Step foot in a luau, and vegetarians and vegans can't help themselves. Maui is beautiful, but the first thing they'll focus on is the Kalua pig being turned in circles, buried in a pit or laying on a table (face included) with an apple in its mouth.
The sight of the animal can spoil the mood for the animal friendly. However, there are other options for vegetarians and vegans traveling to Maui.
Whole Foods Market: This store can be a lifesaver for those traveling near the Kahului Airport. There are several hotels and motels, including Maui Seaside Hotel, near Maui Mall where the grocery store is located. Regular shoppers already know Whole Foods is a great go-to location for fruits, vegetables, vegan and organic items. Make sure your hotel room has a refrigerator if you stock up on groceries. This'll also help with travel restaurant expenses and lower the cost of room service.
Asian food restaurants: Chinese, Japanese, Thai and other styles of Asian food restaurants are notorious for providing vegan menu options. One recommended location is Thailand Cuisine II near Maui Mall.
Food court options: You're already in the malls to find souvenir items. Check out the food court area in malls like Queen Ka'ahumanu Center. They have Asian food restaurants, such as Ramen Ya. One of their Mexican restaurants, Maui Tacos, has an entire vegetarian favorite section.
Lahaina restaurants: For a $2 all-day bus ride, Maui travelers can hang out in the surplus of art, clothing and cultural shops in Lahaina. For those who want to go to a restaurant they're familiar with, try the popular Hard Rock Cafe. The mashed potatoes are mouth watering and the Veggie Leggie burger is pretty good, too.
Luau fruit options: Don't let the pig spoil the entire experience for you. Learning about how King Kamehameha II ended the separation of men and women eating apart in the 1800s is fascinating. Top it off with traditional Hawaiian music and a dance hula performance. According to Hawaii-Luaus.com, other meal items at luaus include poi (Polynesian food made from the corm of the taro plant), haupia (Hawaiian dessert made of coconuts) and maybe whole coconuts to snack on. Polynesia.com also includes sweet potatoes and bananas as common foods at luaus. (If you just want to see the entertainment, Queen Ka'ahumanu Center also has free hula shows every Monday without the food.)
Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all her latest Chicago vegetarian entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Vegetarian channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her "Diet & Exercise" and "Vegetarian World" Pinterest boards. She's on Twitter @BlackHealthNews.
Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all her latest Chicago nutrition and fitness entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Diet and Exercise channel at the top of this page.