Healthy eating, whether vegetarian or otherwise, has been a growing trend and is vastly popular today, particularly in Hawaii. Kaua'i is especially full of healthy places to eat. Centrally located in Kapaaa, Mermaid's Cafe and Papaya's Health Food Store are two tried and true spots to provide organic, healthy, vegetarian and non-vegetarian unique places to eat.
A true hole in the wall in Kapa'a, Mermaid's Cafe is nested between shops in the downtown area of this quaint town. The food is delicious, and definitely on the healthy side, although not all vegetarian. The order-at-the-window cafe serves up wraps, burritos, sandwiches, and sitr-fry, all with unique twists and most with tofu, chicken, and fresh fish options. Check for daily specials as they vary. Try the ahi nori wrap. Good drinks include spearmint and lemongrass iced tea and hibiscus lemonade.
Evening at Mermaid's — Photo courtesy of Jungle Jims
Papaya's is another healthy option. The health food store has been around for a long time, and has an all day hot bar and salad bar daily for $7.99 a pound. A deli that makes sandwiches, smoothies, and juices to order is also inside and there are pre-made foods in the refrigerator. The food is good, organic, and vegetarian. Food is served as take out but there is seating outside if you'd prefer to eat in the sunshine (and right away.)