With so much local fresh produce available year-round, Kauai can be a vegetarian's dream. Numerous restaurants cater to vegetarians with several entrees to choose from; in particular, many Oriental restaurants offer vegetarian dishes. Below are our veggie-friendly favorites.
Duke's Canoe Club (In the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club, 3610 Rice St., Nawiliwili; tel. 808/246-9599). The best deal at this two-story, open-air "happening" eatery is the salad bar, which includes veggies, tofu, and other yummy selections; it's all you can eat for $15.
Kalapaki Beach Hut (3474 Rice St., Nawiliwili; tel. 808/246-6330). If you are just looking for a quick breakfast or lunch, this tiny place has waffles for breakfast, veggie burgers for lunch, and lots and lots of salads.
Gaylord's (At Kilohana, 3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy., Lihue; tel. 808/245-9593; www.22northkauai.com). Lunch at this elegantly casual restaurant features an array of salads and a divine muffaletta, and for dinner there's stuffed eggplant.
The Beach House (5022 Lawai Rd., Poipu; tel. 808/742-1424; www.the-beach-house.com). One of the most romantic places on Kauai, with wraparound views of the Pacific Ocean. Take your sweetheart and dine on the grilled portobello mushroom; which sets you back about $20.
Brennecke's Beach Broiler (2100 Hoone Rd., across from Poipu Beach Park; tel. 808/742-7588; www.brenneckes.com). Across the street from the Poipu Beach Park, this burger place also features terrific salads, yummy pastas, and veggie burgers, all in the $9 to $20 range.
Casa Blanca at Kiahuna (2290 Poipu Rd., in the Kiahuna Swim and Tennis Club, Poipu; tel. 808/742-2929; www.casablancakauai.com). There are many pastas to choose from at this open-air bistro overlooking the tennis courts, but I'd recommend the vegetarian lasagna (a bargain at $16).
Plantation Gardens Restaurant (In Kiahuna Plantation Resort, 2253 Poipu Rd.; tel. 808/742-2216). Dine in a garden on their yummy soba noodle stir-fry with tofu, shiitake mushrooms, and mustard greens ($19).
Roy's Poipu Bar & Grill (In Poipu Shopping Village, 2360 Kiahuna Plantation Dr.; tel. 808/742-5000; www.roysrestaurant.com). Well-known Hawaii chef Roy Yamaguchi has an Oriental vegetable stir-fry ($15) that is heavenly. They will generally feature a couple of vegetarian dishes nightly, or you can request a special vegetarian dish that they will be happy to whip up for you.
Tidepool Restaurant (Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, 1571 Poipu Rd., Poipu; tel. 808/742-1234). Although this restaurant's specialty is fresh fish, vegetarians can dine in this Polynesian-style thatched bungalow. They generally have vegetarian items on the ever-changing menu. My fave is the teriyaki tofu ($18); it's so yummy, even carnivores order it.
Kalaheo Coffee Co. & Café (2-2560 Kaumualii Hwy. [Hwy. 50], Kalaheo, across the street from Brick Oven Pizza; tel. 808/332-5858). This place is a vegetarian's dream, with many veggie selections for breakfast (veggie tofu), lunch (tofu/eggplant wrap, grilled veggie sandwich, garden burger), and dinner (pasta primavera).
Hanapepe Café (3830 Hanapepe Rd., Hanapepe; tel. 808/335-5011). This gourmet vegetarian cafe is a feast for non-meat eaters; don't miss their dinners on Friday nights.
Mermaids Cafe (pictured; 1384 Kuhio Hwy., Kapaa; tel. 808/821-2026). This tiny hole in the wall is loaded with veggie dishes, from the tofu satay plate to the tofu stir-fry to the bean burrito, and prices are very frugal.
Kilauea Bakery & Pau Hana Pizza (In Kong Lung Center, Kilauea Rd., off Hwy. 56 on the way to the Kilauea Lighthouse, Kilauea; tel. 808/828-2020). The vegetarian pizzas here are the best! I'm also partial to their great vegan soups (like the yummy curried carrot soup or the pumpkin soup).
Postcards Café (On Kuhio Hwy., at the entrance to Hanalei town; tel. 808/826-1191; www.postcardscafe.com). Vegetarians will love this small, picturesque cafe, with a very veggie-friendly menu. My picks from the changing menu are the sombrero (puff pastry filled with organic cheeses, green chiles, onions, mushrooms, and garlic) or the Shanghai (tofu with veggies and roasted cashews in a tamarind ginger sauce). Save room for the chocolate silk (a chocolate pie in a crust of graham crackers, dried cherries, and crusted cashews) -- yum-yum.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.