Kapalua is home to several fine dining locations which serve the freshest Hawaii Regional Cuisine. The Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement dates back to 1991, when 12 Hawaiian chefs decided to come together to create a coalition of culinary experts who pushed Hawaii to embrace its indigenous fruits, vegetables, meats, and more. Today, you can find Hawaii Regional Cuisine in a number of restaurants around the island who serve up native ingredients daily. In this article, we’ll list a few of Kapalua’s must-visit restaurants, while highlighting a few delicious meals that you won’t want to miss out on.
If you are planning on traveling to Kapalua, and are looking for an affordable way to see the island while still experiencing the privacy and bliss that comes from one of Hawaii’s many villa rentals, contact Aloha Vacation Villas today. We offer properties with stunning beach views, full kitchens, and much more, and know that you will be pleased by having your very own rental that you can call home. Resorts charge exorbitant cleaning and maintenance fees, and are often overcrowded. Why pay more for less, when you could bask in the quiet seclusion that comes with a villa rental? To read more about some of Kapalua’s culinary dining experiences, continue reading below.
The Wine Palette
If you are looking for an upscale establishment serving high-end wines, martinis, and more, consider spending your day at The Wine Palette. One of the best wine bars in all of Hawaii, The Wine Palette provides guests with an extensive wine menu, where guests may order individual glasses of wine, as well as entire bottles. Choose from sparkling white wines and rosés, or bold red wines like a merlot or malbec. There is truly something for everyone at The Wine Palette, as their wine menu offers well over 100 different variations of wines to choose from. The Wine Palette also offers a daily happy hour from 3 pm to 5:30 pm, where you can choose from numerous wines, martinis, and beer. What makes The Wine Palette unique, however, is that they offer canvases, wine glasses, and frames for painting while you enjoy your very own bottle of wine. For just a small fee, guests can decorate their very own wine glass, creating a memorable experience that you soon won’t forget.
Considering eating at The Wine Palette? Why not start with an appetizer, such as an elegant dish of edamame dashed with truffle oil and Hawaiian sea salt, or a dessert like the Kapalua brownie loaded with caramel mousse. Guests may also order main dishes as well, like pulled BBQ pork sliders, or garlic and herb crusted lamb chops. Wherever your taste buds may lead you at The Wine Palette, you’ll be more than pleased that you dined at Hawaii’s best wine bar.
The Banyan Tree
Located at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, The Banyan Tree is an upscale restaurant serving delicious Hawaii Regional Cuisines such as seared mahi with barbecue spice rub, or Maui onion crusted ahi with maitake mushrooms. The Banyan Tree accommodates guests of all kinds, and even offers an extensive vegetarian menu where guests can choose from premium dishes such as fettuccine primavera, or signature Hawaiian sweet bread. Whatever your food preference may be, The Banyan Tree has a mouthwatering dish to satiate every type of palate.
Known for their unique cocktails, guests may choose from coconut mojitos, Mai Tais, or the popular grapefruit sparkler. For customers looking for a unique dining experience, The Banyan Tree also features a sunset experience menu, where guests may indulge in the finest foods while watching a sherbet sunset settle in over Kapalua Bay. Desserts range from malasada, a warm Hawaiian donut served up with a delectable scoop of vanilla ice cream, to the undeniably delightful hala kahiki mousse, a pineapple dessert with mango sorbet orange caviar. If you are interested in dining at The Banyan Tree while you visit Hawaii, be sure to make reservations online in advance, as tables tend to fill up quickly, especially during their sunset experience hours.
Straying from traditional Hawaii Regional Cuisine, Taverna is an excellent choice for those looking for an Italian dining experience. Principal partner and operator Chris Kaiwi has a seasoned palate for the culinary arts, as he previously was a managing partner to Pineapple Grill, as well as the general manager for Plantation House. With a history of success throughout various Hawaii Regional Cuisine restaurants, it’s no wonder why Taverna is one of Kapalua’s most popular dining spots.
With a wide lineup of cocktails, craft beers, and wines, all at an affordable price, you will be sure to find your drink of choice without worrying about breaking the bank. With over 30 craft beers to choose from, and a handful of red wines and white wines, you will have no troubles finding a drink that aligns with your preferred taste. However, Taverna’s food menu is where customers will really begin to take notice. Start with classic Caprese with mozzarella, basil oil, and balsamic vinegar before diving into main dishes like the bistecca alla fiorentina, a grilled 16-ounce T-bone steak with arugula, truffle oil, and charred lemon. If you plan on visiting Taverna while you are basking in the pleasures of Hawaii, consider making reservations beforehand to ensure that you will be able to be seated at a table without waiting.
An unconventional and casual dining choice for those visiting Hawaii, Burger Shack is located right along the ocean in the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. A unique spin on burgers, the Burger Shack serves up dishes like the Molokai Runner, seared mahi mahi with citrus caper tartar sauce, kula greens, and pickled onions. Guests can also enjoy a rich and creamy milkshake with their meal, which are available in chocolate, savory, and fruity variations.
If you are looking for an easy way to cool off from a long day at the beach, the Burger Shack’s beer and cocktail menu will surely exceed your expectations. With fun drink creations such as the adult chocolate root beer float, you can be sure that you will find something to cleanse your palate while cooling off at the same time.
While these are just a few of Kapalua’s restaurants located around the island, there are countless dining locations to choose from while you visit Hawaii. If you are planning on booking a trip to Kapalua in the near future, consider renting a vacation villa from Aloha Vacation Villas. We offer several properties to choose from, and provide customers with an affordable rate so that they may enjoy their getaway as much as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to learn more about any of our Kapalua Bay villas, contact our friendly staff today!