Gluten Free Honolulu, Hawaii

Beautiful Honolulu

Who are you and where are you?
Amanda, Honolulu, HI

Tell me about your relationship with gluten..
I was diagnosed with celiac disease one year ago after 12+ years of misdiagnoses of symptoms that are anything but “classic” celiac.

Why should gluten free travellers visit your town?
Hawaii is an amazing place even if it isn’t the most gluten aware place on earth.  There are definitely enough options to stay safe and healthy while enjoying one of the most beautiful places (I think!) on earth.

Tell me something fun about your town..
Sun, sand, surf… what isn’t fun?  Honolulu isn’t actually my favorite bit of Hawaii but it’s got lots of kitsch and some satisfying eats.  If you want to really do Hawaii (and gluten free) right, make a trip to the Fairmont on Big Island to feel spoiled by nature and cuisine in one stop.

Where is your favourite place to eat out in your town and why?
Gluten free can be hard to come by here but I love ZPizza in Honolulu and Kailua.  It *is* a chain but they take their gluten seriously (too many safe meals had here, friends) and for me there is nothing better when traveling than a safe, tasty, cheapish eat.  After all, you can pay any overpriced restaurant for a plain piece of chicken but a ZBQ pizza is a special thing indeed.

For other GF eats:

  • Vim & Vigor – it’s actually an independent natural food store.  A local girl who has an entirely gluten free family makes meals (spaghetti!) and treats like mochi that you can pick up here in a prepared foods fashion.  Located at Ala Moana, the largest shopping center, it’s good for a day of shopping or to pick up on your way out of the city for a day trip.
  • Ruffage Natural Foods – More granola than V&V, health food with a gluten free twist.  I’ve never personally eaten there but other GFers praise their understanding of safe handling and tasty bowls.
  • Sweet Marie’s – Gluten free worth traveling for.  Island hopping is a way of life here and a little jump for brunch or muffins is worth doing.
  • And, of course, in tourist heaven nothing can top PF Chang’s.  Many of the smaller shops I’ve been in contact with are so unaware of GF here that it’s been too scary to risk (there’s wheat in soy sauce… what!?) but because of their national commitments, Chang’s pretty much reliably rocks.

Do you live in Honolulu or Hawaii or have you travelled there? Where is your favourite place to eat gluten free?

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  • How fun that there is another gluten free woman named Amanda right here in the islands. I’m on Maui, so if you’re ever coming over to this island let me know!

  • Amanda, you are right about the Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island. We were there last week and they had a separate table just for gluten-free breakfast items like bread, bagels and muffins.

  • The Big Island is becoming much more aware of all kinds of diet restrictions. My husband, who is involved in tropical fruit and is a Master Food Preserver teacher, has celiac disease and has worked closely with several chefs to help them be aware of the need for gluten-free choices on their menus. He helped arrange for a gluten-free wedding. Under the Bodhi Tree in the Mauna Lani Shops is a great newer place to try.
    Pueo’s in Waikaloa is another. Stop by the Keauhou Shopping Center for the farmers market on Sat. 8-12 and visit my booth that offers Margy’s gluten-free baked goods.