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Gluten Free In Waikiki
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Hello,

 

We are thinking about visiting Hawaii later on this year from Australia.  Our 17 daughter is celiac and was wondering if anybody has any suggestions re. eating gluten free around Waikiki and Oahu in general.  We have been to the US before (Disneyland, New York) and managed okay by doing a lot of research beforehand.   Awareness of gluten free is much less in the US than it is in Australia and I have been told it is even worse in Hawaii.  We will be staying in a condo with a kitchen so if I go to a grocery store in Hawaii will I be able to purchase gluten-free bread, cookies, cereal, pasta etc. or do we need to search out health food stores such as Whole Foods?   I know that places like PF Changs and Outback Steakhouse have gluten-free menu's but we don't fancy eating there all the time.  Is anyone else aware of other eating out options?  Any amazing gluten free discoveries?  Any suggestions would be most welcome.  Thank you!!

 

 

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There are some great restaurants there that have gluten fee means. Still it's always good to call and let them know.

12th Ave. Grill  and Town both in the kaimuki section of Honolulu are my favorites. In oriental restaurants the choices are often more limited except for steamed  veggies -- just stay away from all the soy sauce.  Chef mavro's  is very good and they will make an outstanding gluten-free meal but they are VERY expensive. 

 

There are 2 whole foods on Oahu as well as local health food chains Down to Earth ( good buffet with some gluten-free) and Kokua Market which has more of the gluten-free staples if your doing the cooking.  The revolving restaurant in waikiki is  a gimic but the food was always  pretty good and they had a few selctions. They did get a new chef so i would call first. There is a place called the fat greek with great salads. A few good Indian places and dozens others

Alan Wongs and Roy Yamaguchi's would be ok but call first for sure.  Now if you come to Kona too, let me know!

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There are some great restaurants there that have gluten fee means. Still it's always good to call and let them know.

12th Ave. Grill  and Town both in the kaimuki section of Honolulu are my favorites. In oriental restaurants the choices are often more limited except for steamed  veggies -- just stay away from all the soy sauce.  Chef mavro's  is very good and they will make an outstanding gluten-free meal but they are VERY expensive. 

 

There are 2 whole foods on Oahu as well as local health food chains Down to Earth ( good buffet with some gluten-free) and Kokua Market which has more of the gluten-free staples if your doing the cooking.  The revolving restaurant in waikiki is  a gimic but the food was always  pretty good and they had a few selctions. They did get a new chef so i would call first. There is a place called the fat greek with great salads. A few good Indian places and dozens others

Alan Wongs and Roy Yamaguchi's would be ok but call first for sure.  Now if you come to Kona too, let me know!

Thanks for your reply Ken and apologies for the late reply.  Thanks for all your helpful suggestions.  I have done some research myself and found a few places in Waikiki that we can eat at some of which have a gluten free menu. I like the look of DK Steakkhouse which has a gluten free menu.   One thing I have noticed at restaurants in the U.S.A  is that I have never seen (gluten-free) next to an item on a menu.  Here many restaurants and cafe's will have (gluten-free) next to items on the menu that are gluten free.  I wonder if it is because they think that the diners will wonder what it means and be put off if they don't understand what gluten free is so they just have a separate menu.  I think that is probably where it was at here about 10 years ago or so but now most people know what gluten-free means.  I will check out those places that you listed though.   Soy sauce is a real nuisance, there would be so many more options if it was gluten-free.  Some places here use tamari or gluten-free soy sauce which is readily available but unless it's Thai we tend of avoid Asian places.    There is a new restaurant which has just opened in Waikiki called Bills Sydney Waikiki.  They don't have a website yet but have a facebook page.  He is an Australian chef who has a restaurants here (in Sydney) and in Japan and London and has just opened over there last week I think.  I am assuming they will be as gluten free friendly at the Waikiki restaurant as they are in his restaurant here so maybe check it out if you get the chance. 

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Almost 10 years ago when I first came down with in my 50s, no one here knew what celiac was, including me. As a sometimes chef, i had to do a lot of learning. Later as president of the ACF chefs group on the big island we could develop some educational programs which I liked to think worked.  I know DK and have been to one of his places, HIroshi which has a lot of asian veg dishes which they can do with tamari gluten free soy sauce which more and more places stock. That or braggs aminos.  I usually go to the Asian places since they  always have fresh veggies and will steam them without sauce. I carry a little spray bottle with braggs.   I tend to go to Town and 12th Ave becasue they will always fix something special and they specialize in using locally grown produce.  Hope you havea great trip

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Almost 10 years ago when I first came down with in my 50s, no one here knew what celiac was, including me. As a sometimes chef, i had to do a lot of learning. Later as president of the ACF chefs group on the big island we could develop some educational programs which I liked to think worked.  I know DK and have been to one of his places, HIroshi which has a lot of asian veg dishes which they can do with tamari gluten free soy sauce which more and more places stock. That or braggs aminos.  I usually go to the Asian places since they  always have fresh veggies and will steam them without sauce. I carry a little spray bottle with braggs.   I tend to go to Town and 12th Ave becasue they will always fix something special and they specialize in using locally grown produce.  Hope you havea great trip

I think many people would thank you for your contribution to the education of chefs on the islands.  Education is definitely the key in improving awareness.  When our daughter was diagnosed celiac 15 years ago we could quite easily get gluten free foods but awareness was hit and miss. There weren't that many places that had gluten-free menu's etc. but the improvement since then has been amazing.  The celiac society in each of the states have been great in educating the public and restaurant industry.  Actually celiac awareness week was in March right across the country.  I think this education has been the key to this country probably been the most gluten free aware in the world so keep up the good work as obviously what you have done has made a big difference so far and it can only get better. Thanks again for your great suggestions and we are definitely looking forward to our trip and will do a report on our gluten-free experiences when we get back.

