While we’ve provided our readers with plenty of suggestions for where to feast on Maui’s most delicious foodie delights – from the island’s best street eats to our top local restaurant recommendations – we have yet to offer specifics for several our favorite Maui watering holes. And by water, we of course mean not water.
This time around, we’re giving you a guide to the best bars on Maui, broken down by which type of alcohol you prefer, plan on consuming, or want to taste test while in the Aloha State. And assuming you want to drink more than one type of alcohol in a day (ahem, who doesn’t), we invite you to join us on a Maui Craft Tours excursion to the island’s top winery, brewery and distilleries.
What – and Where – to Drink on Maui
If You’re Drinking: Wine
Arguably the easiest of the drinking crowd to spot – ‘#RoséAllDay,’ anyone? – here on Maui, wine drinkers will thankfully find plenty of reasons to indulge in both day and night libations, whether poolside with the gals or in Hana with the brahs.
Our top recommended wine drinking spots on Maui, however, almost always include:
- The Pour House: Located in the west Maui town of Kapalua, The Pour House offers an extensive wine list, featuring varieties from California, Washington, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Argentina, New Zealand and more, as well as group wine tasting classes, outdoor seating and a delicious burrata bar, not to mention cheese and charcuterie boards.
- The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea: If, like us, you dig a little ambience and sunset view with your vino, south Maui’s adults-only Hotel Wailea should be high on your list of places to eat and drink. A romantic spot with an innovative ‘island-to-table’ menu, guests can indulge in one of the island’s top wine menus over grilled oysters, torched ahi and the Chocolate Napoleon dessert.
- The Plantation House Restaurant: Another Kapalua wine-forward winner, The Plantation House offers a regularly updated, generous wine menu by the glass, as well as half and full bottles. Additionally, keep an eye out for their Winery Dinners, featuring wine pairings with three unique courses, a sunset reception, dessert, and special winemaker guests.
If You’re Drinking: Beer
With year-round tropical weather and constant opportunities for enjoying a day at the beach, sometimes there’s nothing better than an ice cold beer to wash it all down. While you’re more than welcome to grab a 6-pack from the nearest ABC Store to enjoy on your lanai, we recommend those looking to up their local brew game head to one – or all – of the following Maui beer bars:
- Maui Brewing Co.: With locations in both Kihei and Lahaina, you can never go wrong going straight to the source. Visit their popular Kihei location to taste varieties from their 32 tap draft system, and play board games while admiring the views of Molokini Crater in the distance.
- Kohola Brewery: Located in Lahaina Town in west Maui, head to Kohola Brewery’s Taproom to sample their variety of locally-crafted year-round and limited release beers, including popular options like the Lokahi Pilsner, Lahaina Haze IPA and Talk Story Pale Ale.
- What Ales You: A central Kihei tap house and wine bar open since 2015, What Ales You has an extensive, rotating beer menu with options from local and mainland breweries alike. With a covered patio and live music, we love this laid-back spot for a relaxed post-surf beer sesh.
If You’re Drinking: Rum
If it’s a pirate’s life for you, we know just the place to get your rum fix on The Valley Isle. From the perfect handcrafted Maui Mai Tai concoction to righteous rum drinks you’ve maybe never heard of, rest assured that while Maui may not be as popular of a rum destination as, say, Bermuda, it definitely does not disappoint.
- The Mill House: Our top pick for craft cocktails with a view on Maui, The Mill House specializes in signature sugarcane cocktails like the Waikapu Planters Punch with Kō Hana Hawaiian Agricole Rum, as well as classic sugarcane cocktails like craft mojitos, daiquiris, ti punch and more. Even better, you’ll have the opportunity to sample their cocktail menu with us, as it is the last stop on all of our Maui Craft Tours.
- Monkeypod Kitchen: In the fight for the island’s best mai tai, Wailea’s beloved Monkeypod Kitchen almost always arrives at the top of the list. Featuring Kula organic silver and dark rums, lime juice, homemade macadamia nut orgeat, orange curacao and, perhaps most notably, smooth and creamy honey-lilikoi foam to top it all off, this rum cocktail deserves recognition all on its own.
- South Shore Tiki Lounge: For laid-back tropical bar hangs with classics like the Zombie, Mango-Strawberry Daiquiris, Lava Flows and Pina Coladas, Kihei’s South Shore Tiki Lounge offers just what you’re craving when it comes to fun and fruity rum cocktails, late night dancing, lanai seating and live music.
If You’re Drinking: Vodka
If dirty martinis, Moscow mules and Bloody Marys tend to gravitate to the top of your list of favorite adult beverages, you’ll be pleased to find that Maui has plenty of places to kick back and enjoy one of the world’s most versatile spirits. Home of the locally-crafted Ocean Vodka and PAU Maui Vodka brands, we recommend the following bars and restaurants for your next vodka-fuelled outing:
- Lineage Maui: The brainchild of award-winning Chef Sheldon Simeon, originally from the Big Island, Lineage has a knack for creative Hawaiian fare as well as tea, sake and handcrafted cocktails like the radical Gimme da Chicken Skin with Prairie Cucumber Vodka, Broker’s Gin, Carpano Bianco, false lime, false ‘awa, shoyu and habanero shrub, served with crispy chicken skin for emphasis. We also love the Maneki-Neko cocktail with Russian Standard Vodka, jackfruit shrub, sour orange, almond spice liqueur, ginger and egg white. Yum!
