Mommy Needs A Mai Tai

Last Updated on February 3, 2024 by Florabeth Coble

The best family-friendly restaurants on Maui.

Wondering where and what to eat on Maui with kids? I am raising two hungry boys on the island of Maui, and we love going out to eat! We have also learned some hard lessons along the way.

Keep reading to learn about the best family-friendly restaurants on Maui and which ones are best for your crew.

A baby in front of an aloha sign at a family-friendly restaurant on Maui.

Every parent of young children knows what it’s like to take your family out to eat, only to be spilled on and verbally abused by a three-year-old. The restaurant is not kid-friendly, and you leave halfway through the meal because cold leftovers are still better than whatever this is.

I’ve been there. 

We love eating out as a family, and choosing the right spot is essential for everyone’s sanity. 

Every Hawaiian island is unique. And one might argue that what sets Maui apart is its cuisine. Countless restaurants are sourcing locally grown, fresh ingredients. And while there are plenty of franchises, eating local is a great way to support our economy and immerse yourself in various traditions and local flavors.

Aside from staying in the best resorts and exploring kid-friendly beaches, dining and eating out is a big part of enjoying a vacation. You only get so many meals. Why not make them all great?

Toddler feet and a spam musubi.
Kids and Hawaii go together like spam and rice.

What Kind of Food is Hawaii Known For?

Hawaiian cuisine is a delicious melting pot that reflects its diverse culture. If you want to try something new while you’re here, be on the lookout for loco moco, lau lau, poi, Maui Gold pineapple, huli huli chicken, breadfruit, kalua pork, and lomi salmon

Anything described as a “plate lunch” includes a main dish with macaroni salad and two scoops of rice. This is about as local as it gets. You’ll find plate lunches at any mom-and-pop eatery on the island.

Spam became a staple in Hawaii during World War II and is still popular today! Spam fried rice is salty and the perfect hangover cure. Pick up a spam musubi from any market or grocery store. They are surprisingly delicious and make for an affordable snack that fills a little person’s belly quickly. Grab a few for a day at the beach!

A trip to Hawaii is not complete without a stack of coconut pancakes. And don’t skip on the ono (delicious) Hawaiian desserts like malasadas, banana bread, butter mochi, shave ice, and haupia. You’ll thank me later.

A toddler eating with his dad at a family-frieindly food truck on Maui.
Enjoying fresh fish from Kitoko at Kihei Food Truck Park.

Are There Any family-Friendly Food Trucks on Maui? 

Yes! As far as I’m concerned, every food truck is a family-friendly restaurant on Maui. They are increasing in popularity, and you will see them popping up just about everywhere. 

Many innovative chefs are choosing to put a stove on wheels. The food quality on food trucks is often comparable to many restaurants because they share the same access to local farms and high-quality ingredients. I’m continually amazed at the caliber of food produced in such small spaces.

Food trucks are also a great way to save money. You don’t have to pay resort price tags to experience Maui’s incredible foodie scene.

There are a few designated “food truck parks” on Maui. This is a great option for families because of the casual atmosphere, outdoor setting, and opportunity for everyone in the family to order whatever they want. 

These are our favorite food truck park locations on Maui:

Plate Lunch Marketplace (across from Costco in Kahului) at 591 Haleakala Highway, Kahului, HI 96732

South Maui Gardens at 35 Auhana Road, Kihei, HI 96753

Kihei Food Truck Park at 1 Pi’ikea Avenue, Kihei, HI 96732

Hana Food Truck Park at 5124 Hana Highway, Maui, HI 96713

Grab it to-go if you don’t like dealing with the heat or potentially sticky outdoor tables. Hawaii has banned all styrofoam and plastic utensils, so if you don’t like eating with wooden forks, bring a travel set.

Fish from Coconuts Fish Cafe on Maui.
Takeout from Coconuts Fish Cafe

Kid-friendly tips for eating on Maui

•Maui is expensive, especially when it comes to food. If you’re on a budget but want to dine out, remember that this is still America, and the portions are often very large. If your kids are small, start with one or two dishes for everyone to share and see if that satisfies your whole crew. Chances are that your kids didn’t need their own $20 meal, and now you have room in your budget to dine out again. Keep an eye out for happy hours with half-price “pupus (appetizers).”

•If you have assembled a kid’s backpack with things to do on the plane, keep it in your rental car to bring into restaurants to help keep them entertained.

•Don’t underestimate the value of a picnic! I love sitting in a restaurant. But we never regret getting something to go and throwing a blanket down at a beach park. The kids run freely while we watch the sun dip into the sea.

