Every hour is happy hour on Maui, but some are unquestionably better than others. From Kihei to Kahana, there are plenty of restaurants offering high-priced PuPus and piña coladas, and we soon discovered that in order to find the best Happy Hours in a tourist hub like Maui, you’ve got to hit the highway – the Honoapiilani Highway, to be precise. Greg Christensen, experienced world traveler and Professional Happy Hourist (PHH), tasted, sampled, and gulped his way through the Valley Isle to source the best Happy Hours right now.
KIHEI & WAILEA
Mulligans on the Blue has two daily happy hours, and two is always better than one! (Unless you’re counting strokes a few steps away on Wailea’s Old Blue Golf Course.) Mulligans, the only Irish pub in Maui, offers 33% off their entire menu, drink specials, and 14 TVs for sports viewing. Deals like this have Mulligans slotted as the best sports pub in Kihei and Wailea. They’ve also secured a “Maui’s Best” top spot for their ribs. Be sure to order a Mulligans Mai Tai to wash down your Harp beer battered fish & chips – Sláinte!
Kihei’s Maui Brewing Company is a must-visit. Enjoy $1 off draft beers from 3pm-6pm daily. With 32 drafts on tap, ciders, wine and specialty cocktails, no one leaves the tasting room thirsty. Noteworthy: the Maui Hefeweizen is the best Greg has tasted outside of Germany! For rumbling stomachs, the brewery rotates a daily schedule of food trucks from 11am-10pm. Teddy’s Burgers, Big Beach BBQ, Horhito’s Mobile Taqueria, HaBiBi and several other mobile gourmets ensure high quality ethnic food choices at friendly prices.
5 Palms Restaurant in Wailea’s Mana Kai Maui Resort also offers two happy hours nightly. From 3pm-7pm and 9pm-11pm guests enjoy 1/2 off Sushi and PuPus with a one-drink minimum. Greg highly recommends the Coconut Crusted Tiger Prawns, the poké special, and the $5.75 Happy Hour Mai Tai. Get to 5 Palms early and grab a coveted spot on the beachfront lanai to catch one of the island’s world-class sunsets.
Maui’s best $4 Mai Tai can be ordered from 4pm-7pm daily at Moose McGillicuddy’s in Kihei. A locals hangout as well as tourist pit-stop, Moose’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Also a popular nightclub, Moose’s kicks into high octane mode at 9pm with nightly drink specials until closing.
Iconic rocker Mick Fleetwood has scored another hit with Fleetwood’s on Front St.! He and his team have elevated the “happy” in Happy Hour to new heights with 50% off any beverage, $1 oysters, and gourmet lounge menu items ranging from $5-$12 daily from 2pm-5pm. Our PHH recommends arriving promptly at 2pm to secure a top-shelf view overlooking the Pacific and a front row seat to live performances by Maui’s best musicians. Any Professional Happy Hourist who takes their role seriously will thoroughly appreciate the intricate flavors of handcrafted cocktails created by Fleetwood’s talented mixologists.
Mick and his team spare no expense here: the “$1.00 Oysters of the Day” were Chelsey Gems, and flown in from Puget Sound. Two-dozen of these plump, creamy mollusks were easily the culinary highlight of Greg’s visits to Fleetwood’s. Other faves were fresh ahi poké and wonton chips ($8) and crispy onion rings with Sriracha aioli ($5). Although Happy Hour at Fleetwood’s ends at 5pm, stick around for the rooftop Sunset Ceremony at 5:45 (5:30 on Saturdays). Performances by Hawaiian Kumus and Scottish Pipers guarantee a memorable sunset experience at Fleetwood’s on Front St.
Sporting new owners and a recent renovation, The Beach House Bar & Grill has become a premium happy hour destination, and it’s flying under the radar – for now. The Beach House Bar & Grill sits just above the pool at the Sands of Kahana where the beach and choice views of Lanai and Molokaí are a mere sand wedge lob away. Just beyond the sand, turtles and dolphins entertain happy hourists diving into the 3pm-7pm Beach House Party, including daily cocktail specials and happy hour savings on menu items such as fried calamari with marinara, coconut shrimp, island wings, and fresh mahi mahi ceviche.
Dollie’s Pub & Cafe, home of the best pizza on Maui, is a no frills joint where the locals hang ten. Located in a strip mall at the corner of Hoohui and & Lower Honoapiilani roads, Dollie’s has catered to Maui’s laborers, hospitality workers, professionals, locals, and tourists since 1983. The Mai Tais, Blue Lagoons and other cocktails are well made with a hefty pour so leave the car keys and call an Uber. $4.00 drink specials at Dollie’s change daily, wood fired pizza is $2.50 a slice, and the salads – like Mark’s Costa Rican with jicama, sun-dried tomatoes, pressed garlic, and exotic herbs – are not from a bag. As with any happy hour worth its salt, casual conversations provide interesting insight on life in Maui as locals trade friendly barbs with Alex, Ally and Coby, the three cheerful bartendresses who rotate as bar master. 15 satellite TVs also guarantee that sports fans remain completely entertained. Some places are just damn comfortable, and Dollie’s is one of those places.
Many thanks to Greg Christensen for his contributions to this article.
“Mahalo, and kāmau kī`aha!”