Traveling as a vegan can be a nightmare, if you do not prepare. That is what we always thought. So we actually always over-prepare when we travel. We know of every single restaurant there is, where we’re going. But we were really surprised, at how open the Hawaiians where towards veganism. And we quickly found out they are always prepared to change up a vegetarian meal to a vegan one. When we’d ask a food truck or small restaurant in the middle of nowhere, if they have vegan options, the answer always was „Sure, we can make your meal vegan. No problem at all!“
Nevertheless, most of the places we visited we knew were full on vegan restaurants or had great vegan options. Here’s our recommendation!
1. The Lovin Oven 418 Kuulei Rd, Kailua, HI 96734, USA, open from 4.30pm till 9pm
Drooling again, just thinking about this place. We came here twice during our 5 days stay on Oahu - it was just absolutely brilliant! This is full plant-based Italian restaurant and their pizzas are insane! Just check it out. The dough and the sauce is super special. We recommend you do a half and half pizza, so you get to taste the different versions. YUM!
2. Peace Cafe 2239 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96826, USA, open from 9am till 8pm
Again, a fully plant-based restaurant. I think I read that this is the oldest vegan restaurant on the island. They have a very interesting and large menu on a chalkboard. It’s kinda a lottery with what you order and what you get, as it is a bit difficult to imagine what they will create. But be open for surprises, cause the food is amazing. And there's no going wrong, as everything is vegan.
3. Vegan Hills 3585 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA, open from 11am till 3pm and 5.30pm till 9pm, closed on Sunday evenings and Mondays
We came here for brunch and were not disappointed. This place is hip, buzzing, the staff is super friendly and the food is SPOT ON! We wished, we had enough time to come back and taste the dinner menu, as it just sounded like we would have spent the whole night stuffing our faces. For brunch we ordered the "Good Morning Plate", the "Mexican Breakfast" and the spicy cauliflower, which was a special. So worth it!
4. The Beet Box Cafe 46 Hoolai St, Kailua, HI 96734, USA, open from 7am till 4pm
This cute place is kinda hard to find if you don’t have a GPS. You’re probably asking yourself „Who doesn’t have a GPS?“. Well we don’t, when on a bike, cruising through Kailua Town with no data on your cell phone. But we eventually found it and it the place was full with friendly people during their lunch break. They have a big variety of vegan options you can order from and the sandwiches were amazing. Can really recommend them.
5. Downbeat Diner & Lounge 42 N Hotel St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA, open from 11am till late at night
Now this place was interesting… If you’re vegan for all the right reasons, but still enjoy the taste and texture of meat, well this is your place. The food was really good, but we’ve decide for ourselves, that it was to similar to meat. They say, they can make anything on the menu vegan, and they will. Even dishes marked as non-vegan. We had some spicy wings - scary how real the texture was and then enjoyed a burger and some vegan citrus ribs. We recommend this place if you miss eating meat, but don’t actually want to harm the animal.
6. Tropical Tribe 778 Ala Moana Blvd, 101, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA, open from 7am till 6pm
We are so addicted to açai bowls. And we would have loved to have one for every single breakfast. There are so many good açai places on Hawaii but Tropical Tribe was our favorite. Also cause we even got agave syrup as a replacement for honey. The owner is super friendly and cute and I’m totally happy for her, that she is being successful and recommend everywhere.
7. Banán 2301 Kalakaua Ave Honolulu, HI 96815, open from 8am till 8pm
We were looking for this place as we read about it on a couple of blogs. We walked along Waikiki beach and just didn’t find it. And then we saw this super cool narrow path leading down to the beach lined with so many surfboards. While taking a picture and looking at it - we saw the Banán booth on the picture!! What a coincidence! So we rushed there and got us a delicious açai bowl. You do need to tell them to leave away the honey. But you can choose between so many toppings.
8. Hale’iwa Bowls 66-030 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA, open 7.30am till 6.30pm
More açai bowls! This was a great stop up at North Shore and our first açai bowl on Hawaii. It did not disappoint. We were in seventh heaven and it was the beginning of our bowl-hunt-tour.
9. Food Truck Ali Limo 57-512 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA, weird opening hours
We were surprised at how many vegan options food trucks have. Well, you don’t need to go to those that are specialized on pork and shrimps. But if you go to those with healthy options, they know exactly how to veganize your order. So at this food truck we got a great protein bowl. It was super filling and totally delicious, while chilling with a (or their??) Cat 🐱 . We recommend on sharing one dish per truck, so you get to try different things from different trucks.
10. Food Truck Pupukea Grill 59-680 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA, open 11am till 5pm, closed on Mondays
This was our favorite food truck. But you’ll explicitly need to request vegan. The quinoa bowl was fantastic!
So these are our restaurant recommendations for Oahu. At some places you'll need to ask for a vegan version, others are full vegan restaurants. We also did a lot of self-catering, especially for lunch, but finding vegan options in supermarkets is not as easy as here. Sure, there's always hummus - and we love hummus. So we were sorted out on that front 😊.
If you're looking for tips on what activities to do on Oahu, tune back in next week, where we'll give you all of our favorite spots of this magnificent island.
Lots of love and have a fantastic day!