Have you ever visited somewhere that feels like home from the moment that you arrive? That's what Hawaii is for me! While my husband, Mike, and I were in Maui last week, I couldn't wait to create this Travel Guide to Maui: Gluten-free Restaurant Guide & Itinerary for you, so that you can easily navigate Maui when you visit!
My first trip ever to Hawaii was to the island of Oahu, where I went with my best friend, just days after graduating high school. I was only 17, but from the moment that I stepped off the plane, it just felt like home.
From that day forward, I knew that I'd eventually own a home on the beach in Hawaii, and now that I've been many times, it's for sure gonna be on Maui, my favorite island of all! Wailea to be exact. 😉
I get a ton of questions about how I stick to eating gluten-free while traveling, and eating this way was EASY in Hawaii! I found that most of the restaurants now label what is gluten-free on their menus, and the servers were super helpful as well.
If you haven't already, be sure to check out my Eating Healthy and Balanced Meals While Traveling post, as I wrote all about my biggest tips for staying healthy and eating well while you're away from home!
My husband, Mike, put together this sneak peek video for you to enjoy as well! (Be on the lookout for our official Adventures in Maui video: COMING SOON!) You can find out where we stayed, my guide for the restaurants that we ate at and the places that we visited below.
Travel Guide to Maui: Gluten-free Restaurant Guide & Itinerary
Where We Stayed in Maui:
Mike and I stayed at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa in Ka'anapali, and out of everywhere that we've ever stayed on the island, it's my favorite yet! The location was PERFECT, as we were right on the beach, and Whalers Village was right outside of our hotel. There's a ton of construction currently going on at the Westin that we stayed at, but we upgraded to the luxury tower, so we were hardly around it. We'd for sure stay here again, and I can't wait to see it once all of the renovations are completed!
Mike's brother and our sister-in-law stayed right down the road (walking distance from our hotel, and it's a beautiful walk!), at the Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas. This is where we stayed on our last trip, and we absolutely loved it – we just wanted to switch it up this time and check out a new resort. Both are gorgeous hotels, right on the beach. If you're looking to stay somewhere with a kitchen, then this Westin is perfect for that!
Maui Gluten-free Restaurant Guide:
Why I loved it: On our last trip to Maui, we literally went here every single day for the BEST acai bowls! They use legit ingredients, macadamia nut milk, and the acai is unsweetened, which is my fave. They're as big as your head (if you get large, which is the only real option, IMO), and you can top them with gluten-free or grain-free, housemade paleo granola! This time around I was STOKED to see that they'd opened up another location in Whalers Village, which was directly below our hotel room! This time around, I also grabbed a bunch of green juices and a cold brew coffee made with macadamia nut milk, vanilla & maple syrup.
Why I loved it: We've been here several times on past trips, and getting to eat with your feet in the sand never gets old. I've only ever had the fresh fish when I'm here, and LOVE that the menu is labeled with tons of gluten-free options. Just be sure to let your server know that you're dining gluten-free, so they'll make any necessary adjustments to the dish. We went here a few times for dinner and I had the macadamia nut crusted mahi-mahi, topped with fresh crab and served with white rice & a pineapple beurre blanc sauce, and I also enjoyed the Hawaiian fruit & greens salad that I had topped with grilled mahi-mahi (twice!). FYI, the drinks on the cocktail menu are all superrr sweet (not a fan as the overload of sugar is what makes me feel sick), so I stuck to my fave: patron silver or Maui Ocean Vodka (made from deep sea mineral water!) on the rocks with soda water and lots of lime.
Why I loved it: I kept my meal reallyyy simple here, so while it was good, I wouldn't say that it was amazing. I personally much preferred the salad at Hula Grill. Everyone who ate here with us agreed that it wasn't anything special, although I've heard others rave about it...so I would say that it's worth trying out, for sure! The menu wasn't labeled with what's gluten-free/isn't, but the server helped us to easily navigate it. I had the tomato, cucumber & avocado salad and added grilled mahi-mahi. All in all, I was craving simple food, so this was really just what my body needed! My brother & sister-in-law had the Mai Tai's, which is what Monkey Pod is most known for, and they said they were amazing (and strong)! I don't do well with rum (or really any dark liquor), so I skipped it, but the foam on top looked incredible!
