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Vermont-based Flatbread Company marched right in to Paia in 2007 and instantly became a popular restaurant and a valued addition to the community. As part of the company's mission, they started "giving back" to local nonprofits immediately. Happily, along with the altruism, the food is fantastic. There's a big, primitive-looking, earthen, wood-fired oven from which emerge utterly delicious flatbread pizzas. They use organic, local, sustainable products, including 100% organically grown wheat for the made-fresh-daily products. The place is a good spot to take the kids. There's a no reservations policy but they do have "call ahead seating"—you can put your name on the wait list before you arrive. www.flatbreadcompany.com. Reservations not accepted. Credit cards accepted.
Overlooking the ocean from a bluff above Wailea Beach, this outdoor Italian restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is beautiful both day and night. For lunch, indulge in a lobster sandwich or a quinoa salad topped with teriyaki-glaze tofu. At dinner try the arugula and endive salad and house-made pasta or the osso buco veal Milanese. If chef Michael Cantin is offering one of his tasting menus, you should order it. Not surprisingly, the wine list includes excellent Italian choices. Live classical music often adds to the atmosphere, and occasionally you can spot celebrities at the bar. www.fourseasons.com/maui. Credit cards accepted.
Whether you're a party of 10 or 2, this is the place to stop for a quality meal of Chinese food staples. Dim sum is available only during lunch, but for a real treat, try some of the house specialties like the honey walnut prawns, spicy crab Singapore-style, and the sizzling platter of fish with basil leaves. Top it all off with Maui's own Roselani lychee sherbet. Credit cards accepted.
For years, he was one of Maui's most celebrated and determined chefs, winning every possible award and rave review for his original David Paul's Lahaina Grill. After an almost decade-long hiatus on Hawaii Island, David Paul opened a beautiful restaurant on Maui in 2009, where he cooks his own distinctive style of new American cuisine (think butter lettuce and bleu cheese salad, bistro chicken, Princess and the Pea diver scallops), accessing local products and adding island flavors. There's an unobstructed ocean view from the front patio, and the comfy seating out back is perfect for a cocktail and late-night bites. Service can be spotty, but it's still worth a visit. www.davidpaulsislandgrill.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
There's an "express" location in Kihei, but do try the happy, always-crowded Kahului location of Da Kitchen for the mahimahi tempura, the loco moco, Hawaiian plate, and chicken katsu. Everything on the menu is great and the portions are gigantic. The upbeat ambience is reflected in the service as well as the food. www.da-kitchen.com. Closed Sun.
Chef-owner Eric Arbogast has admirably turned this tiny space tucked into a corner of a strip mall into a comfortable restaurant serving well-prepared, delicious food. Signature dishes include spicy tuna nachos, Togarashi seared ahi, fresh local fish (prepared nightly in at least four different ways), Asian marinated grilled steak, and South of the Border marinated pork. The wine list is user-friendly, and the service is welcoming. www.cuatromaui.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
From the nondescript exterior and the location in an old pineapple cannery-cum-strip mall, you'd never anticipate what's inside. Colleen's is one of the most overlooked restaurants on Maui. It's popular with locals for breakfast and lunch, but try it at dinner when the candles come out and it's time for martinis and fresh fish. The food is excellent, in particular the huge salads made with Upcountry's best produce; the fish specials; the burgers; and the simple roast chicken. When eating here, you'll feel like you're at a hip, urban eatery. Credit cards accepted.
Chef Christian Jorgensen left fancy hotel kitchens behind to open a casual place serving simple, delicious food at reasonable prices. The mango-glazed ribs, burgers, and classic Reuben sandwich are good choices, and the pineapple fried rice is ono (delicious); just order and pick up at the counter, and take your food to a table. If you're traveling to Hana or the Haleakala crater, buy a box lunch and you're set. If you're staying in a condo, the "Chefs to Go" service is a great alternative to picking up (run of the mill and usually lousy) fast food. Everything is prepped and comes with easy cooking instructions. And if you decide, even on the spur of the moment, that Maui is a nice place for a wedding, CJ's can cater it. www.cjsmaui.com. Credit cards accepted.
An authentic Italian dinner house and nightclub, this place is smack in the middle of Maui's paniolo (cowboy) town of Makawao. The brick wood-burning oven, imported from Italy, has been turning out perfect pies and steaming hot focaccia for more than 20 years. You can pair a pie with a salad (they're all big enough to share) and a couple of glasses of wine without breaking the bank. The daytime deli is good for cappuccino, croissants, and people-watching. The place turns positively raucous—in a good way—on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights. www.casanovamaui.com. Credit cards accepted.
A Maui institution, this is the place to take your cowboy-size breakfast appetite. Omelets, pancakes, sausage biscuits with country gravy, and giant-size French toast slices lure the customers in. Charley's also serves hearty portions for lunch and dinner, including handmade pizzas and awesome burgers made from local beef. The saloon is open until 1 am every night, so you can rack em up on the pool tables and enjoy a beer or two. If you're lucky, Willie Nelson may just wander in and tune up. www.charleysmaui.com.
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