Where to Eat Gluten-Free on The Big Island
Food & Wine
The Big Island of Hawaii is my personal favorite! Whether you want to see the green lush Hawaii or the dryer Lava Rock side of Hawaii, you get both on the Big Island! I've been there a couple of times, one time staying for almost a month! Even with all of this time we still weren't able to explore all there is to see and all the places there are to eat! I did a lot of research to find the best places with amazing gluten-free food in Hawaii! This guide will help to narrow down some choices on where to stay and where to find some Gluten free treasures!
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Where to stay on The Big Island
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
The Big Island’s standout resort on the quiet Kona-Kohala coast, home to an enormous spa, lauded golf course and raft of family-friendly activities.
When you book Four Seasons through Fora, you will enjoy exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. Your advisor will be pleased to give you more details.
A Hawaii resort and spa located on the Kohala Coast, surrounded by lush tropical gardens, cascading waterfalls and a tranquil white sand beach and lagoon.
$100 food / beverage credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection
Royal, family-friendly Hawaiian hotel nestled along the dramatic Kohala Coast, in the center of five great mountains.
$100 hotel / resort credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
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Things to do on The Big Island
Volcano Tours - Purchase a day trip tour to Volcano National Park or explore on your own. You can also plan a night or 2 at Volcano Village Lodge if you'd like to spend more than one day exploring. Want to see the volcanos from a different vantage point? Take a helicopter tour that takes you on a trip above the crater! I can book you with Blue Hawaiian for an unforgettable experience!
Helicopter tours - This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences! In addition to flying over the Volcano, I recommend their Big Island spectacular tour with landing. This 3.5-hour tour will take you above the Kilauea Volcano and then also down the Kohala coast with a landing in front of a waterfall for spectacular photo opportunities! You also have the option of securing the unobstructed front seats, which I did when I did the tour and it was the best decision. No obstructions while viewing some of the most breathtaking views! There are a few helicopter tour companies, but I recommend (and can book you with) Blue Hawaiian.
North Island Jungle Adventure Tour on Shaka app - We love to explore but not always with a dedicated tour so we can take our time. I highly recommend the Shaka app for getting out and exploring the island on your own. We loved the Waikaloa to Hilo tour. Plan to leave early in the morning. Stop for breakfast at the Hawaiian Style cafe in Waimea when they first
open(lines get long) and continue the tour from there.
Take the North Coast route, with a stop to see the beautiful Pololu Valley. Then stop at the Lilinoe fruit stand for a fresh cold coconut on your way to Hilo. There are additional stops where you can do short hikes to beautiful waterfalls on the way there. Exploring the Hilo Farmers market is a must. Then mosey on down the road to Pineapples for lunch. Take Saddle Road on the way back and plan on being back on the Waikaloa side of the island before dark.
The beaches in Hawaii are so beautiful! If you are planning on beach time outside of your resort (which I highly recommend) I suggest taking your own beach chairs and something for shade with you. This avoids you from having to rent/buy chairs once you get there which can get expensive. From white sand beaches to black and green sand, there are so many amazing beaches to explore. A couple of our favorites were Hapuna Beach and Kauna'oa Beach.
Places to eat & drink (gluten-free!) on The Big Island
Where to get a gluten-free breakfast on The Big Island
Halani at Mauna Lani (@maunalaniauberge) - This restaurant is settled in an absolutely gorgeous resort. You don't have to be staying at Mauna Lani to enjoy a meal (or two) at Halani. You can just come for breakfast at Halani as a relaxing way to start your day. They have cold-pressed juices, smoothies, french press coffee and many other beverages to choose from. Indulge in their Island Buffet which has made-to-order items making it easy to avoid gluten-containing items. You can also order from the extensive menu which includes acai bowls, yogurt parfaits, pancakes (yes even gluten-free!) breakfast plates including Hawaiian specials, and made-to-order omelettes. I definitely recommend the Ube pancakes! They are gluten-free, a work of art and delicious!
Ulu ocean grill at the Four Seasons (@fshualalai) - This beachfront restaurant is one that you don't want to miss! Definitely felt like I was in gluten-free Hawaii Heaven! They have a sprawling breakfast buffet with an entire gluten-free dedicated table and many assorted gluten-free breads and pastries to choose from. They also offered gluten-free pancakes, which of course I couldn't pass up. I highly recommend the gluten-free Lemon Ricotta pancakes with blueberries - they were amazing!
Basik Acai (@basikacai) - I love a good acai bowl! I did some research ahead and this was one of the highest-rated places on the Big Island to get an acai bowl. Seeing as that's all they serve, they must be good! Don't be deterred by its looks as it's located on the upstairs level of a small building in a parking lot. But as soon as you take a bite, you'll understand why it's so highly rated! They don't skimp on the portions and bonus, they use gluten-free granola!
