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Best Casual Restaurants with Outdoor Seating on Maui - HOP to it

When you're looking for a quick bite, Maui has lots of fantastic, casual outdoor seating restaurants
September 18, 2017

Casual outdoor dining and Maui go hand-in-hand. Even the nicest places on Maui seem "casual" compared to mainland dining. We can't remember the last time we saw someone wearing a tie at dinner. But for our purposes, we split "fine dining" from "casual" using the old standby... with our gut. The restaurants on this list have a more laid back vibe than our list of outdoor fine dining restaurants. At these places, t-shirts and board shorts are the norm, not the outlier. Here are our five favorite casual outdoor locations, listed alphabetically.

Aloha Mixed Plate (Lahaina)
A definite favorite amongst locals and visitors, Aloha Mixed Plate features only outdoor seating, but the tables have fantastic umbrella's that block direct sunlight. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Aloha Mixed Plate combines a laid-back Hawai'ian attitude with fierce local foods like plate lunches, saimin and poke. They also serve grilled cheese and burgers for those hesitant to go "local." For breakfast, try the fried rice loco moco. It's a gut bomb, but so worth it! (Aloha Mixed Plate)

Beach Bums Bar and Grill (Ma'alaea and Napili)
Established in 2007, the Ma'alaea restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Famous for their barbecue, Beach Bums, also serves up good burgers, fish and chips and fish sandwiches. It has a nice, fun, casual atmosphere that kids will enjoy. For breakfast, we recommend the prime rib loco moco. The Napili location is new, with the same laid-back vibe, however it does not serve breakfast. (Beach Bum's Ma'alaea, Beach Bum's Napili

Cafe Des Amis (Paia)
Serving a slightly weird combination of crepes, Mediterranean cuisine and Indian curries, Cafe Des Amis, like Paia itself, may be a little odd, but it sure is good. If you go for the dinner, we recommend a curry plate. For lunch, the curry wraps should fill you up, without slowing you down. The crepes are available in both sweet and savory forms. Kids, OK, adults, too, seem to gravitate to the Nutella crepes... and with good reason. It's Nutella and whipped cream rolled up into a fresh off the griddle crepe! (Cafe Des Amis)

Kihei Caffe (Kihei)
If you drive on South Kihei Road at around 9:00 AM, you're bound to see long, out-the-door lines at this Kihei breakfast hot spot. If you get there before 8:00 A.M. or after 11:00 A.M., the lines are usually confined to inside the cafe, or caffe, as they like to spell it. Why is it so popular? For one, the food is just really good. Whether it's a traditional breakfast like bacon and eggs, or something with a more local twist, like the kalua pork loco moco over fried rice, everything we've had here is great. The other reason it's so popular is the portion sizes. Pretty much everything can be split by two people. Breakfast is served all day, but starting at 11:00, they add lunch items like burgers and sandwiches. Kihei Caffe closes at 2:00. (Kihei Caffe)

Kula Lodge (Kula)
If you need to escape the heat or the hustle and bustle of the city, head upcountry to the Kula Lodge. It's also a great place to stop on your way down from Haleakala. Located at an elevation of over 3,000 feet, the crisp air alone makes it worth the trip, but the views of the mountains and ocean are spectacular. Their excellent pizzas come from a kiawe wood-burning brick oven that sits outside on the terrace. They also serve a full menu, featuring locally sourced seafoods and meats. (Kula Lodge)

Where do you like to go for a casual meal with outdoor seating? Tell us on Twitter @HIOceanProject and Instagram @hawaiioceanproject.

Blogs for September 2017

10 Fun Facts About Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles

Posted on September 30, 2017

10 Fun Facts About Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles

The scientific name for the green sea turtle is Chelonia mydas, but the Hawaiian name is simply: "Honu." For many snorkelers, these fascinating marine reptiles become the highlight of a good outing. Despite their status as an endangered species, there are… Continue Reading

Best Vegetarian Food Cafes on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 29, 2017

From the cheapest dives to five-star restaurants, most places on Maui have a nice selection of vegetarian dishes. In fact, over the years, we've found Maui to be one of the more vegetarian-friendly islands in Hawaii. To be sure, we can eat unhealthy here on Maui (hello loco… Continue Reading

Five Turtles You Could See on Maui

Posted on September 28, 2017

Turtles are the rare creature you can see both underwater and on shore. While you're more likely to spot turtles, on Maui at least, in the water, if you know where to look, you can see the largest of them, green sea turtles, resting on the beach. Hawai'i… Continue Reading

Best Breakfast on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 26, 2017

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Is that why people are willing to stand in line for hours to have it? It's a phenomenon we truly don't don't understand. But if you like to stand in line for breakfast, we have some… Continue Reading

Best Fish and Chips on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 25, 2017

Maui has many excellent fish and chips spots. This is a statement of fact. Whether at high-end restaurants or small shacks, you're bound to find fresh fish, fried perfectly. When putting this list together, we came to the realization that Kihei may be one of the best towns… Continue Reading

