Hello friends! I recently got back from a trip to visit a friend who lives on Oahu, Hawaii. I had an amazing time exploring the beaches, learning about the history of the islands and of course eating tons of delicious vegan food! I left New York on Tuesday night and arrived on Oahu early Wednesday morning. Let's chat about the spots I visited while I was there and what I loved about them!
The first restaurant I visited early Wednesday afternoon was Banzai Bowls in Haleiwa, which is where I was staying. This spot serves açaí bowls and smoothies. I had heard about this spot from one of my favorite travel influencers, Eryn Krouse, so I was excited to try it out! I ordered the Maui Sunrise bowl without honey. It was very delicious but a bit basic, not really anything different from açaí bowls I eat at home or anywhere else. I still really enjoyed it though and thought their outdoor seating area was adorable! It has a lovely view of the harbor but I wish it had some sort of shade because it was very hot the day I went. But it was my choice to sit outside, I was just so excited to be in the sun after traveling so long!
Maui Sunrise bowl from Banzai Bowls
Because I had my breakfast so late, I didn't end up eating lunch, and instead enjoyed my dinner at Rajanee Thai. This restaurant has meat, vegetarian and vegan options, with a clearly labeled menu. I started out with a Thai Iced tea with coconut milk. Then I ordered the Curry Noodles with tofu and a side of Coconut Rice. I asked for the curry to be medium spicy and the flavor was amazing. Honestly this was the best curry dish I've had since I was in Bali. The coconut rice was slightly sweet, which perfectly accompanied the spiciness of the curry. If you're in Haleiwa and craving Thai food, I highly recommend this spot!
Dishes and drink I ordered at Rajanee Thai
Thursday I was excited to go to a cafe I had found on Instagram called Raised by the Waves. This is a local and women owned vegan eco-cafe in Kahuku. I started off with a Shroom Latte, which is essentially a matcha latte with mushroom powder in it for added health benefits. It was hot out again this day, so I decided to skip the hot food and ordered the Spicy Vegan Poke Bowl and Raw Vegan Nachos to split with my friend Kate. I loved the latte and couldn't taste the mushroom powder at all. The poke bowl was not spicy to me, as the name had implied, but still good and I felt very healthy eating it. The nachos on the other hand where amazing! The combination of toppings and dips was delicious and all the chips were nice and crunchy. I loved the vibe and decor of this spot, very surf inspired with lots of white, natural textures and plants.
Raised by the Waves
Spicy Vegan Poke Bowl, Raw Vegan Nachos & Shroom Latte
Raised by the Waves
That evening Kate made dinner for me, so sweet of her! It was spaghetti with vegan vodka sauce and mixed veggies on the side.
Dinner Kate made for me
On Friday I took the bus from Haleiwa into the main city on the island, Honolulu. My first stop was for brunch at Olena Cafe. I ordered the BLT and a matcha latte. The staff was super sweet and my latte was pretty good. I loved the coconut "bacon" bits on my sandwich, the rest of it was good but nothing overly amazing. I honestly felt like it was a bit overpriced for what it was but still very fresh tasting and satisfying! That night I ended up getting takeout from Loving Hut, which is a chain that is also in New York. I ordered the Crispy Rolls and Sweet & Sour Hapa. Unfortunately, I forgot to take any photos of my food from there, but it was very delicious as I expected!
BLT & matcha latte from Olena Cafe
The next day, I decided to try another açaí bowl spot, Haleiwa Bowls, and I loved it! On Saturday early afternoon, I ordered the Blue Majik bowl and asked for no honey or bee pollen. I don't think there was honey, but since I had never had bee pollen before, I didn't realize that the bowl I was served had this ingredient still, I thought it was some kinda of granola topping! You can't always be a perfect vegan, especially when traveling. Some vegans still eat bee byproducts like honey, but I personally avoid it when possible because I consider bees to be animals. Either way I still loved the bowl, just be aware of this ingredient if you are a very strict vegan. The restaurant itself is more of a food stand with a little bit of a seating area. The aesthetic is so cute but I wish there were some actual tables at least close by. Also, something to note is that there are a lot of birds who like to hang around in the area, such as pigeons and chickens. The birds don't really bother anyone, but sometimes people like to throw them little pieces of coconut flakes. I would totally recommend this spot if you're in the mood for a smoothie drink or bowl, I even went back again on Sunday to try their Green Bowl!
Blue Majik bowl
Green Bowl & Iced Matcha Latte Elixir
On Saturday night, Kate drove us into Honolulu to go to Tane Vegan Sushi & Izakaya. We started with the Agedashi tofu because I was super hungry. Then we ordered two sushi dishes to share, I'm pretty sure one of them was called "the wedge". After that we got one order of the Enoki nigiri to share, since it comes with two pieces. This place was a little bit on the pricey side (pretty on par with NYC restaurant prices) but absolutely amazing, I would totally go back!
Sushi rolls from Tane Vegan Sushi
Enoki nigiri from Tane Vegan Sushi
I already mentioned that on Sunday I went to Haleiwa Bowls again for brunch. For dinner, Kate and I went to Pieology in Honolulu before heading to see her friend's burlesque show. Pieology is a chain pizza spot where you can choose how and what your pizza is made with, similar to Subway or Chipotle. I had previously been to a location of theirs in Los Angles. I like how they have plenty of vegan options and that everything is clearly labeled. I think this is a great spot to go for friend groups with different diets, since each pizza is pretty small so you can each order your own.
My pizza from Pieology
On Monday I had breakfast and dinner at Kate's house but for lunch we went to The Cosmic Kitchen. I had their special of the day, which was the Cosmic Fried Rice Bowl. It had fried rice, greens, tofu scramble, pumpkin seeds and other veggies topped with an aioli sauce. It was very wholesome and delicious and made me feel super healthy which was perfect since Kate and I went hiking that day. I also got a very yummy drink that had lemonade and dragonfruit in it.
The Cosmic Kitchen
Dish and drink I ordered from The Cosmic Kitchen
Tuesday was my last day on Oahu, Kate and I had breakfast at her house and a late lunch with plenty of leftovers for dinner from QQ Tea & Vegetarian House in Honolulu. From here I ordered a boba tea to start. Kate and I split the Vegan Ginger Chicken and Vegan Teriyaki Beef. I honestly loved both of them!! The prices were pretty reasonable in my opinion too, compared to some of the other restaurants I visited during my trip and considering how much food they give you. I would go back here for sure!
Dishes from QQ Tea & Vegetarian House
Boba drink from QQ Tea & Vegetarian House
Tuesday night was my flight back to New York! I had so much fun and amazing food during my trip to Oahu! I'm so grateful that I finally got to see Kate again since she moved from New York and that I had a chance to visit Hawaii for the first time! Have you ever been to Hawaii? If I go back, what island should I visit next time?