My Kauai restaurants guide is a must-read for food-loving gluten-free visitors, and includes recommendations for casual food trucks and fancy restaurants alike!

A sunset on the coast of Kauai. The text says Gluten-Free Kauai.

Although the Hawaiian island our family has visited the most is Maui, I think my favorite is the gorgeous and lush “Garden Isle” of Kauai. My husband and I first visited Kauai on our honeymoon way back in 2000, and we’ve returned with our kids every few years because we can’t seem to stay away from the North Shore. It’s just breathtakingly beautiful and the relaxed pace of the island always helps me recalibrate.

While the Kauai food scene isn’t quite as renowned or diverse as those of Oahu and Maui, I’ve definitely found a few spots over the years with fantastic gluten-free options.

I don’t eat 100% paleo on vacation

As we mentioned in Episode 7 of our podcast, Traveling While Paleo, we don’t stay 100% Paleo when on vacation. It’s important to remember that eating without getting stressed out is all part of a healthy, happy life. The only thing I insist on when we eat out—no matter where we are—is that Ollie and I remain gluten-free (because painful gut issues are a sure-fire vacation mood killer).

Also, restaurants on Kauai can be pretty pricey so I end up cooking the bulk of our meals. As soon as we land at Lihue airport, we make pitstops at Costco, Safeway, Foodland, Walmart, and/or Target to pick up groceries and essentials before driving to our place in Princeville.

Note: Most of the restaurants on Kauai are not 100% gluten-free, but the ones I mention below have gluten-free menus and the waitstaff are very accommodating whenever I mention that my son and I are gluten intolerant. If you are celiac, please be aware that there may be cross-contamination risk at many places.

Here’s my Top 10 list of Kauai’s best restaurants and food trucks to get great gluten-free food!

Kiawe Roots (Lawai, HI)

An overhead shot of three breakfast plates at Kiawe Roots in Kauai.

Located about 15 minutes from the Lihue Airport, Kiawe Roots is the perfect spot for a delicious meal when you arrive and/or before you fly off the island! This charming, cozy spot serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring local favorites with a modern twist and mesquite-smoked meats. We loved it so much that we ate here twice during our recent stay!

What to order

We tried out Kiawe Roots’ breakfast and lunch menus, and our favorite gluten-free dishes were Dad’s Fried Chicken, Green Chile Skillet (smoked beef cubes in green Chile sauce topped with a giant hash brown, pickled onions, and a sunny side up egg), and Farmer’s Salad + Herb Shrimp.

Dining Tips

Kiawe Roots clearly marks gluten-free items on the menu—and it has a dedicated gluten-free fryer! Seating is limited, so make sure to call for a reservation at dinner time. No outdoor or patio seating.

Location and phone number

2-3687 Kaumuali’i Highway
Lawai, HI 96765
(808) 855-5055

Hukilau Lanai (Kapa’a, HI)

Four dishes that are part of the early bird prix-fixe gluten free menu at Hukilau Lanai in Kauai.

The gluten-free prix-fixe 5-course meal at Hukilau Lanai was the sleeper hit of our trip! Not only is the meal a steal ($45 for the prix-fixe, $65 including wine tasting), but the portions, quality of the food, and friendly service made it one of our favorite dining experiences on the island. The only caveats: this tasting menu is available only if you’re seated between 5:00 pm and 5:45 pm, and the Kauai Coast Resort that houses the restaurant is a little dated (but still airy and picturesque).

What to order

The early bird gluten-free food & wine tasting menu! You can check out the prix-fixe menu here. If you’re not opting for the prix-fixe, the prime rib was a big hit with my picky father-in-law and my son, Ollie. (Check out Hukilau Lanai’s extensive gluten-free dinner menu here.)

Dining Tips

Make a reservation on Yelp if you want to get the early bird prix-fixe menu! Ollie was also excited that they served homemade gluten-free bread with our meal.

Location and phone number

Kauai Coast Resort (map)
520 Aleka Lp, Kapaa HI 96746

(808) 822-0600

Merriman’s (Poipu, HI)

A collage of photos the food and location of Merriman's restaurant in Poipu on the island of Kauai.

If you’re looking for a fancy night out in a relaxed setting, head to Merriman’s! We’ve visited Merriman’s locations on several islands now, and none of them have disappointed. Prices are on the high side, and unlike the Maui location, there’s no crazy-breathtaking ocean view here at the Kauai location, but I’ve been consistently impressed by the fabulous farm to table Hawaiian cuisine and warm service at Merriman’s. (Please note: Owen and Henry tell me that the shrimp and scallop dish pictured above was super-tasty, but it’s not gluten-free!)

What to order

The menu is clearly labelled with gluten-free options, but choices are somewhat limited. I recommend the Beet Salad, any of the steaks, and the Butcher’s Cut of Lamb.

Dining Tips

Make a reservation on OpenTable well in advance because tables at Merriman’s get booked up quickly.

Location and phone number

2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka #42 Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii 96756

(808) 742-8385

Fresh Bite Kauai (Hanalei, HI)

An overhead shot of two gluten-free salads from Fresh Bite in Kauai.

This fabulous food truck offers local, farm-to-beach bites like salads, wraps, sandwiches, quinoa bowls, poi, and soft serve. They also sell french fries and purple sweet potato fries cooked in a dedicated gluten-free fryer!

What to order

I love all their salads and I like to add grass fed steak and avocado to whichever one I’m ordering. Check out Fresh Bite Kauai’s menu here.