Common Sea Urchins of Hawaii Reefs and Tide Pools

Posted on September 23, 2017

Common Sea Urchins of Hawaii Reefs and Tide Pools

If you love exploring tide pools and coral reefs to discover the many fascinating inhabitants, Maui is a great place to be. Whether you join us aboard a Molokini Snorkel Boat Tour, or you opt to stick to Maui's coastlines,… Continue Reading

Fish Guide for Snorkeling Maui

Posted on September 21, 2017


Achilles Tang
These black fish have a distinctive orange patch near the tail and some seriously beautiful orange, white, and blue stripes that look like they were painted on. Growing to 10 inches long, the Achilles Tang can be found in… Continue Reading

Fun Beach Movies

Posted on September 20, 2017

Let's be clear, this is not a Best Beach Movies list. Nope. Not even close. This list is all about fun. None of these movies will make you use your brain, but when you sit down to watch them, you'll probably keep a stupid grin plastered on… Continue Reading

Best Casual Restaurants with Outdoor Seating on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 18, 2017

Casual outdoor dining and Maui go hand-in-hand. Even the nicest places on Maui seem "casual" compared to mainland dining. We can't remember the last time we saw someone wearing a tie at dinner. But for our purposes, we split "fine dining" from "casual" using the old standby... with… Continue Reading

Best Fine Dining Restaurants with Outdoor Seating on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 18, 2017

This might be the hardest list we've written due to the overwhelming number of fine dining restaurants with outdoor dining on Maui. Almost every restaurant on Maui has outdoor seating! For a romantic evening, there are few things better than dinner under the stars. n the meantime, here's… Continue Reading

10 Fun Facts About Octopuses

Posted on September 16, 2017

10 Fun Facts About Octopuses

The waters off Hawaii's coastlines are full of fascinating marine animals, but few have as many surprising qualities as the octopus. As researchers continue to discover incredible things about the capabilities of these remarkable invertebrates, they continue to grow in popularity. You'll need sharp… Continue Reading

Best Plate Lunches on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 14, 2017

Generally speaking, a plate lunch consists of two scoops of rice, mac (macaroni) salad and an entree. Historians believe plate lunches started when pineapple and sugar cane plantation workers would bring bento boxes, made up of rice and a main course, to work for lunch. Later, food… Continue Reading

Best Gluten-Free Casual Dining on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 13, 2017

Being gluten-free on Maui does not need to be a burden. Over the last five years, we've seen an influx of gluten-free options entering our restaurants. While the fine dining options are plentiful, there are also many casual restaurants and markets that cater to gluten-free diets. And… Continue Reading

Best Gluten-Free Sit-Down Restaurants on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 13, 2017

A member of our family was diagnosed with gluten issues about seven years ago. Since then, she's been on a gluten-free diet. At the time of the diagnosis, finding a great gluten-free meal on Maui was tough. Nowadays, finding a restaurant without gluten-free options is a rarity.… Continue Reading

A Brief History of Poke in Hawaii

Posted on September 11, 2017

Poke (pronounced poh-kay, rhymes with okay) literally means "to cut crosswise into pieces." It's a simple dish, made of chopped seafood, generally tuna, marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, and mixed with onion. But, you'll find many variations of this when you visit poke shops, and… Continue Reading

Best Poke in Grocery Stores and Shops on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 11, 2017

Poke, on Maui, is like coffee, in Seattle, or pizza, in Manhattan... it can be found everywhere. From that dingy looking gas station to the highest end restaurants, you don't have to look far to find it. But, where should you go for the best poke, on… Continue Reading

Best Horseback Riding Tours on Maui

Posted on September 09, 2017

Best Horseback Riding Tours on Maui

Riding can be a lot of fun for the whole family, if you're adventurous and looking for unique perspectives on Maui sightseeing. Most sightseeing is done via car, or helicopter, or boat (in our case). Each option has its own enticing qualities.… Continue Reading

Maui Hiking Guide

Posted on September 07, 2017

Maui, the Valley Isle, is blessed with many great hiking opportunities. Whether you've never hiked in your life, you're hiking with small children, or you're a seasoned hiker, Maui has you covered. Going from easiest to hardest, here is a list of hikes that we recommend to… Continue Reading

Best Coffee Ice Cream on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 06, 2017

Hawaii is the only state in the country that commercially grows coffee. As a result, we have actual, locally sourced coffee around these parts. Most of the coffee goes for drinking, but it sure makes for some good ice creams and gelatos. Here are our favorites...

Lappert's (Wailea… Continue Reading

Best Pizza on Maui - HOP to it

Posted on September 05, 2017

To be honest, there aren't a lot of great pizza places on Maui. But the places on this list are truly top-notch. Unique to Maui pizzas are the local ingredients and toppings you can generally only find here. Step outside of your normal pizza zone and try… Continue Reading

Six Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles Released into Maui Waters

Posted on September 02, 2017

Six Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles Released into Maui Waters

The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle (honu) is one of the most the most beloved native species that you can find here on Maui. They show up in a seemingly endless array of artwork, jewelry, gifts, film, photographs, and the list… Continue Reading


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