Plant Based O’ahu: Travelling With a Vegan Diet

During Veganuary this year, I made the leap and started practising what I was preaching. It’s now almost June and I’m happy to report that my vegan diet is still doing wonders for my health and sanity!

While I had a mostly plant-based diet before I adopted my vegan diet, the past five and a bit months have definitely been a whirlwind of research and learning. The biggest learning experience I’ve faced so far has been travelling while embracing a vegan diet.

During our trip to O’ahu and the Big Island of Hawai’i (which you can read more about here), I managed to successfully stay vegan (with the exception of local honey, which I don’t usually eat at home). This was all thanks to incredible Hawai’i produce and fruits, of course! While we mostly bought our own food from supermarkets on the Big Island, O’ahu was a different scenario altogether – we treated ourselves and ate every meal out at some of the best (in my opinion) cafes, restaurants, and food trucks that O’ahu has to offer.

Here’s a full list and review of what and where I ate, just in case you’re planning your own trip to O’ahu sometime soon.



Nestled down a side street on the way to Waikiki Beach is Banan’s cute beach shack! Banan offers a delicious menu of banana soft-serve, sourcing all of their ingredients from local farmers. By sourcing all of their food locally, Banan is supporting the O’ahu community, the environment, and the health of their customers. Not to mention, locally sourced foods are fresher and taste better!

Glenn and I shared the ‘Matcha Bowl’ with matcha, mochi, strawberries, puffed quinoa, shaved coconut, and local honey. It was perfect for a bit of a sugar boost during our first big day on the island.

Banan has four locations around Honolulu. You can check where to find your closest Banan here.

Banan Beach Shack Waikiki

Banan Bowl

Heavenly Island Lifestyle

Right in the centre of Waikiki, this cosy gem only uses ingredients sourced from the Hawai’ian islands! They use organic produce where possible and have plenty of yummy vegan options.

We went to heavenly for dinner on our first night and ordered from their ‘Pupu’ menu, which essentially means tapas. We ate everything from the veggie menu including guacamole, organic edamame hummus, organic potatoes wedges, and organic mushrooms. I even treated myself to a very Hawai’ian themed guava mimosa. After some salad for myself as well, and some ahi poke for Glenn, we were stuffed.

I’d definitely recommend booking a table at Heavenly, even if you don’t follow a vegan diet, just to experience some genuine Hawai’ian food and the great atmosphere.

Heavenly Island Lifestyle Waikiki

Heavenly Waikiki Local Spiced Organic Potato Wedges

Heavenly Waikiki Local Avocado Guacamole

Heavenly Waikiki Organic Edamame Hummus

Island Vintage Coffee

We made the terrible decision of not getting to this cafe as soon as it opened! You’ve been warned: Island Vintage Coffee gets really busy. In fact, when we arrived, the line was going out the door and almost down the escalator! However, we decided to wait through the chaos because there truly is nowhere better for breakfast in Waikiki.

I swear, even including my time in Los Angeles, I have never had a better bagel than the one I order for Island Vintage. Just thinking about this breakfast makes me want to go back!

I got the ‘Veggie Bagel’ with tomato, avocado, sprouts, plenty of microgreens, capers, and sunflower seeds, and the smoothest vegan macadamia “cream cheese” in an egg-free bagel. We also picked up some delicious acai and pitaya smoothies – I wish I bought a reusable smoothie cup and my Ever Eco rose gold straw because I felt terrible about all the plastic. But hey, the truth is that it’s tricky and tiring to be everything all the time and I’d like to think that we did a pretty amazing job with the majority of our meals! #keepingitreal

Island Vintage Coffee Veggie Bagel

Island Vintage Coffee Veggie Bagel

Island Vintage Coffee Smoothies

The North Shore

Haleiwa Bowls

On day three we headed to the North Shore to explore some eco sights and to get to know the real O’ahu. First stop for food was the gorgeous Haleiwa Bowls! I devoured my ‘Hapa Bowl’ topped with papaya, while Glenn sipped on what he described as the best smoothie he’s ever tasted (the ‘Paniolo’ with peanut butter).

Honestly, it was just another excuse for me to get my hands on as much Hawai’ian fruit as possible. Everything on the Haleiwa Bowls menu is vegan if you ask for no honey. Plus, Haleiwa Bowls promotes plastic-free living and all their containers are completely biodegradable!

Haleiwa Bowls Hawaii

Haleiwa Bowls Hawaii

Haleiwa Bowls Hawaii

Haleiwa Bowls Hawaii

Haleiwa Bowls Hawaii

Sunrise Shack

By far my favourite eatery on Hawai’i, Sunrise Shack is located across the road from Sunset Beach. The menu is full of foods for health, strength, and happiness and I definitely felt healthier, stronger, and happier after eating here!

After ordering, we wandered across the road to the beach to eat our food. Glenn sipped on his tasty coconut bullet coffee while I devoured Sunrise Shack’s famous papaya bowl. It was a picture perfect way to end our time on the North Shore.

Sunrise Shack North Shore

Sunrise Shack North Shore Sunset Beach

Sunrise Shack North Shore Sunset Beach

Not Pictured

When travelling, I like to take some time to appreciate meals, camera-free. Other places I dined at that have vegan options include Duke’s WaikikiRuffage Natural Foods, and Maui Brewing Co.

I hope you enjoyed the low-down of the delicious foods I ate while exploring Hawai’i. If you have any questions about travelling with a vegan diet, please leave a comment or message me here – I’d love to hear from you!

– Molly from MFARAI

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