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Article Source: Copyright © 2012 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.
This upscale Italian restaurant's setting right on spectacular Keawakapu Beach, with views of Molokini and Kahoolawe, is irresistible. After years of serving dinner only, it now offers breakfast service so diners can enjoy the extraordinary view in the morning, too. The breakfast menu offers all the regular fare; dinner has a decidedly Italian bent, with dishes like linguine with clams, penne Bolgnese, and portobello napoleon with local eggplant, mozzarella, tomatoes, and arugula pesto. The food is very good, if a bit old-fashioned, and the portions may be too big for some. www.sarentosonthebeach.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
Every island has its noodle shrine, and this is Maui's. Dry mein, saimin, chow fun—they all come in different-size portions and with add-ins to satisfy every noodle craving. While you wait for your bowl, be sure to try a teriyaki beef stick or two. Save room for the popular turnovers—pineapple, coconut, apple, or peach—and traditional Japanese manju filled with either lima or azuki beans. At busy times, which is almost always, you will likely have to wait for a table or a stool at the counter. Be sure to write your name on the little yellow pad at the takeout window. No credit cards. No dinner. Closed Sun.
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, but when you get there you'll find a beautiful and comfortable restaurant with expansive views of the ocean below and the majestic mountains above. At this writing, Chef JoJo Vasquez was turning the menu upside down and infusing his own particular style. He calls his cuisine "Hawaiian Eclectic," and is renowned for sourcing as many local ingredients as possible. You won't be taking much of a chance if you choose Plantation House for dinner—Vasquez is a very talented chef. 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 combinations are slurp-worthy, and the gyoza (dumplings) and local-style curries are reason enough to dine here. The portions are gigantic—seriously gigantic—so 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 Italian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern comfort food as well as 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.
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.
High on the hill overlooking the Kapalua resort, this restaurant exudes casual elegance. Executive Chef Isaac Bancaco 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 lemongrass and macadamia-nut-crusted mahimahi and Asian braised Wagyu beef short ribs. www.pineapplekapalua.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.
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 O'o 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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