Restaurant reviews are difficult because
people's preferences and expectations vary considerably. In addition,
our visit to a restaurant may be on the day their best chef is working and
we may be served by their best waiter or waitress.
Restaurants in the islands offer an appetizing variety of local foods and ethnic cuisine. The fancier restaurants that cater to tourists are expensive, especially on the neighbor islands. However, several national restaurant chains like IHOP, Sizzler, Tony Roma, and Denny's offer meals in the $10 to $15 range.
If you like picnics, you will find places that will pack a picnic lunch for you. There are many parks and beaches where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch and the beautiful scenery at the same time. You may have plenty of company on weekends because resident families love to get together at parks when they are off work.
code in parentheses following the restaurant name is
Davey Jones Ribs (D) Seafood, pizza, and other entrees with a salad bar. We found it isn't an elegant restaurant, but you get good value for your money. Dinner entrees range from $10 to $15. Located in on the 2nd floor next to a hotel lobby. 250 Lewers Street. Reservations: 923-7427
Wailana Coffee House (BLD) Diner style restaurant with local and mainland items on the menu. This is a good restaurant for families. Dinner prices from $7 to $15. 1860 Ala Moana Blvd. Telephone: 669-5653
Perry's Smorgy (BLD) All you can eat buffet containing a few local specialties. 2380 Kuhio Avenue. Breakfast - $5, Lunch - $6, Dinner - $9, Sunday brunch - $9. Telephone: 922-8814
Ocenarium (LD) A three-story, 280,000 gallon sea-water aquarium along one wall makes this restaurant unique. A diver feeds the fish periodically which is a real hit with kids. The meals are very good and we've heard the Sunday brunch is excellent with a wide variety of selections. Pacific Beach Hotel, 2490 Kalakaua Avenue. Dinner entrees range from $13 to $30. Reservations: 921-6111
The Hanohano Room (BD) Take a glass elevator 30 stories above Waikiki giving a panoramic view of the city and Koolau mountains. This is our favorite restaurant, especially to celebrate a special occasion. We have always found the service impeccable and the food excellent. Dinner entrees range from $20 to $45 per person. Reservations: 922-4422
Sarento's Top of the I (D) A great place to enjoy a sunset meal if you can get a window table, and there are many of them. An elegant restaurant with good service and Italian food. Nice dress is recommended. Dinner entrees range from $20 to $40. Located in the Ilikai Hotel, 1777 Ala Moana. Reservations: 955-5559
Benihana (LD) Very good "Americanized" Japanese food prepared at your table. If you haven't eaten at a Benihana's before, you are seated at a table for eight with other diners. Located at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Dinner entrees range from $15 to $25. 2005 Kalia Road. Reservations: 955-5955
Kobe Japanese Steak House (D) Similar in menu and decor to the Benihana chain, this too is a good choice if you like the "cook it at your table" hibachi style restaurants. A difference is that Kobe's is normally featured in the Entertainment book with a "buy one, get one free" coupon. 1841 Ala Moana Blvd. Reservations: 941-4444
Tanaka of Tokyo
(BLD) Hibachi style restaurant similar to Benihana and Kobe's with three locations in Waikiki.
Open for traditional Japanese breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner.
Dinner entrees range from $13 to $25.
Hard Rock Cafe (LD) World famous chain of 50's diners with music from the 50's and Rock 'n' Roll memorabilia lining the walls. Great burgers and much more. As with other Hard Rock Cafes, you will pay a little more for the food, but it's a fun atmosphere. 1837 Kapiolani Blvd. Lunch and dinner range from $8 to $20. Reservations: 955-7383
Big Island Steakhouse (LD) Casual oceanfront dining featuring steak and seafood. Located at the Aloha Tower marketplace. Dinner entree prices range from $20 to $50. Reservations: 537-4446
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant (LD) A brewpub with an open air dining room and good food. Located oceanfront at the Aloha Tower marketplace. Dinner entree prices range from $20 to $50. Reservations: 599-4877
Jameson's by the Sea (BLD) Specializing in seafood, this restaurant offers great sunset views on the north shore. Dinner entrees range from $13 to $25. Reservations: 637-4336
Crouching Lion Inn (LD) Seafood, steak, and local favorites served in an open air setting. You have an ocean view across Kamehameha Highway. Located at 51-666 Kamehameha Highway between Kaneohe and the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie. Reservations: 237-8511
Palm Terrace (BLD) Casual atmosphere for meals at the Turtle Bay Resort. Buffet available as well as a full menu.
