"Let me show you healthy can taste good."

Hawaii recap & travel dining tips

Before traveling, I always scout my vegan dining options online before the trip. Of course Hawaii has amazing fresh tropical fruit, but I was nervous for this trip. My online search resulted in a blog post from a local about options at various restaurants & they seemed minimal. Of course there's always salad, but restaurant salads are usually ice berg lettuce & a few tomatoes and that gets boring.

We stayed in Wailea on the south side of Maui for 6 days. I packed a box of Luna bars I found at Grocery Outlet & some almonds for snacks on the plane & during the week as well as Vega protein shake packets. Day 1 we stopped at a grocery store & picked up almond milk, apples & cereal for breakfasts in the condo.

I had no trouble dining except for breakfast the last day at Cheeseburger in Paradise. They had pinepple or mango plates, but I'm not one for mono meals. I was hoping to order steamed rice & some of the sauteed veggies they use in omelets. But it turns out they pre-saute their onions, peppers & mushrooms in butter.

I enjoyed the happy hour veggie pizza without cheese & a pina colada without the creme at Longhi's. A hummus platter at Pita Paradise and even a vegan chili dog at a bar in the neighboring town of Kihei.

There were 2 restaurants that stood out & warranted repeat visits:

Joy's Place in Kihea was a tiny treasure. I found it in my online search & drug my family there for breakfast on day 1 after flying in the nigh before. Thankfully they open at 8am which to us felt like 11am & we were definitely hungry. I had the Acai 3 Berry Bowl. I have attempted to make these at home without success. The picture doesn't do it justice. This was a very filling bowl of acai & berries, topped with pumpkin seed granols, hemp seeds & banana. For the beach later, I got a fresh veggie & avocado wrap, an oatmeal cookie & ginger kobucha.

Round 2 at Joy's was lunch on the way to the airport. I had the raw nut burger & ate in on a bench along the beach watching people take surf lessons. This was amazing. So much so that I tried to recreate it at home. I'll share my nut burger recipe within the week. It was topped with loads of veggies, live ketchup & mustard & wrapped in a collard green leaf as the bun. I don't know what live ketchup & mustard are, but I do know they are delicious.

And last honorable mention goes to the Monkeypod. We actually dined here 3 times! Mostly because it was within walking distance to our condo, but I was able to enjoy a different meal each time. My favorite meal was the Potugese soup which was under $4 during happy hour. I ordered it with the organica kale salad loaded with Maui onion, raisins, oranges & an orange ginger vinagrette.

If you ever find yourself in Maui I highly recommend seaking out Joy's & the Monkeypod. They got great reviews from the non-veg folks in my family as well.

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