Maui suggestions for Xmas to New Years

The partner and I have decided NOT to do the family thing this year for any of the holidays. Thanksgiving will be out in Ft. Bragg and Mendocino w/ friends. For Xmas, we will be in Maui, at the Ka’anapali Sheraton resort.

We’re arriving Xmas eve and flying out New Year’s eve.

We already have The Feast of Lele booked for my partner’s Dec 30 bday. Star Noodle will be visited (if you’re familiar, are reservations needed?) We also have a visit to the Surfing Goat dairy for a tour and a cheese sampler scheduled, as well as the sunrise bike ride from the top of the island down into town.

Other suggestions, both food-focused and otherwise, are welcome. There will be no snorkeling, as I am a terrible swimmer and the partner prefers fish on her plate rather than underfoot. The Feast of Lele is approx. $150/pp and that’s PROBABLY the top of the range, expense-wise, but if something else truly extraordinary is more, well, I’m happy to look.

For the record, I was told Mama’s Fish House was amazing (and $$$$), but it according to Open Table, they’re fully booked that week.

Help me Hungry Onion- You’re my only hope.


I don’t think we had reservations for Star Noodle.

I enjoyed Lineage. We had the tasting menu.

I enjoyed both Leoda’s and Maui Pie.

For a casual lunch, we liked Nalu’s.

We also had a nice quick lunch at Coconut’s.


Aloha. Reservations at Star Noodle are essential. You should book ASAP. Sheldon Simeon (from Top Chef) has a casual restaurant near the airport called Tin Roof that we like a lot. The food is great but it’s take out only.


How wonderful. I’ll go back and look at my trip notes but yes definitely reservation at star noodle and seconded the Tin Roof recommendation. I’ll be back with more recommendations!


Hi, so here were some spots we went that I’d recommend. We stayed in Kaanapali too.

-Tin Roof (as mentioned), loved the mochiko chicken and poke especially
-Farmers Market Maui- amazing acai bowls, fresh fruit (we were addicted to the strawberry mangoes), great snacks, lovely staff
-Castaway Cafe- we had breakfast here numerous times as it was our hotel’s on site restaurant - recommended for breakfast, everything we had was great and the view is incredible
-Leilanis- had a great first dinner here- beautiful views, bustling, fun, friendly service and enjoyed the meal
-Ululani’s- iconic shave ice- we went three times and tried as many flavors as possible - expect long lines
-Donut Dynamite (en route to upcountry) one woman donut extraordinare- lilikoi malasada was ridiculously good
-Makawao farmers market- I love farmers markets and this did not disappoint - we gawked at the rows of fruits we’d never seen or heard of before and picked up some nice food souvenirs
-Mahalo Brewing- great views, nice beers, sausage truck on site. Friendly place with lots of locals
-Surfing Goat- got some fabulous cheese to enjoy the rest of our vacation
-Ocean Vodka Distillery - recommended by a local we met at Mahalo - he said our kid would love it as much as we did- beautiful views, great cocktails, and decent food- but highly recommended
-StarNoodle (as mentioned)- more beautiful views, everything we ate was delicious, more great cocktails. My daughter threw an epic tantrum so details are fuzzy :crazy_face:
-Joeys- one of our favorite meals- strip mall location ( but still caught a beautiful sunset) with phenomenal food- even the kids Mac and cheese was great- we especially loved the garlic shrimp.
-Tamuras- Highly highly recommend - liquor store with a great snack selection but the draw is the ridiculous poke selection - fresh and one of the best things we ate the entire trip- friendly guys at the counter and such a cool unique experience
-Leodas- another must visit- we went specifically for pie and ordered four mini pies that we noshed on the rest of the trip- chocolate Mac nut was a family favorite
-Cafe o’lei- can’t speak to a meal but for a snack and cocktail after the tram ride this was wonderful - beautiful scenery and a cool story to the grounds
-Old Lahaina Luau- our family’s #1 favorite meal, experience, etc, this was absolutely incredible - both food and entertainment. Price is high yes but the food was not only plentiful but delicious - from the cocktails to the purple rolls to all the various meats and sides and desserts. They treated my four year old like royalty.

Hope this helps! This was a once in a lifetime bucket list trip for us and we all fell in love with Maui!


This is a fabulous list. Tin Roof looks fabulous, but just the pictures of the lines… yeesh.

Tamuras is def. on the list.

Joeys sounds like an ideal lunch spot.

Thank you SO much.


Boy you weren’t kidding on the reservation front. There are NO dinner tables available the entire WEEK.

I managed to snag us a late (2pm) lunch one day.

Thanks for the heads up.


If I remember correctly I pre-ordered from Tin Roof while waiting for our rental car and it was ready when we arrived. There’s only a couple benches so we ate in our car.


That is a pro tip if ever I heard one.

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Tim Roof. The caveat is that i have never been there. BUT…Sheldon Simeon is currently is one of the most popular chefs in Hawaii. Like Sam Choy, he’s famous for taking local Hawaii dishes, and polishing them a bit… Hawaii folks are proud of their cuisine, and chefs like Simeon do us proud. Dont get me wrong, there are some great places in Hawaii making great food…but do yourself a favor, step outside of the hotel culture, and try some local food. Star Noodle and Tim Roof will introduce you to Hawaii cuisine, but want to get real local? Find and go to a family owned plate lunch place. Dont buy poke at Foodland…go to a locally owned poke place where the owners buy from local fisherman and make up the poke several times daily… Ask the valets, or the people working the front desk, or the rental car person…ask them where THEY go for plate lunch. You can discover the world of local Hawaii cuisine, which is this rich multicultural mash up…and you may be pleasantly surprised.


A rec and and anti-rec. Rec: google or yelp for the best shave ice near where you are staying or touring. If you haven’t been to HI, shave ice is a treat you can’t miss. Anti-rec: stay away from Roy’s of any kind. At best, the food will be passable and overpriced. At worst, the food will be awful and still overpriced.

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