Jameson's Grill & Bar (BLD) Located at the Bay Golf Course in Kapalua. Some tables have excellent views of the golf course. A few tables provide distant views of the ocean giving sunset views toward the island of Lanai. We've eaten lunch here several times and the food and service have always been good. Our only occasion to eat dinner at Jameson's was also a pleasant experience. Lunch prices range from $10 to $15 and dinner entrees range from $20 to $40. Reservations: 669-5653
The Bay Club (LD) This upscale seafood restaurant sits above Kapalua Bay on a black lava peninsula across from the Kapalua Bay Hotel. There are unsurpassed ocean views of Molokai and Lanai and the sunset view from the restaurant cannot be beat. Fresh seasonal ingredients are emphasized and the Bay Club is considered a bastion of fine-dining by the rich and famous who frequent the Kapalua Resort. Dinner entrees range from $30 to $50. Resort wear is required. Reservations: 669-8008
Sea House Restaurant (LD) Window tables here overlook Napili Bay and have great sunset views. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Parking is limited and will require you to walk through the resort. 5900 Lower Honoapiilani Road at Napili Kai Beach Resort and located right next to the beach at Napili Bay. Dinner entrees range from $20 to $40. Reservations: 669-1500
Roy's Kahana Bar and Grill (D) 4405 Honoapiilani Highway in Kahana. Rated best overall restaurant on Maui in 1999 by readers of the Maui News. Average cost is $30-$40 per person. Reservations: 669-6999
Hecocks (BLD) Located at 505 Front Street which is at the south end of Lahaina. The food at Hecocks is good and moderately priced. Check the tourist magazines and handbills distributed on street corners because they often have coupons to buy one entree and get one free, or 50% off the second entree. Window tables give you a view across the harbor toward Lanai and Molokai. Lunch runs from $6 to $10 and dinner ranges from $15 to $25. Reservations: 661-8810
Canoe House in Lahaina Located in a Polynesian longhouse style architecture building, this landmark was the Lahaina Chart House from 1972 until 2000. Wooden canoes hang high in the ceiling of this open air restaurant. The restaurant is located across the street from the beach so the view of the ocean from most tables is somewhat limited by trees, but from the lanai outside the bar you have an excellent view of sundown over the ocean. Dinner entrees range from $16 to $35. 1450 Front Street, Lahaina. Reservations: 661-0937
Kobe Japanese Steak House (D) Similar in menu and decor to the Benihana chain, this too is a good choice if you like the "cook it at your table" hibachi style restaurants. A difference is that Kobe's is normally featured in the Entertainment book with a "buy one, get one free" coupon. 136 Dickenson Street, Lahaina. Reservations: 667-5555
Hard Rock Cafe (LD) What can we say? If you like Hard Rock Cafes, where better to visit one than on Front Street in Lahaina. If you have never visited one and think you would like a 50's diner experience with music from the 50's and Rock 'n' Roll memorabilia lining the walls, try this one for burgers and much more. Lunch and dinner range from $8 to $15. Reservations: 667-7400
Kimo's (LD) Located on Front Street directly on the water. They serve good hamburgers but there is also steak and seafood for dinner. Lunch runs $7 to $15 and dinner ranges from $20 to $30. Reservations: 661-4811
Cheeseburger in Paradise (BLD) With a name like this and great ocean views from a location right on the water, you will want to try this place. The food is good and lunch or dinner will cost from $7 to $15. 811 Front Street in Lahaina. Telephone: 661-4855
Old Lahaina Luau. (D) We don't have a section just for luau's, so we will include one here. In 1999, this often honored business was rated as the best luau by readers of the Maui News. Located oceanfront at 1251 Front Street across from the Lahaina Cannery Mall. The dinner buffet features traditional Hawaiian food and a program presenting the culture and history of the Hawaii in song and dance. Price is $70 for adults and $40 for kids 2-12. You can often get discounts from activity providers or contact them directly for reservations: 667-1998 or 1-800-248-5828.
