wailea restaurant

Exceptional regional cuisine and stellar outdoor dining await at Gannon’s. (Photo: Courtesy of Gannon’s Restaurant)


Who’s the Pied Piper of Hawaii Cuisine? You’ll Unearth That and More at Wailea’s Restaurants

What could be as good as relaxing on the gorgeous beaches of Wailea? Dining at one of the area’s top-notch restaurants, that’s what.

Gather on Maui in Wailea

Gather on Maui has terrific ambience; its lanai dining offers a panoramic view of the ocean and of tropical sunsets beyond the coconut trees.

wailea restaurants
A romantic meal awaits at Gannon’s. (Photo: Courtesy of Gannon’s Restaurant)

Chef Beverly Gannon, who also runs the restaurant Hali’imaile General Store, serves Hawaiian regional cuisine — contemporary dishes inspired by fresh local ingredients. There’s an extended happy hour at the restaurant’s Red Bar and live music on the weekends. And if you’re around at the right time, check out their Movies Under the Stars events.

Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman

Popular “locavore” chef Peter Merriman, whom the Los Angeles Times called the “Pied Piper of Hawaii Regional Cuisine,” owns the upscale Wailea restaurant Monkeypod Kitchen.

Merriman, a member of the Hawaii Restaurant Association Hall of Fame, features locally sourced ingredients, including fresh fish that comes in on the boat each day.

The restaurant is known for its Monkeypod Mai Tai, which has a passion fruit foam; the poke tacos are also delicious. They hand toss pizzas in the kiawe-wood pizza oven. (Would you choose the Proletariat pizza, with pepperoni, or the Bourgeois pizza, topped with lobster and wild mushrooms?)

There’s also live music and 36 craft brews on tap that are always served at 29 degrees.

Matteo’s Osteria

Don’t let the fact that it’s located in a strip mall throw you! At Matteo’s Osteria, Chef Matteo Mistura, who was born and raised in Liguria, Italy, serves locally sourced Italian cuisine, and Matteo’s has the island’s largest selection of wines by the glass. There’s even a happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

Here’s your perfect Matteo’s evening: Sit on the patio, order the restaurant’s signature lasagna dish (it’s served in a crock) and finish off your meal with tiramisu.