Dining Tips

The truck is only open from 11 am to 3 pm Friday through Monday so plan accordingly!

Location and phone number

5-5100 Kuhio Highway Hanalei, Hi 96714
(808) 652-0744

Hanalei Poke (Hanalei, HI)

An overhead shot of a gluten free poke bowl over salad greens from Hanalei Poke in Kauai.

If you love impeccably fresh raw seafood, make the trek out to Hanalei Poke! There are lots of gluten-free options (although they aren’t listed on the menu); the person taking your order at the counter will let you know the gluten-free options. The poke and greens here were super fresh, and I can’t wait to go back!

What to order

So many choices! I opted to get the Local Girl (spicy mayo, avocado, and sesame seeds) on salad greens instead of rice, and it totally hit the spot. If I had more time on the island, I would’ve come back for numerous meals.

Dining Tips

Be prepared for a long wait if you arrive at peak dining hours! Hanalei Poke closes at 5 or 6 pm so plan to come early!

Location and phone number

5-5190 Kuhio Hwy Hanalei, HI 96714

(808) 855-5574

Sushigirl Kauai (Kilauea, HI)

An overhead shot of takeout sushi, poke, and spam musubi from Sushi Girl Kauai.

Yes, you can get gluten-free sushi on the north side at Sushi Girl Kauai! This teeny food truck tucked in the sleepy Kong Lung Historic Market Center in Kilauea is 100% gluten-free, and you can indulge in sushi rolls, poke, musubi, sushi burritos, edamame, and miso soup.

What to order

I recommend The Legend (local ahi, avocado, cucumber, & green onion), Sushi Beach (raw king salmon, local avocado, green onion, topped with macadamia nuts), and Uncle Crabby (cooked crab, local green onion, cucumber, avocado, and mayo) rolls. The poke bowls are also great, and you can order them on salad greens to make them low carb. Plus, Owen is a HUGE Spam musubi fan, and this is the only place we’ve found on Kauai with gluten-free musubi!

Dining Tips

Call in your order ahead of time and pick it up when they tell you to swing by! It’s a great takeout option if you want to eat on the beach or back in your hotel.

Location and phone number

2482 Keneke St, Kilauea, HI 96754

(808) 320-8646

Nourish Hanalei (Hanalei, HI)

A salad from Nourish Hanalei in Kauai.

If you want to chow down on some farm-fresh salads while taking in one of the most breathtaking views on the planet, drive on over to Nourish Hanalei. This tiny farm stand sells bowls, wraps, and açaí bowls—and the view really can’t be beat!

What to order

All the bowls taste great, but I especially like the Hanalei (roasted local purple sweet potato, massaged garden kale, coconut kaffir lime brown rice, shredded carrots, macadamia nuts, green onion, pineapple salsa) and Rainbow (kalua pork, black beans, pineapple salsa, local mixed greens, tomatoes, sunflower sprouts, cilantro, pickled red onion, kaffir lime brown rice) bowls. Check out the menu here.

Dining Tips

This lunch stand is only open Monday through Friday from 11 am to 3 pm. Call in or text your order so it will be ready when you arrive!

Location and phone number

5225 Hanalei Plantation Rd Hanalei, HI 96722

(808) 431-3023

Kauai Juice Co and Bone To Be Wild (Kilauea, Kapaa, Poipu)

A hand is holding up a bottle of Black Pearl in front of a Kauai Juice Co sign.

I’m not normally a juice or smoothie person, but I love the hand-pressed nut milk specialty drinks at Kauai Juice Co. They’re super creamy, not too sweet, and the different flavor combinations are incredibly nomtastic. Also, every Kauai Juice Co. stocks frozen quarts of Bone to Be Wild bone broth which can be a lifesaver if you’re feeling under the weather while in paradise. Both the chicken and beef broth are delicious—but if you want something with a spicy, gingery kick, go for the beef version.

What to order

Chicken and beef bone broth. Any of the hand pressed nut milk blends are amazing—I especially love the Matcha, Black Pearl, and Best Breakfast. Check out the in-store menu here.

Dining Tips

You can bring in your clean bottles for a $0.25 discount or refund. And if you buy 5 quarts of broth, you get a discount!

Locations

4270 Kilauea Road, Kilauea, HI 96754

4-1384 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI 96746

2360 Kiahuna Plantation Drive, Koloa, HI 96756

Trilogy Coffee Kauai (Kilauea, HI)

A collage of coffee drinks and vegan desserts offered at Trilogy Coffee in Kauai.

This tiny coffee shop offers a multitude of espresso drinks, adaptogenic elixirs, organic teas, and super tasty raw vegan desserts. They also have a large artisanal chocolate selection for cacao-aholics.

What to order

Turmeric Coconut Chai, Matcha Latte, and Witch’s Brew are all delightful. The raw vegan desserts are all delicious—especially the Lilikoi Dream Cheesecake and Coconut Kream Pie.

Dining Tips

Go early if you want to order drinks made with house-made dairy-free milks because they sell out fast. You can order online and pick it up when it’s ready!

Location

4270 Kilauea Rd, Kilauea, HI 96754

Traveling to another Hawaiian island?

Check out my posts of eating gluten free on Maui and The Big Island!

And that’s it for now! Obviously, I’ve only scratched the surface of the gluten free offerings on Kauai. If you have a favorite Kauai restaurant or food truck that has good gluten free options that I missed, please leave it in the comments below!


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).

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