The hubs and I recently returned from a crazy restful and inspiring couples-only vaca in Maui. We were with over 350 other couples for the Love Song Couples Getaway. We were entertained by Christian music artists such as Mercy Me, along with marriage counselor and New York Times best seller, Dr. Gary Chapman. It was literally the best of all worlds!
(This post was written by Jill- a former member of the Eating Gluten and Dairy Free team)
It was also a stress free food week, and let’s be honest, how often does that happen in our gluten and dairy free world? Seldom…to never??
Maui was amazing for gluten and dairy free allergies, y’all! There were So. Many. Options.
The key for me was researching ahead of time…which basically means I enjoyed hours on Pinterest, sending a couple of restaurants emails, and exploring the Find Me Gluten Free app.
I was able to arrive in Maui with a list of grocery stores and restaurant ideas that would make the hubs AND me happy. See, you really need to vaca in Maui!
Once we landed in Kahului, Maui, we made a dash for the Whole Foods Market. We were able to score a few essentials (aka dinner and breakfast) before they closed at 9:00 pm. This is a smaller Whole Foods than you’d find on the mainland but it’s a great spot to find safe snacks and easy food.
They do have a great selection of gluten and dairy free items. If there is a specific item you need to know if they carry, I’d suggest emailing them. They did respond to my email quickly. I’m glad that was our first stop.
- Do you research BEFORE you go.
- Email restaurants and grocery stores if needed to see what they offer
- Bring your TSA approved snacks for needed (especially for traveling)
- Plan your stops once you get to Maui- know when you land and how long it will take to get to your first safe place, whether it be a restaurant or store
- See what your hotel offers and where it is in location to your scheduled events and safe restaurants
Our hotel, the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, was on the west side of the island. It was about an hour away from the airport, and my beloved Whole Foods. The Honolua was a cheap convenience store (as in cheaper…much cheaper than hotel food), and within walking distance of our hotel room. This place made the hubs very happy!
The Honolua had a huge variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, including a couple different grills you could order from (think breakfast foods on one, and sandwiches with fries on the other).
My husband grabbed breakfast and lunch from the grill pretty much every day. I thought the grill had all the makings of a gluten cross contamination nightmare.
So, I stayed clear and picked fresh fruit or a salad. The fruit was so fresh! It totally made me want to visit a farmer’s market maui version.
That being said, my Maui food highlights for the week
I had these AMAZING rejuvenating gluten and dairy free smoothies for breakfast from the cafe in the Ritz-Carlton… literally every morning, people. They were my safe go-to breakfast. They were a bit on the pricey side.
A smoothie cost between $13-15, but honestly it was so worth it. Just typing this makes me want another. Yum, such fresh fruit!
I’d never tried pomegranate in my smoothie before. I really enjoyed the taste and texture, but I didn’t care for the seeds clogging my paper straw every other sip.
So by default of the seed straw drama, I’d pick the Wow-Kapalua as my favorite.
Three’s Bar and Grill in Kihei
We also dined at the Three’s Bar and Grill in Kihei for lunch one afternoon.
It’s a popular restaurant on the island of Maui. If you can, ask to be seated on the patio! The patio was so relaxing and low-key.
They also had a local musician playing guitar and singing…it just doesn’t get much better than that.
They offer a gluten free menu, and our server, Mama J, was in the know-how on food allergies and was easily able to help me with my dietary needs. The hubs had been to Maui a year before…to this SAME restaurant and with the SAME server! Yeah, it was kinda crazy cool.
When he got home last year, he raved about the hamburgers served with pineapples. Honestly, I thought it sounded a wee bit gross, but by the time we went for lunch that day I was starved and the pineapple hamburger sounded really good.
Y’all — this burger was all that and more. Let’s just say we’ll be making these at home…it will be a bite of Maui heaven.
Feast at Lele, Lahaina
We also enjoyed a luau at the Feast at Lele, Lahaina. In the online reservation form I noted a gluten and dairy allergy.
I would suggest looking at the online menu ahead of time. I did and was thankful. There were 2-3 dishes served with each course.
If you’re the dessert kind, I would suggest sneaking in your own. They do offer a gluten free dessert, but it wasn’t dairy free. Or just wait for dessert once you leave there.
The luau itself was gorgeous, and locals agree it’s the best one. The Feast at Lele tends to sell out, and the earlier you make your reservation the closer to the stage you’ll be seated. Also, come early to take epic Instagram worthy beach pics with the sunset.
Get an Acai bowl from Choice Health Bar
My favorite mealtime though was hands down my first acai bowl from Choice Health Bar, Lahaina. I decided on the ka’anapali point with gluten free oats.
The small was crazy filling and delicious. I’m still craving more! The acai bowl was crazy refreshing on a super hot and humid Maui day.
I also picked up a cold-pressed juice for the next day. I’d recommend grabbing one…or two of these to go!
Had we been in Maui longer, I would have definitely pleaded to eat there again.
Enjoy Dinner at Maui Brick Oven
Lastly, on our last night we had an early dinner at the Maui Brick Oven in Kihei.
This place is a dream! It’s 100% gluten free!
You can easily score a yummy gluten and cheese free pizza (if you aren’t dairy free) made with the absolute gluten-free pizza crusts. And of course we had the Hawaiian because hello we were in Hawaii! They also have a nice selection of appetizers, salads, and other main courses.
Unfortunately, we have been told that this restaurant has been permanently closed since Jill’s visit. This is absolutely heartbreaking!
Overall, I was happy with the gluten and dairy free options I had in Maui. We did quite a bit of exploring, and it seemed I always had choices. The fresh fruit served with dishes was out-of-this-world amazing.
Traveling with kids
I would’ve done some things differently had we been traveling with our kids. I definitely would’ve packed snacks and breakfast items for the kids.
If you’re in the Lahaina or Kapalua area, I’d highly recommend two free and rewarding places to explore.
The first is the Banyan Tree…it’s literally mind-boggling.
That’s all I’ll say. I don’t want to ruin its beauty or uniqueness. My picture does not capture the beauty of this magnificent area.
Second, the hubs and I really enjoyed a short hike to witness the Nakalele Blowhole, and the becoming famous Heart-Shaped Rock.
Ok to be honest…I dragged the hubs to see the heart-shaped rock.
As an added bonus he saw the Nakaele Blowhole as I took 349 pictures of the heart. I’ll just say both are real beauties.
Ladies, I’d suggest not wearing flip flops for this little lava rock adventure. You’re welcome.
If you haven’t been to Maui, I’d suggest you add it to your bucket list. There were other fabulous allergen friendly restaurants we ate at in Lahaina with some gorgeous views.
And a bakery I hope to visit someday. Maui is amazing because there are just so many options! And they really are some of the best options.
Please share your Maui adventures in the comments! Bonus if your comments are gluten and dairy free suggestions. I have a feeling this is a vacation spot I’ll be back to, and I’d enjoy hearing about other gluten and dairy free options.
You will find more gluten and dairy free food travel guides on my website for cities like New York City and Miami.
This trip to west Maui has had me creating some delicious recipes that remind of our trip. This Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Pizza is a tasty gluten and dairy free and is delicious for people with various dietary restrictions. Our trip also inspired me to make Kalua Pork (recipe coming soon).
If you’re looking for gluten and dairy free recipes check out more of my website. You’ll find recipes for any occasion.
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