By Paige Newman, Exclusive to VegDining.com
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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.