Lotus Cafe

Overall rating: 3.5 stars 19 Reviews
Serves meat, veg options available. Natural foods cafe featuring an extensive Pan Asian cuisine menu and drinks menu, and makes its own raw vegan gelato. GMO-free. Has wi-fi, cooking classes. Solar photovoltaic powered and zero waste. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan-friendly, Organic, Pan-Asian, Juice bar, Non-veg
73 5617 Maiau St, Ste 1 (opposite Costco)
Kailua Kona, Hawaii 96740
808-327-3270

Open Mon-Sat 10.30am-9pm.

more-less
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accepts credit cards
reviews

Reviews

First Review by amcwilliam
taraep
taraep
4

reviews

  • vegan

Not impressed

1 Posted on 03 / 30 / 2014

I feel like I was cheated out of the awesome experience everyone else seemed to have! For the first half hour we were there we were the only table occupied so it felt very awkward (this was around 6:30pm). The server I had was brand new that day and did not know the menu well so could not effectively communicate what was vegan.

The prices are absurdly high for how little food we got and the meal was...edible. Nothing about it was particularly pleasing. The lettuce wrap app did not have enough substance to fill them and had little pieces of lemon with the rind still on as well as raw ginger. The Rad-Na Noodles were gummy and the sauce was almost gelatinous. Nothing tasted great. Even the gelato was icy and disappointing. My parents got a chicken dish they were equally disappointed with. To top it off, the owner came in at the end of the night and yelled at one of the employees for sending out an inexperienced server. While I agree with his complaint, that should not be dealt with in front of the customers.

I would not go out of my way to go back.

Pros: Apparently a lot of vegan options (?)
Cons: Overpriced, Bad food, Uncomfortable atmosphere
Janice Bearden
Janice Bearden
10

reviews

  • vegetarian

Very good!

4 Posted on 12 / 08 / 2013

Highlights were the ginger lemon aid, chai ice tea, vegan ice cream and their curry dishes! They are vegan friendly! Non GMO, local and organic food! Loved the food here!

Pros: NON GMO, Vegan , Restaurant is run on 100% solar energy
sullivusb
sullivusb
21

reviews

  • vegan

good food, very vegan friendly

4 Posted on 11 / 16 / 2013

I came here with a group of seven vegans and we all left full and happy. The food was very tasty and almost anything could be made vegan. One warning - it's probably, better to spice down than up as the food can get hot. Also, the area is very warehousey so don't be surprised by that. The soups and coconut pancakes are highly recommended.

Pros: great food, customizable, friendly staff
Cons: not centrally located
TibbsNibs
TibbsNibs
1

reviews

  • vegan

The most amazing meal ever

4 Posted on 06 / 05 / 2013

We are visiting Kona, my new husband found the Lotus Cafe and I am still thanking him for the great find! We are both healthy eaters I am a vegan, he is very health conscious. The menu is huge, we had several appetizers which blew my mind. Grilled Ono shish kabobs with satay dipping sauces (homemade healthy ones by the way). We also had the grilled coconut shrimp, that's right Grilled. Never seen this, only the nasty fried ones. They were out of this world! Hubby had the grilled Ono with mango salsa and tasty purple sweet potatoes. I had the green curry dish with tofu and wow I now see that in every other Thai or panasian restaurant msg is king. This green curry was fresh, clearly without preservatives and over salted seasoning. Save room for dessert, we had the chocolate raw pie...insane, topped with housemade vegan ginger gelato. Again never had this, no gelato for vegans except at the lotus cafe! We are in town for 3 more nights and will 100% be eating here every single day......so happy
Updated from previous review on Wednesday June 05, 2013

Pros: Sooootasty and fresh, Large menu, Good value, large portions
Cons: None, None, None
  • howiesimon howiesimon

    Thank you for the great review. I am glad you enjoyed your meals and Lotus. it was our pleasure to serve you!!

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xeight
xeight
1

reviews

  • vegetarian

Kona would be hell without Lotus!

4 Posted on 04 / 09 / 2013

As someone who lives on island I can say I've probably eaten at Lotus Cafe hundreds of times by now and its one of the only joyous things about going to Kona! Their food is always dependable with amazing flavors and liveliness. As a vegetarian, who mostly eats vegan i don't know of a place on the island that does as good of job at specializing in a full menu selection of vegan options and the willingness to accommodate different lifestyles.

The owners and staff are all such kind and warm people that creates a unique experience that takes you away from the feelings Kona can sometimes give you. This was the first thai food i have ever had and after trying quite a few others i came to realize how special our Lotus Cafe was and how lucky i feel every time i get to go.

