Staying Power

Mama's Fish House
Mama’s as seen from the beach. Photo by Tony Novak Clifford

Est. 1973

After a four-year-long sailing adventure through the South Pacific, the Christenson family landed on Maui in 1964. Nine years later, they opened a restaurant on a stunning beachfront location in Pā‘ia. Even though steakhouses were very popular at the time, the Christensons wanted everyone to know that they served fresh, locally caught fish, and named their restaurant Mama’s Fish House in honor of Mrs. Christenson’s nickname, Mama Doris.

Since the beginning, Mama’s Fish House has worked closely with generations of local fishermen to buy their freshly-caught fish, such as mahi mahi, ono, ‘ōpakapaka (Hawaiian snapper), ‘ahi and moi (Pacific threadfin). The fishermen bring their catch directly to the restaurant, where it is processed and served within 24 hours. The daily menu lists the name of the angler next to their catch and where they reeled it in.

Mama’s myriad accolades include 60 Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi ‘Aipono Awards, (the most of any Maui restaurant), and a semifinalist nomination for the most Outstanding Restaurant in America from the James Beard Foundation. Mama’s also earned Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best award in 2020, as well as a spot on their 2019 list of the top 10 fine-dining restaurants in the US.

Mama’s Fish House, 799 Poho Place, Pā‘ia |808.579.8488 | | IG/FB @MamasFishHouse


  1. We were sorry to see the Old Whaler’s Grog Shop go away. That was a REAL bar, nothing frou-frou about it, and the naked lady over the bar made it even cooler


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