My Point of Heu
The Top 5 Spots for Vegan Food on Oahu
By Olena Heu
The vegan food scene in Hawaii has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple of years. While farmers, chefs and health enthusiasts grow more earth conscious, and aware of the benefits of a plant-based diet, eating vegan can be both healthy and amazingly delicious. Here are our picks for the best vegan spots to chow down on.
1. Ai Love Nalo - Created in a region that was once deemed a food dessert, only offering fast food and mainly unhealthy options, Ai Love Nalo sources from the region (including it’s backyard garden of eatin’) and is aimed at opening people’s eyes and minds to incorporate consuming more plants and a healthier lifestyle.
Stand-out dishes include the Kau Kau Luau plate, Medi Bowl, Tofu Poke Bowl and their freshly-made smoothies and fruit slushes. The plates and dishes are so hearty and delicious you won’t even miss the meat. Vibrant beet hummus and tofu that tastes just like fish poke will make your mouth water.
Ai Love Nalo
41-1025 Kalanianaole Hwy
Waimanalo, HI 96795
2. The Beet Box Cafe - Organic and local is the theme of this popular eatery that has locations in both Haleiwa and Kailua. With it’s hip 80’s nostalgic vibe and attention to detail, the fruits and vegetables are delivered four times a week to ensure freshness and the best quality.
Must-try items include an array of crunchy, refreshing and filling acai bowls, the vegan breakfast burrito which is served all day and is full of vegetables, beans, rice, tofu and Soyrizo, the Yogi Bowl and delightful Thai Tacos.
The Beet Box Cafe
66-437 Kamehameha Hwy
Haleiwa, HI 96712
46 Ho’olai Street
Kailua, HI 96734
3. Vegan Hills - A gourmet version of vegan dining atop Waialae Avenue, Vegan Hills proudly showcases artisanal vegan-only dishes, expertly prepared, sustainably sourced and they also offer cocktails too. 100% plant-based, the chefs find unique and creative ways to craft menu items that seem to reflect taste and texture that surprises and elates the taste buds.
Hearty and delicious menu standouts include the Da Nang Beach Vietnamese-style noodles with greens and sweet spicy dressing, Coco-Mari king oyster mushrooms battered and fried to perfection, and the organic, cashew cream tomato and eggplant Lasgna de Amalfi.
3585 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
4. Juicy Brew - Known for their piping hot coffee and delicious colorful food, with grab ‘n go options in Kaimuki and along Beretania Street, Juicy Brew is aiming to open the eyes of eaters everywhere to the plant-based options available to them. Launched by a pair of earth-conscious and sustainable sisters, Juicy Brew creates both nourishing and wholesome dishes.
People love their baked treats, fresh juices and comfort foods like casserole, sandwiches and pies. Can’t nail down their menu? That’s because it changes every day and depends on the inventory of ingredients, availability of product and what inspires them. It’s almost like experiencing a holiday you know you’re in for a treat, you just don’t know what to expect.
1401 S. Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
3392 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
5. Downbeat Diner - If you love that nostalgic diner vibe, eats that are reminiscent of classic dishes like fried chicken and waffles, milkshakes and robust meals chock full of flavor… Downbeat doesn’t compromise. While American diner fare is what they serve, surprisingly the additional vegan options don’t leave you hanging.
The vegan citrus spareribs showcases cutlets in a soy citrus glaze, BBQ Vegan Wings, Vegan Waffles, and Vegan Milkshakes make this diner nestled in the heart of Chinatown an appealing option for those who are vegan and aren’t so much. Together guests can enjoy the best of both worlds.
42 N. Hotel Street
Honolulu, HI 96817