Pros: Fresh food, some grown at owners farm, Large portions, quick service, Accommodating to menu allterations
Cons: Never had a bad experience
  • howiesimon howiesimon

    Thank you for posting your review. We are always happy to know our clients are pleased and support what we are doing.

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Flowergirl22
Flowergirl22
1

reviews

  • mostly-vegetarian

Do mot eat here, it has mice!

1 Posted on 08 / 03 / 2012

I found this eatery on happycow and decided to give it a try. The food was ok. We had the avocado rolls ( loaded with cilantro) and pimeapple curry- the taste was off. But i was still keeping a positive attitude. I like to support local business and am all for the sustainable movement. However, after we finished our meal last night i saw a mouse running around on the table where the place keeps all its clean glassware. I told our waitress and her response-"was it a little one?". This place must be completely infested if mice are running around during operating hours and the staff is so nonplussed about a customer spotting one. Avoid this place!!


cherylhill
cherylhill
3

reviews

  • raw

Most Excellent Pan-Asian Food

4 Posted on 02 / 11 / 2012

Lotus Cafe is a favorite of mine every time I visit Big Island. I love the lilikoi juice, and the eggplant and pad Thai are awesome too. They can make the coconut crepes both vegan and gluten free, so I highly recommend those too. For those of you with soy allergies like myself, they are very accommodating to make your food without soy products. If you like coffee, I recommend the iced coffee with coconut milk, so good!

They also set up shop on Sunday's down in Captain Cook at the South Kona Farmers Market.

Great place! Highly recommend it. Lots of delicious vegan options.

Pros: organic food, locally sourced food, excellent food
Cons: service can be a little slow if busy
TinTin
TinTin
3

reviews

  • vegan

An Oasis on the island of Lava

4 Posted on 12 / 19 / 2011

I have been to many Vegan friendly restaurants , only to be disappointed in the selection and quality.Imagine the great feeling I experienced when I ate at the Lotus Cafe on the outskirts of Kailua Kona....finally an establishment that is worthy of stating "vegetarian and vegan friendly".My partner and I both felt so good about eating the food there, it became the only restuarant we dined at between meals prepared at our rented cottage. It was a pleasure to meet the owners and discuss their philosophy on diet and wholistic business ethics.The cafe, a business for profit , is more importantly focused as a conduit for helping the community to change eating and lifestyle habits . Almost every aspect about the cafe and its owners exhibited a desire to improve the wellbeing of every customer . What a pleasure it has been to patronize this cafe, would love to see one in my hometown ( Vancouver B.C. )Best of luck Howie in your quest to bring healthy meals to all!

Grant and Nicole

Pros: excellent food, healthy cuisine, very good value
Cons: location
L4Peace
L4Peace
10

reviews

  • vegetarian

What a treat!

4 Posted on 11 / 20 / 2011

We ate lunch here after a long flight--and this will be our first stop every time we're on the Big Island. Hot and flavorful dishes in a peaceful setting. Yum! The Lilikoi (passion fruit) gelato was delicious.


meatisfordummies
meatisfordummies
20

reviews

  • vegan

Sooo good!

4 Posted on 11 / 03 / 2011

Ate here only once on out recent trip to the Big Island but wish we could have gone back. Delicious food and friendly staff. They make their own vegan gelato (more like ice cream) but it is fantastic. They were out of "Kona Coffee Fudge" when we were there but I bet it is Amazing.

Pros: homemade ice cream
Cons: out of the way
Noanimal
Noanimal
17

reviews

  • vegetarian

Nice place in Asian theme

4 Posted on 11 / 06 / 2010

Lotus cafe is a nice place to have a vegetarian meal. I tried the green curry with toufu, really nice. If you want it non-spicy you can tell them. Lotus cafe is a little out of the way from Kona, but it's worth the 10min or so drive.

Pros: good food
Cons: A little out of the way
Munchi-chi
Munchi-chi
23

reviews

  • vegan

Sad we only ate there once

4 Posted on 10 / 04 / 2010

Location is in a somewhat industrial part of town. But inside is beautifully decorated in Asian theme. We ordered the Tofu Sate, tofu was grilled seared, crisp veggies & two dipping sauces. I don't recall the name of the two other dishes, but one was described as Thai Italian. Noodles w/ a thai flavored tomato sauce. It was delicious. The other was a curry dish w/ tofu. Spiced just right and savory. We also got a scoop of the Chocolate Mac Nut gelato. Creamy goodness. All in all they had lots of vegan items to choose from and I really wish we could have gone back to try some more of them!

