Considering how far I’ve traveled around the world, it seems strange that I have yet to visit Hawaii. Lately, I’ve been hearing so much about the rising level of gluten-free awareness there that I’m tempted to head out to the Hawaiian Islands and do some first-hand research. (It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, right?)
A while back, my friend Liisa wrote a report for the Gluten-Free Guidebook about celiac-safe spots she’d found in Oahu and Kauai. Her list includesÂ Sweet Marie’s â€” the first dedicated gluten-free bakery in Kauai â€” Smith’s Tropical Paradise in Kauai, and Down to Earth in Honolulu. Last month, another friend sent me a photo to show off a delicious-looking gluten-free sandwich she was enjoying while on vacation in Hawaii. It turned out she was at Living Foods Market & Cafe in Poipu,Â Kauai, a combination grocery store and cafÃ©Â featuring specialty gourmet goods (including many gluten-free items), organic products, and an extensive wine selection.
Next, my friend and fellow travel writer Lucas Aykroyd passed along a list of gluten-free restaurants and shops in Hawaii, with notes on each spot from the Hawaiian Tourism Board:
- Chrysalis Foods (Oahu) â€“ Looking for a gluten-, dairy- and nut-free spot to eat while shopping at Ala Moana Center? Break away from the food court and visit the Vim â€˜N Vigor store for the Chrysalis foods counter. The menu changes every week, offering local favorites such as mochiko chicken and mochi treats.
- Up Country Bakery & Cafe (Hawaii Island) â€“ Satisfy your breakfast taste buds with gluten-free mixed berry muffins, gluten-free banana bread slices or gluten-free pancakes. On your way to see the volcano? Grab a sandwich on gluten-free bread and take it on the road.
- Maui Brick Oven (Maui) â€“ Located in Kihei, this restaurantÂ initially gained popularity for its gluten-free pizza. Locals and visitors frequent this eatery for its impeccable service and menu selection that also includes pasta and salads.
I’m almost ready to buy a ticket. Has anyone else discovered some great places to eat in Hawaii? Let me know and I’ll add them to the list!
Photo courtesy of the Hawaiian Tourism Board