Where to get a gluten-free lunch on The Big Island
Red Barn Waimea (@redbarnwaimea) - You can find this food truck at the Waimea midweek Farmers Market (@waimeamidweekfarmersmarket) every Wednesday from 9:30am-1pm and on Saturdays from 8am-1pm. They serve up delicious gluten-free grilled cheese sandwiches and yes they have gluten-free bread! I tried the Sizzling Serrano and added pork. It was delicious! I wish I had gotten a chance to go back and try more during my trip.
Willie's Hot Chicken (@willieshotchicken_whc) - Great lunch stop in the Kailua-Kona area if you are looking for something more casual. For some reason, they don't list it on their menu, but they definitely have gluten-free options! I was excited to find gluten-free chicken tenders and sweet potato fries. They also have several sides that are gluten-free. They use a dedicated fryer for their gluten-free items so you can be sure you can safely eat here.
Pineapples in Hilo - After spending the morning at the Hilo Farmers Market (@hilofarmersmarket), stroll on down a couple blocks to Pineapples(@pineappleshilo) for lunch. They have a completely dedicated gluten-free menu with everything ranging from nachos to curry, fish, sandwiches and steak! I had the Kabocha Pumpkin curry with Chicken and it was delicious. Check out their dessert menu as they also have a gluten-free chocolate dome dessert that sounded amazing. I was too stuffed to get dessert though.
Where to get a gluten-free dinner on The Big Island
Cipriano's Kitchen (@ciprianoskitchenkawaihae) - This relatively new Italian-Peruvian restaurant is an up-and-coming star! Owned and operated by a local family, you can tell the owners Claudia and Gino put their heart into everything they put on the plate. From freshly made pasta (yes even gluten-free) to dishes using local ingredients to homemade pastries and desserts, everything we tried was outstanding! Don't miss trying the gluten-free chocolate cake. Even my husband who doesn't like sweets went back for a second and third bite!
Roy's Hawaii (@royshawaii) - This unassuming restaurant located in the King shops in Waikaloa was a late find on our trip. Had we found it earlier, we definitely would have made a return visit. I was able to have a 4-course gluten-free meal and every course was on point. They use edamame as a starter instead of bread which is welcome for those of us in the gluten-free community. Then I had the wedge salad that was big enough to share. I highly recommend the mixed grill. I don't like shrimp so I asked for double short rib and it was one of the best short ribs I've ever had. Don't miss the gluten-free chocolate souffle. They bake it fresh so make sure you order it when you order your meal.
Fosters Kitchen (@fosterskitchen) - They have a couple of locations. On our first trip to the Big Island, we went to the original location in Kailua-Kona right on the water. This time we went to @Fosterskitchen_waikoloa in the King Shops. Their menu is clearly marked with which options are gluten-free which makes it super easy to order. We tried the sausage-stuffed mushrooms and fish & chips and they were both great. Even my non-gluten-free husband said it was probably the best fish & chips he's ever had!
Kamuela Provision Company (@kamuelaprovisioncompany) - If you are looking for a picturesque sunset dinner overlooking the water, this is your place! I highly recommend you make a reservation. They do a 3-course Chefs menu so I was worried I'd be limited with gluten-free options but they were so accommodating. Their menu is clearly marked with what options are gluten-free and they were even able to offer additional items not on the menu. They had a gluten-free bread starter which doesn't happen often. I enjoyed the Hamakua Tomato Salad, Filet Mignon with Hamakua mushrooms, and gluten-free chocolate cake for dessert (not on the menu).
Where to get gluten-free snacks & dessert on The Big Island
Original Big Island Shave Ice Co (@originalbigislandshaveiceco) - You have to try some shave ice when you are in Hawaii! I tried a lot of different shave ice places to find the best one so you don't have to :) After sampling from at least six different places, I decided that Original Big Island Shave Ice co was my favorite! I may have gone back three times just to make sure, ha! They are located conveniently in the Kings shops near the resorts. They have real fruit flavors in addition to the artificial flavored ice which makes the flavors more pure. I recommend the pineapple coconut real fruit flavor shave ice with Ube ice cream.
Bisous Hawaii (@bisoushawaii) - I love to find local small businesses to support when I travel. Bisous Hawaii is a one-woman show making homemade gluten-free breads. I messaged her a couple of weeks before my arrival and placed an order. I planned my order pick up early in my visit to Hawaii so I'd have time to enjoy her delicious bread before I left. She does pick-ups on Wednesdays in Waimea and delivered the bread warm out of the oven. I tried her Macadamia Nut Fig and her Kalamata olive Bread, they were both delicious! I definitely recommend putting her on your list!
Need to Know
Please visit my gluten-free Instagram page— @glutenfree_travelwithme —to view the highlight reel "Hawaii" which features these restaurants and other gluten-free content from past travels!
Planning a cruise vacation? Check out my Pre-Cruise Hotel Guide in Miami & Fort Lauderdale.
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This is part of our ongoing series on travel to The Big Island.