Updates: Kauai, Hawaii: Gorgeous, Veg-Friendly Paradise

By Paige Newman, Exclusive to VegDining.com

See Updates in Comment Section Below

Kauai, the “Garden Island” of Hawaii, is not only rife with natural beauty – from lush rainforests and mountains to amazing beaches – but offers a variety of options for vegetarian visitors.

I roost on the North Shore, close to the roosters who wake us at dawn, where the Na Pali Coast boasts breathtaking views as well as opportunities to hike and enjoy the crystal-clear ocean, whether snorkeling or swimming at sunset.

This region has many healthful treats, especially in the small town of Hanalei. Postcards Café is a vegan dinner favorite, with delicious pasta, spring rolls, organic green salads, and chocolate pie. Papaya’s Natural Foods and Café makes fresh soups, smoothies and baked goods. Tropical Taco cooks up a fast veggie burrito.

Nearby, in the tiny town of Wainiha, Red Hot Mama’s also does burritos, but with tofu! In Haena, a bit north, Mediterranean Gourmet has falafel, hummus and Greek salads. Kilauea is home to longtime favorites Banana Joe’s (for fruit smoothies and other tropical goods), and Kilauea Bakery and Pau Hana Pizza.

Kapaa – the land of lovely Wailua Falls, plus the Wailua River for boating activities – is another herbivore hangout, with the original Papaya’s Natural
Foods and Café
, which has deli goods and groceries. This town is also known for its totally vegan and innovative Blossoming Lotus, and across the street, Lotus Root Juice Bar and Bakery. Two Thai restaurants cater to vegans: Mema Thai and King and I.

Adventurous types up for more driving can eat a predominantly Italian vegetarian lunch at Hanapepe Café in Hanapepe, and then continue west to Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”

Kauai has something for every traveler. So grab a map and tour this magnificent island…at least once.

Paige Newman chose to be vegetarian at age four, and has been vegan for 15 years. She has written many vegetarian travel articles, covering a diversity of areas, from San Diego to South America to Italy.

This article was originally printed in VegDining.com. Photos courtesy of Paige Newman.

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6 Responses to “Updates: Kauai, Hawaii: Gorgeous, Veg-Friendly Paradise”

  1. Paige Newman Says:

    Found out some more news on Kauai veggie places from a local.

    Blossoming Lotus has sadly closed since this article was written. The Lotus Root also closed. There are a few Mexican places doing veggie stuff: Verde in Kapa’a, Monico’s, also in Kapa’a, and Kauai Pasta, in both Lihue and Kapa’a. Kauai Pasta does an amazing portobello mushroom sandwich or salad, and the Lihue one is open from lunch through dinner.

  2. Tabor Girl Says:

    You got me wanting to go to Hawaii now! wow…

  3. Paige Newman Says:

    Just back from Kauai! Postcards Cafe in Hanalei is one of my dinner favorites and happens to be owned by my parents, so I will forever brag about it. They have a new vegan enchilada and also homemade hummus served with bread. Tropical Taco in Hanalei still makes a mean veggie taco.
    Somehow in years of visiting Kauai I never came across Healthy Hut, a small natural foods store in Kilauea with bulk items, produce, vitamins, etc. It is diagonally across from the Historic Kong Lung Center which houses the beloved Kilauea Bakery. Last I checked the bakery had vegan stromboli, salads, pizza and more. Nearby is Kilauea Town Market and Deli that sells some healthy foods and general grocery items. You can get something from the deli to bring to the lighthouse a few minutes away.
    Kapaa has a new place called Hoku Foods Natural Market at 4585 Lehua St. that is known to be cheaper than other such stores on the island and takes special orders. Get your cookies, get your kombucha! Then, if you are into natural healing, see Dr. Chad Bennis. He's a chiropractor (and a friend of mine) with an office on the main street of Kapaa near the ABC Discount store. Look for a bakery and a green street sign with Dr. Bennis' name.

  4. Annie Banks Says:

    POSTCARDS CAFE went above and beyond my greatest expectations!!!
    First of all, it’s a charming plantation cottage … what a delight to dine in it’s wonderful atmosphere.
    Postcards has the BEST SEAFOOD in all the Islands, hands down. It also has veggie meals (but that’s not for me) …
    I started with the homemade warm crusty bread with homemade hummas … that, along with the good wine was perfect in and of itself. However, there was more …. the Monchong (sp) fish so light and delicate and yummy, that words fail me. The flavor of the vegetables could not compare with anything … why? Because they are almost entirely organic and are grown right there, on the grounds, along with the herbs used in the preparation of the meals. Amazing, really.
    Desert just lite up my eyes and, had my sweet-tooth craving more and more. So I had two! I’d recommend the fantastic chocolate, “The Volcano” or, the “Vegan Chocolate Pie” … hey, then there’s the homemade banana ice cream made from Postcard’s own bananas.

  5. Paige Newman Says:

    Thanks Annie for your great comments! I put a brief version on the Facebook page:

  6. Mike Says:

    Sounds delicious! Thanks for the info in this article Paig 🙂 Some readers visiting from the Mainland might wanna stay in quality, centrally located accommodations… definitely check out Kauai Vacation Rentals. Here’s a link! http://on.fb.me/klvfdz

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