I should’t be writing this now because I’m totally hungry. I will probably be in some kind of ravenous beast mode when I finish this post, inhaling anything edible that comes my way.
Today I wanted to share with you some of the radical vegan food I ate while visiting Maui. There were a few restaurants I missed, but the ones I tried had pretty delicious offerings. Lets start with….
1. Maui Brewing Co. Probably my fav. Located right around the corner from our property in Kahana. Wonderful, delicious beer, amazing fries and the most delicious vegan burger. This place doesn’t have Vegenaise, but you can top the burger with some guacamole or their housemade ketchup—which is crazy good. They also have a vegan hummus trio which is pretty dang good and can also be used to top your burger. We get some of the brewery’s beers here on the mainland. I had already tried the Mana Wheat (brewed with Maui Gold Pineapple), the Coconut Porter and Sobrehumano Palena ‘ole (with lilikoi & cherries). I have yet to sample cans of the Bikini Blonde or Big Swell, but they have them at BevMo and Whole Foods on the reg, so I know I will get around to trying them. Since I was at the brewery (a few times), I decided to try beers that I could only get there. I also tried not to drink as much beer as I would have liked, because my body was like…hey girl, we’re like, on an island and you have to wear swimsuits in front of people, so like…chill out on the beer consumption…..But anyway, I first sampled the Kula Harvest Pumpkin seasonal brew. Man, this beer tasted like pie! In a good way. I’m sure there are some beer connoisseurs out there who are thinking “that’s DISGUSTING”, but I’m only a little bit of beer snob, so I found it delightful. It was one of the only things that reminded me that it was fall and Halloween and such. I was also treated to an amazing growler full of Maui Brewing Co’s Liquid Breadfruit ale, a collaboration brew with Dogfish Head (who make the BEST beer). This beer was sturdy, hoppy and super delish. I can’t start talking about breadfruit now or I will go on and on about it. But I am going, going, back, back, to Maui, Maui in March and there will be much talk of breadfruit when I return.
The amazing beer list
Vegan burger! As you can see, the patty has a crispy/fried coating situation on the outside making this burger a super mouthgasm. Gah, I want one right now.
2. Cool Cat Cafe: To keep with the burger theme, I also wanted to tell you that Cool Cat Cafe in Lahaina also has bomb veggie burgers. The patties are vegan, but most veggie burgers come with non-vegan toppings. Cool Cat has an array of delicious add ons though, like avocado and green chiles. This veggie burger was awesome–a friend and I brought some of my teriyaki-aioli along to slather these up with. So we both had a giant stack of veggie burger goodness with an onion ring, avocado, and green chiles. Mixed with our homemade sauce, this was a good night. I had a hard time eating mine, as the canker sores of doom were at their peak of terrible, but I still managed to put away 97% of it, some fries and one big ass pina colada.
3. Tortillas: Tortillas is a tiny little place in Paia. It sort of has a Chipotle deal going on inside, where you start at one end and build a burrito or burrito bowl to your liking. They have a few different rice options, from cilantro to brown, and lots of yummy add ons. I went with a bowl filled with cilantro rice, black beans, cucumber salsa, pico de gallo, lettuce, extra white onions, extra cilantro, guacamole and lots of black pepper on top. My friend chose something similar for her burrito. I can’t remember which salsas she got, but both things were darn good and pretty healthy.
4. Milagros Food Company: Also located in Paia, Milagros was awesome. Here we had two fantastic lilikoi margaritas. I was hungry and got a big burrito, but my friend wanted more of a snack so she chose the chips and guacamole. The two of us eat a lot of guac. What can we say? We’re Californian and we love avocados! And they grow magnificent avos in Hawaii as well, so it’s a great place to drown yourself in light green, buttery goodness. Milagros was great. They use veggie broth in their beans, rice and basically everything so it’s the perfect place to grab vegan or vegetarian Mexican food. And margaritas. Don’t forget about those.
more burrito guts
5. Ono Gelato: Oh Ono Gelato, how I love you. LOVE. Ono Gelato, with locations in Paia and Lahaina, is the best vegan ice cream ever. It was rich, creamy and delicious. This place is so badical; they have one case with dairy based gelato, but offer equally as many flavors of non-dairy gelato. Everyone can have what they want. Amazing. We hit this place up more than once. First time around I went with a combo of chocolate and Kula strawberry. The second time I opted for a single scoop because I was so full. I got the chocolate again because, well, I love chocolate.
vegan options galore
5. Coconut Glen’s Homemade Ice Cream: If you’re going by way of Hana, you must stop at Coconut Glen’s for some ice cream. It’s a little shack of sorts on the side of the road that serves up a little selection of coconut based treats. This is more of a traditional ice cream, as opposed to Ono Gelato which, you know, is gelato. Since I’m half Italian, I prefer gelato. Well, probably has nothing to do with me being half Italian, but whatever. I’m not knocking Coconut Glen’s though because that ice cream was spectacular and gives you a much needed pick me up on the long, winding, treacherous albeit beautiful road to Hana. I’m heel though and ate the ice cream and forgot about taking a picture. But hopefully you all know what ice cream looks like and you can imagine it in your mind being served up in carved out coconut shell…because that’s totally what we ate it out of. With coconut husk spoons
My friend Stacy and I (right). I feel totally chubbed out from ice cream in this pic so don’t judge!
And everything else that was eaten out did not get the picture treatment. Not because the food didn’t deserve, but because I was likely to busy shoveling food into my mouth to stop and take a picture. For more vegan options, we ate a damn good cheeseless pie (pizza variety) at Flatbread in Paia. I also had a pretty good Singapore noodles dish from Fresh Mint, also in Paia. Everything awesome is in Paia friends, everything. And not to mention there are always vegan goodies available at Mana Foods in Paia, Whole Foods in Kahului, and TONS of other little shops that have veggie stuff. There were a couple of restaurants I wanted to try in Haiku, but didn’t get the chance. I will venture to them on my next Maui trip this March and report back with my full belly.