Celebrate the Plant-Based Life at These 11 Vegan-Friendly Dessert Spots

Sweet spots in Honolulu where you can indulge in doughnuts, ube tiramisu, gelato and soft serve without the guilt.


This isn’t about acai bowls, shave ice or mochi: For those committed to plant-based diets and looking to indulge with just a little less guilt, we rounded up as many decadent, vegan-friendly dessert options as we could find. Half of these 11 spots serve frozen sweets; the rest specialize in baked goods—from chocolate-kalo cupcakes to ube tiramisu. We focused on places where vegan desserts don’t feel like an afterthought. Read on for where to find what.


7 Vegans HI

What: Vegan cakes, cupcakes, pies, butter mochi and other desserts
Online; inquire and order via Instagram DM
Contact: @7vegans_hi

Desserts at 7 Vegans run from the classic, like pecan pies and coffee chocolate bundt cakes, to local and Filipino-inspired, like vegan malassadas and ube tiramisu. Sometimes, as with the ube cookies ‘n cream tiramisu in this photo, things get a little extra. This one’s an Instagram business, so you pre-order and pick up in ‘Aiea.





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What: Banana-based soft serve
2301 Kalākaua Ave., (808) 691-9303; 2161 Kalia Ave., (808) 773-7231
Both locations are open daily but have different hours; call or check the website
Contact: banan.co, @banan

Banán’s soft serve—swirled into pineapple boats, papaya halves or cups and topped with fresh fruit, honey and crunchy things—is made with organic Hawai‘i-grown bananas, part of the local micro chain’s drive to reduce carbon footprint and stimulate local agriculture. Both locations are takeout windows near the beach, so bring a pareo or towel for best seating.



Il Gelato


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What: Vegan sorbetto flavors
Where: Multiple locations
When: Hours vary
Contact: @ilgelatohawaii

There’s always table seating nearby to sit down with your cone or cup, and a reliable handful of fruity vegan sorbetti at this locally owned micro chain.



Juicy Brew


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What: Plant-based desserts accompany a main menu of savory dishes
3392 Wai‘alae Ave., (808) 797-9177; 1401 S. Beretania St., (808) 469-1991
Hours at the two locations vary; call or check Instagram
Contact: juicybrew.menu, @juicybrew

You can count on finding at least two sweet treats at this longtime plant-based icon (if you get there early enough): cookies and cakes, tarts or butter mochi. Both locations offer dine-in.



Little Vessels Donut Co.

What: Yeasted vegan doughnuts made with no eggs
3458 Wai‘alae Ave.
Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or until sold out, first and third Mondays from 8 to 11 a.m. or until sold out
little-vessels-co.square.site, @littlevesselsco

In the year or so since we wrote about Little Vessels, Sachi Maclachlan’s yeasted, plant-based doughnut business has gone from Internet pre-order only to a weekend brick-and-mortar that welcomes walk-ups. Find her fluffy, lightly sweetened square doughnuts, doughnut holes and fritters in Mud Hen Water’s parking lot off 9th Avenue at Wai‘alae in Kaimukī. It’s takeout only, but nearby parklets and parks offer al fresco table seating.


SEE ALSO: This Instagram Doughnut Sensation Sells Out Every Week in Honolulu


Niu Soft Serve

Niu Soft Serve Pc Emily Smith

Photo: Emily Smith

What: Coconut-based soft serve cups, sundaes and malted shakes
2320 S. King St., (808) 436-3739
When: Open Tuesday to Thursday from 1 to 8 p.m, Friday and Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m., Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.
Contact: niusoftserve.com@niusoftserve

What started as a kiosk inside ‘Ohana Hale Marketplace graduated to a brick-and-mortar at Old Stadium Mall in Mō‘ili‘ili last year. Niu’s soft serve is dairy- and egg-free, and while you can go DIY with toppings, sundaes like Hot Kūlolo come with that sauce and roasted mac nuts, and Sunrise is drizzled with strawberry li hing sauce and condensed coconut milk. This place has a small space for eat-in.


