oahu food

How to Eat Vegan in Oahu

Happy Wednesday! For those of you who don’t know, I took a little trip to Hawaii last month with my sister. It was the best trip I’ve ever been on, and I desperately wish I could be back on the island right now. I posted a little travel diary/vlog a few weeks ago. If you’re interested, click here to watch.

I thought I would do a quick little post sharing all the vegan friendly places we visited in Oahu. My number one tip for travelling is to always do your research. Look up vegan places, read blogs, and watch YouTube videos. Of course, always be prepared and pack  your own food. It saves a lot of money, and makes vegan travelling much easier.

If you’re in the Waikiki area, two places to check out are Banan and Marukame Udon. Banan has a location near Diamond Head, and one near Manoa falls; but they just opened a Waikiki location in early June. Most of their bowls come with honey, which I personally don’t think is vegan. So just ask for no honey, if you agree. Marukame Udon do not have any purely vegan or vegetarian options. But if you are a noodle lover like me, you have to try the Kamaage udon - plain udon in hot water, served with dipping sauce on the side. The sauce has fish, unfortunately. But the noodles are honestly so delicious on their own. Both places are relatively cheap and give generous portions! 

Most of the vegan restaurants can be found on King St in downtown Honolulu. The best place we ate at was Downbeat Diner. Their menu does have a few vegan options, but you can basically ask the server for anything on their menu to be made vegan - including Loco Moco. You MUST try Downbeat Diner! They also have a separate lounge where they host shows and parties.

Lanikai Beach is listed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. If you’re in the Kailua area, check out Whole Foods and Down To Earth Organics. They’re both located in the same plaza, and serve great vegan options. Down to Earth is especially awesome because they have vegan poke, vegan macaroni and mock chicken salad, and vegan desserts! 

You can’t visit Oahu and not take a drive up to the North Shore. Visiting Haleiwa was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. There are a few great places to check out in the North Shore. If you’re interested in something sweet, be sure to go to Aloha Wow Wow Lemonade for a refreshing glass of fresh lemonade. You can also buy a reusable jar - which is kinder to the environment and also makes for a great souvenir. You also can’t go to Hawaii without having an acai bowl. Stop by Haleiwa bowls for some delicious, instagram-worthy food. Again, they put honey on their acai bowls, so make sure you ask for no honey. Lastly, be sure to check out Anahulu’s Shave Ice and take a picture in front of the famous angel wings. There are other vegan options in Haleiwa that serve sandwiches and bowls, but we didn’t have time to check them out.

If any of you are planning to travel to Oahu soon, feel free to shoot me a message! I can’t wait to visit Hawaii again soon!


I don’t know just exactly how one rewrites a place in their memory, carving out new neural pathways and feeling new feelings, but I do know that hot, fresh donuts help. I repeated this mantra to myself as we drove to the airport on Maui, stashing our luggage in Alana’s dad’s office and sauntering through the relaxed, open air terminals that make up Kahului International Airport. I repeated it to myself as I broke into the emergency stash of chocolate Stephanie had packed for us, and as Molly began daydreaming about all the SPAM musubi she was about to eat on Oahu. We were embarking on #SLAMsquad (Stephanie, Lily, Alana, and Molly) phase 2: Oahu. I should have been thrilled.

But here’s the thing. I haven’t been to Oahu in 9 years. Haven’t been since my mother was diagnosed with late-stage endometrial cancer, haven’t been since I sat in a cold, damp stairwell of the hospital with my hot pink Motorola RAZR 3 flip phone and called the boyfriend who’d broken up with me three days before to tell him that something else in my life had broken, too. I hadn’t been since my heart was shattered. Oahu, for me, had become one of Those Places That Hurt™. We all have them. But nine years later, I was determined to undo the trademark, to make Oahu new for me.

Beginning with donuts.

Read more and get the full travel guide here.

Lani's Loco Moco, Honolulu, HI

As prime rib is the cut of choice when it comes to beef in Hawaii, it was only a matter of time before someone made good use of it in loco moco!

Lani’s Loco Moco & Plate Lunch is a food truck permanently located in the Pau Hana Market across from the Embassy Suites on Beach Walk in Waikiki…

They do not skimp on the beef! It is grilled medium rare and piled high over generous scoops of rice…

Topped with a magnificent mushroom gravy and two over-easy eggs that pop at the tender touch of your fork, letting the yolk ooze out…

Fourteen bucks may seem a bit high for lunch in a styrofoam box, but by substituting succulent steak into this Hawaiian specialty, Lani’s makes it worth every penny…


234 Beach Walk

Honolulu, HI 96815