Honolulu for Gluten-Free Foodies

a dish at Greens and Vines in Honolulu
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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:

  • 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 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 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!

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