•Our favorite takeout-only restaurants on the island are Tin Roof (internationally recognized local food) in Kahului and 808 Deli in Kihei (hearty sandwiches and salads). 

•For a unique experience, you may want to consider one of the many farm-to-table restaurants on Maui. The six-course dinner offered upcountry at Maui Bees is one of our favorites. My kids love to walk around this gorgeous property and visit the bee museum, where you can observe the bees safely behind glass. Kids six and older can even suit up in a real beekeeper suit and partake in their hands-on honey bee workshop.

Toddler eating at family-friendly Fork and Salad restaurant on Maui.
Fork & Salad in Kihei

The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants on Maui 

Most restaurants on Maui are kid-friendly and will accommodate children, but these are our favorites, tried and true!

Listed in order from casual all the way to fine dining:

Coconuts Fish Cafe

Coconuts a great option if you’re looking for Hawaiian flavors and fish in a fast, casual setting. Order at the counter and eat at one of the surfboard-shaped tables. The restaurants are clean, and the service is always fast and attentive. They offer a kid’s menu, and this mama loves their “taco fish mountain:” mahi mahi, brown rice, coconut slaw, and mango. Don’t forget the hot sauce! 

They have two locations in Kihei:

1279 South Kihei Road, Kihei, HI 96753 (Azeka Shopping Center)

2463 South Kihei Road, Kihei, HI 96753 (Kamole Shopping Center)

Fork & Salad

Sometimes, even on vacation, you just need some greens! Fork & Salad is a fantastic option for fast, big, hearty salads. They also offer great sandwiches and a nice kid’s menu that comes with a side of fresh fruit. Order at the counter, sit at a table, or grab it to go.

They have two locations on Maui: 

120 Ho’okele Street, Kahului, HI 96732 (Puunene Shopping Center, near Target)

1279 South Kihei Rd #204, Kihei, HI 96753 (Azeka Shopping Center)

Choice Health Bar

Choice is a great spot to take a break from the midday heat and grab something fresh to eat. Their menu is plant-based and sourced from dozens of local farmers. My kids and I love to share their acai bowls. Don’t expect fresh food in a hurry; they prefer to take their time.

11 Baldwin Avenue, Paia, HI 96779

Kihei Caffe in Kihei, Maui
Kihei Caffe

Kihei Caffe

This ocean-facing diner can be seen from south Kihei Road and Kalama Beach Park. People have been lining up at Kihei Caffe for years to indulge in their big breakfasts and unpretentious, cozy vibe. The portions are big, and the line moves fast. Their newest location opened at the Maui Coast Hotel in 2023. Kids love the whale pancake!

They have three locations:

1945 S Kihei Road, Kihei, HI 96753

2259 S Kihei Road, Kihei, HI 96753 (Maui Coast Hotel)

305 Keawe St, Lahaina, HI 96761 (unaffected by Aug. 2023 fires)


(Happy to report that Slappycakes survived the August 2023 Maui fires and is now open for business.)

Slappycakes is ridiculous in all the right ways. The tables come with built-in griddles, allowing you to make your own pancakes with whatever toppings you choose. The experience is sure to make every kid (and parent) happy. They also have a full breakfast menu and fun cocktails. Try the Slappy Mai Tai!

3350 Lower Honoapiilani Road #707, Lahaina, HI 96761


If you’re exploring Upcountry Maui, Freshies is a cute spot with good food, catering to vegetarians and meat eaters alike. They live up to their name by sourcing as much as possible from local farmers. Sit at the cowboy counter or enjoy Makawao town by grabbing a seat outside.

They do have a separate kid’s menu, but you have to ask for it.

3620 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, HI 96768

Takeout from Paia Fish Market in Kihei, Maui.
Takeout from Paia Fish Market

Paia Fish Market

As far as I’m concerned, Paia Fish Market is a non-negotiable while visiting Maui. It’s hard to find fresh fish in a casual, family-friendly setting, and Paia Fish Market gets it right. The food is so good, you might have to wait in line. They have a kid’s menu and plenty of options for picky eaters who don’t like fish.

They have two locations on Maui:

100 Hana Highway, Paia, HI 96779

1913 S Kihei Road, Kihei, HI 96753

Leoda’s Pie Shop

(Thankfully, Leoda’s survived the August 2023 Maui fires and is open for business.)

Leoda’s describes itself as “glorified grandma comfort food,” and it hits that spot in all the right ways. Even the physical restaurant gives off the same warm fuzzies that I would experience at my grandparent’s house back in the day. The menu is fresh, the savory pies are delicious, and the small, sweet pies are to die for. 

