VEGETARIAN & VEGAN IN HAWAII | HOW TO ENJOY EATING HEALTHY IN HAWAII
Recently I, Alex Wilson, the owner of Oahu Photo Tours, decide to give it a go. I have been on the fence for a long time about going vegetarian, and on the 1st of January 2020, like a lot of other people, I went for it. This wasn’t a hard move for me as I have been eating plant-based meals for a long time but would incorporate a piece of meat in my meal.
A few years ago you would hear me say things like “I don’t trust people that don’t eat meat” or “that diet is not good for the type of activities I do,” but as the years went on and more athletes were coming out saying they went vegan and were performing at their top levels, I jumped on the wagon.
Trying to find places that cater to my diet but yet still be able to enjoy dinner with non-vegetarians while also enjoying beer was really hard. I didn’t want to have to settle for french fries while everyone else ate epic meals, sitting there pouting like a 5-year-old. So I started to look for a place that would allow me to eat the way I wanted as well as everyone else. It was not easy.
Check out the ways I have been able to enjoy both worlds. I hope this helps you on your vacation, trying to stay healthy but also enjoy a normal social life.
Eat Healthy While in Hawaii & Have Fun
I believe that Hawaii has some delicious food all across the board. You do not have to miss out on not eating epic meals simply because you do not eat meat, and you do not have to miss out on having a fun dinner with friends because you can’t find anything on the menu. The first list is going to places that offer both veggie and meat options. These are a great place where everyone can walk away satisfied after the meal and maybe a good mug of beer.
1. Piggy Smalls
A sister restaurant that we will talk about later, Piggy Smalls has a few really good options on the menu. The Vegan Pho ios going to be the best option. While in Hawaii you should really try out the Pho. With a large Vietnamese community, they really live up to the standard. At the same time, your meat-eating friends will have some great options too.
2. Olive Tree
One of my favorite places to get Gyros in Hawaii. The Olive Tree is a BYOB, cahs only spot located at the Kahala Mall. Some evenings it can get busy but it does move. While right now I can not eat them, the Mussels are unreal at this place. Get a bottle of wine next door.
3. Whole Foods Kakaako Two Tides Bar
This is a spot for everyone. I know some of you are thinking why would you go to a Whole Foods Bar. If you have ever been to one, then you know what I am talking about. The Cauliflower Nachos is mind-blowing and they have a good tap line for beer. Your meat-eating friends will have plenty of options. Try the top bar if you want to hear some live music.
While writing this post, I have not been able to visit this place my self, but I plan on going there very soon. I hear nothing but great reviews. If you have been, let me know how your visit was. The menu looks amazing and it’s BYOB. Winner winner veggie dinner!
My girlfriend Emily and I visited this restaurant a few weeks ago. I have been told by so many people on my tours and local people that this place was amazing. While I didn’t think it lived up to the rightly high hype, I did really enjoy the food, the staff, and the Atmosphere. This is a perfect date spot or just a way to get out of Waikiki and get more local.
10 Epic Vegan Restaurants in Hawaii
Now that you have enjoyed the time with your meat-eating friends, let ditch those people and get some food for our selves. Here are my favorite all veggie spots I have found on the island. Click the names to go to there website. You will not be disappointed. Sorry meat-eaters. You’ll have to sit this one out.
1. Ai Love Nalo
My ultimate favorite spot to get all plant-based meals. I love the portions of this place and the flavors of all the bowls. I have not gotten too many smoothies but I hear they are amazing just like the bowls. Watch the open and close times for this place. They close early and open late. Be ready for a line.
A little harder to findspot is Le’Ahi Helth but it is totally worth it. This is the spot that changed my Girlfriend’s mind about eating vegan. She was not down for it until she tried the Surfer Bowl. The next week, she was making her own. Enjoy the tastes of green after a hard hike up Koko Crater.
Need some veggies in Waikiki. This is going to be one of your only options. The store is located on Kuhio Ave near the Aqua Bamboo Hotel. Not my top pick but it works if you are going to be in Waikiki.
A mew but yet super popular restaurant has opened up in Honolulu. Tane Vegan started in San Fran and made it’s way out here. Another spot I have not tried myself but I have heard nothing but great reviews. I will update as soon as I try it out.
