lack an ocean view:
- Mill House (Wailuku)– Possibly the best locally sourced food on the island. Everything is fresh and impeccably cooked and served.
- Hali’imaile General Store (Makawao)– Located upcountry, but worth the drive. The food is just about perfect.
- Nalu’s (Kihei)– This is basically a pub, but the burgers are some of the best on the island and their brunch items are fantastic.
OK, here’s what you came to read, our list of the 10 best restaurants with an ocean view on Maui…
1.) Mama’s Fish House (Paia)
The reader’s poll of Honolulu Magazine consistently rates this the top restaurant with a view in all of Hawaii, not just Maui. That’s saying something! It’s a first class joint all the way around. From the moment you step in the restaurant, you feel transported into a tropical paradise. The service, food and ambiance will leave you filled with aloha.
2.) Gannon’s (Wailea)
Located on the world famous Wailea Golf Resort, Gannon’s is not set on the ocean or even on a bluff hanging over the ocean, but the views are still spectacular. It’s the food, though, that really sets Gannon’s apart from the other restaurants on the list. Bev Gannon was one of a small handful of chefs who helped put Hawaiian Regional Cuisine on the map. (Gannon is also the owner of Hali’imaile General Store, mentioned above).
3.) Merriman’s (Kapalua)
Speaking of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine, Chef Peter Merriman was also at the forefront of the movement. You can find Merriman’s restaurants on each of the main Hawaiian islands, but none have the views that the Kapalua location present. A true farm to table restaurant, 90% of the menu is locally sourced.
4.) Lahaina Grill
On a national level, Lahaina Grill is consistently recognized as one of the top restaurants in the country by users of TripAdvisor. Both the food and the views are among the best on Maui. The service is also top notch. You leave feeling special and thankful for a wonderful experience.
5.) Morimoto (Wailea)
Yes, you can visit Morimoto restaurants throughout the world. The thing is, we’ve eaten at four of them, and they’re all excellent. The Maui location is no exception. Each Morimoto location uses locally sourced ingredients when available (except for the sushi), so the menus vary from location to location. Here on Maui, don’t shy away from the desserts!
6.) Aloha Mixed Plate (Lahaina)
The New York Times once said Aloha Mixed Plate is a place where “paper plate meets million-dollar view”. It’s changed a bit since then, but the million-dollar view still remains. They upscaled the decor, but the local foods are still relatively inexpensive, averaging about $15 per entree on the lunch/dinner menu. You can find this style of Hawaiian food at fast food places like L&L Drive-In and supermarkets for half the price. But if you’re looking for a casual day or night out with friendly service and better food, we highly recommend Aloha Mixed Plate.
7.) Ferraro’s (Wailea)
Wailea’s only beachside, open air restaurant, Ferraro’s is one of three excellent dining options at the Four Season’s in Wailea. While the food at Spago and Duo is also world-class, the view at Ferraro’s can’t be beat. Dining at Ferraro’s is all about romance, serving some of the best Italian food on Maui. At the same time, they have a surprisingly excellent kid’s menu if you’re bringing along your keiki.
8.) Hula Grill (Ka’anapali)
Chef Peter Merriman runs the kitchen here, as well. He uses his signature locally-sourced ingredients to create fresh Hawaiian dishes. The dining room is formal, but out front the beach-facing Barefoot Bar offers typical bar food – burgers, wings, fish and chips, etc., served with a local twist.
9.) Duke’s Beach House (Ka’anapali)
A sister restaurant of Hula Grill (same corporate owners), Duke’s also features a great outdoor bar with a (slightly less) formal dining room. We prefer the food at Hula Grill, but Duke’s is still above average. The happy hour Aloha Hour (3 – 5 PM) offers decent deals and excellent live music.
10.) Sarento’s (Kihei)
Located on the beach, literally, in South Maui, Sarento’s offers gorgeous views and one of the best wine lists on all of Maui. Serving Italian food and locally caught fish, romance is in high supply at Sarento’s.
Finally, for the ultimate “ocean view” meal, you can’t beat actually eating ON THE OCEAN. The Hawaii Ocean Project Sunset Dinner Cruise features guaranteed upper-deck seating with full table service by a professional waitstaff of your three-course meal. There’s an onboard bartender and live music. As the sun goes down and the dinner plates are cleared, feel free to get up and dance the night away. You can save $10 by booking your trip at this website and using the promo code VIP20.