While Hawaii is still in limbo as we try to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic there is one thing we all have in common that is not in limbo: our appetites! After long stay-at-home orders, enduring travel quarantines, and on the brink of re-opening our state we long to be able to enjoy our island cuisine. But the big question everyone is asking is “What’s open?”. With our economy largely relying on tourism, unfortunately, it is still not feasible for many restaurants to be open. This is especially true for the areas of Maui that largely rely on visitor traffic. Below are a few of our favorite restaurants that are currently open for take-out and dine-in. While these restaurants are very different from one another, the 2 things they have in common are: their owners are really hands-on and they are some of the best on the Island of Maui. Please, come support them and taste some of the best food you will ever find!
Voted as the best Oceanfront Dining by Maui No Ka Oi Magazine 2019, Mala Tavern is “weathering the storm” with the best attitude possible. Read this recent article about them, published by the Star Advertiser, and you can see an amazing drive and resilience of the new owners of Mala Tavern. Located in majestic Lahaina Town, this restaurant is only a few feet away from the ocean. Watch Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles swim by, while making a toast and witnessing the most spectacular Sunset Maui can offer!
This small restaurant is located in Kapalua and is often referred to as “wine-bar” by the locals. It is for a good reason, because the set up and ambience is amazing! It might appear as a type of place mostly catered to adults; however, it is kids friendly too! The owner of this restaurant is so attentive and accommodating… True Italian Hospitality! Their food is delicious, especially their scrumptious burrata! They are currently open for take-out and dine-in on their covered lanai. Not only they are the only restaurant that is open in Kapalua at the moment, they are also definitely one of the best.
Located upcountry, Kula Bistro was rated Best Italian Restaurant by Maui News 2019 and #1 restaurant upcountry Maui by Trip Advisor. This restaurant is a “must do” if you are taking a drive to Haleakala or find yourself upcountry Maui for any other reason. Under new ownership, this place has recently gone thru several wonderful renovations such as: adding more bathrooms, great outdoor seating, and a wood-burning outdoor Forno Bravo pizza oven. Before COVID-19 you would almost always have to stand in line 20-30 min to get into this restaurant. Now you have an unprecedented opportunity to get right in and get some of the best food and service you will find on Maui.
It is mind-baffling to see so many great restaurants standing empty with no concrete re-opening dates… Some of those include: Merriman’s at Kapalua Bay, Sansei Kapalua, Monkeypod in Ka’anapali, Frida’s and Honu in Lahaina Town, Mama’s Fish House in Paia, and many more. It is very sad to hear that many restaurant owners made a decision to shut down permanently after so many years of successful operation… In the midst of it all we have to try to find positives where we can and support local businesses that are trying to survive this global disaster. We recently stumbled across a website that is chock-full of great foodie information from shave ice to gourmet meals, drinks, events, and more. There is also is a current link to what restaurants are open Maui. We are hoping that list will keep growing as we rebuild our economy once again. Help us accomplish that by visiting and supporting our local businesses!