Pros: selection, decor
VeganSean
VeganSean
1

reviews

  • vegan

Great, Friendly Place

4 Posted on 06 / 01 / 2010

Visited the big island recently, this place is really great, we went there nearly every evening during our recent visit. Many vegan options with a staff that speaks "vegan." Probably family-owned, every time we went there was just one woman in the front and one woman in the back (but not a tiny hole in the wall, is a very nice place). The waitress was very sweet, and the food was amazing. Generous portions, appetizing presentation, and delicious flavors. And the vegan pie is to die for. This place would probably be doing mad business if not virtually hidden and several miles from anything else (except the Costco), they probably want to keep it small. Prices are reasonable for Hawaii, given the generous portion sizes.

Pros: Great Food, Polite Staff, Attractive Restaurant
Cons: A little remote
marla5575
marla5575
20

reviews

  • vegan

Love it

4 Posted on 05 / 29 / 2010

excellent! no dairy, no fish sauce, no mammals. if the menu item doesn't have chicken or fish, then it's vegan. gotta LOVE that! the food is very good and they have homemade vegan gelato!

Pros: no hidden fish sauce, no hidden dairy, no mammals on the menu
kimward8
kimward8
90

reviews

  • vegan

Vegan Thai and Gelato

4 Posted on 08 / 18 / 2009

This place was hard to find near the Costco. But the vegan Laad Na that I had was really good (tofu, vegetables and rice noodles in gravy). There was nobody else there when we went and it was only 8pm. Also, the lillikoi (passionfruit) gelato was vegan and really delicious.


mfoy
mfoy
14

reviews

  • vegan

Complex Asian flavors with plenty of vegan choices

4 Posted on 04 / 25 / 2009

Very good food. The flavors of the broths and sauces are deep and complex - very delicious, and a nice change from the standard fare you get at most asian restaurants. You can tell they really put some extra effort into these.
And there are plenty of vegan options.
We had the sampler plate (it is a bit hidden near the end of the menu), and was a great value and gives you the chance to try many different dishes. If you see meat dishes on the menu that you might like to be vegan, I would just ask them as they do many many things vegan.
Also enjoyed the vegan gelato, although could not figure out if any of the other dessert items were vegan.
Location is a bit far from the central part of Kailua Kona, but still only a few minutes by car.

Pros: Delicious food, Atmosphere, Vegan Choices
Cons: Location
foundationcitizen
foundationcitizen
6

reviews

  • vegetarian

Quite Good

4 Posted on 03 / 08 / 2009

At first I was disappointed. There were four soups on the menu and not one was vegetarian. I thought the place had changed hands and sold out. However, the owner told me all the soups can be ordered vegetarian, and they are going to be changing the menu to say that.

The location is odd, in that it is in a sort of industrial park feeling place, overlooking a costco. However, it also overlooks the ocean. The interior feels nice, like "ahhhh, a vegie restaurant," even though it is only partially vegetarian. For example, all the specials of the day were various dead animals, served for your enjoyment.

However, if I have not lost you, the food was very good. We ordered various vegetarian options. The smoothie was excellent. My dish, a curry over rice, was also very good. There were plenty of veggies, such as broccoli, carrots and onions, all cooked just right, and simmered in the curry. The pad thai was equally rich.

I will go back, and actually I am looking forward to it. I was just a bit upset when I first got there, because of the meat now on the menu. I do not think one has to sell meat to make it, but I am not a restaurant owner either.

Pros: good food, fair number of options, nice ambience
Cons: only half veggie
Ally846
Ally846
4

reviews

  • vegan

Great Food

4 Posted on 03 / 03 / 2009

I was worried about having Vegan options while in Kona for a week in Feb. Lotus was a great find. I went twice and was happily surprised each time. We even took notes to try and recreate some dishes at home. Save room for the gelato. ;)

Pros: Hours
Cons: Food, Service, Dessert
amcwilliam
amcwilliam
5

reviews

  • vegan

excellent food made by vegetarians

4 Posted on 12 / 06 / 2008

I went to Louts cafe with my wife. She had a sampler plate, which was a smart choice. All the food on her plate was excellent (luckily she shared) and vegan. I had too much plain tofu (appetizer and main dish); it was good, but not exciting. We also had the sampler of (vegan) coconut ice cream, which was really delicious. The restaurant does serve some meat dishes, but the vast majority of the food is vegan. The owners are vegan; I think they serve the meat in order to stay in business, but they are clearly very conscious and careful about serving vegan food to those who want it. I am really looking forward to going back to Hawaii and have food at the Lotus Cafe. Next time I'll have the sampler entree.

Pros: excellent vegan food, friendly staff, reasonable price
Cons: there is some meat on the premesis

 

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Last updated: 2013/07/22

 

Added: 2008/09/12

 

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