It should come as no surprise that I would vote for Moku Roots for best vegetarian food in Lahaina, but let me explain why. Moku Roots menu is about 95% vegan and 100% vegetarian offering local eggs and operates with the absolute highest integrity of purchasing ingredients with putting locally sourced, organically grown, and minimal packaging above price and convenience always. I also know for a fact that Moku Roots produces less trash in a 12 hour day than most households of 2 adults do in the same period of time and that is remarkable. Not to mention their to-go food is packaged in a taro or ti leaf or in a metal tin available on deposit and they use papaya stems for straws. Moku Roots’ food tastes great and the menu is innovative and ever changing with the best produce our farmers are currently growing. You can’t miss the head Chef Nick with her distinguished tattoos and colorful hairstyles, she brings her fine dining culinary background and badass vegan kitchen skills to elevate Moku Roots dishes beyond what you would expect from a casual restaurant.
One of my personal favs, I find myself thinking about the pineapple red curry at all hours of the day. They are not strictly vegetarian but have an entire page of the menu with veggie options, the aforementioned being my favorite, but closely followed by green curry and can’t forget about those veggie spring rolls. The location is a little tucked away but its easy walking from front street and actually has parking not to mention the family that owns it is super sweet.
Choice Health bar has been around in their flagship location for 7 years now and recently expanded to a small grab and go style spot in Whalers and another full fledged restaurant in Paia. They are known for their delicious acai bowls topped with all kinds of epic local fruit, kale salads and epic entrees. They were among the first to bring healthy options to Lahaina and they’ll happily put your smoothie in your own bottle on request if you’re trying to avoid single use plastics.
Looking for some instagram worthy food? Look no further than A’a Roots known for its edible flower and watermelon radish topped dishes. They are 100% vegan and located up in Napili next to Napili Market. The decor is super cute and the service is very nice. They have a grab and go section which has some options in glass mason jars as well as single use plastics, and they have been using paper straws instead of plastic since opening last year.
The farmers market is actually a little grocery store with a little juice bar inside and a vegetarian salad and hot bar. They do serve dairy although no eggs, and plenty vegan options. There’s seating for a few people inside and outside, and they host an outdoor market Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays in the mornings from 8-12 where the actual store is open 7am-8pm every day. They have a nice selection of produce, especially on outdoor market days, some of which is local, some of which comes from Costco. Everything is served on disposables unfortunately.
Mala Ocean Tavern has a beautiful ocean view and a few solid veggie choices if you’re looking for a higher end dining experience in Lahaina. There are of course some vegan salad options and as far as vegetarian food goes, the burrata is a fantastic appetizer and adult mac and cheese is super indulgent and delicious. They are also extremely accommodating and can put some vegan sides together for a beautiful meal to enjoy with craft cocktails and Maui’s famous sunsets. Recently under a very creative new management team, hopefully they will add some more vegan options to their menu.
If you want a gigantic veggie burrito and some moderate to high end tequila, this is your spot. Their menu has typical Mexican dishes, burritos, tacos, enchilada plates etc and you can choose your filling - included are 2 veggie choices- kale and kabocha squash, or mixed veggie. Be sure to specify vegan and they will happily accomodate- much of the staff is vegan or vegetarian.
My go-to at Honu is the kale salad which is vegetarian, I’m actually not sure if the dressing has dairy, my gut says no - its a lemon vinaigrette, but I haven’t specifically asked so dont quote me on that. It is topped with parmesan but they’re really accommodating to dietary restrictions and allergies so they’ll be sure to nix the cheese if you want. The ali’i mushroom pizza for those who eat dairy is super solid also and Margherita no cheese. Many of the servers are vegan and vegetarian so they can certainly help you out navigating the menu.
Baya bowls is a sweet little food truck that serves awesome acai bowls and is run by a super cool surfer chick. They are located in an unassuming food truck lot off Waine’e street one block off front street.
Monkeypod in Whalers Village, is Monkeypod’s second location on Maui and is part of Peter Merriman’s restaurant group which includes various Merriman’s and Moku Kitchen on Oahu. Their vegan options include coco corn chowder, avocado & cucumber salad (my favorite), all other salads can be made vegan, and a variety of sides which can be made vegan. Their vegetarian fare includes kale and mushroom gnocchi which is a pretty solid veggie entree from a non-vegetarian restaurant, but my other personal favorite is the pumpkin ravioli from the appetizer menu. They also do a great happy hour deal from 3-5 on food and drinks.
Star Noodle’s claim to fame was its previous head Chef Sheldon’s great success on the TV show Top Chef. My personal favorite is the Vietnamese crepe but vegetarian which is a bunch of veggies tossed in coconut cream sauce in an (egg containing) fried “crepe” served with sauces, herbs and lettuce leaves to wrap pieces of the crepe in. Its really messy but really delicious. There are a few other vegetarian and vegan items on the menu and the staff is super helpful with advising based on dietary restrictions. I think Star Noodle has a more innovative menu compared to the majority of Maui restaurants that all seem to have a variation of the same “pacific rim” style food. I will also warn you, if you show up at basically any time trying to walk-in without a reservation be prepared for a 45 minute minimum wait and you’ll need to make reservations for future days, very rarely are reservations available same day.
Cool Cat Cafe is Maui’s favorite burger joint which has tossed around a few different veggie burger options over the years and currently carries the Moku Roots taro burger made of all locally grown taro, veggies and spices. They have a few recommended options of ways to eat this burger, but you can also come up with your own combination of toppings.
If you’re visiting Maui with a carnivorous crew and you get stuck eating at Ruth’s Chris, don’t be too upset, I’ve been in your shoes and I was very much impressed by the vegetarian sides available. Both the Brussels sprouts and fire roasted corn can be made vegan with olive oil instead of butter, mushrooms, asparagus sans hollandaise sauce, baked potato, broccoli and fries all are or can be made vegan. They have a few salad options for you as well. If you are vegetarian and not vegan, the desserts here are top notch.