SEE ALSO: Niu Brings Its Plant-Based Soft-Serve to Mōʻiliʻili


Sip Honolulu


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What: Plant-based cakes and pastries
Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., (808) 260-1029
Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon
Contact: siphonolulu.net, @sip_honolulu

Sip bakes daily batches of cakes, cookies, muffins and other pastries—all organic and plant-based except for the scones, which have cream cheese inside. The matcha white chocolate chip macadamia cookie, made with organic oat flour, is gluten-free. Call ahead about other gluten-free items: With enough notice, bakers can swap out wheat flour for oat or almond flour. It’s a rare Honolulu coffee bar with a good lineup of vegan sweets.




What: Ube and pandan soft serve, both coconut-based and vegan
1284 Kalani St., Kāpalama
Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(808) 439-3224, ubaehawaii.com, @ubae_hawaii

U.B.A.E.’s (for “ube beyond anything else”) single vegan treat is a worthy consolation for those who pass up the famous ube cream cheese tarts and ube crinkle cookies. It’s also the only frozen treat on the tiny menu. The soft serve balances the flavors of ube, pandan and the coconut base of both in a creamy, generous indulgence; or you can opt for just ube or just pandan. Directly across from Young’s Fish Market, Utage Restaurant & Lounge, Sugoi and other eateries at City Square, it’s a good option for an early vegan dessert. Takeout only.



‘Ulu and Kalo Bakery

What: Cupcakes, cookies, banana and ‘ulu breads, crackers, brownies, cakes; all made with ‘ulu and kalo flour
Saturday Kaka‘ako Farmers Market; Pō‘ai by Pono Potions, Bean About Town Kaimukī, ‘Ōlena Café, Koko Kai Yogurt; order online via website or Instagram DM 
Contact: uluandkalobakery.com, @uluandkalobakery

Maile Kamisugi’s creations are flavorful and softly textured, avoiding the twin pitfalls of many plant-based, gluten-free (yes, gluten-free!) desserts. Her philosophy: Beyond providing complex carbohydrates, ‘Ulu and Kalo’s use of locally sourced canoe plants pays homage to native Hawaiians’ resilience and adds to the movement toward sustainable food in Hawai‘i. You can find assortments of these snacks and sweets at the coffee shops above (call ahead to ask what’s available), or order custom cakes and cupcakes from the website.



Via Gelato

What: Vegan gelato and sorbetto
1142 12th Ave., (808) 732-3800
Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Contact: viagelato.square.site/gelato-cakes, @viagelatohawaii

A rare craft gelato shop where vegans won’t feel iced out (sorry). Plant-based options include more than fruity sorbettos: The roughly half-dozen plant-based flavors include both gelato (like dark chocolate and coconut caramel honeycomb) and sorbetto (guava, pineapple whip) as well as whole vegan gelato cakes. There are a few tables for dine-in, which is good because in the midst of Kaimukī’s eclectic eateries, this is a perennially popular after-dinner destination.


SEE ALSO: Try These New DIY Gelato Cakes from Kaimukī’s Via Gelato


Wing Ice Cream


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What: Dairy-free ice cream
1145 Maunakea St., (808) 536-4929
When: Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 8:30 p.m., Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
Contact: wingicecream.com, @wingicecream

Flavors change all the time at this small Chinatown shop because they’re made in-house in small batches. Most notable for vegans used to sitting out dessert or choosing between fresh fruits or fruit sorbets is that fully half the menu is dairy-free—and the website updates what’s on offer. A Jan. 7 update shows, in addition to four dairy-based flavors, the following with no dairy: black sesame, kinako, matcha and Oreos, and Mayan chocolate with cinnamon and cayenne. There’s a small counter for eat-in; enter from Pauahi Street.