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Great, I'm looking forward ot hearing about your experiences. you can contact me if you need anything while here. Or ask for Dabney at Whole Foods in Kahala Mall which has a good selection of gluten-free too. take care

I think many people would thank you for your contribution to the education of chefs on the islands.  Education is definitely the key in improving awareness.  When our daughter was diagnosed celiac 15 years ago we could quite easily get gluten free foods but awareness was hit and miss. There weren't that many places that had gluten-free menu's etc. but the improvement since then has been amazing.  The celiac society in each of the states have been great in educating the public and restaurant industry.  Actually celiac awareness week was in March right across the country.  I think this education has been the key to this country probably been the most gluten free aware in the world so keep up the good work as obviously what you have done has made a big difference so far and it can only get better. Thanks again for your great suggestions and we are definitely looking forward to our trip and will do a report on our gluten-free experiences when we get back.

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On ‎3‎/‎18‎/‎2014 at 7:05 AM, kenlove said:

There are some great restaurants there that have gluten fee means. Still it's always good to call and let them know.

12th Ave. Grill  and Town both in the kaimuki section of Honolulu are my favorites. In oriental restaurants the choices are often more limited except for steamed  veggies -- just stay away from all the soy sauce.  Chef mavro's  is very good and they will make an outstanding gluten-free meal but they are VERY expensive. 

 

There are 2 whole foods on Oahu as well as local health food chains Down to Earth ( good buffet with some gluten-free) and Kokua Market which has more of the gluten-free staples if your doing the cooking.  The revolving restaurant in waikiki is  a gimic but the food was always  pretty good and they had a few selctions. They did get a new chef so i would call first. There is a place called the fat greek with great salads. A few good Indian places and dozens others

Alan Wongs and Roy Yamaguchi's would be ok but call first for sure.  Now if you come to Kona too, let me know!

I was diagnosed this year and I live on Oahu. I have yet to meet another celiac, so that tells you something about our limitations here. I work in Waikiki and do frequent Rouffage. It is nothing fancy, small place, but keeps me fed when I need something. I also like Greens and Vines. It is a vegan restaurant and worth every penny. Greens and vines sets up at the KCC farmers market on Saturdays too. Places in Waikiki that do offer a gluten-free menu include, PF Changs, Dennys, Big City Diner and California Pizza kitchen. I do not trust those places due to the risk, but they "offer" gluten-free options. I did try and order a beer at Yard House in Waikiki. They label clearly states that it contained wheat, so yeah sent that back with the waiter. I have also tied Doraku in Waikiki. I called ahead and spoke with management. That went well and they offer gluten free soy sauce. There is a deli at Down to Earth Grocery store in Honolulu that has gluten-free options, but the whole foods here do not offer hot food that is gluten free. They do have a hot food bar, but you have to stick to the whole plain salad and veggie options. It's good to hear the hotels here are getting better, beyond Waikiki hotels there is no one really interested in being gluten free.

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5 hours ago, Celiacinthesea said:

I was diagnosed this year and I live on Oahu. I have yet to meet another celiac, so that tells you something about our limitations here. I work in Waikiki and do frequent Rouffage. It is nothing fancy, small place, but keeps me fed when I need something. I also like Greens and Vines. It is a vegan restaurant and worth every penny. Greens and vines sets up at the KCC farmers market on Saturdays too. Places in Waikiki that do offer a gluten-free menu include, PF Changs, Dennys, Big City Diner and California Pizza kitchen. I do not trust those places due to the risk, but they "offer" gluten-free options. I did try and order a beer at Yard House in Waikiki. They label clearly states that it contained wheat, so yeah sent that back with the waiter. I have also tied Doraku in Waikiki. I called ahead and spoke with management. That went well and they offer gluten free soy sauce. There is a deli at Down to Earth Grocery store in Honolulu that has gluten-free options, but the whole foods here do not offer hot food that is gluten free. They do have a hot food bar, but you have to stick to the whole plain salad and veggie options. It's good to hear the hotels here are getting better, beyond Waikiki hotels there is no one really interested in being gluten free.

i would agree with most of your assessment but overall the popular chefs are very aware. Ed Kenny at Town did have  gluten-free options on the menu.  Mavro's will fix something special given advance notice but its expensive.  excellent but very expensive.  Alan Wong is very aware and will have his staff prepare something as well.  We did find many options at both Oahu  whole foods -- mostly  with tofu. the only thing  there is to be aware of cross contamination with things  next to it.  they make a great gluten-free southwestern tofo dish which is great but not if its sitting next to anything with gluten. Its not whole foods but people use the smae  spoons and tongs

i found more at   down to earth in peal city than by  University ave

 

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