Oahu is known for great sun, sand and surf. In A Quick Guide to Oahu we looked at some of the best things to see and do on the island, now let’s check out more of my favourite things about traveling – the food!
Of course, the tropical climate of Hawaii means an abundance of delicious, fresh tropical fruit and veg, but Oahu is also home to some great vegan eats.
THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY
Most people know the Cheesecake Factory for their cheesecakes. Crazy, I know. But what most don’t know is that TCF has some great vegan options. Add these to your Must Try list – Evelyn’s Favorite Pasta, Vegan Cobb Salad (my absolute favourite) and if you’re into cocktails you’ll love their variety of tropical cocktails, complete with a fresh pineapple cup. Because it always tastes better when it’s served in a pineapple, right?
Yard House is another surprisingly good casual restaurant for vegans in Oahu, As the name suggests, the restaurant is known for their beer but the vegan menu boasts some quality plant based dishes including an entire range of Gardein based meals and appetisers such as Jerk Wings and a “Chicken” Rice Bowl. Ask your server about their vegan friendly beer, wine and cocktails. This is a great gathering place for groups with varying tastes, even more so during Happy Hour between 2-5.30pm on weekdays and 10.30pm til close Sunday to Wednesdays.
Smoothie bowls are fairly easy to find in Oahu but The Best Smoothie Bowl in Oahu Award should go to Tropical Tribe who specialise in authentic brazilian acai bowls. Thanks to Kaena, our Chief’s Luau host, for this winning recommendation.
GREENS & VINES
This all raw, vegan and gluten-free gourmet restaurant was opened in 2012 by Oahu local Sylvia Thompson almost a decade after exploring whole foods as a way of reversing heart disease following her husbands heart attack. Signature dishes include the Sampler Dips n Chips, Kaffir Miso Pad Thai and the bestselling Living Lasagna. At Greens & Vines healthy eating has never looked so good.
Board the Pineapple Express (ha) and explore Hawaii’s educational and tasty “Pineapple Experience”. Or if tourist traps aren’t your thing, pick up some fresh, sweet pineapple from one of the many roadside stalls or local stores.
Shavings of crunchy, cold ice lavishly doused in sweet colourful syrup, this iconic treat is a Must Have on any tropical Hawaiian getaway. While it may seem hard to mess up, Matsumoto’s shaved Ice, Waiola Shave Ice and Haleiwa Shave Ice do it best.
You haven’t tried super sweet corn until you’ve tried Kahuku’s same-day harvested, fresh corn cobs suitable nicknamed Candy Corn.
A trip to Hawaii wouldn’t be complete without a luau. Traditional luaus, albeit kalua pig centric, do have some delicious veggie options including fresh tropical fruits, salads, rice, delicious Hawaiian sweet potato and poi (a traditional Hawaiian staple made from taro). Chief’s is arguably the best luau in Hawaii and the hosts go to great efforts to make sure everyone is well fed and cocktailed.
Let’s talk about snacks, baby!
Between luau feasts, snorkelling with the fishes (and turtles if you’re lucky!), mall therapy and checking out Oahu’s best vegan foodie spots you are going to need some sustenance. Let’s talk about snacks. Down to Earth is a mecca for vegan snackage but a lot of these can also be found at the 9240941 ABC stores taking over the island.
- CLIF Bars
- Fresh fruit
- Macadamia nuts, locally grown (Tropical Farms Macadamia Nut Farm grow the freshest, tastiest macadamia nuts I’ve ever tried in my life)
- Hail Merry dessertsAnd yes, you do get extra points for snacks on the beach.
Then there were all of the vegan eats I didn’t have time to try but will be at the top of my list for my next Hawaiian getaway..
Loving Hut offers delicious, wholesome, veggie food. The worldwide chain restaurant has such an extensive international menu that guarantees a huge range of tasty 100% vegan meals and sweets no matter the location.
This popular home-style 100% vegan cafe has a delicious selection of sandwiches, salads, hearty bowls and homemade sweets.
I discovered this one while stalking Instagram pre-holiday. Their feed makes me want to reach through the phone and go to Hawaii just for their famous smoothie bowls.
This upscale chain restaurant has a secret vegan menu which, due to popularity, is not so secret anymore. For a nice dinner out the fixed menu includes courses such as Local Vegetable Roulade and Chocolate Mousse.
“Duke’s Famous Salad Bar” provides a buffet selection of fresh, locally grown veggies, ancient grains, pasta, garden salads, fresh fruit and warm breads for $18 per person.
Have you travelled to Oahu? Do you have any favourite vegan eats in Oahu that aren’t on this list?