Vegan Victuals

The state of Hawaii is known for its Spam, Kalua Pork, and a myriad of other delectable meats. But how about some Island-lovin’ for the animal-free among us? We went hunting (don’t worry, no animals were harmed in the process) to find the 8 most ono meat-free manna Oahu could offer, and what we found were some delicious (and verified) vegan victuals. Here are the Island’s top tucked away culinary hotspots catering to Hawaii’s veggie community. Downtown Honolulu/Waikiki Downbeat Diner A heath-conscious hipster’s dream come true, the Downbeat Diner offers an old-school Danny Zuko-inspired atmosphere filled to the brim with creative and eclectic vegan-friendly fare. Open late and always busy, bring some friends and enjoy live music frequently offered by the establishment. Loving Hut With a mantra like “Be Vegan, Make Peace,” it’s no surprise that Loving Hut is an Oahu outpost adored for its vegan-friendly fare. Family-owned, yet part of a fast-growing chain of eateries across the world, Loving Hut is created with a vision that all beings can live in peace, love and harmony with each other and the planet. Consider this your official invitation to grab some gourmet cuisine made with wholesome, vegan ingredients—perfect for patrons following a plant-based diet. Blue Tree Café Consider this your go-to locale for some liquid lovin’ for good livin.’ For those seeking a simple shot of wheatgrass or a thirst-quenching exotic elixir, Blue Tree Café offers assorted coffee and espresso beverages, a wide range of hot tea selections, organic juices, smoothies and—for the really hardcore—a wholesome variety of raw food items. Peace Café Based on the simple concept of desiring to offer food that fosters “peaceful harmony amongst man, animals, and nature,” Peace Café is a tiny vegan eatery dishing up delicious home cooking recipes made with the simplest pure ingredients. Try the Moroccan Stew or Soy Soba Salad, and we assure you that the minute your foot crosses that threshold, you’ll feel at home and nurtured, body and soul. Greens & Vines Deliciously ahead of the rest of Oahu’s culinary curve, Greens & Vines is perhaps the Island’s only gourmet sit-down eatery that caters to those customers subsisting solely on raw, vegan diets. Ideal for an evening out with your significant other, this restaurant wins for the most inventive and awe-inspiring menu—sure to appease even the hungriest appetite growling for gourmet grub. RAW(r!) Manoa Andy’s Sandwiches and Smoothies The epitome of everyday lunch done right, Andy’s Sandwiches and Smoothies keeps it simple by offering affordable and ono-licious grinds (including fresh smoothies) that supply the perfect fix for your lunch hour hankerings. Meet up with a friend at this Manoa shop, we’re sure you’ll stop in again. North Shore The Beet Box Café We’re not supposed to have favorites, maybe, but when it comes to North Shore’s Beet Box Café, I just might have to rebel and recommend this remarkable restaurant for the grand vegan prize. Situated on the main street of Haleiwa’s charming community, the kitschy café is tucked into the back corner of the town’s local health store, Celestial foods. And like with all good things, those you had to work to discover often deliver the highest (and in this case, delicious) dividends. Try anything on the menu and it’s a win—it’s even been decoded for the vegan-dummies among us, with a clever ‘V’ marked on all approved items. Just go. Now. Kailua Down to Earth An interesting cross between a healthy, green grocer and a takeout deli and café, Down to Earth delivers a one-stop shopping experience where one can collect all their needed items for the week’s menu preparations, while also grabbing some ready-to-inhale grub to go. Choose from the daily varying hot food bar (many vegan options abound) or the many sandwiches, wraps and smoothies available as well. Did we mention that the entire establishment is meat-free? Yeah, we think that makes Down to Earth outta this world. The Island chain is also outfitted with branches serving Honolulu and Kapolei communities. by Andy Beth Miller