- Mala Ocean Tavern: Located oceanfront in west Maui, Mala Ocean Tavern is a classy yet relaxed hangout, perfect for lunch on a beautiful day or even better, happy hour. Sip on one of their many vodka cocktails, like the Mala Mule, The Shrubbery with strawberry-balsamic basil shrub, or the aptly-named Spa Day with watermelon juice, lime and mint, and take in the views in one of the most locally-loved Lahaina bars.
- Barefoot Bar at Hula Grill: One of the few places on Maui where you can (legally) have your feet in the sand while you sip cocktails, this west side Barefoot Bar is also home to the refreshing, delicious Maui Mule, made with Maui’s own Ocean Vodka, mojito mix made with fresh mint grown in Upcountry, and ginger beer. The Lime in Da Coconut, made with coconut water vodka, fresh lime juice and cream of coconut, is also another worthwhile vodka treat.
If You’re Drinking: Gin
For those feeling rather ginvincible on Maui, there are several spots where you can get your gin fix without a hitch. When here, be sure to request Maui’s locally-made craft gin – Fid Street – for an extra floral touch of aloha that helps support our on-island craft distillers. Although gin isn’t everyone’s go-to favorite due to its aromatic, often pine-like flavor, we happen to love Maui’s array of creative gin cocktails at these local spots:
- Paia Bay Coffee & Bar: A north shore gem in the heart of Paia Town, this underrated spot is often packed for breakfast and lunch thanks to its yummy coffee drinks, fresh menu and charming garden dining area. Head here a little later in the day – or whenever, actually – and you’ll be pleased to find a menu of classic and original gin cocktails like the Garden Spritzer with St. George’s Gin, lemon, agave, Perrier, and local basil and cucumber, or Snoop’s Gin & Juice with Hendricks Gin, lilikoi, pineapple, guava and Perrier.
- Hali’imaile General Store: A lunch stop on our Pineapple Express Tour, this award-winning restaurant in located in a beautiful location in the hills of Upcountry and features a memorable farm-to-table menu, as well as handcrafted cocktails like the Millennial with Aviation Gin, Pimm’s, Aperol, ginger beer and cucumber, and Lychee Martini with Nolet’s Gin, lychee puree, lemongrass syrup and fresh lemon.
If You’re Drinking: Tequila & Mezcal
Don’t panic, tequila lovers. We see you. While Maui may not be known for its plethora of quality, authentic Mexican food – sigh – there are still several worthy spots to sip on handmade tequila and mezcal cocktails to your delight. Just remember… water is your friend, and look in a mirror (or better yet, ask a friend) before you trust your public dancing abilities.
- Frida’s Mexican Beach House: Inspired by legendary lady Frida Kahlo, of course, Frida’s is the best spot in west Maui to fill all your tequila slash mezcal needs. With six tasting flights to choose from, not to mention a massive tequila, mezcal and special private selection menu, you’ll also be delighted to find they include complimentary chasers.
- Milagros Food Company: A popular spot to catch happy hour in Paia Town, we love their margarita menu, with favorites like the Li Hing Mui Rita, El Jeffe with a double shot of Herradura Reposado, and Uahi ‘O Kai – or ‘Smoke of the Sea’ – with agave tequila, vida mezcal, lime juice, lilikoi and soda.
- Roasted Chiles: A cozy and surprisingly delicious Mexican food spot in Kihei, Roasted Chiles also has a vast specialty margarita and tequila tasting menu, like the Roasted Jalapeno Margarita, Guavalajara with fresh guava juice, and Cozumel Green Iguana with homemade cucumber syrup.
If You’re Drinking: Whiskey & Bourbon
Last but certainly not least, what kind of craft-loving monsters would we be if we didn’t mention where to find the island’s best whiskey and bourbon cocktails?! For those who dare to venture to the dark side of the drinking world, we’re here for you, and we support you. Here’s where to enjoy some of Maui’s best bourbon finds:
- The Dirty Monkey: A drinker’s gem in Lahaina Town, The Dirty Monkey offers live music, DJs and dancing in addition to a world class whiskey menu that includes American, Tennessee, Rye, Canadian, Japanese, Taiwanese and Irish Whiskey, and well as scotch and bourbon. Choose from 1 or 2 ounce options for a taste or a proper pour.
- The Pint & Cork: Nestled in beautiful Wailea, The Pint & Cork is a great spot for burgers, late night cocktails and kicking back to watch sports with friends. Signature cocktails like the Fortified with Old Forester Bourbon, Port, lemon, angostura bitters and nutmeg, as well as the P&C Manhattan with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Carpano Antica Vermouth, Amaro Montenegro and orange bitters, keep locals and visitors coming back for more.
Happy drinking, humans.