Are you looking for healthy food and restaurants in Waikiki, Honolulu?
Good thing! You’ve just googled upon my healthy food Waikiki guide for health-conscious eaters on vacation, right here .
I should have made free stickers for restaurants to display on their front windows– “Eyesandhour’s Healthy Eating Hawaii Guide– Certificate of Excellence “.
Next year, it’s happening.
Each summer, I make a stopover in Hawaii on my way back to Japan from the other sunshine state, Wisconsin. Last visit, I created my first Healthy Food Waikiki Guide.
Find last year’s guide here.
Between that guide and this one, I’ve sifted out through the surfboard-studded sands and tiki torch-speared pathways to find the places where I’d want to eat on vacation- not the typical chain restaurants tourists go to ($$ – $$$): Cheesecake Factory, Tony Roma’s, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse…
In this year’s healthy food Waikiki guide, you’ll find all my new favorite healthy restaurants and health food stores in and around Waikiki, Honolulu.
All of the healthy restaurants and supermarkets listed below serve organic or local vegetables and other good stuff, even for vegetarians or vegans.
This time, I’ve included new places in Kaka’ako, the developing area on the other side of Ala Moana Mall.
All of my favorite healthy restaurants are within walking distance or a short trip on a public bus, trolley, or 10-20 minutes on a bike from Waikiki.
Taking all these food pics cut into my beach time substantially.
But I figured I’m in Hawaii by myself, and these are places I’d want to go check out anyway.
I hope this wiki wiki healthy food Waikiki guide helps you find healthy and inexpensive places to eat on your vacation in Hawaii or inspires you to visit the beautiful island of Oahu!
Before you hit the beach, why not have a Bulletproof coffee or Allegro iced tea at the new Whole Foods in Kaka’ako? I’m so jealous! My view at the moment is an elevated expressway in Tokyo. Very gray, overcast day- no double rainbows.
If you have any questions or need advice about eating healthy food or finding restaurants in Waikiki, let me know. Alo~o~o~ha!
When I arrived at the brand new Whole Foods in Kaka’ako, I thought I was in heaven: outdoor patio seating with shade, free wifi, John Masters tester bottles to rub all over my naked beach body after a trip to the mega salad bar, AND good smelling hand soap and a Dyson hand-dryer in the upstairs bathroom. Hea-ven~ ♫.
Door-to-door from to my Airbnb in Waikiki, on my baby blue “biki” rental bike, I could be at the salad bar with tongs in hand in less than 15 minutes. While I was in Hawaii, I usually ate two meals a day at Whole Foods: breakfast for about $7-8 and lunch or dinner for $10-12.
Last trip, the new Foodland at Ala Moana Mall was my go-to. I missed their beet hummus, but man, in two extra minutes on my bike, I could be eating kale + vegetable gyoza on top of organic greens doused with glistening-in-the-sun olive oil for one dollar more per pound than Foodland’s conventional salad bar with no organic vegetables.
Screw goin’ to the mall! (…except for the best iced tea at La Palme D’or)
Until Amazon Prime delivers by drone custom-tonged salads to me at the beach in my thongs, and stops at La Palme D’or to pick up my iced tea on the way, I’m going to Whole Foods- Queen in Kaka’ako.
thongs= flip flops — Don’t want you to lose your appetite.
Healthy Food Waikiki rating: 10 stars out of 10 - heaven on Earth
If you are hardcore vegan or vegetarian, I imagine Down to Earth Organic and Natural Supermarket is paradise. We’re talking ’bout the folks who are real down to Earth. For everybody else, why on earth would you go here when there’s a gigantic, sparkling new Whole Foods a few blocks away? One, their salad bar has avocado and royally creamy, oh-so-purple sweet potato salad. My organic salad for lunch (pictured above and below) after Crossfit was $6.17. At a restaurant in Waikiki, that’s like a tip!
Two, their almond buttery kale smoothies. Cream-tacular. I’d get one minus agave syrup. Sweeten it up with a sprinkle of stevia if you really need it, Steve.
Hey, my name’s not Steve. Who is he talking to anyway?
And three, the vegetarian beet burgers with like nine different gluten-free, vegan, you-name-it options for the bun are a dream come true for some burger-loving vegetarian.
Huh? That doesn’t even make sense.
I got it as a lettuce wrap (pictured below) – dream come true for me, a hungry low carb-etarian.
Healthy Food Waikiki rating: 9.5 stars out of 10 (10 if you are a vegetarian or vegan)
The gentleman sitting at the table directly behind me with his wife at Cafe Kaila says to the waiter, ” You folks are so good to us.”
I imagine they were a retired couple who come for lunch at least once a month.
Waiter: “You come here often.”
“The food’s great. The service is magnificent.”
Kaila came out to greet the nice couple with a smile, even though, I could tell from her face that she was insanely busy back in the kitchen. I missed my chance to say hi, but overhearing their conversation it was pretty obvious to me that locals adore Kaila and her love-filled restaurant. With gentle pastel-colored walls, a soft sun-lit interior, just being here lifts your spirits. Makes you want to put a hibiscus behind your ear and do hula arms while chewing.
