The term “gluten-free” has recently taken the country by storm. With Celiac and gluten-intolerance at an all time high, it is no surprise that hungry visitors are looking for tasty new options on the island. The good news is that local chefs, restaurants and markets are rising to meet the occasion! Naturally, Kauai is chock-full of organic, gluten-free goodies. The Farm at Kukui’ula showcases some of these items, such as juicy pineapple, bananas, kale, fresh papayas, taro and thirst quenching coconuts. However, there are a vast array of dishes to choose from (other than fruit and vegetables) that embody the Hawaiian flavor. Here are a few of our favorite gluten-free finds from around Kauai.
This charming local favorite makes their own gluten-free bread and muffins. Muffin flavors include chocolate, blueberry and banana. They offer gluten-free bread for sandwiches, burgers and even french toast!
Poipu (south side):
The Shops at Kukui’ula:
A collection of different shops, art galleries and local businesses, The Shops at Kukui’ula offer a handful of different services. Several restaurants can be found on the grounds and all of them offer some great gluten-free alternatives. Merriman’s gluten-free pizza crust is raved about. Josselin’s is known for the freshest fish. Tortilla Republic makes fantastic gluten-free cocktails, including margaritas with coconut water and fresh lime!
Living Foods Market:
An upscale market located in The Shops at Kukui’ula, Living Foods has a wide selection of goods. Including gluten-free sandwiches, pizzas and crepes! Try their ham and cheese crepe for breakfast with an almond milk cappuccino, and you’re sure to fall in love.
Kukui’ula Market Store:
Located across the way from The Shops at Kukui’ula, this local market is a staple in the community. Here you can find fresh produce, gluten-free bread, wraps, baking mixes, condiments and more. The Aloha Aina Juice Bar is also located in the back of the store with fresh juices and acai bowls (both of which can be made gluten-free!).
The Wine Garden:
As suggested, they offer a wide selection of wine and beer, including gluten-free beer!
Vim N Vigor:
A hole in the wall market, this health food store packs a punch. With snacks (crackers, chips, cookies) and pre-made sandwiches as well as rolls, wraps and probiotics.
Saturdays, located just outside the Kauai Community College, the Lihue Farmer’s Market hosts a number of vendors who offer gluten-free options including Midnight Bear Bread who make an outstanding gluten-free bread!
Known for their homemade corn tortillas and large servings, Tiki Tacos is an authentic taste of when island meets Mexican.
Another great option for Mexican on the island, Verde offers great lunch specials and incredibly delicious dishes.
Kapaa’s go-to health food store, Papayas has it all. From gluten-free cereals and baking mixes to pre-made bread, desserts and sauces, this place is a gf dream. They also have a smoothie, salad and juice bar. If good, local and organic is what you’re looking for – look no further.
“Caffe Coco is known for delicious, healthy dining under the stars. Open for dinner every night between 5 and 9 pm, visitors will find delightful fresh fish, organic chicken, vegan and vegetarian options on all plates, gluten-free, and most nights, live music by local musicians.”
Kiluea + Hanalei (north):
Kiluea Bakery & Pau Hana Pizza:
Located in the small town of Kilauea, this bakery offers a few gluten-free treats. Such as macaroons and homemade pizza crust.
Common Ground Cafe:
A favorite among those living on the north shore, Common Ground Cafe showcases not only the delicious food available on the island, but the fantastic views. Surrounded by a sprawling lawn, vibrant green trees and mountain ranges in the distance, Common Ground is a must-see. Gluten-free specialities include gluten-free acai pancakes with fresh fruit compote and 100% maple syrup. An arugula salad with goat cheese, toasted pecans, shaved onions, balsamic vinaigrette and dried cranberries. Not to mention soups of the day and daily gluten-free baked goods.
A quaint market located just off the highway, Healthy Hut is very similar to Papaya’s. An array of gluten-free mixes, pre-made dishes and snacks can be found as well as a full juice bar. Tege Tege, an organic shave ice truck, can also be found here in the parking lot. Offering organic, handcrafted shave ice with fresh fruit on top. Yum!
Down in Hanalei Town is Harvest Market. Your one stop shop before hitting the beach or heading home to cook dinner. They too offer a smoothie bar, wide selection of gluten-free treats and a friendly staff.
Remember that gluten can be found in things you never expected! Like sauces (soy, shoyu), drinks (malt liqueur) and even in your ice cream! So when trying something new, make sure to let your server know you are gluten-free and they will happily accommodate you.
Mahalo and Bon Apetit!