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Eating Gluten-free in Waikiki and on Oahu

Hagerstown, Maryland
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for Beach Vacations
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Eating Gluten-free in Waikiki and on Oahu

Any suggestions for meals that are gluten free? I can bring gf soy sauce for sushi, but cross-contamination can be a problem. Hoping to find inexpensive meals that won't ruin vacation. What can we expect? Thanks.

Los Angeles, CA
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for Oahu
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1. Re: Eating Gluten-free in Waikiki and on Oahu

PF Changs has a gluten free menu. This may be a good time before your trip to call some places and see if they have a gluten free menu.

Lake Macquarie...
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2. Re: Eating Gluten-free in Waikiki and on Oahu

Here's a link to a similar enquiry I posted last year.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60982-i38-k458364…

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Eating Gluten-free in Waikiki and on Oahu

Just got back from two weeks on Oahu and found the restaurants quite gluten un-friendly. Here's my two cents:

Waikiki- PF Chang's is a good choice as they have both a gluten free menu and the staff are quite knowledgable. Unfortunately Happy Hour has not gluten free items which was disappointing. The portions for gluten free meals is huge though, so a great place to eat and take leftovers back to your hotel for later.

Outback Steakhouse: another staple for when I want a real meal. Always very knowledgable. The salmon is great!

For Waikiki I hit up Safeway to p/u frozen g/f items, fresh fruits/veggies and snacks. We had a fridge and microwave. I also packed g/f bread with me and crackers.

KoOlina: we spent the bulk of our time here and man are they confused about gluten! The Longboards staff told me their teriyaki chicken was g/f as it was not breaded! Lol! So no breaking = g/f?! Anyways this was the theme most places we ate, so I ate really sad food (fish, no sauce, side of steamed veg).

The restaurants at the Marriot Ihilani were great though. Ushio-Tei is the Japanese place. They had g/f soy sauce and even did g/f tempura for me. Again couldn't get the buffet, g/f means more $$ but I got to eat!

A great find is Down to Earth in Kapolei. Great little organic grocer with lots of g/f supplies. A must if you head out West.

The taco places were hit and miss too. Said their tortillas were corn but sounded unsure so I skipped.

Overall this is our second trip to Hawaii and both times I've had a difficult time finding g/f food. I just stick to lots of stuff that is naturally safe. And luckily you're so busy having fun that you don't get too hungry!

Have fun-

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Eating Gluten-free in Waikiki and on Oahu

Ate at Ocean House at the Outrigger tonight and they had gf items marked on the menu. Quite a few. Not cheap, but not crazy high.

Kailua, Hawaii
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5. Re: Eating Gluten-free in Waikiki and on Oahu

Duke's in Waikiki has an "allergy menu" which also includes a gluten-free menu.

A bit disconcerting to have the server ask "And just how severe is your reaction?" Really. Trust us on this one. If we say "gluten-free," we mean "gluten-free,"

You really do not want to hear the fine details of what celiac disease entails. @@

Kailua, Hawaii
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6. Re: Eating Gluten-free in Waikiki and on Oahu

BTW, you have to ask for the special "allergy/gluten-free" menu. It's separate from the main menu.

Edited: 01 April 2013, 12:44
Fortaleza, CE
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7. Re: Eating Gluten-free in Waikiki and on Oahu

My wife, an Endocrinologist, says that a lot of people say they want gluten-free food now, though very few really need it, but if you actually do need it you need it, I'd phone the restaurant ahead of time.

Boston, MA
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8. Re: Eating Gluten-free in Waikiki and on Oahu

I know people who have a "sensitivity" to gluten, but not Celiac. So they will try to avoid gluten in the big form (bread, pasta, etc), but not worry about it as much in smaller forms, like soy sauce, or worry about cookware being used for items with gluten. Whereas with Celiac, I've heard that even the tiniest amount can have very bad repercussions.

Fortaleza, CE
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9. Re: Eating Gluten-free in Waikiki and on Oahu

There are also people who think that, perhaps based on advertising, eating gluten-free products is healthy for them regardless of any spcific conditions, sort of like avoiding trans fats (this is questionable). For those with specific, diagnosed conditions, it's a whole other ball game.

Victoria, Canada
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10. Re: Eating Gluten-free in Waikiki and on Oahu

KailuaMama, you said a mouthful.

We were in Ko Olina last summer and the best option we found was Down to Earth grocery. They have a deli and self-serve prepared food area that not only labels which products are GF, soy-free, dairy-free etc but they actually identify every ingredient in every dish! They had GF pizza daily and a really good range of hot and cold GF foods ready to load on a plate. Sitting at their umbrella-shaded tables on the sidewalk in front of the grocery store is as close to "dining out" as we got, since the places listed as GF in Yelp were pretty much offering salad without croutons. No recognition of the whole cross-contamination thing, and who wants to get sick while on holiday...or ever?