Arriving to the warm weather of Hawaii was very refreshing and we let out a relaxed sigh once we were there. Eating gluten free in Kona, Hawaii was not bad either. We waited for our shuttle to Hertz, picked up our car and drove in the night to our Airbnb. Our hosts welcomed us to Hawaii and were genuinely nice people. We hung out with them on the lanai a few evenings and really enjoyed the kindness of our newly made friends.
Eating Gluten Free in Kona Hawaii
On the first night we set our alarms for 9:30am but woke up at 6:45am with the morning light and birds signing. I found that our hosts have fresh fruits (papaya, oranges, grapefruit and bananas), the famous Kona coffee and fresh eggs for us. They get extra bonus points for being so fantastic ☺.
Once we were ready for the day we head to Wal-Mart and Safeway and found a lot of options. We bought ingredients for a beef casserole, turkey burgers, smokies, vegetables, breakfast sausages, bagged salads, gluten free bread, turkey lunch meat and a few other items. There are lots of options for people in Kona so you can take a deep breath and relax because you can find whatever you are looking for.
You will also see fruit stands everywhere where you can pick up some fresh items. We choose avocado and passion fruit and would have had more but our hosts had already provided us with so much great fresh fruit.
Gluten Free Food in Kona Hawaii
Here are some options for places to eat in he Kona area.
Lotus Café Express food truck is a 100% gluten free place where you can get a lot of fresh and beautifully served food. For where you can pre-order and see where they are located, check out their page here.
Location and Hours:
Sundays they are at the South Kona Green Market in Captain Cook from 8 am to 2 pm.
Saturdays they are at the Keahou Farmers Market from 7:45 am to 12 pm.
Follow up with them to see where else they will be.
Royal Thai Cafe has traditional Thai dishes, with delicious curry meals. Once you arrive, tell them that you have celiac. They have many items are naturally gluten free.
Hours of Operation: Open Monday to Friday from 11 am to 9 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12 pm to 9 pm.
See this for a complete Gluten Free Guide to the Big Island.
In the Volcano National Park, we sat with a view of the Volcano steaming at the Volcano House restaurant and I had a Market Salad with mango dressing which was delicious. They had other gluten free options, but I was itching for a big salad and it was perfect.
Our Airbnb hosts, as if they weren’t good enough, owned the Denny’s and gave us two free meal vouchers. We had an early supper there one evening and to be honest I was a little skeptical at first. The day before I checked out the menu and there were actually numerous gluten free options that I could try. I ended up with the Alaskan salmon skillet and it was great and I didn’t get gluttened.
Other interesting things to note
The landscapes and weather changes as you drive around the island. It was truly paradise with the lushness and colours.
The clientele of the island was mainly tourists over 65, but of course that is generalizing as there were younger people too. We figured that it was mostly due to the high cost of vacationing in Hawaii and they can afford it, but the jury is still out. This portion of our travels will be the most expensive part, but no regrets here, we loved our eight days here.
Gluten Free in Kona Hawaii
Are you still deciding on other Hawaiian islands? Check out the Best Gluten Free Island in Hawaii to make up your mind.
There are also superb guides for the Hawaiian Islands once you have decided which one you are going to:
Cheers, I hope you enjoyed my lovely trek,
Brett – The Ultimate Gluten Free Traveller