As a parent, you know that meal planning can be challenging. But when you’re traveling with your family to this slice of paradise (or anywhere for that matter), thumbing through countless options on Google and Yelp to accommodate a range of food preferences while in an unfamiliar destination can prove to be a bit stressful.
I’ve been there, done that. But the good news about Maui is that there are many Keiki (kid)-friendly options when it comes to dining out. So, to help save you some time researching, here’s a list of my family’s favorite spots that offer a fun atmosphere and plenty of local yet delicious options to please the pickiest palates!
1. Kihei Caffe
This cafe is the ideal al fresco breakfast and lunch spot with the beach located right across the street. Just be sure you bring cash (or stop at the ATM nearby) and come prepared to wait in line because of the counter-serve style. Though it’s worth it, and the food comes quick (in large, yet delicious portions)!
Not sure what to order? Try the Whale or Honu Pancake. You’ll get one pancake shaped like a whale or sea turtle with chocolate chips. Yum!
A healthy, refreshing lunch or dinner menu is what you’ll find here at this casual surf-themed spot. Come hungry, step up to the counter to order some award-winning island-style tacos (or have your kids take their pick from a variety of Keiki-friendly options), and take a seat at a table that looks like a surfboard so you can chow down!
3. Maui Tacos
After building up an appetite from spending a day at the beach, salsa your way on over to this restaurant, which offers quick and easy Maui-Mex fusion eats. The salsa bar is a favorite for many, and my son loves their quesadillas. And word on the street is that if you check-in at the restaurant via Yelp’s mobile app, you may receive a percentage off your order!
Authentic, yet innovative Hawaiian plate-style food is calling your family’s name. Its massive menu and close proximity to Maui Beachside 1 (right across from it, actually) make it the perfect place! Just keep in mind, BIG portions are the case for both grown-ups and kids meals. So don’t be surprised if you end up with leftovers to take back to your home away from home because you need to save some room to indulge in a special treat of theirs—the Dole Whip.
What Keiki doesn’t love pasta or pizza? While Italian restaurants are few and far between in Maui, Fabiani’s is where it’s at for even the pickiest of eaters. If the little ones in your group still have some energy to burn, they can run around in the restaurant’s designated play yard while you watch and savor some grown-up conversations. And the bakery is a bonus with salted caramel brownies, cannolis, macarons, and more!
Looking for fresh fish and local vibes? This open-air location offers the best of both worlds. Don’t let the small kitchen and family-style seating (picnic tables) fool you. Paia Fish Market truly delivers in quality and flavor with unique combinations ranging from sandwiches to tacos, fish fillet plates to pastas, and many more options in between to please the non-fish eaters in the family.
Located at the center of the picturesque Maui Tropical Plantation, the Mill House Restaurant + Bar is American farm-to-table dining at its finest. The ambiance is unbeatable, and you’ll most definitely leave with a newfound appreciation for fresh ingredients used to cook up each dish—from the hand-cut pasta to the pork belly risotto, Italian sausage pizza, and much more. Oh, and to amplify your family’s experience here, don’t forget to purchase food at one of the on-site shops so you can feed the ducks, fish, and turtles!
Many Maui Beachside guests agree that this restaurant is their most favorite in Maui. So I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to share the goodness that is Monkeypod Kitchen. Grown-ups can savor handcrafted foods and cocktails while the Keikis take their pick from a cheeseburger, cheese quesadilla, saimin, or cheese pizza (plus free noodles and cheese for those under three). You really can’t go wrong here!
The Old Lahaina Luau is a famous Maui luau that’s known for presenting an entirely authentic experience to truly showcase Hawaiian culture and history. There’s no doubt your family will create lasting memories here while enjoying an aloha greeting, laulima, and imu presentation to learn more about the island, traditional Hawaiian cuisine served all-you-can-eat buffet style, as well as hula dancing.
Want the perfect spot to take in the entertainment and beautiful atmosphere? I recommend purchasing the Traditional Hawaiian Mat seating (versus table seating). It’ll put you closer to the front of the stage, and your kids will love not having to sit in a chair for the dinner and show.
Ultimately, with the backdrop of the ocean, you really can’t find a better place to complete your island getaway. It’s no wonder why Maui Beachside guests Xavier & Katie loved it so much!
Saving room for dessert?
If you didn’t grab a sweet treat at any of the above restaurants, don’t worry. There are plenty of places to end mealtime as a family on a delicious note! But my family’s favorites are Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice and Lappert’s Ice Cream.
Did you even have a real Hawaiian experience if you didn’t grab some shave ice? No, no you didn’t. So make a stop at Ululani’s for the best of the best flavor combos tailored to your liking. And encourage your children to have fun with their order by mixing and matching and even adding Maui-made Roselani’s ice cream!
If for some reason you still haven’t satisfied everyone’s sweet tooth just yet, Lappert’s Ice Cream can help. While the line can be long, a few scoops will prove to be well worth the wait.
Whether you’re a first-timer or regular vacationer of Maui, however, you probably need some recommendations on things to do—especially when you have kids in your travel group. If so, be sure to add this blog post to your reading list!
Are you looking for a kid-friendly home away from home in Maui?
I invite you to live the Maui Beachside life. My family’s modern and thoughtfully tailored vacation rental homes come complete with everything you could ever want or need to feel right at home (from a Pack ‘n Play crib to toys, books, beach necessities, video game console, kids dinnerware and utensils, and a washer and dryer!). The location puts you within walking distance of some of the island’s top restaurants, beaches, and attractions. Check out The Best of Maui (Our Big, Top 5 List).
And the best part? If you’re tired from a day of exploring in the Hawaiian sunshine, you can order your food to-go, and enjoy your meal on Maui Beachside’s lanai while looking out at the ocean views and sunset. Or, purchase some freshly caught fish and produce from the local farmers market, and cook up your own dinner. Our vacation homes offer fully-equipped kitchens and BBQs, so you can prepare delicious and nutritious family meals.
Now, before you get to planning, I want to know – of the restaurants shared today, which one are you craving the most?