Article: Vegan Eats on Kauai

Category: , , , , / 2/10/2014
Hummus wrap from Papaya's Natural Foods
I recently took a trip to Hawaii's island of Kauai. It is one of the smaller islands (especially compared to Oahu), but there are still many good options for vegetarians. Read on for some of my recommendations.

Restaurants and Eateries:
Many restaurants accommodate vegans even if they don't have vegan options on the menu. Just check websites or call ahead if you've got your heart set on a certain places; many eateries are open for 1-2 meals a day instead of the usual 2-3.
  • Caffe Coco - A fun, colorful restaurant with an indoor/outdoor setting and live music. Offers fish and a variety of vegetarian options, including vegan choices. Serving dinner only most days. Click here for my full review.
  • Mermaids Cafe - A casual sidewalk cafe with Pan-Asian flavors. Open for lunch and dinner.  Click here for my full review.
  • Kauai Pasta - An Italian restaurant with a nice atmosphere. Perfect for a date or a nicer lunch. Prices are a little higher, so check out their happy hour if you want cheaper eats. While not an outwardly vegan restaurant, they were very accommodating when I requested a vegan entree.
  • Verde - A taco and burrito place friendly to vegans. We didn't get a chance to eat here, but we passed by and it had a nice atmosphere.
  • Java Kai - A fun local coffee and smoothie shop in Kapaa. They have several vegetarian entrees for breakfast and lunch and a few vegan items as well. Vegan-friendly in general.
Tofu Satay at Mermaid Cafe
Grocery Stores:
With many restaurants closed for dinner and the prevalence of rural attractions of Kauai, grocery stores are a great place to buy lunch and/or snacks. Anticipate a slight markup in prices compared to mainland stores, due to the expense of importing to the island.
  • Papaya's Natural Foods and Cafe - A fantastic health food store. They offer a range of options, and more than you'd expect in a relatively small space. Don't miss their prepared food and cafe - the taro burger was amazing and the hummus wrap makes and excellent picnic/beach sandwich. Check out local treats as well, such as Lotus Fudge (see my version here). Stock up on treats for when you head to other parts of the island, where vegan options can get slim.
  • Healthy Hut Market and Cafe - Another health food store. We weren't able to visit this one, but it offers a variety of foods, a cafe, and a juice bar. Located on the North Shore.
  • Hoku Foods Natural Market - A large health food store in downtown Kapaa. Offers more choices than some of the competitors, but doesn't offer a cafe component. Nice atmosphere.
  • Safeway - Located in the same shopping center as Papaya's, Safeway offers some vegetarian and vegan options, particularly in the frozen section. Helpful for snacks or a night in, especially if you have access to a microwave.
For more on traveling as a vegan, check out my Vegan Travel series.

Disclosure notice: This product was sent to me free of charge by the manufacturer for review. No additional compensation was accepted and the opinions are my own. Please verify any claims with the manufacturer, especially if you have any allergies or concerns.

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