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Restaurants with best vegetarian options

Francofoodie Nov 1, 2010 04:02 PM

Hey everyone,
I'm looking for restaurants that have the best vegetarian options. Price is not an issue and I am open to all types of cuisine. I am taking out a vegetarian to dinner and as I am a meat eater I have not paid too much attention to the vegetarian parts of menus. This is a very broad question i realize, basically, its a third date and I want to make sure she has a memorable time AND meal. Hopefully i can take care of the time aspect but Im hoping you all can help with the meal as ive only been here about 6 months.


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  1. enbell Nov 2, 2010 10:15 PM

    Have you used happycow.com before? It can be a good starting point. My last trip was 5 years ago, so I have no recent local tips. I hope this helps a little bit :)

    1. KaimukiMan Nov 2, 2010 11:37 PM

      I'm a carnivore, so what you are getting from me is second hand, but maybe you can get some other responses to this.

      Hale Restaurant, across Makaloa from Walmart is supposedly the best vegetarian restaurant on the island. Vegetarians seem to think its great, omnivores aren't so sure.

      Govinda's is an Indian restaurant in Nuuanu run by the Hare Krishnas. they also have a place on Fort Street Mall and at the University of Hawaii. I'm not sure any of them are open for dinner. This place has a long standing reputation for tasty food.

      Legends Buddhist Vegetarian is just around the corner from the regular Legends at the Chinese Cultural Plaza at Beretania and River street. It also has a long standing reputation for good food, especially vegetarian dim-sum.

      Hale Vietnam in Kaimuki has a good vegetarian broth option for their Pho. Other dishes can be ordered vegetarian, and in some cases vegan.

      Like most Thai restaurants, Keo's in Waikiki is known for making good vegetarian food.

      The University/King branch of Down To Earth has a deli section with a small eating area. It generally has a good selection of vegetarian dishes, again, some are vegan. It has been around for a long time, for a casual meal its not a bad choice.

      Hope this gives you a start.

      Chinese Cultural Plaza
      Honolulu, HI, USA, Honolulu, HI

      Buddhist Vegetarian Restaurant
      100 N Beretania St Ste 109, Honolulu, HI 96817

      Hale Vietnam Restaurant
      1140 12th Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

      2 Replies
      1. re: KaimukiMan
        russkar Nov 3, 2010 08:44 AM

        add Peace Cafe and Cafe Maharani (many Indian Dishes are Vegetarian).

        1. re: russkar
          macaraca Feb 15, 2011 08:43 PM

          Tried Peace Cafe for the first time tonight, and learned that they have now extended hours till 9 pm most nights.

          The place is clean and sort of quaint/cute, with a few small tables and one large one. I think it is strictly vegan. Order at the counter, pay, and the kitchen help delivers....everything comes on biodegradable plates, and they offer a 10 cent discount if you bring your own container for take-out!

          I had the Moroccan Stew, quite tasty, but not especially memorable, which was a lot of brown rice, with a reasonable portion of mildly spicy chickpea stew, a few salad greens, and a tiny container of pickled vegetables. Were the pickles supposed to go with the BiBimBap the SO ordered? That was ok too, a large plate with choice of tofu or tvp base, and veggies, etc...a good sized portion, but at $9 not a great bargain. On the other hand it was healthy and fairly tasty.

          Lots of drinks and sweets on the menu, which we didn't try...organic this and fair trade that. Not a destination unless you are a serious vegetarian, but as the OP wanted a place where he could eat meat and his guest not, Peace Cafe would not be his choice.

      2. manomin Nov 3, 2010 11:00 AM

        Roy's Waikiki does an amazing vegan prix fix menu changing seasonally. I've really enjoyed the courses and I'm not even vegan. Hiroshi & Vino could do a great job for you with vegetarian as well.

        2 Replies
        1. re: manomin
          russkar Feb 15, 2011 11:34 PM

          @ Roy's Waikiki the other night and it's always dependable. One of the Top Choices for Waikiki.

