Today is our one-month wedding anniversary! Boy does time fly (especially on the wedding day…that was the fastest day of my life). The dust has settled and we’re pretty much back into our “normal” routines again. And going through honeymoon photos!
We decided to start our honeymoon by relaxing on the beaches of Wailea and chilling by the pool at our wonderful little adults-only hotel on Maui. It was the perfect way to begin our time off, especially after the madness of wedding planning and putting on three events in Oregon. And I even read a fiction book for the first time a long time! Yay for relaxation.
I’ll be up front about this: I did not have much good food on Maui. Here are my honest reviews of the restaurants we dined at. If you’re interested in reading about some really awesome vegan food in Hawaii, check out my post on Kauai.
Our first night we tried out the restaurant at our hotel and not surprisingly, there was nothing vegan on the menu. After some somewhat challenging discussion with the server, he checked with the chef and said they could make us a vegetable pasta. So we had salad, bread with olive oil, wine and pasta with vegetables. The pasta left much to be desired and had little flavor. I added salt to it and wish it had more oil and was in desperate need of garlic. I LOVED Hotel Wailea but do not recommend eating dinner there unless they step up their vegan game.
Breakfast, on the other hand, was easily veganizable. They had an avo toast + fruit plate, which was divine. They also had a breakfast burrito which we veganized so it was stuffed with pinto beans, potatoes and avocado, served with a side of salsa. Also delicious. We shared some fresh fruit juice (I can’t remember what it was… guava and something else) and it was super tasty!
Verdict: Great for breakfast. Below average for dinner.
Our first lunch out was at a Mediterranean spot within walking distance of the beach. Even though its name may have you thinking it’s a fast casual spot, it was a sit-down restaurant. We started with their garden fresh salad (which had basil in it which forever changed my life – I bought a basil plant when we got home and add it to all my salads now!) and hummus. For the entree we ordered the falafel pita “sandwich” and subbed hummus in for tzatziki (which was a $3 upcharge – I almost fell over) and left off the feta. The hummus was below average and I found myself nibbling at all the veggies and leaving most of the falafel on my plate.
Verdict: Below average.
Wait, a clothing store has a restaurant? Yes, this is a thing. And it actually had decent food. It’s literally connected to the store and in this sort of mall thing (malls give me anxiety, anyone else?) but the service was excellent and the food was pretty good. Their roasted seasonal vegetables dish with arugula satisfied my veggie craving (fresh hearts of palm, omg) and was super flavorful. Plus, they have a good wine list (but be prepared to pay an insane mark-up, as with everything in Hawaii).
I checked online for a resort on the beach with vegan options and this one happened to have a vegetarian menu! There are cons to big resorts but one of the pros is they’re more likely to have vegan-friendly options. I had the tofu veggie wrap which had very little tofu in it and was so-so on flavor. AJ had the burger which was also average. Nothing special but somewhere on the beach to get a somewhat decent meal. They do have a grilled tofu dish which sounds good but I wasn’t in the mood for a hot meal (it’s open-air dining). Unfortunately we didn’t snap any photos here but you’re not missing much.
If you’re in Kihei, definitely stop here. They made me a great decaf soy latte and even had tasty little vegan donuts! It’s a cool, modern space with a couple outdoor tables. There is a grocery store right across the street which is super convenient if you need to pick up groceries. We mentioned this coffee shop to one the staff members at our hotel and he said it’s his favorite on the island.
You can’t go wrong with Thai, right? I was craving tofu and this place had 4.5 stars on Google so we gave it a shot (and it claims to be the best Thai on Maui). I was disappointed. The summer rolls were fine, nothing special. I’m yet to find a Thai restaurant that beats my local spot in Chicago. I asked for spicy drunken noodles and I had to add lots of hot sauce. The dish lacked flavor overall. Upside was that the server was very knowledgeable about what vegan meant and let us know about dishes that could not have the fish sauce removed.
Verdict: Below average.
Though it doesn’t sound like a vegan-friendly restaurant, this spot is where I had the best meal on the island! It started with salad, bread and garlicky sauteed mushrooms (one of my favorite things ever). I enjoyed a beautiful and super tasty tofu vegetable curry for the entree. The portion was large enough that I saved half of it for lunch the next day (win!). I was very pleasantly surprised by this meal!
The reason we were in Lahaina was we caught a ferry from there to the small neighboring island of Lanai to visit the Lanai Cat Sanctuary (Where they have nearly 600 cats! Definitely add this to your bucket list). We returned in the early evening and ate dinner in Lahaina before heading back to Wailea, and I’m glad we did! Lahaina is a cute little touristy town that is worth walking around.
Another fish spot, another tofu curry. While this place is renowned for its fresh fish and it apparently takes weeks to months to get a reservation, the curry was not as good as that in Lahaina (but it was still pretty tasty). The tomato basil salad was my favorite.
Verdict: Above average.
I was pretty disappointed by the food on Maui, with the exception of Lahaina Fish Company. The salads were all amazing, though! I highly recommend buying groceries and making as much of your own food as possible (therefore it’s better to rent an apartment or suite with a kitchenette rather than a hotel room). We did this with breakfast after eating at the hotel restaurant one time (I didn’t feel like paying so much for breakfast). We bought bagels, cream cheese, hummus and veggies (luckily our suite had a little kitchen area with a sink, cutting board, knife, toaster, microwave, dishes and silverware). There is a health food store in Kihei that has a hot and cold food bar that has a couple vegan dishes but we didn’t get any of it (we did get some ice cream bars to enjoy by the pool, though!).