Are you traveling to Kauai sometime soon? Nervous about the gluten-free options? Don’t be, we’ve got you covered. With more and more wheat sensitivities and Celiac diagnoses popping up every day, it’s no wonder we’re seeing a major shift in menus across the mainland and here on Kauai. Lucky for us, most delicious Hawaiian staples are naturally gluten-free (think taro, pineapple, mango, coconuts, lau lau, rice).
Here’s a collection of our favorite gluten-free friendly restaurants in Poipu, Kauai.
Gluten-Free Hotel Restaurants:
As one of the most popular sides of the island (we can’t help where the sun goes, but if it happens to shine on us, so be it!), there are several beautiful hotels and resorts to be found here. Below is a list of restaurants with gluten-free items:
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa (all menus clearly marked gluten-free*)
Dondero’s – Fresh, delicious and seasonal dishes, Dondero’s offers a wide selection of gluten-free dishes. From gluten-free pasta (wild mushroom alfredo, shrimp scampi, lobster & crab, bolognese) and mushroom potato gratin, to fresh cioppino (lobster, scallops, fish, clams and crab) and gluten-free black forest tiramisu, you’re sure to find something to satiate your appetite.
Ilima Terrace – Surrounded by cascading waterfalls and koi-ponds, Ilima Terrace is a breath of fresh air. Offering breakfast and lunch daily, this open-air restaurant features a carefully marked gluten-free dinner menu with dishes like prosciutto wrapped wasabi prawns, personalized salads and gf pasta primavera with seared tofu, seasonal vegetables and a light chardonnay lemon sauce.
An experience unlike any other, Tidepools showcases contemporary Hawaiian cuisine in a unique, romantic atmosphere. Thatched-roof bungalows float above a koi-filled lagoon at the base of a waterfall. Yes, it’s just that dreamy. Try their Ono ceviche (fresh lime juice, local cucumber, cilantro, coconut milk, ale sea salt), butter poached lobster on coconut rice or organic roast chicken.
Beach House Restaurant: This waterfront establishment is one of the south side’s real gems. Come for lunch or an early dinner and enjoy a front row view of the sunset. Beach House offers a designated gluten-free menu for both lunch and dinner (also printable online). Options range from starters, salads, sandwiches and “Big Grinds” (catch of the day) to dinner entrees hot off the grill. Try their Beach House Ceviche with citrus and lilikoi juice, fresh island fish, scallops, tiger prawns, avocado, tomatoes cucumber and cilantro. Or their Kauai Grown Beet Salad with guava smoked alaea salt, gorgonzola, micro basil and truffle oil. OR you can enjoy a Chinese 5-Spice Dusted Lamb Sirloin served with truffle risotto, grilled asparagus, roasted black garlic confit, and port wine demi. It’s too hard to choose…so why not try one of each?
Old Koloa Town:
Koloa Fish Market – Try some seared sesame ahi or an avocado poke bowl on a bed of warm rice and discover what you’ve been missing. Koloa Fish Market is a true taste of Kauai, with its fresh and tender ahi in a variety of mouth-watering flavors. If you weren’t a fish fan before, you’re sure to become a convert! A reminder, not all sauces are gluten-free. Always check to see which are safe beforehand.
Koloa Deli: A few storefronts down from Koloa Fish Market is this fun little deli with outdoor seating. Enjoy a cold drink, clam chowder, and gluten-free bread with any of the sandwich options. Offering an array of meats, cheeses and vegetables, there’s something for everybody.
Pizzetta – Offers gluten-free pizza crust as well as gluten-free pasta. Fun, lively atmosphere and knowledgeable staff who take special care to prevent cross contamination. Options range from brown rice penne cecca (with fresh basil, roasted garlic, sautéed grape tomatoes, spinach and parmesan cheese) to freshly chopped salads and specialty gluten-free pizzas.
The Wine shop – Offering an impressive selection of wine (naturally gluten-free), pass through or join the club! Not only do they have vino, but also spirits, gift baskets, artisan chocolate and even gluten-free beer. Fantastic!
The Shops at Kukuiula:
Tortilla Republic Grill and Margarita Bar – Upstairs you will find TR’s upscale grill, downstairs you can enjoy the bustling margarita bar. Come for happy hour and enjoy a Hydration Margarita (made with fresh lime and coconut water) alongside some nachos, jalapeno croquetas (charred jalapeno folded with potatoes, monterey jack cheese and cilantro crema – all gluten-free) or head upstairs for an almost entirely gluten-free menu of varying appetizers and entrees.
Living Foods Cafe & Market – A beautiful little cafe and market, Living Foods has an entire gluten-free designated selection of goods. Including baking supplies, cookies, crackers, pasta, sauces, gluten-free beer, wine, bulk items and more. They also serve gluten-free crepes and deli sandwiches (hot or cold). Call ahead of time and they can put together a special picnic basket for you.
Buy Local Gluten-Free – Farmer’s Markets:
The Culinary Market at The Shops at Kukuiula – Every Wednesday afternoon from 3:30pm to 6:00pm. The best part about farmer’s markets is that most of Mother Nature’s items are naturally gluten-free. Fresh mangoes, star fruit, papayas, kale and passion fruit are just a few things you’ll find here. Some vendors have “upped the ante” and even offer gluten-free soups and breads / pastries. Of course the impressive selection of sangria, margarita and wine gardens are all gluten-free as well. We’ll cheers to that!
The Koloa Sunshine Farmer’s market – Held in the Koloa Ball Park Mondays at noon. This weekly market is also known for it’s wide spread of locally grown produce. You’ve never tasted an apple-banana as sweet, a pineapple so juicy or have seen a bundle of greens so vibrant.
Remember that gluten can hide in many unexpected things (from sauces to salads), so always be sure to let your server or chef know you are gluten-free beforehand. They are happy to help you navigate the gluten-free waters here on Kauai!