Best Restaurants on Kauai for Gluten-Free Options



Gluten free (GF) meals aren't hard to find in the Hawaiian Islands. There's a high concentration of restaurants and residents with health awareness on Kauai so the island has an abundance of restaurants with gluten free dishes. Although there aren't any restaurants offering entirely gluten free menus, it's easy to find a good selection of GF dishs at meany restaurants. One reason it's so easy in the islands is the abundance of fresh local fish, locally grown vegetables, and local, grass fed beef that come together to form healthy and delicious GF dishes.

For those choosing something GF from a not entirely GF menu, always inquire about soy sauce. The popular Asian sauce is found commonly throughout the islands, and sometimes a little gluten can sneak in, so be aware. Healthy food stores like the Harvest Market in Hanalei and Papaya's Natural Food's Market in Kapa'a offer an abundance of gluten free ready to eat meals and groceries. 

Gourmet eateries like Gaylord's at Kilohana offer many dishes made with locally raised grass fed beef or local fresh fish with produce, offering a simple and delicious gluten free dish. At the Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant and Bouchon's Hanalei, gluten free visitors can enjoy the best seafood on the island, for a fresh and healthy gluten free meal.

So inhibitions when seeking out a gluten free meal on Kauai aren't necessary. Use our guide to the top ten restaurants with gluten free dishes for a wonderful Kauai dining experience.



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Kalapaki Bay makes a stunning backdrop for this lively restaurant, which is popular with visitors to eastern Kauai. The outdoor deck offers terrific ambiance, although the maritime-themed interior is inviting on its own. Ocean-fresh seafood is a delicious standard and includes ahi and crab napoleon, baked lobster tail, sauteed scallops, and coconut shrimp. Pastas also find a ready audience, as does the signature slavonic steak, thinly sliced and dressed with a sauce of wine, butter, and garlic. Other possibilities include lamb chops, beef medallions, pork ribs, and cold-smoked Cornish hen. JJ's has a pure chart house feeling with sailboats hanging from the ceiling and fish everywhere.


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Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant and Fish Market
Photo courtesy of restaurant


 

With a fish market next door, it's no surprise that impeccably fresh seafood is the house specialty. Diners indulge in their favorite preparations along the shores of the adjacent river, savoring baked shrimp, ceviche, crab, and incredible fish cooked to perfection by the skilled kitchen. A selection of steaks and chicken dishes will also satisfy. While you wait for entrees (which can be pricey but are well-portioned), nibble on an order of stuffed mushrooms. The nautical themed restaurant as located right after the Hanalei bridge as you descend into Hanalei Valley. It's a great place to dress up for a date or family time, or come in casual.


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A hit with locals and visitors, the Hanalei Taro & Juice Co. is a spot that all visitors need to stop at and enjoy. Very local style, the restaurant is a local style lunch wagon resting roadside in Hanalei. Serving traditional Hawaiian food, but with a modern twist, this is your best bet to fill up on taro, the root crop that sustained Hawaiians for generations. Here you can find taro and many other healthy ingredients prepared with a modern twist, such as a taro smoothie, Hawaiian plate lunches, taro hummus, taro veggie burgers, and even taro acai bowls- the list goes on.


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One of Kauai's most celebrated Asian establishments, Kintaro has built its reputation on sublime cuisine and unobtrusive service. The eater is hands down a local favorite. Amid serene Asian decor, folks dive into sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki, tempura, yakitori, and hot pot dishes. Chefs are eminently capable, crafting incredible fare from the freshest fish, vegetables, seafood, and meats. Tatami and table seating are both available, and dinners come with miso soup, pickled vegetables, rice, and tea. The sushi bar makes for a fun hangout, too. Open only for dinner, Restaurant Kintaro is one one of the best eateries on the island, and you can dress up or go casual.


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Owned and operated by two local friends who have a knack for making a great steak, Killah Steaks quickly became a local favorite as soon as the road side steak wagon opened. Very casual, and pretty quick, this eatery is a low key, low priced option for a great steak. They have expanded from a simple two item menu and now offer fresh local fish, shrimp, and multiple steak plates. Enjoy at the onsite and road side picnic table or take to eat at a nearby beach. Each plate comes with local side staples such as mac salad, a simple green salad, or rice. Sometimes they sell out and close early.


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The Shrimp Station
Photo courtesy of shrimp station


 

To peel or not to peel, that is the question at the Shrimp Station. Some dishes come with peeled shrimp, while others, like the coconut shrimp come peeled. Either way, all of the food is great and worth getting your hands a little messy for. Very casual, road side spot with meals enjoyed as take out or at picnic tables under a tent roof. The portions are huge, so you won't leave here hungry. This is a great option for lunch on the west side in Waimea, or last stop before heading out to Polihale Beach or inland to Waimea Canyon.


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Harvest Market Natural Foods and Cafe
Photo courtesy of Martin Cathrae


 

Find healthy food in Hanalei at Harvest Market Natural Foods and Cafe. If you're looking for healthy groceries, this is the spot. And, if you're looking for a healthy deli and salad bar, this is also the place to go. It's a great resource for natural and organic groceries to bring back to your hotel, vacation rental, or the beach. The hot bar, deli items, salad bar, and pre-made and packaged food can be enjoyed on site or taken to a nearby beach for a picnic. Everything is organic and natural, and the by far the healthiest on the go meal to find in Hanalei.


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Gaylord's at Kilohana


 

The flavor of old Hawaii runs strong at this circa-1930 Tudor estate, which was once the home of a sugar plantation executive. These days, the mansion and its surrounding 35 acres have been opened to the public as a series of quaint shops and this delightful restaurant. The dining room affords wonderful views and also allows diners to indulge in such fare as fresh seafood, steaks, lamb, and kalua pork. Lunch adds in lighter dishes, including sandwiches and salads, and the courtyard makes an ideal place to relax with a cool drink and good company. As one of Kauai's more upscale eatery, Gaylord's is perfect for a date night or nice family dinner.


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Papaya's Natural Food Market
Photo courtesy of papayas


 

Known for its selection of organic, vegetarian, and health-food fare, this market and gourmet deli is as good for eating as it is for shopping. Dining is available inside, but the best tables are outdoors, shaded by market umbrellas. Salads and soups are crafted from fresh ingredients and make terrific light snacks. A variety of daily specials ups the ante, offering chicken, fish, pastas, garden burgers, pizza, and an array of ethnic dishes. Smoothies and desserts also make yummy treats. Papaya's is one of the best places in Kapa`a for grab and go lunch to take to a nearby beach or attraction.


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Meet Jade Eckardt

Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jade has traveled the world and doesn't intend to stop, yet the Hawaiian Islands are still her favorite place. She spent seven years living on Oahu and...  More About Jade

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