Why I Loved it: The service here was amazing, and you can tell that the staff is super passionate about the food that they're serving! This was my second visit and my first since eating gluten-free, and while the menu isn't labeled as to what is/isn't gluten-free, it was super easy to figure out what to enjoy with the help of our server – he just made modifications to our selections as necessary. Everything is SO fresh and really delicious. Mike and I enjoyed the Vietnamese Crepe (pictured here – my personal favorite!), the Bacon & Eggs (sounds weird, but trust that it's AMAZING), the Adobo Ribs and the Rib Eye. I'm drooling just thinking about it all! If you're local to the Bay Area, check out The Slanted Door, as the food is similar (honestly even better, in my opinion)!
Why I loved it: This was (and usually always is) our first stop in Maui! It's a really great grocery store that has all of the healthy foods that you could want. We picked up tons of snacks for our room, and for on the road – including grain-free crackers, goat cheese, coconut milk yogurt, and local kombucha.
Why I loved it: Our dinner was sooo good here! We ate in the dining room upstairs, which is fancier (although as with anywhere in Hawaii, you can dress in just about anything), and it had a different menu from the Beachside Grill, which is downstairs. I had the herb roasted mahi-mahi with roasted carrots and poached baby potatoes, and toasted macadamia nut. I ate sooo much fresh fish while I was in Maui, and I loved it. I also enjoyed the hibiscus Paloma, made with their own barrel of Patron Anejo & enjoyed the Lilikoi pono pie, which is gluten-free, made with a nut crust, and contains no refined sugar or dairy!
Why I loved it: This restaurant was SO fun! You can make your own pancakes (they have gluten-free/vegan batter), or you can have your entire breakfast made for you! Mike and I decided to make our own pancakes for the fun of it, and we picked our toppings as well. I was so into it that I completely forgot to take a picture…oops! Eating pancakes alone for breakfast doesn't leave me feeling awesome, so I also added in some veggies & protein with the roasted mushroom scramble and added bacon, and it was right up there with the best scramble that I've ever had. The flavors were on point! We were having so much fun here that I completely forgot to take a picture, besides this awesome pancake face that Mike made with the extra batter!
Other Restaurants (that I wouldn't personally recommend):
Breakwall Shave Ice: we had acai bowls here and they were heavily sweetened and the ingredients weren't the most legit, so I MUCH prefer Choice Health Bar.
Oceanview (at our hotel): we grabbed a quick breakfast here, and while the view was amazing, the gluten-free options weren't all that delicious. They did have gluten-free toast available, but it was only worth one bite to me…if you know what I'm sayin'.
Duke's Beachhouse: We went here for dinner during our last visit to Maui, and I LOVED it. Unfortunately, breakfast was hardly mediocre, and it didn't feel as if any love was put into the food.
OUR ADVENTURES IN MAUI:
Road to Hana:
What to bring: bathing suit, water socks, change of clothes, towel, sandals & hiking shoes (unless you're me, who hikes in flip flops!). I HIGHLY recommend downloading the Shaka Guide app, as it was SO helpful during our journey. It's fun to listen to the guy that narrates it, and he tells you exactly when to stop to check out the scenery, and what to look out for, and also what you can skip. Make sure you download the app before you go (it's $10 and worth every penny), as you'll lose all cell reception pretty early into the drive.
What to expect: The Road to Hana is lonnnnnnnggggg and very veryyyy curvy, but the entire drive is BEAUTIFUL. We made it about ¾ of the way to Hana, as we felt like we'd experienced exactly what we wanted to at our last stop in visiting multiple, stunning waterfalls. Maybe next time we'll make it all the way to Hana – and in that case, we'll definitely get an early morning start!
Snorkeling at Black Rock:
What to bring: your swimsuit, snorkeling gear (& sunscreen!) is all that you need to have a blast here!
What to expect: Gorgeous fish, stunning rocks and sometimes, sea turtles! You can also jump off of black rock if you wish (there's usually a group up at the top, so you'll know where to go). This location was walking distance from our hotel, and we could walk along the beach the entire way, so it was perfect! This was actually the first place that I ever snorkeled, back when I first visited Maui over 10 years ago – and it's still a fave!
Other than snorkeling and driving the Road to Hana, we majorly relaxed on the beach and just walked around downtown Lahaina, which reminds me so much of downtown Monterey. A week flies by on the islands, and while I didn't get to do all that I thought that I would, I'm so grateful for the much-needed downtime that I had and every moment of my time spent there!
Here's some of what we plan to do during our next visit:
- Paddleboard (I LOVE paddleboarding)
- Dinner at Mama's Fish House
- Lunch at Mill House (this was HIGHLY recommended by several readers)
- Hang out & stay in Wailea (my personal favorite side of Maui)
I hope that you found this Travel Guide to Maui: Gluten-free Restaurant Guide & Itinerary helpful for your next vacation! Any favorites that I missed? I'd love for you to share them in the comments below!