Maui is blessed with an abundance of fresh fish, so it’s no surprise that the sushi here is out of this world. During our ten-day stay on the island, my boyfriend and I made it our mission to try out all of the best sushi restaurants on Maui.
We asked locals and online communities for their recommendations and made a list of our favorites. We were not disappointed!
In fact, we enjoyed them all so much that we had a hard time choosing a favorite. Each of these restaurants had its own unique style and flavor, and we loved them all. No matter which one of these restaurants you choose, you’re sure to have a delicious and memorable meal!
If you’re looking for an unforgettable culinary adventure, be sure to add these five sushi restaurants to your list! Let’s get to it!
#1. Miso Phat Sushi – Best Sushi in West Maui
When choosing between taste and presentation, I always go for the taste. The great thing about this place is that the food is fresh, clean, and tasty, and the presentation is exquisite. Miso Phat is my number one pick because they have the most delicious food I have tasted on the island.
The restaurant is local and modest. Four-five tables and the bar area that seats maybe six people. You can have takeout (call in – then eat at the beach), but for the full experience, dine in. We arrived prepared to wait for a table, and it took about 40 minutes to be seated for dinner.
When ordering the food, we had the opportunity to ask questions of knowledgeable workers and even have a short chat with the chef. He gave us a couple of helpful suggestions. The owners have their boat, so part of the fish is locally caught and prepared the same day (sea to plate, one could say!) My boyfriend and I ate everything – but there were gluten-free and vegetarian options.
I had the tasty Seared Ahi Salad with avocado and Unagi Sauce as a starter. My boyfriend ordered the baked muscles. For the main meal, we shared the Chirashi Sushi with a side of Sriracha and TNT Roll (Shrimp Tempura and Crab roll topped with Ahi Poke and served with Unagi sauce and Agave Honey.) The portions were big and fresh.
I noticed on the menu there were cooked options and kid’s meals for small picky eaters.
Note: The restaurant does not serve alcohol, but in Hawaiian tradition, you are welcome to bring your own. We purchased a chilled Sauvignon Blanc – which paired perfectly with our meal.
No sushi lover should miss dining here because:
- The restaurant is local, the workers catch part of their fish, and everything tastes amazing.
- This is a funky, relaxed vacation experience, more so than a formal dress-up experience.
- You have so many options on the menu. Everyone will find something they love.
- The workers are knowledgeable about the food they prepare, so you can receive helpful recommendations and learn about the preparation process.
#2. Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar – Best Sushi in Wailea Maui
This place was an excellent second choice. The restaurant is clean, elegant, and especially great if you bring non-sushi eaters. In other words, you enjoy the highest quality fresh sushi while your children and friends still dine from a top-notch menu (steak and pasta!).
I made dinner reservations a day ahead at their Sansei Kapalua location (they also have a mall location, several additional restaurants, and a steak house). Sansei Kapalua has a great cocktail bar and an even better outside seating area.
We chose a romantic spot out on the terrace. The server was friendly and quick.
As a starter, I had the Miso Soup, and my boyfriend had the Ocean Seaweed salad. For our main meal, we shared three appetizers: Sansei style Ahi Poke – in a spicy poke sauce, Mango crab salad hand roll, and Fresh Hamachi Carpaccio – with jalapeños and truffle ponzu sauce.
The presentation of the food was beautiful. We were so full that we skipped the desert. But I did see an apple tart that looked wonderful. And a brownie Sunday, which some kids were enjoying!
Note: there is a takeout option for those looking to eat at the beach – call ahead for pickup.
You should check out this restaurant because:
- It is family-friendly with outside seating options.
- There is a wonderful selection of drinks and cocktails.
- The menu is diverse, with barbeque and pasta options for family members that don’t enjoy sushi.
- The sushi is very fresh and flavorful. Some of the best in the area.
#3. Nuka – Most authentic sushi restaurant
This is a small, tightly packed gem! It doesn’t look touristy (wooden beach hut), and the prices are reasonable. If you like feeling like part of the local community, eat here.
We had lunch – no reservation. The wait to be seated was about 30 minutes. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. We were able to have some drinks while waiting to be seated.
This meal was my boyfriend’s favorite on the trip. The master sushi chef had been known for his work for over 35 years (soo, that might have something to do with it!) We enjoyed the family-style local vibe and homemade-style food. We both had cucumber sunomono salad with ginger to start.
