Cool Cat Cafe
658 Front St., Lahaina
Cool Cat is one of Maui’s quintessential burger joints, winning burger awards year after year. They have the whole deal: great burgers in a variety of flavors, fries, onion rings, ice cream shakes, and boozy adult shakes, too. On top of that, they have salads, steaks, ribs, fresh fish sandos, and tacos. Their burger of the month specials read like an irresistible dare; check their instagram feed for the latest one. It’s so satisfying to tuck into one of their burgers, be it veggie, beef, fish, or chicken. Biting into the juicy patty layered with crispy veggies and tasty condiments surrounded by pillows of warm bread is an experience to savor. They also have live music, a full bar, and great banyan tree harbor views from their top-level dining at the Wharf.
Pita Paradise Mediterranean Bistro
34 Wailea Ike Dr., Kihei
Pita Paradise has nailed Wailea Mediterranean dining, combining their Greek-inspired menu with elegant European-style dining and their outdoor garden grotto. Their owner is the restaurant’s very own fisherman, so Johnny’s fresh catch is popular on the menu. Their Australian free-range lamb dishes are my go-to because they have their own Greek family recipes, and you can get it with salad, in lamb burger or gyro, or as an entree served with sauteed veggies, pilaf and tzatziki The menu is easily accessible for vegans and vegetarians as well.
395 Dairy Rd, Kahului
Take your chicken taco cravings to Pinatas, like I do. The crispy fresh-made corn tortilla taco shell is stuffed with their succulent shredded chicken, topped with cheese, chopped lettuce and cabbage, tomato, and their housemade salsa. You can also get their tacos in grilled fish, shrimp, carne asada, or whatever protein floats you. Their homestyle Mexican recipes are bomb, and they have kept their prices reasonable. You can’t beat their options and combo plates. Pinatas has renewed their climate-controlled interior with a completely copasetic new vibe. They also do live music shows called Sunday Sessions, next door in another completely renewed space. Get your tickets online, kick back on Sundays and enjoy tunes, chips, salsa, drinks, and desserts.