Ma'alaea Waterfront (D) Rated as having the best service in 1999 by readers of the Maui News. It was ranked as the eighth best restaurant in all of Hawaii and the second best on Maui by the Zagat Survey 2000. Offers nine different methods of preparing fresh fish including Cajun spice and Southwestern flair. It also received honorable mention in the best seafood category in the Maui News survey. Restaurant parking is limited so you may have to park on the street and walk to the restaurant. Dinner entree prices range from $20 to $50. Reservations: 244-9028 www.waterfrontrestaurant.net
Buzz's Wharf (LD) This restaurant is visible as you drive by on Highway 30 heading toward Lahaina. It's usually fairly busy because of all the excursion boats based at Ma'alaea Harbor. You have a good view of the boats coming in and out of the harbor. Dinner entrees range from $20 to $40. Reservations: 244-5426
Kihei & Wailea Area
Jacque's on The Beach (D) Rated as best value restaurant in 1999 by readers of the Maui News. Reasonable prices with very good ocean views looking toward west Maui at the Kihei location. You will appreciate the good service and generous servings. Dinner entrees range from $13 to $30. Reservations: 875-7791
Hula Moons (BLD) Located in the Outrigger Wailea Resort. If you ate here several years ago, things changed with Outrigger's renovation of the Resort. Instead of being at the pool the restaurant is now one floor above and you enter on the lobby level. You can eat in an open air setting with panoramic views of the Wailea coast. Dinner entrees range from $17 to $28. Reservations: 879-1922
Mama's Fish House (LD) Continue past Paia on Highway 36 to find this beachfront restaurant. This is one of our favorites for seafood, but it is expensive so we don't go there on every trip to Maui. It was rated as having the best seafood in 1999 by readers of the Maui News. It was also rated by the Zagat Survey 2000 as the Maui's most popular restaurant. Dinner entrees range from $30 to $50. Reservations: 579-8488
Jacque's Bistro Paia (D) Rated as best value restaurant in 1999 by readers of the Maui News. You will appreciate the good service and generous servings. Dinner entrees range from $12 to $25. Reservations: 579-6255
Kula Lodge (BLD) This is one of our favorite places for breakfast on our way down after watching sunrise from Haleakala. It can be rather crowded for breakfast as bicyclists stop on their way down from sunrise at Haleakala crater. Their Belgian waffles are very good. Views from many tables are spectacular and show you both east and west Maui. We haven't been there for dinner, but the sunset views must be unbelievable. Dinner entrees range from $20 to $35. Reservations: 878-2517
South Shore Area
Beach House Restaurant (D) Steak and seafood with great ocean views. We haven't eaten here, but the location is exceptional and we've heard from others who recommend it. Dinner entrees range from $25 to $40. Located in on the 2nd floor next to a hotel lobby. Lawai Road in Poipu on the way to the Spouting Horn. Reservations: 742-1424
Brennecke's (LD) A landmark on the south shore that has a great view overlooking Poipu Beach Park. The steak and seafood have always been very good when we've eaten here. Located across from Poipu Beach Park. Dinner entrees range from $12 to $35. Telephone: 742-7588
East Shore Area
A Pacific Cafe (D) A varied menu with excellent food and great service. Located at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Dinner entrees range from $25 to $50. Located in Kauai Village Shopping Center (no view from the restaurant) in Kapa'a (look for a Safeway store). It is normally very busy so reservations are suggested: 822-0013
Kintaro Restaurant (D) A large teppan yaki section of the restaurant for those who like the food prepared by a chef at their tables. The restaurant has a very good sushi bar. Service was excellent when we were there. Dinner entrees range from $15 to $30. Located just north of the Kinipopo Shopping Center. Reservations: 822-3341
Bull Shed (D) A popular restaurant with locals and tourists. We have eaten here several times and the food has always been good. Steak and seafood, but when we've been there, their fresh fish of the day was limited to only one selection. Ocean front window seats are so close to the water that waves can splash against the glass. Located in Kapa'a across from Kauai Village. Dinner entrees range from $15 to $25. Reservations: 822-3791
Duke's Canoe Club (D) We haven't eaten here but friends have several times and feel the steak and seafood are very good. Located at the Marriott in Lihue. Dinner entree prices range from $15 to $28. Reservations: 246-9599
Gaylord's (LD) The menu here is varied and the food is very good. Located in a historic 1935 sugar plantation owners mansion in Kilohana, south of Lihue. Dinner entree prices range from $20 to $38. Reservations: 245-9593