820 Olowalu Village Road, Lahaina, HI 96761

Seared Ahi Sandwich from Nalu's South Shore Grill restaurant in Kihei, Maui.
Seared ahi sandwich from Nalu’s South Shore Grill.

Nalu’s South Shore Grill

Nalu’s is a casual, order-the-counter restaurant that takes great pride in serving up fresh, local food with a modern-day twist. You’ll forget that it’s located in an outdoor shopping center once you’re inside. We love the open-air seating, live music, and easy feeling of aloha. It’s one of our family’s favorites and a great spot for kids. 

1280 South Kihei Road, Kihei, HI 96753

Fred’s Mexican Cafe

The oceanfront view and lively, fun atmosphere are what make Fred’s so family-friendly and great. The food is good, the portions are big, and the prices are right. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week.

2511 South Kihei Road #201, Kihei, HI 96753

Flatbread Pizza Company

Flatbread Pizza is a casual, sit-down restaurant serving up great pizza and entrees. They get very busy, so put your name on the list and explore Paia Town while you wait. They don’t offer a kid’s menu but do cater to children and might even give you some pizza dough for them to play with at the table.

89 Hana Highway, Paia, HI 96779

A toddler looking out the window at Maui Brewing Company in Kihei, Maui.
A rare rainy day in Kihei at Maui Brewing Company.

Maui Brewing Company in Kihei

I will never understand why so many breweries are more kid-friendly than most restaurants, but I’m not complaining. Maui Brewing takes the cake. This place has become a full-on enterprise with an extensive menu, lots of swag, photo ops, and award-winning brews. Grab a seat outside and let the kids run around while you watch the sunset. We might just see you there!

They have three locations on Maui:

(The Kihei location is by far the most kid-friendly.)

605 Lipoa Parkway, Kihei, HI 96753

4405 HI-30 Ste 217, Lahaina, HI 96761

2525 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761 (Outrigger Beach Resort)

Ocean Vodka

Ocean Vodka offers a unique experience in Maui’s upcountry region. This is an organic farm and distillery with a small, delicious menu and sweeping island views. Sit outside and enjoy the beauty while you sip on a locally sourced cocktail and your kids devour one of their amazing pizzas. They prefer reservations, but we’ve never had a problem just stopping by.

4051 Omaopio Road, Kula, HI 96790

A Mai Tai from Monkeypod restaurant in Wailea, Maui.
The famous mai tai from Monkeypod in Wailea.


I would be remiss to leave out the restaurant showcasing the island’s most popular mai tai. Even if you don’t like this quintessential Hawaiian drink, it’s worth trying here. It’s special, and not just because of the lilikoi (passionfruit) foam they put on top.

Monkeypod is a Maui staple, popular with both visitors and locals. The food is incredible, and the atmosphere is fun and loud, making it an easy place to bring noisy children. Try one of the yummy cream pies for dessert. They book up fast and highly recommend making a reservation a few days in advance.

They have two locations on Maui:

10 Wailea Gateway Pl B-201, Kihei, HI 96753

2435 Kaanapali Pkwy Bldg I-1, Lahaina, HI 96761

Cafe O’lei at the Plantation

Because of its vast outdoor setting, Cafe O’lei at the Plantation wins our family’s vote for Maui’s most kid-friendly upscale restaurant. Walk around the pond and/or purchase food from the gift shop to feed the ducks while you wait.

The food at The Mill House is to die for, the service is top-notch, and the views of the west Maui mountains are incredible. You can’t go wrong with their fresh fish of the day. They don’t have a kid’s menu, but their flatbread and pasta are always a hit. Reservations are almost always required.

(Please note that this describes the Wailuku location at the Maui Tropical Plantation. Cafe O’lei in Kihei is far more casual but not as kid-friendly because of the lack of outdoor space.)

They have two locations on Maui:

1670 HI-30, Wailuku, HI 96793

2439 South Kihei Rd #201a, Kihei, HI 96753

A toddler cheersing dad at family-friendly restaurant on Maui.
Humble Market Kitchin at the Wailea Beach Resort didn’t make the list, but we love it, and they’re great with kids!

Me Ke Aloha 

(Cheers/With Great Love)

Please let me know how these recommendations worked out for you and if you fell in love with any other kid-friendly restaurants on the island. May every meal on Maui be better than your last! 

Next Up: Maui With Kids: The Ultimate Guide

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Picture of Aloha, I'm Florabeth Coble

Aloha, I'm Florabeth Coble

Most people call me Flo. I'm a busy mama raising two young boys in Hawaii. We share our adventures, travel tips, itineraries, and honest reviews so that you can plan your own family-friendly trip to Hawaii.