Gone are the days when those who opted for a gluten-free lifestyle had to pick at a side of vegetables while everyone else at the table enjoyed a bountiful feast. Now, many restaurants are catering to diners who avoid gluten, and many Hawaii establishments are no exception. Many offer entirely gluten-free fare or, at least, provide an abundance of gluten-free options. Here is a list of Honolulu restaurants that are gluten-free friendly, according to Honolulu Magazine:

  • 12 Ave Grill: Most of the entrées at this farm-to-table dinner spot are gluten free, and the sides that aren’t can be easily swapped out—the smoked duck with veggies instead of pasta, for example.1120 12th Ave., 732-9469, 12thavegrill.com
  • Alan Wong’s: Items at this Hawaii Regional Cuisine flagship draw on local influences (read: soy and wheat), but call ahead of time and the kitchen will be ready with customized gluten-free choices. 1857 S. King St., 949-2526, alanwongs.com
  • Azure: The brioche nest on the regular menu gets swapped out for a deep, shellfishy bouillabaisse treatment, and the smoked duck ravioli of the main course is replaced with an even better smoked onaga with creamy corn and mushrooms in a sprightly sauce of chile oil, rice vinegar and tahini. 
  • Banzai Sushi Bar: The menu at this Haleiwa sushi bar denotes items that are vegan, vegetarian, kosher or gluten free. 66-246 Kamehameha Highway,
  • Greens and Vines: Raw, vegan and gluten-free dishes from a gluten-free kitchen, the only one on the island. Bread and crackers are made from things that include sunflower seeds, flax and onions. The living lasagna with zucchini noodles and mac-nut ricotta translates a hot-dish concept into a cool, creamy entrée. 909 Kapiolani Blvd., 536-9680, greensandvines.com
the menu at Greens and Vines

Photo: Greens and Vines

The Greens and VInes menu has an expansive selection of vegan dishes.
  • Grondin: While there’s no gluten-free menu at this French-Latin bistro, there are plenty of wheat-free dishes, including steamed, grated yucca topped with cheese and honey and a succulent pork chop. The staff is trained to suggest options and the kitchen adept at modifying dishes.62 N. Hotel St.
  • Grylt: Grylt has multiple gluten-free options for meat and fish, veggies and starches, including the mashed cauliflower and grilled baby romaine. 
  • Highway Inn Kakaako: What’s gluten-free-friendly besides poi, lau lau, lomi salmon and haupia? An on-site pastry chef who bakes silky custards with kiawe-flour crusts. They’re incredible enough that they outsell the bread puddings, pineapple upside-down cakes and other wheat-flour desserts. 
  • Koko Head Cafe: Lee Anne Wong’s menu of scones, cornflake French toast and “Dumplings All Day Wong” may seem daunting from a gluten-free perspective, but the staff can navigate you to gluten-free options, including a killer breakfast congee. 1145c 12th Ave., 732-8920, kokoheadcafe.com
Vegan Pad Thai from Greens and Vines

Photo: Greens and Vines

Vegan Pad Thai from Greens and Vines is a great option for those with dietary restrictions.
  • Mariposa: Neiman Marcus’ third-floor restaurant designates lots of items as gluten-free. Of note: the quinoa noodles in the lunch-only Andean Dream, possibly the best al dente gluten-free spaghetti in town. Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., 951-3420
  • Ocean House: The beachfront restaurant at the Outrigger Reef Hotel prides itself on a menu that’s mostly gluten-free, including the buttery seafood lau lau and the chef’s signature weekly snapper specials. 2169 Kalia Road, 923-2277, oceanhousewaikiki
  • Orchids: The Halekūlani’s haute cuisine menu designates 12 of 22 dishes at lunch and 14 of 23 at dinner as gluten-free. The olive oil-poached salmon with pistachios is indulgent, and the steamed onaga a classic. 2199 Kalia Road, 288-8022
  • The Pavilion Cafe: When you want a creative, entrée-size salad, Pavilion has one of the best selections on the island.
  • Roy’s: While none of Roy’s three Oahu restaurants has a gluten-free menu, “If a dish has gluten, we try to replicate it or make something similar by removing the gluten and substituting non-gluten ingredients,” says corporate chef Jackie Lau. Locations in Hawaii Kai, Waikiki and Ko Olina,
  • Sansei’s Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar: D.K. Kodama’s gluten-free menu includes sushi rolls—including the mango blue crab hand roll—and the gluten-free Omission Lager. 2552 Kalakaua Ave., 931-6286, sanseihawaii.com
  • Tucker and Bevvy: The theme at these Aussie-style eateries—one a sit-down breakfast spot and the other a takeout counter—is healthy food. Naturally, then, that means lots of options for gluten avoiders. Tucker and Bevvy Breakfast at Hee Hing Plaza, 449 Kapahulu Ave., Suite 203, 732-0050, tuckerandbevvy.com
  • Waialua Bakery and Juice Bar: There’s an option of gluten-free bread for your sandwich, and, unless it runs out, gluten-free peanut butter cookies, too. The turkey pesto is gratifying and gluten-and dairy-free. 66-200 Kamehameha Highway, 341-2838

So, indulge, gluten-free foodies—and enjoy a healthy Honolulu!

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you! for this list. I see there is only one dedicated kitchen on the island: Greens and Vines.
    It would be very helpful for Celiac Gluten Free people like me who are on a medically necessary diet, if you could update the list with additional information about whether or not the restaurant has procedures in place to prevent cross contact with gluten ingredients. Usually, the restaurant also includes a disclaimer that they are not able to guarantee the absence of gluten in the meal. However, if they have procedures in place, that risk of cross contact is much lower. Thank you for your kind attention to my request.

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