Looking for fun, delicious, plant-powered food on the Big Island? Here were the big winners from our Hawaii trip:

Ali’i Buzz

Alii Buzz Big Island Hawaii

This tiny little restaurant firmly planted in the heart of Kona is “committed to serving up an eclectic mix of food, drinks, and friendly conversation”. Serving Kona coffee and local, mostly organic everything else, we stopped here for breakfast before the Ironman.

The atmosphere was friendly and eclectic, the food made with love, the communal picnic tables perfect for a speedy-island-time breakfast. I had oatmeal and berries, Nate had a hearty egg and bagel sandwich. We both had a great time.

Island Lava Java


We were at Island Lava Java the day after the Ironman World Championships and, being on the main strip in Kona, it was teeming with darkly tanned, limping along, Ironmen and women, fresh off of (presumably) one of the biggest days of their lives. So the energy was unreal. The people-watching epic. The ocean views from the restaurant unbeatable. We meant to arrive for breakfast, but it was actually lunch by the time we got in (and miraculously found a parking spot!) We ate big salads and drank iced coffees and felt grateful.

Tin Shack Bakery

Tin Shack Pahoa

We only spent one night in Pahoa, on a sprawling, fledgling organic farm run by a sweet, optimistic couple that I insisted on calling “hippies”. They recommended we stop at this local hot spot on our way out of town. An eclectic mix of (real) hippies, farmers, students, and families, this spot offers lots of choices for vegans and non-vegans alike.

We sat in mismatched chairs, ate sandwiches, and sipped from huge mugs of coffee. There was a live band, and humming fans, sweet tanned barefoot blonde kinds, and old men on laptops. If you’ve ever dreamed about setting up a new life off the grid, then this place is for you.

Conscious Culture Cafe

Kombucha Hilo Big Island

We made a quick stop in Hilo before hopping on a flight to Maui, specifically to get some Big Island Booch from Conscious Culture Café. This was recommended to us by a local as “super hippie” lol so I had to make time for a sip. The menu looked amazing, and is “made with a lot of heart,” so it was hard to contain ourselves to a flight of kombucha, but somehow we did.

We ordered Super Ginger Turmeric Tonic, Hibiscus Blossom Bliss, blueberry-vanilla, Mango Merry Mint, Elderberry Lavender Love, and sat outside (it wasn’t raining!). It was a quintessential final stop for our Big Island leg.

As you can see, we were focused on inexpensive, simple vegetarian (and vegan!) fare – Big Island style. There were so many fresh, plant-powered options that I was hard pressed to narrow it down for this post. Not to mention the 10+ places we just ran out of time to see. If you have any good recos to share, I’d love to hear them! I will definitely be planning Big Island reunion trip :).