The portions were delicious, and the vegetables were fresh and refreshing. We split some Hokki clam sashimi and spicy Hamachi rolls for our main meal. The flavor of the dishes was very authentic.
I had some fantastic homemade green tea ice cream and freshly squeezed star-fruit lemonade for dessert.
Are you looking for a break from the tourist attractions? Visit this restaurant.
Nuka made my list because:
- This is not a high tourist place, so you get to know the local families.
- The food is authentic and original.
- There are delicious teriyaki and baked fish options for family members that don’t eat sushi.
- No reservations. Just come, hang out and wait your turn.
- Takeout option if you want to take your food to the beach.
- Lots of fun options at the bar.
#4. Lahaina Sushi Ko – Best Sushi in Lahaina Maui
This beautiful modern restaurant is full of artwork and stylish decor. There are two eating areas. A large open area and a part inside area with air conditioning. It is easy to eat here with friendly staff. There are fun shops around, so if you need to wait, there is plenty to see or grab a drink.
We had a lovely lunch here. I appreciated how fresh the fish was. The plating of the food was beautiful and clean. The food didn’t have too much dressing or seasoning. It was simple.
I recommend Hawaiian rolls (yellowtail, asparagus, cucumber, tuna, and jalapenos). The sushi combo (chef’s choice) is also suitable for trying different tastes. We washed our food down with Thai ice tea.
You can bring sushi haters to this place, and they will still love it. There are tasty teriyaki chicken options, noodles, and pot stickers available. Mochi ice cream is the winning dessert – my boyfriend’s favorite!
Note: There are no reservations, so prepare to wait a bit. Also, the restaurant does not work on Mondays.
Here’s why you should visit this restaurant:
#5. Koiso Sushi Bar – Best Sushi in Kihei Maui
Koiso Sushi bar is a mom-and-pop sushi shop. The restaurant and seating are unpretentious, cozy, and traditional (also very limited). There are a few family-styled tables outside and a few tables and a bar inside. The owners working there are experienced and knowledgeable about their food and taste.
We reserved our dinner spot two weeks in advance. The menu is not fancy, so I recommend sticking with the chef’s choice. We had the Omakase 24-piece platter with some of the freshest fish I have ever had. The platter had a combination of tunas, salmon, unagi, swordfish, ebi, tamago, scallops, and fresh herbs on the side. The cuts of fish were tasty and pleasing on the pallet. For dessert, we had some fresh fruit.
This restaurant is not kids-friendly or a place to study snacks and baked goods menu. Come here only if you and your guests enjoy traditional and authentic sushi. I would not recommend takeout because this is not beach-friendly food.
Note: You must make a reservation well in advance. They only offer two dinner times, so everything fills up. Keeping mealtimes limited allows them to provide amazing food.
Here is why you should check out Koiso Sushi Bar:
- Very talented and knowledgeable sushi chef with a traditional menu.
- The ingredients are fresh, well combined, and simple.
- Food is not covered and is overwhelmed by sauces, dips, mayo, or herbs.
Maui is one of the best places to eat delicious sushi. Naturally rich with fresh ingredients, this place offers every type of imaginable sushi. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced sushi eater, there is a perfect restaurant.
Everyone can find something in restaurants like Miso Phat Sushi and Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar. Or you can trust my boyfriend and check out Nuka for a local feel.
We had a blast trying out some delicious food.
I hope you have the same experience.
Bon Appetite, or as the Hawaiians would say – Keu a ka ono!
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ):
What is the most famous sushi?
Among the most famous sushi are the California and rainbow rolls. The spicy tuna roll can be found on most sushi menus. Unlike the California roll, made with imitation crab meat, the rainbow roll and spicy tuna are made with raw fish. Recipes slightly vary depending on the chef, but most sushi rolls include imitation crab, cucumber, avocado, salmon, tuna, shrimp, yellowtail, or eel.
Does Hawaii have good sushi?
Yes. Hawaii has excellent sushi. Most of the fish is locally sourced, making it extremely fresh all year round. Because of Hawaii’s tourism, the restaurants have attracted some of the most experienced sushi chefs.
What is the best sushi to try first?
If you are new to sushi or trying to introduce your little ones to this traditional Japanese food, you should start with some mild-tasting rolls (some without raw fish).
- California roll: crab, avocado, cucumber
- Vegetable roll: red pepper, cucumber, avocado
- Spicy tuna: tuna with mayo, cucumber
- Philly roll: salmon, cream cheese, and avocado
Last Updated on January 10, 2023 by Brigitte