Since writing The Foodist Bucket List book, outlining the top 100 food adventures on Maui, I get asked the same question over and over...
"Where is the BEST sushi on Maui?!"
The problem is... Maui's food scene is richly influenced by Asian cuisines which, combined with a ton of fresh fish, means there are more sushi spots than you can shake a stick at.
The good news is, most of these spots are actually pretty dang good.
However, there are some that I've found to stand above the rest.
Now to be clear, some of the best single rolls on the island can be found at nearly any of the 5 star restaurants, where they feature a few sushi inspired items. While these are going to be phenomenally delicious, they are also going to be absurdly expensive.
So the list below is meant to layout my favorite off-the-resort options for the best sushi on Maui...
Kihei & Kapalua
From what I've experienced, their rolls are about average for Maui --which still means they are pretty dang delicious.
If only average, why did they make the list then, you ask? Because of the 50% off early bird special*... which makes them the proprietors of some of Maui's most economically friendly raw fish.
*There are no reservations for this special, and the lines are notoriously long... you've been warned.
A local favorite, this spot is known for putting uniquely delicious twists on traditional rolls (like the Lollipop roll!), and also has a full menu of Asian-inspired eats incase some of your party is raw-fish shy (like the wasabi fries!).
Service tends to be good--but it's Maui so you never know, parking tends to be a nightmare--good luck, and the specialty rolls tend to be pricey--if your looking to fill up, keep it simple.
Lahaina & Kihei
Friendly service, creative rolls, fresh fish, and reasonable prices... what more could you ask for?
This spot is a favorite amongst tourists and locals alike, and a must for any sushi-lover visiting the island. Rumor has it they are phasing out their BYOB, but people say they are still allowing it, so give it a shot if your looking to sip while you nosh!
Photo Credit: Keven P
While you and I sleep and play angry birds, Chef Hiroaki works around the clock in his unassuming* raw-fish-workshop sourcing the best fish he can get his hands on, day dreaming about his next creation, and meticulously crafting some of the best sushi on Maui, and some of the best I have had the privilege of eating.
Note: this place is about the fish. You get large portions, it is fresh, and it is deliciously complimented by the subtle flavors of accompanying ingredients. If your favorite rolls are usually deep fried and stuffed with cream cheese... this is not the spot for you!
* This spot only seats a dozen people, reservations are a must!
"Ben's rainbow roll is my favorite roll on the island"
I guess that pretty much sums it up? It's the first place I go when I get on the island, and it's the first place I miss when I leave. Don't let the unassuming location or lack of Yelp reviews fool you... this place is the real deal.
Technically it is just a rainbow roll--and normally I'm not a fan of anything with crab mix--but I call it "Ben's" because I swear he is doing something magical to it.
It could just be the fat lashings of fish, generous portions of avocado, and piles of fish roe, or maybe it's the perfectly cut pieces that just barely squeeze into your mouth, whatever the case... this roll on its own level of edible-awesomeness.
Their other food? Their other rolls? ... I wouldn't know.