Hawaii is known for culinary fusion. Tasty treats that combine flavors from multiple cultures are the cornerstone to local cuisine in Hawaii. This blending of cultures into delicious dishes is found across all of Oahu, including in vegan restaurants. To help you get a taste of these uniquely Hawaiin vegan foods, here are 10 of the best vegan meals on Oahu, Hawaii.
VEGAN RESTAURANTS ON OAHU
AI LOVE NALO
Located within walking distance from the famous Kailua and Lanikai beaches, Ai Love Nalo (GoogleMaps) has prime real estate and delicious vegan food. This 100% plant-based restaurant is known for its bowls. The Medi bowl and the Buddha bowl are by far their most popular dishes. The medi bowl has a Mediterranean flair with ingredients such as beet hummus, baba ganoush, and falafel. The Buddha bowl is a veggie overload, as it is filled with squash, mushrooms, kale, and avocado.
Ai Love Nalo is the only place on Oahu that has a vegan version of the Hawaiian dish, lau lau. Lau lau is traditionally made of pork wrapped and cooked in ti leaves. To attempt to imitate the flavor of the local dish without the use of animal products, Ai Love Nalo turned to breadfruit and sweet potatoes, along with a few other secret ingredients.
TANE VEGAN IZAKAYA
Tane Vegan Izakaya (GoogleMaps) in Moiliili is one of the most innovative vegan restaurants in the Hawaiian Islands. This fully plant-based restaurant applies classic Japanese culinary techniques to various vegan ingredients to create mouth-watering plant-based dishes. Tane Vegan Izakaya allows its customers to dine on the most iconic dishes of Japanese cuisine, including ramen, tempura, nigiri sushi, and classic rolls, without having to sacrifice their vegan lifestyles. By far, the most popular dishes are the Manila dune roll and the sunset roll.
Peace Café (GoogleMaps) has three focuses: tastefulness, kindness, and happiness. This 100% vegan restaurant located in Honolulu aims to promote awareness of the benefits of a plant-based diet. Try dishes such as heart and soul bibimbap, BBQ tempeh plate, and soy soba salad.
The all-time favorite at Peace Café is the tempeh katsu. Chicken katsu, which is Japanese breaded, pan-fried chicken, along with katsu sauce is very popular in the Hawaiian Islands. Peace Café addresses the craving with tempeh katsu and a vegan katsu sauce made from 27 fruits and vegetables over the course of two days.
As the only all-vegan, all-organic, and sustainably-sourced bar in all of Hawaii, Vegan Hills (GoogleMaps) has quite a lot of titles to boast. This popular restaurant in Kaimuki isn’t afraid to demonstrate how fantastic vegan food can taste. From vegan mac ‘n’ cheese, jackfruit sliders, and “cinn-ful” cinnamon rolls, Vegan Hills shows that vegan food flavor has no limit. Enjoy your delicious meal with a healthy drink on the side, such as the sky kombucha, the viva green smoothie, or turmeric mango herbal tea. If you’re sensitive to gluten, many of the dishes served at Vegan Hills are gluten-free.
VEGAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS ON OAHU
Located on the lesser-known side of the island’s North Shore lies one of Oahu’s hidden culinary gems. Kahuku Farms (GoogleMaps) is a farm-to-table restaurant known for its use of produce grown on its farm. While it’s not 100% vegan, Kahuku Farms is completely vegetarian and very vegan-friendly.
Kahuku Farms is the only place in Hawaii where you can get an acai bowl made from locally-grown acai berries. Be sure to ask for no honey to ensure that your delicious bowl is vegan. If you’re looking for something on the savory side, the farm pizza and the grilled veggie panini are two fantastic options. Don’t forget to buy a refreshing drink, such as the papaya power smoothie or the lilikoi (passion fruit) farm fresh cooler.
SIMPLE JOY VEGETARIAN CUISINE
Simple Joy Vegetarian Cuisine (GoogleMaps) is in the center of the bustling capital city of Honolulu. This restaurant is completely vegetarian with many vegan options. Simple Joy mainly focuses on Asian cuisine and chooses to tackle meat-based Asian dishes with mock meats. Dishes such as chow fun and beef broccoli, which typically contain meat, have been made completely vegetarian and can be made vegan.
FARM TO BARN
Farm to Barn (GoogleMaps) is a little barn-shaped eatery in Haleiwa. Farm to Barn isn’t completely vegan or vegetarian but many options on the menu are vegan-friendly. They have a long list of vegan bowls, including an acai bowl, coconut sorbet bowl, and the superfood-filled humble bowl. The most interesting bowl option is the vegan poke bowl. While a traditional poke bowl is made of cubes of raw fish topped with soy sauce, pickled onions, and seaweed, Farm to Barn’s vegan poke bowl is made of braised beets topped with avocado, cucumber, and sesame.
BEET BOX CAFÉ
Beet Box Café (GoogleMaps) focuses on freshness. In addition to receiving shipments of produce four times a week, Beet Box Café uses locally-grown and organic ingredients. Half of the menu is plant-based with clearly marked options and the ability to make other items vegan-friendly upon request. The other half of the menu doesn’t include meat (although it may include eggs).
For breakfast, the Mayan acai bowl and the vegan breakfast burrito have proven to be crowd favorites. For an easy lunch, the 3 little birds sandwich with fakin’ bacon, avocado, sunflower sprouts, and vegan chipotle aioli is a burst of freshness. For something a bit more filling, try the Thai tacos with seasoned baked tofu and toasty corn tortillas.
NALU HEALTH BAR & CAFÉ
Nalu Health Bar & Café (GoogleMaps) is the perfect place to look for a refreshing fruity treat. Although not 100% vegan or vegetarian, Nalu has many vegan options and many options that can easily be made vegan. Two acai bowls can easily be made vegan and are all among the café’s best sellers. Their signature fresh juices and smoothies are a perfect way to cool down after a day in the hot Hawaiian sun. Try the greenery juice, minty breeze juice, mango colada smoothie, or the rainbow passion smoothie.
Oahu’s best vegan restaurants must include the Dole Plantation (GoogleMaps). While the majority of the foods served at the Dole Plantation aren’t vegan, their most iconic treat is. The famous Dole whip tastes like it’s made using dairy products but is made with coconut products. The creamy consistency of coconut mixed with the tangy taste of pineapple makes a delicious vegan dessert.
Sarah Etinas is the voice behind Borders & Bucket Lists the Hawaii-centric blog focuses on her home of the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii. She loves sharing the local sites and adventures of the island and hopes to try to encourage visitors to take part in the beautiful local culture. Follow more of her Hawaii adventures on her Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.
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