Betty’s Bar and Beach Cafe, Lahaina, Maui

bettys

Betty's Beach Cafe

Betty’s is perfect!

Okay, since nothing’s perfect let’s just say Betty’s is perfect if you are looking for ocean front dining with glorious views of Lanai in a relaxed, casual setting with delicious food. Lots of places like that around here, right? What if we added, “…where you can get a lobster dinner for only $17.95?” That narrows things down to one place only  – Betty’s.

Betty's Location 505 Front St.

Betty's Location 505 Front St.

Located at the end of Front Street at the far end of the 505 shops in the former Hecock’s location we recently snooped out the revitalized, rejuvenated, and refreshing Betty’s Bar and Beach Cafe. Open about a year now, Betty’s has gained quite a reputation for their Mimosa Sunday Brunch and Wednesday night Lobster Dinner specials. But let’s face it, no restaurant can survive on the tabs from only two meals a week, so rest assured Betty’s capitalizes on their stellar oceanfront location every day.

Betty’s displays a healthy mix of good taste, kitsch and good old beach shack tiki lounge décor which puts you in a great mood the minute you enter. Walk past the pseudo grass hut bar while ukulele music plays and pause as the views take your breath away. The eye-popping panorama is just like the movies.

Hula Show on Display

Hula Show on Display

Patrons of Betty’s are also privy to the spectacle of The Feast at Lele, since the performance is on the beach directly in front of Betty’s, which means you’ll enjoy the same  singing, dancing and fire twirling as the Lele Feasters. Meanwhile, you munch on bargain lobster and $8 mai tais from the adjacent cheap seats. Which is all very cool, because your cheap seats are just as comfortable but you are out of the weather should it start to drizzle and you paid about $50 less than the guys up front. That should bring a smile to your face as you lean back in your chair and order another round of blended libations.

Lobster

Lobster

Lobster Night starts at 5:30 p.m. but Happy Hour runs daily from 2-5 p.m. so arrive early and enjoy a $3 Mai Tai, $4 Mojito, or $2 Margarita, as we did. Although it was bargain lobster night, knowing we were nabbing such a great deal on everything else, we felt obligated to begin our repast with a sampling of the pupus we’d been hearing a lot about including the notorious Betty’s Most Tasty Nachos with Kalua Pork. (Nachos – $10.95, Add $4.95 for chicken or pork.) From there we ordered salads which were truly wonderful – both the Caesar (but no anchovies) for $10.95 and the awesome Betty’s Garden Salad, $9.95, both of which are plenty big enough to share.

Betty's Abundant Salad

Betty's Abundant Salad

Now a bargain is not a bargain if you aren’t satisfied with the taste of the food so I’d never tout cheap just for the sake of saving a dollar. While I was happy so far with everything we’d tried, I nevertheless held my breath when the server emerged from the kitchen with the lobsters (having instinctively lowered my expectations because, come on, how could you serve great Maine lobster dinner for only $17.95)?

I don’t know how they do it but I now know those lobsters are terrific; every bit as succulent and sweet as lobster I’ve had anywhere. These are Maine lobsters raised in Kona, so they arrive at Betty’s very fresh and the price is lower than the airlifted variety.

We padded the entree, which comes with rice and coleslaw, with a serving of Miss Mac & Cheese ($7.95),  highly recommended for every meal regardless of what else you order at Betty’s. When it isn’t lobster night (and they do sell out of lobster on Wednesday so get there early) we also recommend Mamacita’s Fish Tacos ($13.95), the vegetarian sandwich called Splendor in the Grass ($9.95) or the world famous Beach Boy Hula Burger with grilled pineapple, Maui onions, cheese and honey teriyaki ($11.95.) Add some chili-cheese fries for $7.95 and you’ll be hooked for life.

Betty’s serves breakfast 8-noon, omelets, scrambles and house specials like Huevos Ranchero and Pancake Party. Lunch is available from 11:30-4 pm, with featured plates, awesome sandwiches, salads, and of course, the now not so secret Happy Hour from 2-5 pm. The bar is open ’til midnight so it’s ideal for late night dates in Lahaina followed with a stroll along the beach, perhaps?

Didn’t I tell you? Betty’s really is perfect!

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