The Best Gluten-Free Restaurants in Maui!
Aloha! So, did I mention that I got married and just returned from a honeymoon in Maui? Indeed I did. While it was both my husband(!) and my first trip to Hawaii, you can imagine how much we researched to find the perfect first island for us to visit. After a quick thought of Kauai, then Oahu, we at last decided on Maui for 6 nights, 7 days. Next to research? Being gluten-free in Maui.
I was so pleased to discover that Maui is an extremely gluten-free friendly island. No matter what village, town or part you find yourself in Maui, you will be in fine hands for great (and safe) food. Here is a list I decided to compile of all things gluten-free in Maui that I found. Enjoy!
For everything tacos, Lahaina’s Lower Honoapiilani Road (“The Lower Road” as the locals say) has some good starts. Check out Ohana Tacos or Fish Market Maui. At Ohana, they have earned several awards for “Best Ono Fish Taco” so, of course, I had to give it a whirl. Verdict? It was tasty, but, I would not go out of my way to return. While I have had a light, mellow ono before, this was a bit more bland. But, Fish Market made up for that as I loved my shrimp fajitas taco I had from there. Fresh fish caught daily, the taco favorite does indeed serve as a locals haven for fresh seafood daily. Bonus points for their “GF” symbol on the safe menu item’s!
On a Saturday afternoon, we ended up in the adorable small town of Paia, part of your gateway to The Hana Highway. Paia was one of my favorite stops on our trip. Small town, more inland, and plenty of adorable bungalows, their main drag has a serene, tranquil Buddhist temple that has been blessed by his holiness The Dalai Llama. As well as funky shops like Alice in Hula Land and great “hole-in-the-wall” dining like one of our now favorites, Consuelo’s Kitchen.
Consuelo’s background takes place in the catering world, and, a few months back, she decided to open up a cafe. Their menu? Posted everyday out front on a dry-erase board. What caught Mike and my eyes? He, the pulled-pork sandwich, me? The veggie enchilada. Not having much experience, I thought his sandwich appeared odd; along with meat and sauce, it had lettuce and tomato. Mike says that made the dish as he appreciated the refreshing approach with the added veggies.
My enchilada was like a fresh, home-made dish. Which it basically was; as I watched them prepare it from the open view of the kitchen! Homemade sauce, fresh veggies and cheese, it hit the spot and was more the size of a large burrito. You know Consuelo’s was good as we attempted to go back…just as they were closing for the day! While no dedicated gluten-free menu, I checked in regards to their enchiladas, and they were knowledgeable and helpful.
Next up, something Hawaii is known for: Their Hawaiian pizza. Staying in Lahaina, I was eager to take a stroll over Paradiso Pizza. Known for not only their gluten-free and regular pizza, Paradiso Maui is also a great source for Greek food. Who would have thought?! We opted for their gluten-free “Maui Wowie” (Canadian ham and pineapple) and, while I have thought I’ve had some pretty great gluten-free pizzas, this one takes the pie (see what I did there?). Mike and I paused for a moment, taken aback that this was indeed a gluten-free crust. It was thicker, more like a wheat crust, and in no way that classic “cracker” style thin pizza us gluten-free peeps are often stuck with. Easily best pizza in Maui!
One of the first places I found in my gluten-free in Maui Google-ing was the pancake house of them all (and they really should be taking over the world): Slappy Cakes. Slappy Cakes has a fantastic breakfast menu, including (you guessed it), pancakes! And, not only do they boast gluten-free and vegan pancakes, but, be prepared to answer when you arrive at Slappy Cakes if you will be making your own pancakes. Wait, what?! Yep, you can literally build and make your own pancakes as several tables have griddles! Of course, I had to try this.
Once you arrive at your griddle table, you select your type of batter, toppings and syrups. Since Maui is a tourist destination, be prepared for tourist prices. I chose just 2 toppings (macadamia nuts and pineapple) as toppings range from $2 to $6. Syrups are $4 but, rest assured that each table has their Maple syrup and their famous coconut syrup, no extra charge. The coconut syrup was incredible. This, coming from someone who is not a huge coconut fan.
Michael decided to try a locals favorite he had kept hearing about: The Loco Moco. A heaping portion of white rice, under a hamburger patty, fried egg and a special gravy. It looked filling. Hearty. It looked heavy. Mike could barely have half, and it’s definitely a shareable plate!
Another highlight? One I had heard quite the fuss about: Star Noodle. Famous for their ramen, I was most interested to check out the gluten-free at Star Noodle. While I was really hoping they would somehow have a ramem noodle just for me, alas, they did not. But! Along with the staple Pad Thai, I was intrigued at their Singapore Noodles and decided on it. It was filled with chicken and shrimp. It had flavor. The chili paste put it over the top. Oh, and it was a huge portion!
I will say, we did not enjoy without a bit of a glitch. While my watermelon margarita and noodles came out in speedy time, my husband sat there with no noodles. When the staff became aware of this, we did have to wait some more, but, alas, out his dish came as well as a personal apology from the manager, and an offer for his meal to be on the house. They kept me a fan!
Next up, I cannot wait to tell you about our day at The Maui Pineapple Tour. Stay hungry and head to Hawaii, my friends! xo