5. Peace Cafe
An all plant-based menu is what you will find here. I challenge you to take one of your meat-eating friends here and see how they like it. I bet they will be very surprised at how good this food can be.
6. Blondies Plant Base Food truck
When I heard about a vegan food truck, I had to check it out. I missed it a few times because they were closed, but finally, I was able to try out the vegan Tacos and I was very satisfied and happy I made it when they were open.
7. Juicy Brew
A nice place for coffee and light meals. I have only had coffee from this place but saw the bowls. They look like they will live up to the standard of this list.
Gonna be on the North Shore? You have a few great choices like Jax Pizza, Teddy Burgers, and Bonzai Bowls but if you are going to give one a shot after a day of surfing or hiking, The Beet Box Cafe is your best bet. You might run into a pro surfer or famous singer while enjoying your Beet Box Burrito.
9. Govinda’s Vegetarian Buffet
A p[lace that most will never visit. At first, you think you are going into someone’s has but the Krishna temple is going to have you slowing down your busy mind while enjoying the buffet-style lunch. Check the hours and menu before coming to this location. Sit outside while eating your food.
10. Down To Earth
Our local styler Wholefood in Hawaii. They have a lot of great choices on the hot bar and you can order food from the counter. I highly recommend the Black Beach Beet Burger. It will change your life. They have seating at all locations but I say go to the one in Kakaako and they walk around the area to check out the art.
Veggie Friendly Bars
If you want to enjoy a night out with some friends and be able to maintain your diet and still have a mug of beer, then this next list will be for you and it might surprise you. There is no need to change your social habits just because you eat something different.
1. Whole Foods
They have two bars you can post up and get a cold brew while munching on some cauliflower nachos and chomping on the beyond burger. Your meat friends can enjoy some fish tacos or pizza slices. the best part about this place is you can get the hot bar food at Whole Foods and bring it to the bar. They have a lot of local beer selections on tap, so ask the bartender what they have locally. Make sure you walk around the store too. It is one of the largest Whole Foods in the world. It really blew my mind when I went in there. If you have sometime after, you can go enjoy a movie at the theater right there at Ward.
2. Down Beat
Surprise to me when I find out this place has a lot of vegan options on the menu. It looks like a traditional bar that would have only bar snacks and food but you will be happy to know they have items like vegan wings and there DownBeat Vegan Burger. They have a full bar and live music on the weekends. You would want to get there somewhat early if you think you are going to eat because the places can get packed on a night with live music. Cocktails and cauliflower are waiting 🙂
4. Work Play
A hidden little bar in Kakaako will be a great night out with everyone and all types of food preferences. They have cool themed rooms for you and your friends to have some food and drinks. The Tofu Tacos and the Hummus plate will make you feel like you can have energy all night for more fun. Try to find out when they have some live music to enjoy.
5. Aloha Beer
Never thought I would be eating plant-based food in a brewery but, never say never. Aloha Beer has a few great choices on the menu for us. The Falafel plate is the best choice for a full belly. They also have great starters for you too. This is going to be the best bet for all to enjoy a beer and food in a great local spot. You can walk down the street to the other breweries but Aloha will be your best bet for veggie plates with epic beer.
Go Enjoy A Healthy Vacation in Hawaii
Now you have the resources to eat healthily and be able to enjoy a normal social life while in Hawaii. Traveling can be very hard for those of us that have these diets. You do not have to eat like a rabbit in Hawaii. You can still find great restaurants that you will not only enjoy the food, but also the atmosphere. Have a great time in Hawaii and remember to tag us @oahuphototours on Instagram where you at one or more of these spots.
VEGETARIAN & VEGAN IN HAWAII | HOW TO ENJOY A EATING HEALTHY IN HAWAII
Oahu Photography Tours has created a great list of the best spots to eat a green meal while in Hawaii. It is not that hard to stay on the diet you have chosen but sometimes on vacation, you might not think there is anything around. That is why we have done the leg work for you so you can eat vegetarian and vegan in Hawaii. Make sure you tag us on Instagram @oahuphototours with your meal.