Trying to stick with your gluten-free efforts while dining on the North Shore? We’ve done the research for you. Here are some popular spots serving gluten-free items (though celiacs should take note, they’re not necessarily entirely free of cross-contamination).
But wait, there’s more. We’re here to help demystify some of the unusual words you might see on menus like furikake, laulau and lilikoi — and explain which meat is being served and why. And possibly most importantly of all, provide the fun facts on the origins of local dishes.
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Feature Image: Beach House by Roy Yamaguchi
BANZAI Sushi Bar
Voted one of Oʻahu’s best by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser four years in a row, BANZAI prides itself in offering locals and visitors alike some of the finest sushi the islands have to offer. They’ve partnered with local fishermen and North Shore’s organic farms to serve unique sushi according to season. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 4pm to 9pm daily.
Haleiwa Beach House
Fresh fish dishes like seared ahi, grilled mahi mahi and monchong with sauteed bok choy are signature dishes at Haleiwa Beach House that happen to be gluten-free. Meat eaters can tuck into the vadouvan-spiced Australian rack of lamb and paniolo ribeye, whose sides include grilled sweet corn — another specialty of this more upscale choice for lunch or dinner. Open Monday through Sunday for lunch 11am to 3pm. Friday through Sunday for pupus 3pm to 5pm, and dinner from 5pm to 8pm.
Maya’s Tapas & Wine
This hip spot is a chef-owned-and-operated local favorite in Haleiwa. Maya’s Tapas & Wine has pleasant outdoor seating on the front deck, and the interior has a bar that peeks into the open kitchen. The dishes are Spanish and Mediterranean inspired, featuring locally sourced ingredients. Ask your server about the gluten free options. Open Tuesday through Friday for lunch 11am to 3pm and dinner 5pm to 10pm. Saturday brunch from 10am to 2pm and dinner from 5pm to 10pm. Sunday for brunch from 10am to 2pm. Closed Monday.
This popular joint offers fresh wraps, salads and sandwiches with vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and carnivore options. Nalu has become so popular that you can enjoy their delicious food in Haleiwa, Kailua or the South Shore Market at Ward. Open daily 9am to 6pm.
Uncle Bo’s Pupu Bar & Grill
Gluten-free pasta is only $2 more, but you’ll find plenty of other tasty GF options here too, from pupu (appetizers) such as seafood ceviche, hummus with tortilla chips and minced nuts in lettuce wraps to main courses such as grilled flank salad, rack of lamb and pan-seared catch of the day. Uncle Bo’s works well for both lunch and dinner. Open Sunday 11am to 7pm, Monday through Friday 4pm to 9pm daily, and Saturday 11am to 9pm. unclebosrestaurant.com
Waialua Bakery & Juice Bar
Wailua Bakery bakes its own gluten-free bread for their rotisserie-chicken sandwiches. The smoothies are made from locally grown tropical fruit and of course their juices are naturally gluten-free. Be sure to snag a few yummy gluten-free peanut butter cookies! Open Monday through Saturday 10am to 4pm. Closed Sunday.
Wicked Hi Cafe
The slushies here are delicious — they drizzle local honey on top of whichever fresh, tropical flavor you choose. Wicked Hi makes their own sourdough bread for pizza and wraps and their salads are delicious gluten free options. They also offer reusable coconut cups made locally on the island — if you bring yours back, you’ll get a discounted refill. Open Wednesday through Monday 9am to 6pm. Closed Tuesday.
Roy’s Beach House
Celebrated chef Roy Yamaguchi’s casual, open-air restaurant at the Turtle Bay Resort offers great views of Kuilima Cove and a family potluck-inspired menu heavy on Asian influences and seafood dishes. The gluten-free items aren’t listed explicitly at Roy’s Beach House, but many dishes can be modified by request; start with the sunset sashimi sampler or a sweet roasted beets and ricotta salad. Open daily for lunch from 11:30am to 2pm and for dinner 4:30 pm to 9pm.