I just returned from a week on Maui with my daughter and it was AMAZING! Besides being sun and sand lovers, we are also gluten free eaters and love to explore. With expert guidance by local Maui girl, @HouseofHaku we found the BEST of MAUI! Get off the beaten path, out of the tourist areas and see the natural, wild Maui and where locals go to get GF grub. Tuck this quick guide to finding the goods into your travel portfolio and let me know what GF goods you loved and new ones you may have discovered!
Why delay…You’re on Maui, time to act like it! Touch down in Kahului and head to:
Ululani’s Shave Ice: 333 Dairy Rd, Kahului, HI 96732
1.3 mile from the Kahului Airport. Get your rental car and begin your journey. The entire menu is gluten free but they do offer some dairy options so order carefully if you avoid the cow. Ululani’s makes all of the toppings from scratch using real fruit puree and the line outside is well worth standing in.
GF DF Favorite: Lilikoi (passion fruit) and coconut with toasted coconut flakes on top
GF w/dairy Fav: Coconut and mango with mochi and li hing mui
Down To Earth Organic Market: 305 Dairy Rd. Kahului, HI 96732
After your shave ice, walk right next door to this organic market to grab some staples.
BEST TIP: The deli bar of salads and mains, tofu musubi, nut spreads for snacking
BEST FIND: Saatvic macadamia nut spread—Mediterranean, Mexican and Indian flavors
Cafe o Lei: 2439 S Kihei Rd #201A, Kihei, HI 96753
If you are staying in Wailea or Kihei, this is a great dinner spot. They close at 9:30 pm though, so no late night dining.
Many gluten free menu options and the staff is gluten free fluent.
MUST TRY: Artichoke and Brussel sprouts appetizer, chicken lettuce wraps, Lilikoi Mojitos and Ahi fresh rolls—-do ask about the hoisin to confirm it is GF
Akamai Coffee: 1325 S Kihei Rd., Unit 100, Kihei, HI 96753
Local and delicious coffee, coconut, soy, and almond milk options, with a great vibe.
BEST FIND: Gluten free banana pumpkin bread and gluten free raw protein bars
Cafe des Amis: 42 Baldwin Ave, Paia, HI 96779
This little gem has GF crepes galore! Choose from sweet or savory crepes, salads, curries and more. Great for vegetarians and omnivores alike.
BEST FIND: Curries and dessert crepes!
Mana Foods: 49 Baldwin Ave, Paia, HI 96779
Full service Mom ‘n Pop health food store with decent prices. Hot food bar not quite as interesting as Down To Earth Market, but good GF sandwich selections, salad bar and sushi rolls to go. Juice Bar with kombucha on tap inside the front door.
MUST TRY: PonoPies—we tried the chocolate (yep, delish)
These GF DF beauties are to die for—a little slice of vegan heaven. But your non-vegan friends won’t care so get more than one (so you don’t have to share). Made from local and sustainable ingredients, breadfruit, honey, macadamia, and coconut all sourced from Maui. BTW.. they fit perfectly in a mini hotel fridge.
FUN FACT: Breadfruit contains all of the essential amino acids and is loaded with fiber. You can read about how it is being used to prevent starvation and improve economies here.
Paia Fish Market: 1913 S Kihei Rd., Kihei, HI 96753
Fish your way: grilled, Cajun, butter/garlic sauté, rice, potatoes, cole slaw—all GF
Plates are large so splitting a plate and saving room for a Pono Pie is not a bad idea.
BEST TIP: Order a fish sandwich, without the bun, comes with cole slaw and share some fries–portions are generous!
NUKA: 780 Haiku Rd, Haiku-Pauwela, HI 96708
The. Best. Sushi. So worth the drive which is beautiful, wild and Hawaii at it’s roots. Anything can be made GF, with the exception of a few sauces.
MUST TRY: Miso Eggplant, Baked Mussels, Shrimp Ceviche Avocado Boat, Hawaiian Roll, Lilikoi Lemon Drop
See this Insta post for how we demolished it...
The Farmacy: 55 Pukalani St #11, Makawao, HI 96768
Amazing Açaí Bowl, and I am hard to impress! Can also get it with poi in the bottom.
MUST TRY: Açaí bowl with poi OR Eggs Bennie on GF toast, served with salad and sweet potatoes. Yes, it is as delish as the photo looks!
Sip Me: 3617 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, Maui, HI 96768-954
Coffeehouse with coconut, soy, and almond milk options
Gluten Free apple cake, raspberry and blood orange muffins, gluten free scones
BEST TIP: GF Quiche of the Day!
Rodeo General Store :3661 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, HI 96768
Great spot to pick up GF and DF provisions like crackers, nut milks, etc. Hot food bar with some GF options.
BEST FIND: On tap Kombucha and more PONO PIE! This time sweet potato and haupia and mango (not shown).
I’d be remiss to not mention these amazing experiences as well! We chose to not to stay in high priced resorts, instead opting for a more authentic experience. Having been to Maui before, we avoided the ultra tourist spots with the exception of Haleakala Crater and The Lavender Farm. We learned a lot about life on Maui and felt renewed and (almost) ready to come back to the mainland! Truth is…you never want to leave!
#1 Special thanks to @ililhiamaui for the beautiful custom rings she made for us! Tosca took my childhood pearls and paired them with my daughter’s keepsake pearls and made gorgeous stack rings!
#2 The Mango Tree Studio Airbnb for the most amazing stay in Kihei! It was pure heaven and I’m now addicted to Turkish towels! Private, bright and stylish, the Studio was a great location for everything!
#3 Pookela Paradise VRBO for an incredibly peaceful stay in Makawao. I can’t say enough about experiencing the interior of the island. If you don’t, you are truly missing out. Soothing rain at night, yields sunny days and a great spot from which to launch day trips. Pookela Paradise is steps to downtown Makawao, has a gorgeous kitchen, cozy beds and incredible views!