One of my favorite things to see in Maui, besides the beach of course, is animals. This trip my highlight was adorable feral kitties! I was also heartened to see some beautiful people feeding this colony living along the beach path near the hotel where I stayed. I could see by the cats’ tipped ears that many had been TNR (trapped, neutered, released), so the problem of population increase is being worked on, which is wonderful. The kitties were adorable, of so many colors!
I honor all animals, no matter the species, as healers and teachers in their own right and one way I honor them on a daily basis is through choosing a vegan lifestyle. I’m sorry to say though, that because I love to cook, and because I’m a bit of a foodie and picky eater, it’s not always easy to find food that keeps me from getting “hangry.” LOL. This trip though, was a great vegan success!
I’m excited to say it’s getting easier and easier to eat vegan on my travels, no matter where I go! Although extremely pricey, vegan food in Maui is delicious! It’s sometimes a bit challenging to find restaurants that work for everyone in my family, since I’m the only vegan. The nice thing is the “all-vegan” restaurants have delicious food that even my non-vegan family enjoys, and the “non-vegan” restaurants are having more and more vegan options each time I visit! This year I noticed that vegan coconut ice cream seemed very popular which is wonderful.
As soon as we arrived, after a long flight of not eating plane food, the first thing I knew I wanted was a vegan food truck in Kihei called Aloha Joy. My rating? 5 out of 5 stars! I tried the “grilled chickin wrap” which was a delicious combination of slaw, lettuce, tomato, sprouts “chickin,” barbeque and peanut sauces and more – yes I wondered if it would be a bit too much in the ingredients department – but no, it was perfect! Absolutely delicious, and they even offered a gluten-free wrap. So good, I had it for lunch again the second day too.
Our first night, we went to Spago in the Four Seasons resort. Nothing vegan on the menu, but the server gave me a choice of curry or stir fry, vegan style. I chose the stir-fry which was so tasty it actually was my favorite dinner the whole trip: another 5 out of 5 stars! They’re definitely a vegan-friendly kitchen, and I hope one day they’ll start including vegan options publicly on their menu.
Our second night we had reservations at Lineage, a restaurant new to us in Kihei, with Filipino roots. Pleasantly enough, they had three vegan appetizer options as well as three vegan entrees. Dishes are meant to be shared, and luckily my family also loved the vegan choices! The vegetable curry was so flavorful and rich, it tasted very Indian-inspired spice-wise: I loved it! The noodles were also delicious and slightly sweet. I’ll rate this 4 out of 5 stars just because for me it quite wasn’t as delicious as Spago.
Day three, we saved our appetites for a late lunch at Mama’s Fish House in Paia. Wow this was our most expensive splurge, but it was flawless! The salad was tall, delicious and the flower was a nice touch. I’m happy to say they do have a vegan option on the menu: my entrée was a tofu veggie stir-fry that was cooked to perfection. Nothing beats the ambiance at Mama’s, and if you haven’t fully relaxed before you get there, you will by the end of your meal! Highly recommended ☺ I’ll rate this 4 out of 5 stars because although it’s awesome and beautiful surroundings, it’s so expensive for lunch it is outrageous.
Traveling our fourth day up to Lahaina, I’m sad to say I didn’t make it to the vegan restaurant Moku Roots, which is on my list for next time for sure! We opted instead for Mexican with an amazing view on the water: Fridas. Rating? Skip it! The guacamole was a bit bland, as was my meal, and the veggies weren’t very fresh. Bummer. I was actually really disappointed, as last year it was better. Sigh…
Our fourth dinner was date-night with my husband at Ko (this is a great reason to bring the grandparents when you travel!) – the restaurant in the Fairmont in Wailea. The restaurant itself was outside and very stuffy and hot, which wasn’t very comfortable. I ended up ordering the kale salad for my dinner because I was almost too hot to eat, but it was really delicious. I was then so excited because they had a vegan, gluten-free chocolate cake on the menu! And it arrived and was beautiful, including fresh fruit on the side (even yuzu!). But unfortunately, it was surprisingly bland and warmed up enough only to be slightly tepid. I was disappointed. I would say 3 of 5 stars because the ambiance and dessert really didn’t stand up.
Luckily our last night was a highlight: Ka’ana kitchen in the Andaz hotel. It’s an Asian Fusion restaurant, but they really had delicious flavors and creative presentations. Although I would have given them 5 stars for innovation and deliciousness, I’ll have to knock it down to 4, only because I had to listen to the waiter tell the story of how they get their pork from locally raised pigs who drink beer and get belly rubs. Really? That isn’t helping with my appetite. Anyway, on to the vegan options: the watermelon appetizer was simple but fresh, beautiful and yummy. Their sesame noodles were perfectly flavorful, and the eggplant dish had a wonderful sauce. But the topper came with the most beautiful dessert! It was a meringue cookie made from aquafaba and topped with the most delicious green tea coconut ice cream and fresh fruit ever! They even had squares of dragon fruit on top – I had seen dragon fruit in the market a few days earlier and wondered what it tasted like! It’s very mild and delicious, not too sweet. What a delicious way to end our stay!
All in all, traveling as a vegan can be challenging, depending on where you go. But if you are up for a splurge, Maui has many delicious, beautiful options that are good for the animals and good for the planet.
What is your favorite vegan place in Maui? I’d love to hear about it!