At 10Best, we're always on the lookout for Maui's best restaurants, and while we appreciate places that have a broad culinary range, we can't help but adore restaurants that specialize in a given cuisine. When we're in the mood for Italian food in Maui, we head to Caffé Ciao - a reader favorite - or we count on Casanova Italian Restaurant's solid track record and consistently great dishes. You'll find these places - and any of the restaurants on our list - to be fantastic options for Italian cuisine, and if you're looking to concentrate your efforts, start with the vibrant Wailea area.

10 Lahaina Pizza Company
Locals have pronounced this pizzeria one of Maui's best, and mainland publications concur. Of course, deep-dish pies are terrific, but the place also benefits from the excitement of downtown Lahaina, great views across the harbor, and performances by well-received vocalists and musicians. Aside from slices of hot, loaded pizza, the menu features refreshing salads, especially the barbecue chicken and the Italian. Pastas, sandwiches, and spicy buffalo wings round out the offerings at this casual eatery. Everyone is welcome to join in on the fun, and Hawaiian hospitality is always at the forefront. (808-661-0700)

9 Longhi's
In the midst of busy Lahaina, this popular establishment has acquired quite a loyal following over the years. Whether diners come for imported pastas or Midwestern beef, they revel in the entertaining ambience, where servers recite the menu and musicians perform live jazz and rock on Friday nights. As for food, prawns amaretto (in a sauce of brandy, cream, and orange juice) are a local favorite, as is shrimp Longhi, prepared with white wine, butter, and herbs. Ahi torino, crusted in macadamia nuts, is also a classic. Lamb, chicken, and veal break from the standards, and the dessert tray, weighed down by decadence, is totally irresistible. For reservations call 808-667-2288. (808-667-2288)

8 Ferraro's at Seaside
A lovely terrace along the ocean sets the scene for this achingly romantic restaurant. In the evenings, washed by moonlight and musical strains, diners savor beef tenderloin, grilled veal, and Pacific snapper as the sun dips beneath the horizon. Pastas, lobster, and a daily risotto also tempt the palate following appetizers of grilled prawns or beef carpaccio. Surrounded by lush gardens, patrons relax into the beauty of the evening in a place so quintessentially "Hawaii" that it seems almost too good to be true. With a superb bottle of wine, it practically is. (808-874-8000)

7 Casanova Italian Restaurant
More than a restaurant, Casanova is that neighborhood institution that fills several roles at once. By day, it's a deli; in the evenings, it becomes a well-loved restaurant; and at night, it morphs into a bar and dance club. At dinner, everyone gathers for pasta, dressed with herb-tinged sauces and pungent cheese. You'll also find lamb, veal, steak, pizza, and ocean-fresh seafood. The selection of appetizers features seafood as well, and the tiramisu is out-of-this-world. Take your time and enjoy the meal, but don't forget to stick around for the festivities afterwards. Even if you don't hit the dance floor, you can check out the bands and sip on something exotic throughout the night. (808-572-0220)

6 Caffé Ciao
This fashionable European deli will charm you with its fresh-baked breads, flavorful salads, and scrumptious pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven. And whether you choose take-out or table dining, a quick bite inside or a leisurely meal on the sunny terrace, Caffé Ciao will accommodate. Fresh ingredients, including aromatic herbs and perfectly-ripened vegetables, ensure that the resulting dishes are delicious. Pastas, seafood, and an array of gorgeous desserts prove the fact if you had any doubts in the first place. The climate-controlled wine room features 1700 bottles from Italy, California, Australia and France. Finish your perfect evening with the signature gelato, made fresh daily. (808-875-4100)

5 Marco's Grill and Deli
Authentic recipes, prepared from scratch, characterize the Italian comfort food served at Marco's. That, along with good prices and a welcoming ambience, is reason for its success. The appeal is wide-ranging, too, as you can see from tables filled with families, business people, and couples. They come for eggs and French toast in the morning, sandwiches and pizza during the day, and for lasagna and other noodle dishes in the evenings. Add to that terrific food a convenient location near the airport and you've got an unbeatable formula for longevity. Make sure you see for yourself. (808-877-4446)

4 Sarento's on the Beach
This well-received, upscale addition to Maui's dining scene grants ocean views and a fabulous menu. Tops on the list are homemade pastas and steaks, followed closely by local seafood and several selections of chicken, lamb, and veal. The carefully-selected wine list offers vintages from western Europe and California, providing an apt complement to any entree. A great experience. (808-875-7555, 800-245-4524)

3 Penne Pasta
Who says that vacation dining has to be budget-breaking? Certainly not Mark Ellman, the chef and owner of this appealing little cafe. Daily, he treats diners to fresh, flavor-packed Italian fare in generous portions, and folks can't get enough of Penne. Place your order at the counter, take a seat, and wait for pastas, salads, sandwiches, and thin-crust pizzas to be delivered in all their glory. Daily specials increase dinner options and include fresh island fish and lamb osso bucco. A handful of scrumptious desserts and heart-healthy options offer even more reason to go. (808-661-6633)

2 Capische
Fantasies of romantic dinners find realization at this tiny, exquisite restaurant. Only a handful of tables is available, and everyone gets cosseting service, spectacular sunset views, and absolutely tantalizing cuisine. The menu changes regularly to highlight the season's best, but representative dishes include a local steak with potato gnocchi, braised lamb shanks, and a house cioppino decadent with fresh seafood. If you're so inclined, quail saltimbocca makes for a delicious appetizer, luscious in its bacon-wrapped splendor. The adjacent Piano Martini Lounge promises live music, cocktails, and those same glorious sunset views. (808-879-2224)

1 Fabiani's Bakery and Pizza
Family owned and operated, this new culinary corner located in the heart of Kihei, Maui, is offering it's residents and visitors a little taste of everyday Italian inspired eating! Open three meals a day! Michelle Fabiani, classically trained pastry chef, is usually there in the wee morning hours dusting flour off her apron and preparing breads and pastries. Meanwhile, one year old Gino is home with papa Lorenzo conjuring up new pizza concepts for the evening crowds. Fabiani's Pizza in Kihei with it's fresh Bakery quickly became Kihei's little "darling" of a pizza place. It's because it's naturally so much more. So if you're looing for the best pizza in Kihei, or on Maui for that matter, come to Fabiani's Pizzeria on Lipoa. From Farm to Table: Local Maui produce, hand made artistry, big gatherings for friends and family! ((808)874-0888)

Maps and Directions

Lahaina Pizza Company 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, European, Italian, Pizza
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Live Music, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Lahaina
COST: $$
Longhi's 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Catering, Live Music, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Cuisine: European, Italian, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Lahaina
COST: $$$
Ferraro's at Seaside 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Live Music, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: Wailea
COST: $$$
Casanova Italian Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: Makawao
COST: $$
Caffé Ciao 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Deli, European, Italian
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Neighborhood: Wailea
COST: $$
Marco's Grill and Deli 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Deli, European, Italian
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Group Friendly, Live Music, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Neighborhood: Kahului
COST: $$
Sarento's on the Beach 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Parties / Private Rooms, Wine Cellar
Cuisine: European, Italian, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Kihei
COST: $$
Penne Pasta 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Delivery, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: Lahaina
Capische 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge
Cuisine: European, French, Italian
Neighborhood: Wailea
COST: $$$
Fabiani's Bakery and Pizza 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Take Out
Cuisine: European, Italian, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Kihei
COST: $$
comments powered by Disqus