CLOSED: Lotus Cafe

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 25 reviews )



73 5617 Maiau St Ste 1, Kailua Kona, Hawaii, USA, 96740

Serves meat, vegan options available. Natural foods cafe opposite Costco offering an extensive Pan Asian cuisine menu and drinks menu. Makes its own raw vegan gelato. GMO-free. Has Wi-Fi, cooking classes. Solar photovoltaic powered and zero waste. Confirmed closed April 2017.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Organic, Juice bar, Pan-Asian, Non-veg

Reviews (25)

First Review by amcwilliam

Great food - Edit

We had excellent food here, the tofu satay and the South Indian curry were both delicious. Vegetables were very fresh and high quality, and apparently were locally grown and organic. Anything on the menu can be made vegan.

Pros: good portion size

Cons: serves meat

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Blew us away - Edit

Our meal was unbelievably incredible- we had vegan spring rolls, green papaya salad, eggplant & tofu with brown rice, and the almost raw cake with vegan ginger vanilla gelato for dessert. We took a lot home with us since the portions were ample. The ambiance was romantic, which was surprising for the location. It was worth the trip out of town center for this delectable experience.

Pros: So many vegan options, Respectful service, knowledgeable about veganism, Great hours for lunch or dinner

Cons: Not totally vegan

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super yummy!! - Edit

This is a great little cafe. It may not be 100% veg but it is 100% delicious! I highly recommend the 11 Spice Curry.

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Just like being in Thailand... - Edit

This is a great restaurent. They have lots of vegetarien dishes(more than with meat). We ate there twice during our stay and got the most tasty dishes. There were lots of fresh vegetables in all the dishes that we got, tofu if you liked, and the choice of three different types of rice(jasmin, sticky and brown rice). All the dishes tasted like the real thing(I lived for half a year in Thailand)and there are so many different dishes that we wanted to come back again. They also have homemade vegan icecream and smoothies. One of the best restaurents on this side of the island.

Pros: Lots to choose from, Vegan, Good prices

Cons: They do have meat

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Delicious thai restaurant - Edit

Lotus Cafe is completely GMO free and they use local produce. All their dishes can be made vegan. We had the vegetable pad thai and one of the vegetable curry dishes and both we're delicious. For dessert we had the mango and sticky rice which was also awesome. They also have vegan gelato which we will try next time we are there. This is our new favorite restaurant on the Big island.

Pros: GMO free, Local produce, Delicious

Cons: No parking lot, No air conditioning

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Great Food, Great Service, Vegan Variety - Edit

My husband and I went here for our anniversary and it was absolutely delicious! We loved the avocado rolls, fried rice, curry, and vegan gelato. They will make vegan versions of most dishes upon request.

They had some many vegan options, it was difficult to choose. That is an experience we have not enjoyed in awhile.

We had a great service experience and atmosphere. The price was about right to us for the quality of food, and within expectations of higher island food prices.

We will definitely will go back and try more dishes.

Pros: Delicious Food, Numerous Vegan Options, Friendly Service

Cons: A little hard to find

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Not impressed - Edit

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

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Very good! - Edit

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

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good food, very vegan friendly - Edit

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

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The most amazing meal ever - Edit

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 happy
Updated from previous review on Wednesday June 05, 2013

Pros: Sooootasty and fresh, Large menu, Good value, large portions

Cons: None, None, None

1 Response

howiesimon 20 Jul 2013 - 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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Kona would be hell without Lotus! - Edit

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

1 Response

howiesimon 20 Jul 2013 - 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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Do mot eat here, it has mice! - Edit

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!!

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Most Excellent Pan-Asian Food - Edit

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

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An Oasis on the island of Lava - Edit

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

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What a treat! - Edit

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.

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Sooo good! - Edit

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

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Nice place in Asian theme - Edit

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

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Sad we only ate there once - Edit

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

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