          1. re: russkar
            manomin Feb 16, 2011 08:48 AM

            Did you try any of the vegan choices? Actually it's a prix fixe but I'm sure someone like you could get one of them ala carte. Jason does an amazing job. I was just there Friday at the bar and had a wonderful afternoon.

        2. n
          Nevertoofull Feb 23, 2014 01:23 PM

          I just returned from Maui and Big Island. I am vegetarian and my husband is not. There are options in places you would not expect.

          On Maui, Coconuts Fish Cafe will do the tacos with a veggie pattie instead of fish. Unlike most veggie burgers, this one had a nice texture and was not mushy. I had it on the Taco Mountain (taco fixings on a bed of rice instead of on tortillas) and it was terrific.

          Also on Maui, Mama's Fish House will accommodate. We went for lunch so I figured I would be okay with just the salad, but when I said I was vegetarian, they offered to to one of the fish preparations with tofu instead. The preparation was Maui onion, Haiku golden tomatoes, and black rice, with grilled tofu and not at the fish price. Mama's also had coffee varieties that I did not see elsewhere.

          Mala at the Marriott in Wailea was not wonderful but was fine for a place walking distance from our condo. They have a stir fried vegetable tofu dish but I played with appetizers instead. Fried tofu with peanut sauce needed more spice. Deep fried Brussels sprouts were good but it did seem odd to eat Brussels sprouts in Hawaii Mokolai mashed sweet potatoes were wonderful. The portions were big and I had leftovers for another dinner.

          Leoda's Sandwich and Pie Shop has a good veggie burger sandwich with a nice texture and good flavor. The lime pie was good but not really special. I make a better one.

          On the Big Island, I had a few good meals at Lemongrass Express in Queens Center in Waikoloa. They had a good garlic tofu stir fry as a lunch special and stir fried eggplant which you can get with tofu on the regular menu. The pupu section had macadamia crusted tofu and spicy edamame but I didn't try those. The food is a bit oily for my taste but the vegetables were nice and crisp.

          Merriman's Waimea was our fancy night out. I had the salad of tomato, roasted beets and papaya with some black quinoa sprinkled on it. Very pretty but could have used some acid to perk it up. I had the pasta appetizer as a main dish and it was more than enough food for me. House made cavatelli with mushrooms, asparagus, macadamia nut pesto and a little ricotta with tons of butter and/or cream. I was too full for dessert but my husband had mentioned that we were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and they brought us a surprise dessert...a small pot of the passionfruit mousse and some macadamia shortbread cookies on a plate decorated with Happy 25th in chocolate. It was so sweet of them. I have no doubt that if I had not found something on the menu, they would have created a special vegetarian dish for me.

          One night we drove down the coast to Kona village and ate at Rapanui. I had a root vegetable curry with their special coconut rice. It was very good but I should have ordered brown rice and the vegetable stir fry because the overall texture of the meal was too soft for my taste. I like crunch. At the end of the trip, we stopped back at Rapanui for lunch. I had the gado gado salad. Not an exciting dish but I had eaten a pint of Tropical Dreams ice cream the night before and I needed to atone.

          We did an overnight in Hilo. I am not crazy about plate lunch or loco moco but we went to Cafe 100 so my husband could have some. I ordered the vegetable loco moco but neglected to ask about the preparation and the vegetable had been cooked with chicken. Maybe you need to be local to enjoy this type of dish but we found it way too bland.

          At dinner in Hilo we had great Thai food at Sambat's. I had a really good vegetable stir fry with bean thread noodles.

          Outside Volcano National Park, we had lunch at the Lodge where I had a good grilled mushroom sandwich.

          On our 2013 trip, we were in condos the whole time so didn't eat out much. I know I found good vegetarian options at the Monkeypod Cafe in Wailea Maui and also at Postcards Cafe on Kauai in Hanalei.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Nevertoofull
            enbell Feb 23, 2014 08:47 PM

            So thorough, thank you!

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