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Come on, how can you come to Hawaii and not go to a tiki bar? And this one—tucked into Kihei KalamaVillage—is consistently voted "Best Bar" by the readers of Maui Time Weekly. During the day, sit on the shaded lanai to enjoy a burger, sandwich, or, better yet, one of their delicious specialty pizzas, crafted from scratch with sauces made from fresh Roma tomatoes and Maui herbs. Their pies have been voted "Best Local Pizza" by those same Maui Time Weekly readers for three years running. Seven nights a week, the tiny bar area lights up with a lively crowd, as DJs spin dance tunes under the glowing red eyes of the lounge's namesake tiki. And you can order food right up until midnight. www.southshoretikilounge.com. Credit cards accepted.
If you're celebrating a special occasion and want to splurge, this just might be the place for you. You'll descend a grand staircase into an amber-lighted dining room with soaring ceilings and a massive artificial lagoon complete with swans, waterfalls, and tropical gardens. Must-haves on Chef Geno Sarmiento's contemporary, Mediterranean-influenced menu include ahi saltimbocca; goat-cheese ravioli with Kula corn, edamame, and Hamakua mushrooms; and grilled beef tenderloin marinated in coffee and served with Parmesan-garlic fries. The restaurant claims the largest wine cellar in Hawaii with 3,000 bottles. www.sonzmaui.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
This is Central Maui's hidden jewel for reasonably priced, local-style lunches that are good for you. The menu is not only diabetic-friendly, it's also high in fiber; low in salt, sugar, and fat; and seasoned with fresh herbs under the expert guidance of chef Joe Wilkinson. Besides veggie options, local favorites include ground turkey chow fun, hot-and-sour soup, and baked fish with ginger lime sauce. All entrées come with sweet potatoes, brown rice, taro, and salad or any combination of the above. Simply Healthy can be hard to find; ask for the Cameron Center building between Maui Memorial Hospital and the main Wailuku police station. www.hnkop.org. No credit cards. No dinner. Closed weekends and holidays.
Built in the 1960s at the Napili Kai Beach Resort before there were laws forbidding construction so close to the beach, this restaurant is, literally, just footsteps away from gorgeous Napili Bay. Wear your beach wrap to breakfast and enjoy the signature oven-baked pancakes or Molokai sweet potato egg frittata. For dinner, start with the award-winning poke (raw fish) nachos and move on to the taro-crusted sea bass. Several entrées are offered in both "lite" and regular-size portions. Folks who are gluten-free will find excellent choices here. www.seahousemaui.com.com. Credit cards accepted.
A good choice for a seafood lunch, the Maui Ocean Center's signature restaurant (aquarium admission is not required to dine here) offers harbor views from its open-air perch. The restaurant promotes heart-healthy cuisine, using sustainable seafood and trans-fat-free items. Lunch-size salads, sandwiches, burgers, fish tacos, teriyaki tofu, fish-and-chips, chicken, ribs, and a full kids' menu are on offer. There's something for everyone here, and the view isn't bad either. www.mauioceancenter.com. Credit cards accepted. No dinner.
Stories to inspire your own adventures at Outrigger's travel blog.
Oahu: Ocean House Restaurant
Kauai: Plantation Gardens