La-la LA-LAH~♫ la-la LA-LAH~♫ la la, la-LA-LAH-la-la-lah♫
On the bottom of the menu is says “All entrées are made to order from scratch using fresh, and organic ingredients when available.” All the vegetables tasted super fresh.
Kaila was preparing all the specials for the next day so I didn’t want to bother her. I talked to the waiter quite a bit and the manager- both were really nice guys.
Cafe Kaila has heart, in the food and the service. It’s a special place- go out of your way to eat here. Expect a line during peak hours. Winning ‘best breakfast in Honolulu’ for four years straight- this somewhat hidden hole in the wall is no secret.
Initially, I wanted describe Cafe Kaila as ‘pure aloha’ but I think it’s more than that. Maybe it has what Hawaiians and Tahitians refer to as mana. It’s a place that has spiritual energy and the power to heal.
If you had a rough flight, your brand new suitcase is now one wheel short, the “speedy” shuttle bus was late, what I’d do is go to the beach in front of the Outrigger Reef Hotel, meditate, and then go straight to Cafe Kaila for some spiritual healing:
Healthy Food Waikiki rating: 10 stars out of 10
My # 1 restaurant recommendation- I love Cafe Kaila!
Owned by a Japanese couple, obviously with a solid culinary background in Japan, my lunch here was very satisfying even though I’m not vegan.
I can still taste those yuzu carrots. All organic ingredients, vegan home cooking- if you consider yourself a healthy eater and like Japanese food, you’ll like it here. Judging by the miso on my bibimbap, I bet their mushroom miso soup is outstanding.
I had my bibimbap with TVP. Despite the fact that an acronym is about the least appetizing name you could give a food, I didn’t miss the meat at all.
Yummy TVP. See what I mean?
The interior is casual, cozy, with that Earthy granola-y smell like every co-op I’ve ever been in smells like. Don’t let the modest exterior and obscure front window with curtains that look like a skirt worn by a hemp bracelet-wearing backpacker in Bangkok deter you. To be honest, last year they did.
I want to go back to try the vegan katsudon, mostly out of curiousity, but I’m sure it’s really good. The katsu “meat” is made out of tempeh and I read on the wall that they make the sauce from scratch out of over 20 different ingredients. I also find it somewhat hilarious that they decided to replicate a Japanese dish that I would think most vegans would find repulsive: battered, deep-fried pork cutlet.
That would be a great pict for a vegan to lose all their followers on Instagram. “Mmm, I love this katsu at Peace Cafe!”
Healthy Food Waikiki rating: 8 stars out of 10
(9 if you are a vegetarian or vegan)
This was my second visit to a Peter Merriman restaurant. The first time I had organic pizza in Poipu, Kauai. Peter Merriman is THE farm-to-table, local cuisine restauranteur in Hawaii.
Wait, I forgot. Third time. I had sunset cocktails at the Beach House (on Kauai) with my parents.
This visit, Moku Kitchen was at the top of my list. Though initially, I dragged my feet going here like a whiny four-year-old. It’s a little bit far from Waikiki by bike in the middle of the day in the sun.
Yes, I know I’m a baby.
But it turned out, it’s right by the Crossfit box I go to. Cleverly, I decided to go to Moku sweaty to save time for the beach. Cleaned up a bit at the bathroom at Down to Earth, put on a fresh black Hanes t-shirt, and sampled their tester bottle of lavender-scented Badger sunscreen… The waitress never noticed I had been completely drenched with sweat 30 minutes earlier.
Jeesh, I’m giving away all my secrets, aren’t I?
Moku is definitely worth checking out. They have a happy hour with 50% off all small plates (with the exception of oysters and all poke dishes) and live music after 4 PM, outdoor seating. If you want to do one nice night out, this is undoubtedly the best place for merrimaking in town.
Moku is in the new Salt complex in Kaka’oka. While you’re there, you can check out all the new cafes, shops, and other restaurants. If I ate bread, I’d for sure go to Arvo, a popular Australian-inspired cafe, to try their open-faced Loaded Avocado Toast or Smoked Salmon Toast with spinach and capers, minus the onion, around the backside of Salt.
I’m not a coffee-drinker either and I’ve tried to cut out dairy, so I suppose that leaves out trying a ‘flat white’ at Arvo.
Sorry, mates! I’m stickin’ with Moku.
Healthy Food Waikiki rating: 9 stars out of 10
I highly recommend for a nice healthy meal out.
My first impression of this place was ‘It’s crowded, the menus have no prices listed, and they use one of those iPad credit card apps that prompts you to leave a tip before you’ve received any service. (???) Japanese tourists, who are used to excellent service back home with no tipping whatsoever, must be left dumbfounded, and likely duped into leaving unnecessary tips.
