Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vegan Kaua'i, Hawaii: Part One

I've been to the island of Kaua'i many times in my life, but have never blogged about my vegan findings. This may be a bit extensive, fair warning, because of all the places I've been on the island. I've never been to another island, but this is the Garden Isle of Hawaii and it definitely doesn't live down its name. It is breathtakingly beautiful (maybe that's why all the celebrities go there?). It really is an amazing place to have a honeymoon and many do (or hell, you're wedding too!). My vegan findings are going to be mostly about south, west, and east shore. I rarely have gone to north shore (rains too much for me). So, if you are looking to go to Princeville or the Napali Coast, I don't have much information for you. But, I recommend going to south shore to visit to Poipu. It named year after year one of the best beaches in the world. One can often see the Hawaiian monk seals on the beach sunbathing as well as many tropical fish in the sea. For great snorkeling, I would recommend going to the beach in front of Lawaii Beach Resort and the Beach House restaurant. You find a lot of surfers going out here as well as divers. When I was just here, I saw three giant sea turtles at this spot almost every day. They are so close to you in the water, you could touch them. It is truly a magical experience to be surrounded by giant sea turtles munching away and tropical fish. Very peaceful and natural.

To start, I visited a local favorite, Puka Dog, in Poipu Shopping Village. They have a veggie dog that is vegan. Puka Dog has a good FAQ section on their website for all dietary concerns. The garlic lemon secret sauce is not vegan, though, so opt to just get one of their relishes or other condiments. I tried it with the lilikoi mustard on my hot dog which is passion fruit mustard (amazing!). There is a lot of bread on this which is its only downfall. It's also kinda large, so you could definitely split one with somebody for lunch. Another vegan hot dog place in the south shore is Dude Dog located in the Kukui'ula Village (also there is Lappert's ice cream that has a variety of vegan sorbets). They use Yves veggie dogs. Dude Dog has a variety of condiments to put on the veggie dog. Personally, Puka Dog is more interesting in how they present their food and with their original relishes. But, if you are around and hungry, Dude Dog is certainly a pretty good place to go.

Now, as I mentioned, there is a good beach in front of the Beach House restaurant. The Beach House has been named one of the most romantic restaurants in the world and it certainly is. With it located directly in front of the shoreline, it is a lovely place to have drinks and dinner at sunset. They an open floor plan so you get the ocean breeze and noises. They have two vegan options on their menu. To start, have their Omao, Kaua'i organic baby greens. For dinner, have their grilled portobello mushroom dish. Lastly, for dessert, us vegans can have their sorbetto trio. 

Heading west are the little towns of Hanapepe and Eleele. In Hanapepe, there is the Hanapepe Bakery & Cafe. They have a vegetable sandwich as well as a garden salad with all locally grown vegetables (delicious!). Sometimes, the bakery carries vegan goodies. It quite a cute place located in this tiny town. I would recommend it for a quick lunch while driving around the west side of the island.

If you have a place to make food, I recommend going to one of Kaua'i farmer's markets at least once. It is really a site! Such great fresh, local produce. The fruits and veggies are to die for. It is just like getting it out of your backyard. I have nothing but praise for the farmers in Kaua'i. For other vegan products on the south shore, there is a small market called Kukuiula Market. It has surprisingly a lot of vegan and green products. They have brands like Seventh Generation, Amy's, Boca, Follow Your Heart, Daiya, Morning Star, etc. It really is more like a health food store. Perfect! Another place near by is Living Foods Market which is a upscale, gourmet small grocery. It reminded me a bit of a small Whole Foods. They also carried many vegan brands too. On east shore in Kapa'a, there is Hoku Foods Natural Market. It was a bit like a combination of the other two markets. It had many gourmet items, but also was very much like a large health food store.


Imperfections said...

Kaua'i is my fav island also! At the time of our visit we were not vegan so I guess we have to go back just to explore our dinning options ;)

Rowena... said...

I was born and raised on Kauai's south shore but never bothered to go to Puka's (you know that old saying how it's always green on the other side of the fence). Now that I live off-island, I am making up a list of places to eat and will definitely stop in for the vegan dog out of curiosity. My cousin had me try some that she made herself using dehydrated soy and it was delish!

Miss Lexy said...

Glad I could help out with places to try!

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