UPDATED OCT 17, 2019
It’s no secret that Oahu’s healthy restaurant scene is booming. Island life comes with some pretty amazing perks (like local produce and sea-to-table cuisine). But if the endless options feel overwhelming, we’ve rounded up a list of the best healthy hot spots our island has to offer.
There’s no denying this California-inspired restaurant at Waikiki’s International Market Place is the epitome of fresh. From their locally-sourced menu to their living walls and open-air environment, this spot is as Instagrammable as it is delicious. With dinner favorites like Buffalo Octopus and Miso Mushroom “Carbonara” to healthy omelets made with produce straight from the farmers market, there really are no wrong choices at Herringbone. Fitt Tip: stop in from 4-6pm any day of the week for Oyster Hour and take advantage of their Two Buck Shuck deal.
With gluten-free options including bagels and many filling dishes that’ll leave you satisfied, not stuffed, it’s no wonder this vegetarian hot spot has captured our attention. Head to either Kailua or the North Shore to try out the café’s mind-blowing avocado toast served on a whole wheat pita, or their Healthy Plate of Food — a variety of veggies stir-fried with ginger and garlic, served with brown rice and topped with avocado and sunflower sprouts. The mouth-watering flavors will even satisfy your meat-loving friends.
Head down to this rustic Chinatown spot to try out a rotating menu highlighting local fare. No matter the season, delectable dishes—like herb-roasted chicken and grilled artichoke—are guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds. Plus, their red brick walls and vintage wallpaper create a cozy vibe that’ll make you feel right at home.
If you haven’t stopped by this charmingly trendy coffee shop overflowing with succulents and lush plants, now is the time. ARVO reopened around the corner from their original location in Kaka'ako in July 2019. ARVO is your go-to spot for nourishing plates with a side of caffeine. The loaded toasts won’t disappoint, and you can even get your toast converted into a salad by the friendly staff. Add in the light, beachy vibes, and chances are you won't want to leave.
Offering a modern take on American diner fare, Downbeat Diner is another Chinatown eatery that’s not to be missed. The beef is free range and grass fed, the veggies are locally sourced, and every menu item can be made vegetarian or vegan (hello, meatless BBQ wings). The biggest perk about this place? They have live music performed by local artists four to five nights a week.
Check out Vegan Hills while strolling Waialae Ave. for organic, plant-based twists on feel-good dishes. We'd recommend Coco Cove, a hearty yet healthy, spicy coconut soup filled to the brim with rice noodles and veggies. Crazy for Avo, a dish that features avocado and tofu, poke-style, is another great choice. The chic, all-white decor complements the restaurant’s zen and minimalist approach, helping you feel good from the inside out.
Patrons of the much-loved Shore Bird were crushed when the restaurant closed at the Outrigger Reef hotel after nearly 40 years in business. But the replacement—The Reef Bar & Market Grill—is a paleo paradise that’s helped soften the blow. They’ve kept the same grill-it-yourself menu but added even better cuts of meat and fresh seafood served in a modernized interior. Check out the decked-out salad bar, and pair your protein or veggies with a rub made in house. For those wary of the grill, don’t worry, they’ll do it for you, and teach you some tricks along the way.
Kakaako is home to Peter Merriman’s first Oahu concept, Moku, where there is no shortage of farm-to-table fare. We recommend the drool-worthy rotisserie roasted vegetable plate. This dish may test your sharing capabilities, as your friends are guaranteed to ask for a bite (and it’s so good you won’t want to give in). If you need something to wash it all down, look no further than their extensive draft beer list.
With two spots in Waikiki, Tucker & Bevvy is your go-to place for to-go food that’s perfect for a day at the beach. The picnic-style menu includes dozens of salads, bowls, and sides that will make you rethink your idea of fast food. Not sure what to order? The Asian Rice Noodle Salad and the Chicken Grain Bowl never disappoint.
Kaimana Farm Café is all about being good for the community, farmers, and for the body. This brunch spot has been serving up nourishing noshes in Kaimuki since 2014, like the crowd-pleasing souffle omelet with risotto and the kale eggs benny. Many of the items come with your choice from the deli counter, a rotating showcase of sides that are so good you might want to opt for a plate full of them (Fitt Tip: choose the deli combo and you can do just that).
From their customizable menu that lets you handcraft the perfect poke bowl to the industrial interior, Kakaako’s Up Roll café gets our vote. Choose from proteins like fresh, local ahi and salmon, pair it with grains or greens, and thank us later. Fitt Tip: make sure you check out their website before you go —they frequently post daily specials.
With their in-house made dressings and creative combinations, Aloha Salads is a must for those looking for a spruced up version of a typical house salad. Pair one of the many bowls with grilled shrimp, chicken, or steak. With five restaurants on Oahu, there’s no excuse to not stop in and try them out. Trust us, the food is good enough to convert even your salad-shaming friend.
Do yourself a favor and check out ’Ai Love Nalo, a plant-based hidden gem in Waimānalo. Order the colorful Medi Bowl—filled with falafel, fire-roasted baba ganoush, and beet hummus on top of greens—or the Buddha Bowl, where house-made kimchi and a ginger tahini sauce dress up kabocha squash and veggies. Not only does Ai Love Nalo serve up delicious, good-for-you meals, they also regularly host workshops and events like outdoor yoga.
Kalapawai Cafe is as charming as the neighborhood it resides in. After checking out the Kailua farmers market, stop into this cafe and deli for lunch on the patio or a candlelit dinner. If you choose the latter, start with the Eggplant Confit Bruschetta or fire-roasted Spanish octopus before moving on to the main course. There are no wrong choices here, but if you ask us, the lemongrass risotto will make you swoon.