I assume that the title of this post might become controversial so I thought it warranted its own topic.
Many of the topics on the Hawaii section of this Chowhound tab have different ways of phrasing the question "what is the “best” restaurant on Maui?" Having just concluded my eigth trip and 12th week in Maui over a ten year period, I have to conclusively let people know that the best FOOD on Maui will be found a Nick’s Fish Market restaurant in the Fairmont Hotel in Wailea. Full stop.
I know many people want the right answer to be one of the locally owned places like Mama’s Fish House or Hali'imaile General Store instead of a corporate resort run shop like Nick’s. So do I, please believe me. This is a website for people focused on FOOD quality, however, and we have to acknowledge the facts as they are, not as we wish they were.
Mama's Fish House probably has the most authentically Hawaiian atmosphere of all fine dining options on the island of Maui. However, the food, while very good, is not THE best on the island and does not warrant being the highest priced on the island in my mind (and on my palate).
Best Hawaiian Atmosphere? Yes, the best (as long as you don't have a problem with dense, fun, sea-faring decor and a 100 dining tables or more producing a rush-hour-like, train station effect).
Best FOOD on the Island at Mama’s? No.
Conversely, Nick’s Fish Market is on a corporate resort property and therefore does not quite have as “true” an authentic Hawaiian feel as Mama’s does. In fact is may have the third best ambiance overall of these top-three spots. However, if you are searching this board because you are looking for the best, Pacific-themed, world-quality FOOD experience available on Maui, that will absolutely be found a Nick’s Fish Market at the Fairmont Hotel in Wailea. This is not even a close call for world travellers who are being honest with themselves about food quality.
Rounding out this reviewer’s top three picks on the island is Hali'imaile General Store. For the Honeymooners, the General Store might actually have the only calm, romantic air about it of all three of these top choices and could be the best place to many people for that reason alone.
If you are in fact looking to find the best prepared food on the island of Maui and are less focused on authentic island ownership or feel of the place, there is absolutely NO question that Nick’s is you place. All three of these are quite good though and worthy of a visit if you are so fortunate.
Please write back and add your opinion if you do…