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The satays, Panang curry, and crispy mahimahi are all reason to make your way to Saeng's. Other reliable menu choices include the angel wings (chicken wings stuffed with carrots and bean-thread noodles), fresh summer rolls, and any of the chicken entrées. The dining room is a bit dark but there's a courtyard with a pond and foliage, and open-air tables. Take note: service can be slow. But it's Maui, so who's in a hurry? Credit cards accepted. No lunch on weekends.
Roy Yamaguchi is a James Beard award-winning chef and the granddaddy of East-meets-West cuisine. He has restaurants all over the world, but his eponymous Maui restaurant was one of the first, and it's still one of the best. It's loud and brassy with a young vibe, but come for the great food, even if the atmosphere isn't quite your thing. Signatures like fire-grilled, Szechuan-spiced baby back pork ribs, Roy's original blackened ahi tuna, hibachi-style grilled salmon, and the to-die-for hot chocolate soufflé have been on the menu from the beginning, and with good reason. Roy's wine list is exceptionally user-friendly. The service here is welcoming and professional. www.roysrestaurant.com. Credit cards accepted.
It's a bit of a drive to the restaurant, but chef-partner Alex Stanislaw's skills—especially with fresh fish—make it worth the trip. Here you'll find a beautiful and comfortable restaurant with expansive views of the ocean below and the majestic mountains above. Chef Alex sources the best of the island's bounty; much of the produce he uses is grown within a few miles of the kitchen. The fish preparations commonly reflect his Mediterranean heritage; think pistachio-crusted Hawaiian catch served on herbed couscous with extra virgin olive oil. Breakfast is glorious here, too. www.theplantationhouse.com. Credit cards accepted.
Part of a Japanese chain, this outpost in a mall is the first and only location in Maui. All of the ramen dishes are slurp-worthy, and the gyoza (dumplings) are reason enough to dine here. If you're not that hungry or just have a small appetite, you can order kid-size portions. The service is quick and friendly, and the prices are right. Credit cards accepted.
When it opened in 1995, this was an over-the-counter pizza place. It has evolved over the years into a local favorite serving pasta, Mediterranean comfort food and still, of course, pizza. The pies are so popular because of the top ingredients—100% pure Italian olive oil, Maui produce whenever possible, and Maui Cattle Company beef. The menu also features gyros, falafel, grilled fish, rotisserie chicken, and tiramisu. www.pizzaparadiso.com. Credit cards accepted.
High on the hill overlooking the Kapalua resort, this restaurant exudes casual elegance. Young, Lahaina-born chef Ryan Luckey makes good use of the island's bounty, with dishes featuring Maui pineapple, Roselani ice cream, Maui Cattle Company beef, greens and vegetables from Waipoli and Nalo farms, and local, sustainable fish. If you've had enough of the gorgeous ocean, mountain, or resort views, you can watch the chef and his crew in the shiny exhibition kitchen, as they assemble their specialties like pistachio-wasabi crusted rare ahi tuna, Maui farmer's chopped salad, and the Maui pineapple-glazed 14-ounce pork chop. www.pineapplekapalua.com. Credit cards accepted.
A couple of blocks off Front Street in Lahaina, this small restaurant packs a powerhouse of a menu with pizza, pastas, salads, and sandwiches. Heaping plates of reasonably priced, flavorful food make this low-key place a perfect alternative to an expensive night at the resort. House favorites include the cheesy baked penne in tomato cream sauce, and the linguine in clam sauce with lemon butter. There are nightly specials like the osso buco on Wednesday, made with lamb instead of veal and served with fettuccine and salad. Two can easily split a salad and entrée and leave completely sated. www.pennepastacafe.com. Credit cards accepted.
If you're okay with communal picnic tables, or taking your meal to a nearby beach, this place in funky Paia town serves, arguably, the best fresh fish for the best prices on this side of the island. Four preparations are offered and, on any given day, there are at least four fresh fishes from which to choose. For the non-fish fans, there are burgers, chicken, and pasta. The side dishes—Cajun rice, home fries, and the amazing hand-cut crunchy cole slaw—are all as delectable as the main event. You can have a beer or a glass of wine, too, as long as you stay inside, of course. www.paiafishmarket.com. Credit cards accepted.
A Maui landmark for almost seven decades, one of the island's last true mom-and-pops is best known for its hot dogs, homemade Spam musubi (a slice of Spam on top of a block of rice, all wrapped in nori), and boiled peanuts. Don't overlook the plate lunches—Kalua pork, mochiko chicken, and breaded teriyaki beef are best sellers—and the burgers. Full, local-style, hearty breakfast plates are just $3.99. There are also smoothies and shave ices in so many flavor choices, you'll have to go more than once to try them all. Credit cards accepted. No dinner.
Sophisticated outdoor dining on the beach (no, really on the beach) and creative Island cuisine using local, fresh-caught fish and greens and veggies grown in the restaurant's own Upcountry Oo Farm (and, quite possibly, picked that very morning)—this is the Maui dining experience you've been dreaming about. Start with the award-winning appetizer of prawn and basil wontons, move on to any of the fantastic fresh fish dishes, and for dessert, finish with the banana pineapple lumpia served hot with homemade banana ice cream. www.pacificomaui.com. Credit cards accepted.
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