Gluten-free Travels on Maui
Updated: Mar 3
In honour of May being Celiac Awareness month, I wanted to provide some travel tips for those with celiac disease and finding GF on the go.
As a celiac, it can be so hard to travel because stressing about what you are going to eat is such an unfortunate reality. One of our family’s favourite places to travel to is Maui. It is so relaxing, and I am able to find a variety of healthy, celiac-friendly options so that I can feel great while on vacation. We just returned from a family vacation there and I wanted to share a few of my favourite places to eat celiac-friendly meals and a few travels tips.
One of the hardest parts about travelling is what to eat while in transit. A friend asked me the other day, what do you do for a quick meal (i.e., fast food) on the go? I told her that really isn’t an option for celiacs and instead I always travel with snacks and/or meals. Click here to read more about gluten-free travels on my blog.
My carryon always includes some combination of the following. (I had intended to take photos of it, but it turned out to be quite the mission just getting myself + 2 young kids packed!)
Nuts, seeds and dried fruit (I love Nut Hut )
Protein/nut bars (Lara bars, KIND bars)
Oatmeal 2 go (I like these)
Water bottle (so important to stay hydrated on long flights, especially when breastfeeding!)
We have been exploring Maui for a few years now, so we have a few favourite places that we like to visit every time we go.
Easy breakfasts – we stay at a hotel with a fridge and only very basic kitchen supplies, so I like to have Bob’s Red Mill GF Oatmeal to go with us for a quick and easy breakfast once in a while for me - but particularly for my 2 year who son who LOVES them. However, I do try not to solely rely on these, as Bob’s Red Mill does source 2 types of GF oats – see Gluten-free Watch Dog discussion here, as these may NOT be a good option for you. The oatmeal can be kind of sweet, so we try to get the plain one and add fresh fruit or mix half and half with the flavoured ones. Otherwise, I pick up some plain almond or coconut milk yogurt and mix with GF granola or fruit. Yum!
Gluten-free Acai Bowls on Maui
Despite great intentions... beautiful photos of these delicious meals didn't happen due to full hands with our 2 little wiggling kiddos. Photos are from the respective websites.
We LOVE going to the Hawaiian Moons grocery store café. It is really close to our hotel and they make the most delicious acai bowls and have gluten-free granola (though it is always important to double check which brand they are using). We have also found that you get the most bowl for your buck here too – other places right on the water or at the nicer hotels provide bowls that are much smaller, more expensive and often don’t taste nearly as good. Hawaiian Moons serves fresh, nutritious, delicious bowls. We grab them and head across the street to have a picnic in the park.
My sister (a fellow celiac, talented chef and holistic nutritionist – check out Delicious Karma website here or beautiful Instagram!) told me about an incredible new acai bowl place in Paia – aptly named, Paia Bowls. This was hands down the BEST bowl we had on this trip – a must see if there!
We have been staying further south on the island our past few visits, but when we stay further north, we love going to Choice for acai bowls. These are HUGE (share with a buddy!), delicious, and they offen have gluten-free AND paleo granola as well as numerous other gut-health promoting options like freshly made coconut kefir. If you are a Crossfitter, we used to love going to Lahaina CF before coming to Choice for breakfast. Make sure to get there early as those sprints are rough in the hot sun!
I was SO excited to find this place a few years ago. This is a fabulous restaurant run by celiacs who were determined to provide delicious, comfort food that was safe for people who need to eat strictly GF. If you have been missing yam fries, onion rings, or fish & chips – this place is a must try while on Maui! Everything they have is GF, so no need to worry about the fryer being cross contaminated. As a special treat, they make the most incredible GF cinnamon buns. WOW! We didn’t make it there this time, but I do highly recommend it for some GF comfort foods that you may be missing.
Gluten-free Lunch on Maui – Coconuts, Kihei
One of our go-to places is Coconuts. You can choose from a variety of options like incredible fish tacos, poke bowls and fresh salads – this place is a must go to! My favourite is the traditional poke (naturally GF!) on half brown rice and half salad, but I only had it once as I’m breastfeeding and am careful about the mercury levels in tuna.
Great gluten-free sandwiches and use a separate toaster to be careful about cross contamination (always double check this though!).
Despite the name sounding quite gluten-ful, this place has fabulous gluten-free salads with grilled fresh fish. One of my favourites!
Now offers fabulous GF pizza now! They are careful re cross contamination and use a separate cooking sheet (again, always double check before you eat there!). Such a nice treat to have this as an option once in a while too.