We also visited Volcanoes National Park, and although we only saw steam, not flowing lava it was still incredible walking on “new” earth. The ground is younger than we are in certain places in the park.
We had a great time, and of course, we ate a lot. I tried to eat my weight in fruit every day because there were daily farmers markets, and I was determined to eat as much tropical fruit as possible! I tried rambutan and apple bananas for the first time, and I ate several of the sweetest pineapples I’ve ever had, at least in recent memory.
We also went out for lunch quite a few times. There were only a few completely vegetarian restaurants, that we found at least, on the island. Unfortunately we ended up at one where the only vegan items on their menu were a very basic miso soup, and a garden salad. Not exactly filling. It was disappointing because quite a few things would have been vegan if they’d just used olive oil instead of butter to sauté the veggies.
We had much better luck at some of the other restaurants. Lotus Cafe had some nice vegan curries, and I had a really refreshing and tangy mango lassi with ginger and lime. They also make vegan gelato in a lot of flavors, but unfortunately I was too full to try anything after stuffing myself with veggies, tofu, and rice curry!
We ate at Luquin’s, a Mexican restaurant in Pahoa, twice. They had some really tasty tacos and enchiladas. You could replace non-vegan things with nicely seasoned tofu or potatoes. They were simple, but really fresh and tasty.
We also enjoyed really good salads and burritos at Tako Taco. They served two types of amazing salsa, one with tomatillos and pineapple that I have to try and replicate some time. The tofu rancheros was nice and spicy.
The menu at Keei Cafe only had a few vegan options, but Carl ordered a tofu wrap and I had a soba noodle salad with sesame tofu. They were both delicious, so we were happy. It’s always nice to find a restaurant that has limited vegan options doing those really well, and although I love vegetables, it’s nice to have something other than a $10+ plate of roasted zucchini.
One night we decided to have dinner at Sombat’s, a Thai restaurant in Hilo with a decent selection of vegan options. I managed to snap a photo of the Carl’s “Veggie Yum” salad. It looks plain, but was really refreshing and had a sweet and spicy flavor.
There were also quite a few health food stores, where we were able to stock up for some of our own meals. It isn’t as if food here is particularly cheap, but after paying almost $8 for field roast sausage, I’m certainly not complaining–at least for a while! We ended up going to a regular store and buying some simple ingredients, and saved quite a bit by eating most of our breakfasts and dinners at the house. I’d definitely recommend checking out farmers markets for cheap local produce, and I’m glad we did research before our vacation.
Overall, it was a wonderful, sunny, relaxing trip. I’d definitely recommend visiting Hawaii at least once! I hope to make it back one day, and to visit some of the other islands.