7 Places to Visit If You Want to Eat Like a Local

Posted by Mapuana Andrade on Friday, September 2nd, 2022 at 3:26pm

Local food on Maui tells a rich story about the people and cultures that decorate Maui's communities and history.

If you want to experience Hawaii like a local, you need to know exactly where to try the best local dishes. We have put together a list of the best spots where locals eat in Maui. Don't forget to say mahalo and throw up a shaka as you indulge in all that's ono! 




If you are craving delicious Japanese cuisine, look no further than Matsu’s on Maui! Looking just as simple as your grandma's cabin or tiny cottage, they have everything from nicley-cooked curried udon, fried chicken, and Japanese ramen to their great biscuits. 

Bask in the laid-back ambiance and stop for your favorite beach bento's for a long and adventurous day on Maui. 



If you're looking for local plate lunches in the heart of Lahaina, Maui, try Nagasako Okazu Ya & Deli. Located in the Old Lahaina Center right across from Foodland Supermarket, this family-owned small deli has been around for decades! Peak into the glass cases and marvel at their mouth-watering dishes such as battered fried fish, teriyaki beef, roast pork with gravy, hamburger steaks, musubi, raw fish, sandwiches, and chicken. 

The perfect stop on your way to Kaanapali Beach or for a road snack as you head back into town. 


Bamboo Grille

Maui hospitality is all about the laid-back vibes and homemade meals bursting with Hawaiian flavor. That's exactly what you get at Bamboo Grille, a small nook in the heart of Wailuku that packs a flavorful punch. You won't find the fancy frills of fine dining here -- instead, you'll be welcomed with cozy home-cooked meals that make you feel relaxed. So whether you're jonesing for their all-day breakfast, famous fried rice, pancakes, or a bowl of their tried and true oxtail soup, you will be treated like an ohana from start to finish! 



Sam Sato's

This little hidden gem has been owned and operated by the Sato family since 1933 and has become integrated into the Wailuku community. Tucked into a corner in an industrial complex, you'll find yourself waiting outside with people who have spent their whole lives eating at Sam Sato's. If that's not the local experience, we don't know what is. 

Their specialties include delicious omelets, noodle bowls, teriyaki beef sticks, chow fun, and the FAMOUS dry noodles. But, make sure you arrive early for breakfast because as soon as those doors open, there is sure to be a line out the door! 



Tasty Crust

You'll know when you've arrived at this infamous diner in Wailuku because you'll see their iconic "World Famous Pancakes" sign right outside their door! Having served Maui for over 50 years, Tasty Crust is filled with a charming old-school ambiance, affordable prices, and a staff full of aloha who treat you like ohana. 

If we had to choose our favorite dishes that we couldn't live without, it would be the fantastic banana hotcakes, T. Bone Steak, Opakapaka, eggs, or the local style omelet (spam, linguica, cheese, and green onion).



Located in Wailuku, Tiffany's Bar & Grill is a Maui staple for good food, drinks, and even better karaoke. It was recently taken over by Tinroof and Lineage's Chef Sheldon Simeon! But, even with new ownership, the food and vibes are just as immaculate. Here's a place where you can enjoy come for the food but stay to watch a game and enjoy a beer with old friends till closing. This place is laid-back with its low-key vibes and unquestionable Wailuku-flare.


Tokyo Tei

You know you're about to have some delicious food when you walk in, and you see family photos and hundreds of people who have stopped in for food littering the restaurant's walls! Located in Wailuku in 1935, Tokyo Tei is a family-owned and operated diner that has been in business for over four generations. The flavors of Japan mixed with local Hawaiian flare create the perfect blend of what Maui's community truly feels like. 

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