Each year, Honolulu Magazine readers vote for their favorite restaurants in the Islands known as the Hale Aina Award winners! The winning restaurants were announced at a reception held November 11, 2012 at the Royal Hawaiian’s Monarch Ballroom in Oahu.
Before getting into the results, we’d like to ask you what your favorite restaurants are on Maui. If you’ve been coming to Maui for years or even if you are a first time visitor, let us know which restaurants you’ve enjoyed during your stay and why. You are invited to leave a comment at the end of this blog.
Now for this year’s results which were quite exciting with three popular restaurants receiving more than one category award!
Lahaina Grill is one of Cheri and my favorites and has won Best Maui Restaurant for 20 years in a row! We always recommend it when clients ask what restaurant they should go to first. Many of our clients from Marriott Maui Ocean Club make reservations there every year while here enjoying their timeshare vacation.
Mama’s Fish House is always a favorite with our clients and is well deserving of the Gold award in Best Place to Take Visitors. It’s one of the spots we always make sure to take friends or family when they are visiting Maui. This restaurant is “an experience” – as much as a dining experience with the unique decor, the expansive, well manicured grounds and the outstanding views. And the food? Well, the restaurant got a silver award for Best Seafood on Maui! The secret is that Mama’s has their own fishermen, which is just one of the things that makes the seafood so fresh and good here.
Recently, clients from the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas discovered Mala Ocean Tavern on the waterfront in Lahaina across from the Cannery Mall. While the restaurant ranked as a finalist in the Best Maui restaurants and finalist in the Best Brunch category, the Bronze award as Favorite Little Neighborhood Restaurant means so much more. It’s a little neighborhood restaurant that ranks as one of the number one best places to be at sunset on Maui! As our client commented, they went there for brunch and then planned one of their vacation days around their next visit to ensure they’d be there at sunset and they were not disappointed in the food or the sunset!
GOLD — Lahaina Grill captured the gold as Best Restaurant on Maui for the 20th year in a row and also received a Gold in the Best Service category. Featuring innovative, New American cuisine, Lahaina Grill uses techniques and flavors from around the world, all perfectly blended with the freshest ingredients cultivated by Maui’s local farms, dairies and surrounding waters.
SILVER — Mama’s Fish House also received two more awards with a Silver in the Best Seafood category and a Gold in the Best Place to Take Visitors category. One of Maui’s most famous restaurants located on the North Shore. It offers a beautiful oceanfront setting and some of the most wonderful fresh fish preparations.
BRONZE — Merriman’s Kapalua is one of the most beautiful locations within Kapalua Resort, directly on the ocean with outstanding views of the tropical sunsets from “The Point.”
FINALIST — Hali‘imaile General Store is Chef Beverly Gannon’s original and most award-winning restaurant serving Maui for over 20 years. Located among pineapple fields in beautiful Upcountry Maui, the restaurant features eclectic American food with Asian overtones (Hawaiian Regional Cuisine).
FINALIST — Mala Ocean Tavern received a Bronze award in the Favorite Little Neighborhood Restaurant category and was a finalist in the Best Brunch category. Come for the sunsets and stay for the food or come for the food and stay for the sunsets! You’ll be glad you did!
We’ve shared some comments about our favorite restaurants, now we want to know what your favorite restaurant on Maui is – so please leave us a comment!
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