Vegan and Vegetarian Dining in Volcano, Big Island Hawaii

I started writing this post right after my visit to Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, two days before the massive eruption at Kilauea. I didn’t finish nor publish it until now, simply because of the volatile situation on the island.

My husband and I were extremely lucky to experience the beauty of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HVNP), and to see the glow of the lava lake.

Most of HVNP remains closed and as of May 2018, the national park’s closure has cost the Big Island $222 million in losses, including jobs indirectly affected by the park’s closure. Tourists are staying away and many cruise ships have halted stops to the Big Island. The other Hawaiian islands are unaffected but those in the hospitality and tourism industry say a lot of education is required to allay peoples fears.

I’m publishing this article now in hopes that this national gem will be re-open soon and that the information will be helpful to you.

If you plan to visit Hawaii Volcano National Park, no visit is complete without going to see the glow of the lava at night and if it’s flowing, the lava flowing directly into the ocean. You can book helicopter and boat tours.

husband and wife standing in front of entrance to Hawaii Volcano National Park

{Vegetarian and Vegan Dining in Volcano}

The town of Volcano is (as you’d expect) is small. There is a handful of restaurants – 3 main ones to be exact. And they all get crowded. But thankfully they are all pretty vegetarian and vegan friendly.

For vegans, I’d suggest Cafe Ono for lunch, Eagle’s Lighthouse Cafe for breakfast and Thai Thai Bar & Bistro for dinner. Ohelo Italian Cafe might not be so vegan friendly but I know these other three are.

Eagle’s Lighthouse Cafe – good breakfast, Christian quotes and sayings posted all over; closed Sundays. They’re also known for their soups. I liked the coffee.
7am-5pm Monday – Saturday; closed Sundays

Eagle-lighthouse-Cafe-Volcano-Hawaii-Big-Island

Thai Thai Bar & Bistro – great service, bland food; prices range $15 per vegetarian dish.
11:30pm-9:30pm everyday, except closed Wednesdays
Last seating 8:30pm


Ohelo Cafe (Italian) – really bad service and really good food. Even if you make a reservation, you still might have to wait 30 minutes or more. It’s a really small place, so you have to wait in line, outside and when we were there, the hostess would only pop out every 20 minutes or so and would not make eye contact with guests. Like you had to wait 20-25 minutes just to put your name down or pickup a takeout order.

$20 for a vegetarian pizza. I’m not sure how vegan friendly Ohelo is. Vegans might inquire whether their pastas and doughs are prepared using eggs. They could probably customize a cheese-less pizza.

Due to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s closure they’ve changed their hours to 5:30-8:30pm daily, except closed Tuesdays. They used to be open for lunch as well as dinner.

Ohelo-Cafe-Big-Island-Hawaii-Volcano


Cafe Ono – 100% vegetarian and vegan;restaurant with really good fresh food. The portions are a really good size. I ordered a panini which came with salad and soup. Very charming atmosphere with outdoor garden seating. Often, the owner comes by and chats with guests.

Guests can enjoy the grounds and visit the shop with artistic collections, jewelry and goodies from local artists.

11am-3pm Tuesday thru Sunday, closed Mondays

Cafe-Ono-Vegetarian-Hawaii-Big-Island-Cafe-food-panini-Volcano

Cafe-Ono-Vegetarian-Hawaii-Big-Island-Cafe-Volcano-outdoor-seating

Cafe-Ono-Vegetarian-Hawaii-Big-Island-Cafe-Volcano-party-venue


The Kilauea Lodge has a restaurant which I didn’t try.

There’s also a restaurant inside the park. We didn’t eat there and most of the reviews said the food was so-so but the views are stellar. Our friends who are also vegetarian, ate there last year and made a romantic date night out of it. They said options were very limited but they enjoyed the experience.


{General Stores in Volcano}

There are two general stores in town where you can pick up water, snacks and other essentials. Volcano Store and Kilauea General Sore.

The Volcano store was better for grocery shopping and the Kilauea General Store was more for picking up snacks for a day trip as well as filling up gas.

Volcano Store is right next to Ohelo Cafe
19 Haunani Rd,
Volcano, HI 96785
(808) 967-7210


Kilauea General Store is near Lava Rock Cafe. You can get fresh coffee, pastries and fill up gas there.
19-1732 Old Volcano Rd.
Volcano, HI 96785
 808.967.7555

{Conclusion}

Dining options for vegans and vegetarians in Volcano, I found to be pretty good. All of the restaurants had at least two dishes for vegans or vegetarians (except maybe Ohelo Cafe for vegans).


I hope this article inspires you to visit the Big Island and Volcano, in particular. I hope the Park will fully open again soon. Even without the park Akaka and Rainbow Falls on the eastern side of the island,

are lovely. And the western – Kona side of the island is fantastic! We loved snorkeling in the calm waters right off of Kahaalu Beach and eating at Royal Thai Cafe in the shopping center right across from the beach.

And in Hilo we had tasty Indian food and great chai while watching Bollywood videos at Kamana Kitchen.

Both were completely vegan and vegetarian friendly.


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