We had no problem eating vegan on Kauai. I was prepared to add some seafood to my diet, but it wasn’t necessary. There are lots of restaurants with good vegan options. A lot of the best restaurants we ate at championed farm-to-fork eating, serving up ingredients grown locally.
We often cooked two meals a day for ourselves (one benefit to staying somewhere with a kitchen) and ate out once. We bought fruit at the farmers markets and most of our groceries at the Papaya’s Natural Foods in Kapaa. They have an amazing selection of vegan products and local produce (which is surprisingly hard to find), and the prices weren’t outrageous. They carry a lot of products made in Kauai, including a vegan pudding that Emily fell in love with.
Here are the restaurants that have the best vegan options, listed by preference:
1. Postcards Café – A charming restaurant in Hanalei. Their menu doesn’t have any meat (only fish) or refined sugar, and they use a lot of fruit they grow themselves. The Sombrero was probably the best meal we had all week. (Tripadvisor)
2. The Garden Cafe at Common Ground – You don’t get more local than eating on a farm. The Garden Cafe serves up amazing fresh food a picturesque open-air cafe. The taro fries were to-die-for and the daily special salad was extremely flavourful. (Tripadvisor)
3. Merriman’s – A mostly seafood restaurant, but they have a few vegan options that surprised us for their quality. They’re located in an upscale outdoor mall in Poipu. The Vegan Pizza and Portobello Burger were both excellent. We added avocado and pineapple to our burger which made it comically difficult to eat, but very tasty. (Tripadvisor)
4. Caffè Coco – A quaint vegetarian and seafood restaurant hidden off the road in Kapaa. They have the most vegan/vegetarian menu items of any restaurant in Kauai. We really enjoyed the Coconut Macnut Tofu, Vietnamese Summer Rolls, and Thai Curried Pumpkin Soup. The Purple Sweet Potato Samosa was disappointing – it’s just mashed taro in a pastry shell. It could use some texture and spices. (Tripadvisor)
5. Beach House – One of Kauai’s fanciest restaurants with amazing sunset views. And they have a vegan menu! Emily really liked the Grilled Tofu and the curry sauce it was served with. I was disappointed with my Roasted Beet dish – it lacked flavour and the steamed arugula was gross. (Tripadvisor)
6. Tiki Tacos – We went here to try the fish tacos (breaking our vegan diet for one meal), but we were disappointed. The “Best Fish Taco” was ok, but it didn’t have a lot of flavour. The vegan Tiki Fire Vegetables taco was a lot better. (Tripadvisor)
7. Shivalik Indian Cuisine – Average Indian food. Nothing that special. They do have a number of vegetarian options and the prices are reasonable. (Tripadvisor).