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Tropical Tasting Tour: 8 Favorite Restaurants on Maui

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Maui’s lush and versatile landscape, ideal crop growing conditions, serene atmosphere and receptive people provide the means for a rich restaurant culture. You’ll find local strawberries, apples, greens, tomatoes, root vegetables and meats from the cooler Upcountry region, tropical fruits from the Hana side of the island, and fresh seafood straight from the sea. Check out our 8 favorite restaurants on Maui below, all of which are offering up delightful culinary creations made from local ingredients.

1. Hali’imaile General Storeon the way to Upcountry Maui

Built in 1925, the Hali’imaile Store originally functioned as a butcher shop, fish market, post office and outlet for clothing and household appliances. In 1988, the store was converted into a gourmet deli, general store and catering headquarters, and soon after became the restaurant of choice for locals. Now open for brunch, lunch and dinner, the menu boasts creative twists with local ingredients such as sashimi pizza with ahi tuna, edamame hummus, and red cabbage alongside lots of vegetarians options like their delicious brie and grape quesadilla with macadamia nut pesto and sweet pea guacamole.

2. Ali’i Kula Lavender Farmin Upcountry Kula

Make your way up to Kula to discover a part of Maui that could be mistaken for Northern California if it weren’t for the massive cacti spreading around the eucalyptus groves. Stopping by Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm is a must, as the serene haven is a true symbol of the closeness to nature that Hawai’i embodies. Reserve a picnic basket for you and your fellow travelers to enjoy on the grounds, which are full of spots to relax and have a nosh. The farm offers a selection of sandwiches, wraps, and salads to choose from alongside beverages and lavender-infused desserts. If you arrive in between meals, make sure to grab a lavender tea or a bar of organic lavender chocolate from their gift shop!

3. Spago at the Four Seasons Resort in Wailea

Wolfgang Puck’s Spago restaurant is located at the Four Seasons Resort in the developed, up-scale area on the Eastern side of the island. Although the lavish resort and its slightly snobbish atmosphere are slightly overwhelming, the artfully prepared food and amazing oceanfront views make a dinner here well worth it. The Master Chef prepares locally inspired dishes with seasonal ingredients, including the likes of Steamed Moi Fish with Chili, Ginger and Baby Choy Sum as a main course, and Lilikoi Crème Brûlée with White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Biscotti for dessert.

4. Honu Seafood & Pizzanear downtown Lahaina

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Simply delicious, this family-owned restaurant marries local ingredients with Mediterranean-inspired cuisine for a selection of delectable dishes. The menu boasts numerous vegetarian and vegan options such as their Gado Gado Salad with quinoa, tofu, chickpeas, veggies and a heavenly coco peanut sauce, as well as beautiful brick-oven pizzas made on site. Pescatarians will have a hard time choosing from the fantastic fish dishes, all of which come with a healthy heap of vegetables. Make sure to also test (at least) one of their unique cocktails! If the restaurant is full (which it often is) pop into the neighboring Mala Ocean Tavern, run by the same owners, and so promising a bevy of tasty options.

5. The Hula Grillon Ka’anapali Beach

Ka’anapali Beach Northwestern side of the island is home to a strip of resorts, and thus a bounty of tourists. However, the historical Black Rock set in the middle of the beach is a beautiful location for snorkeling (you might see some sea turtles) and catching some rays. Lunch is only a few steps away at Whaler’s Village, which is home to The Hula Grill with its Barefoot Bar, where you can tuck your toes into the sand while grabbing a bite. Choose from freshly made salads, sashimi, sandwiches, pizzas and simple entrees for a bit of nourishment in between ocean sessions. We recommend the lettuce wraps with tofu or the goat cheese pizza with local pumpkin, cherry tomatoes, spinach, and fennel.

6. Gerard’sin Lahaina

Gerard’s has embodied their motto of “contemporary island French cuisine”. Chef Gerard Reversade is from the Gascony region of France, where he learned his art under four of France’s finest Master Chefs. His Lahaina restaurant was opened in 1982, and has been supporting local vegetable farmers, fishermen and orchard keepers ever since. Diners can choose from French twists on local dishes such as a green salad with hearts of palm, or scallops with passion fruit and coconut oil vinaigrette, or fresh fish with potato and carrot puree. The French know their sweets so don’t skip the last course at Gerard’s. We recommend the rhubarb pie with ginger ice cream, prepared fresh from scratch once you order.

7. Mama’s Fish House Restaurantoutside Pai’a, on the Hana Higway

Located in a converted beach house right on the North Shore, Mama’s Fish House is known for serving the finest, fresh fish dishes on the entire island of Maui. Founded in 1973 by European emigrants, the restaurant has embraced the flavors and handiwork of the old Polynesian culture, drawing locals and tourists alike to its Kuau Cove spot. Fish takes the limelight at Mama’s in dishes such as Tahitian ceviche, Kampachi with caramelized onions, tomatoes and black rice, and grilled Ono with coconut rice and mango salsa. You may even be tempted to gorge on (or split) the Traditional Hawaiian featuring Mahimahi, slow-cooked wild boar, octopus and Ahi tuna poke with baked banana, sweet potato, lomi-lomi, fresh poi and lilikoi.

8. Maui Kombuchain Haiku

If you’re on the Hana Highway, a stop at the quaint town of Haiku is a must. Recognized as one of the most progressive, eco-minded areas on Maui, there is not shortage of vegan restaurants in and around Haiku. One of our favorites is Maui Kombucha, where raw, vegan foods, and kombucha (of course) reign supreme. A daily menu offers up a succulent selection of creatively prepared veggies in the form of quiches, soups, pizzas, taquitos, and colorful rainbow salads. Their desserts are mouth-watering, with options ranging from mint cacao torts and vegan pecan pie to lime cheesecake. Remember to bring along a bottle to fill with fruity, flavorful, homemade kombucha!

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