I know I was one of them. (You know you’re a tourist from Japan when you stand patiently in front of a taxi door or toilet seat, waiting for it to open automatically.)
The 18ish-looking girl who brought me my eggs didn’t smile enough to earn my $2 tip, but the food was very good- organic vegetables, cage-free eggs.
I know. Seriously, kick me in the local banana acai bowl if I whine one more time.
It’s a good cafe! Maybe she was having a bad day.
For a simple, quick healthy breakfast with quality ingredients right smack in the middle of Waikiki, grab your morning coffee, yeah, I’d go here.
Healthy Food Waikiki rating: 8.5 stars out of 10
There are more healthy places in Waikiki like the one below you won’t want to miss! This is one of absolute favorite spots ! ! (except for their iPad credit card app…)
–> Click *here* to read my first guide to the best, healthiest restaurants in and around Waikiki. –> (Just like a sunset, it’s free.)
MAHALO! Thank you so much for reading my blog post!
Please leave me a note if you know of any good places that I missed. And if you have any questions, I can find out. Just leave a comment below.
And if you end up going to any of these places, I would love to hear about your experience or your opinion!
Does your friend love Hawaii or healthy food? Please share! Thank you ! !
I also want to say thank you these people who helped me: my friend Alain, the cool waiter and manager at Cafe Kaila, the waitress at Moku Kitchen who went around to ask all her co-workers for recommendations for me, the incredibly welcoming people at Crossfit Oahu (the kickass trainers Courtney, Samantha, Marc, and Bryan), and “macaraca1″, my local foodie insider who recommended that I try Moku and Cafe Kaila. Also, thank you to Seiko-san in the office for helping me with my flights.
*This information should be correct at the time of writing. If you notice any mistakes or changes, please contact me at email@example.com. None of the links above are affiliate links. I receive no commission- these are just the places I like and recommend!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1) Can you eat on the beach in Waikiki?
Over the years, I've seen many locals have picnics with BBQs directly on Waikiki Beach. Tucker and Bevvy even sells picnic food that you can easily pack for the beach or park. I always see tourists snacking on the beach, so it shouldn't be a problem at all.
Unless you have a picnic mat, a better way is to scout out one of the free tables or a spot on the grass right in front of the beach. There are some public grills at Fort DeRussy Park and tables (first come first serve).
2) What are the best restaurants near Waikiki?
There are more healthy, delicious food options if you venture outside of Waikiki. The restaurants in Waikiki are mostly for tourists ($$$), rather than places locals would go.
Outside of Waikiki, you'll find more options: fine dining restaurants like Alan Wong's, Japanese restaurants, Korean barbecue, Vietnamese like The Pig and the Lady, and Hawaiian food like Helena's Hawaiian Food.
See more of my favorite restaurants around Waikiki in my Healthy Restaurants Honolulu Guide.
3) What are the best places in Waikiki to eat local ingredients?
The website for Heavenly also mentions organic produce. It says "whenever possible, we utilize organic vegetables and meats, local seafood, and locally-grown greens to provide unbeatable fresh flavors in every dish."
I've met the owner of Cafe Kaila. (She's wonderful by the way!) Kaila told me that they use ingredients from local farmers whenever possible.
All three of these would be an excellent choice. Expect to wait in line. These restaurants are popular for a good reason, especially Cafe Kaila.
Cafe Kaila is more well-known for pancakes and a typical American (less than healthy) breakfast menu. You can find some more nutritious meals on the menu. It will just be hard to resist the pancakes topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream.
4) Are acai bowls healthy?
I usually only eat acai bowls on a special occasion.
Acai bowls to me are more of a healthy dessert than a breakfast. They are typically made with a lot of fruit, honey, and toppings like granola.
All the fruit toppings are of course high in vitamins. And yes, acai berries are considered a superfood.
The downside: fruit is naturally sweet which makes an acai bowl high in fructose (aka sugar).
5) What are the best grocery stores in Waikiki?
For someone who wants to maintain your healthy diet on vacation, Waikiki isn't a great place to find food that suits your diet. It's possible though, even if you don't have a car.
There's never been a great option for healthy supermarkets in Waikiki.
Now there's Waikiki Market, where the old Food Pantry was. And there's a Mitsuwa Japanese Supermarket at International Marketplace. Besides that, there are ABC Stores and convenience stores that tailor to tourists in Waikiki.
I used to walk every day from Waikiki to Ala Moana Mall to buy food at Foodland Supermarket. Foodland is still where I go to buy poke bowls with a salad base instead of rice.
Now that there are rental bikes all over, I ride a bike to Whole Foods in Kaka'ako. The outdoor seating area at Whole Foods is one of my favorite places to eat. When I'm in Waikiki, I go there at least twice a day, sometimes three.
If you're looking for vegetarian food, Down to Earth is where I'd head first. At the deli, salad, and hot bar, you can eat some delicious meals at reasonable prices. The Down to Earth in Kaka'oka has nice outdoor seating.
Don Quixote is also close by and has a supermarket in back.