Over the years I’ve become well versed at eating out and still maintaining my healthy lifestyle. I love food and enjoy getting out and about even if it’s just to eat in a place where I can see other humans. Working from a home office has many benefits but it can also be a bit of a cave. So, when I do get out for meals, here are some of my favorite local places that offer healthy options:
Beet Box Café
This spot is my “go to” for lunch. Located in Haleiwa Town, this quaint yet beautifully designed café offers awesome vegetarian food (or vegan if you wish!) with gluten free and non-gmo offerings. From salads, stir fry, sandwiches, cold pressed juices and smoothies to other yummy treats, it’s a great place to run into friends and get a quick, healthy lunch (or breakfast). Try the “Zen” curry scramble or the “Portabella Stache’wich.”
My latest obsession! Ethopian food is kind of like a mix between Indian and Moroccan. You eat mostly with your hands and use homemade bread made from teft flour (wheat and gluten free!) to scoop all the different curry and stew like offerings. Lots of vegetarian options here! A great place to go with friends! Try the “Ethiopian Love Veggie Sampler.”
When asked the three foods I could never live without, Indian was at the top of my list. Himalayan Kitchen is a mecca for amazing, home cooked style Indian food with lots of healthy options and substitutions available. As I’m writing this, I’m planning on heading over there tonight and bringing our out of town guests for an across the board winner dinner! Try the Eggplant Korma and Goa Shrimp!
This is an excellent lunch option in Honolulu that offers locally sourced, fresh ingredients. Lots of organic and healthy options to choose from. From fresh caught Mahi over a kale salad with golden raisins to poke tacos and fresh kombucha on tap, this lively spot is located in trendy kakaako in the Salt complex. A great spot for a business lunch or (post surf at the bar) and a fun night out for the girls when it gets closer to the dinner hour. Say hi to Britt, big wave surfer girl behind the bar.
Mahina + Suns
Located inside of the super cute Surf Jack Hotel, Mahina + Suns features unique local dishes with healthy ingredients from Oahu’s farmlands. With nightly live music and cool events, it’s a fun place to go as both a visitor and local. I love the Ahi Palaha that features 12-grain rice salad, cucumber, shaved carrot, pickled mushroom, pistachio and limu verde salsa. The Avocado Tacos with shishito, pickled red onion and smoked yogurt are a great starter and if you’re in the mood for a cocktail, Mr. Pink is fun one with botanical gin, lillet, yellow chartreuse, dry curacao, lemon, egg white and rower flower water.
Ai Love Nalo
Located in Waimanalo, Ai Love Nalo is 100% plant based, 99% gluten free and features organic, locally sourced fruits and vegetables in their affordably priced dishes. Everything is made from scratch so it does take a minute but it’s so worth the wait. I HEART the “Medi Bowl,” which features kalo falafel, fire-roasted baba ganoush, beet hummus and millet tabbouleh over a bed of greens. It’s their #1 best selling dish. Their “Lime in Da Coconut” and “It’s Mint To Be” smoothies are also bomb status.
For a nice night out in a neighborhood style café, I recommend Kalapawai Café in Kailua. Featuring a variety of fresh, locally caught fish, seafood and vegetarian dishes (and a variety of other meats), gourmet starters and carefully constructed desserts along with a perfectly paired wine list, Kalapawai Café has a nice, cozy feel, especially after a day at the beach. Try the Fire roasted Spanish Octopus and the Gluten Free Potato Gnocchi.
Green & Vines
I love trying to incorporate raw foods as much as possible. A great place to get an entire raw meal is a little spot in Honolulu called Greens & Vines. This gourmet vegan restaurant features all unprocessed, gluten free and non-GMO food with predominantly locally grown organic veggies. By not cooking anything over 118 degrees, true flavor abounds from the plants and nutrients stay alive. Try the Falafel Beat for a starter and their famous Living Lasagna for your main entrée. The Lemony Zucchini Bisque is also noteworthy. Oooh and the Coconut Chocolate Truffles! Get those!
Here on the North Shore, I love Banzai Sushi for a nice night out. The restaurant is located on an open air deck and offers both regular seating and traditional Japanese style with low tables and floor cushions. A few of my favorites are the Agedashi Tofu, Hamachi Jalapeno Ponzu and Kanpachi Aburu Roll. All rolls can be substituted with brown rice.