Are you planning a trip to Kona the Big Island of Hawaii? Are you looking for gluten free recommendations? Check out my 5 day gluten free Kona itinerary. I’ve included the things we did as well as the places we ate! We traveled with a very large group this time which naturally can be hard if you are the only gluten free one. I will say we did a lot of cooking in the Airbnb for breakfast/dinner, but we did occasionally venture to a few gluten free Kona spots.
Foster’s Kitchen: My favorite place to eat by far on the trip! I was so glad we came here the first night because there were so many yummy gluten free options. The restaurant even has a dedicated gluten free fryer which makes eating there 10x better! I ordered a Miami vice, grilled calamari, and the gluten free fish and chips.
Herbivores: A cute little vegan spot that also offers a few gluten free baked goods! I didn’t get dinner here, but I did pick up a few baked goods. They were very up front that cross contamination can occur, but that they take as much precaution as they can. They walked me through the entire process of how the Oatmeal Cream Pies were made, and I didn’t get sick at all. If you decide to eat here just make sure you ask all the important questions.
Ola Brew: I did not expect this place to have many gluten free options but I was pleasantly surprised! They had 3 gluten free ciders and 4 gluten free hard seltzers. I ordered a flight for each one so that I could try all the flavors!
Puna Chocolate Co: An amazing chocolate shop located in Kona. All of the chocolate bars are gluten free. I picked up a few flavors and tried lots of samples!
Volcanic National Park: It was pouring rain on the Hilo side of the island so unfortunately we didn’t get to see much of the Volcanic National Park. We did get to see the crater which formed after the eruption in 2018.
Volcanic Winery: Volcanic Winery is only a few minutes outside the National Park and if you love wine you MUST go! We did a wine tasting which included 8 different wines. We tasted The Symphony Dry, Pinot Noir, Volcano Red, Symphony Mele, Volcano Blush, Hawaiian Guava-Grape, Macadamia Nut Honey Wine, and the Infusion Tea & Honey Wine. If you are interested in the wine tasting find out more here. We also had a tea flight.
Punalu’u Black Sand Beach: Who knew black sand beaches were so cool?! This is another good place to see Sea Turtles!
Shaka Tacoz: Shaka Tacoz was highly recommended to us by several locals. We didn’t really have plans to go to the food truck but we just happened to stumble upon it while driving back from the beach. I ordered the Asada Bowl and it was AMAZING. Guac is also FREE!!
Hike to Makalawena Beach: The hike to Makalawena beach was hands down the HIGHLIGHT of my trip. I would highly recommend this hike to anyone who is visiting. It is more of a local beach and you have the chance to see lots of wildlife along the way. The road to the trail head is pretty rocky, and some say you need a lifted or 4WD vehicle but we made it just fine going slow in a Ford Fusion. The hike covers sand, rocks, and grass so wear shoes you are comfortable in. I hiked the sand parts barefoot and the rocky parts in my flip flops. We saw lots of sea turtles and one monk seal (there are only 5 monk seals on the Big Island). You can find the hike on the All Trails app or click here.
Fair Winds Snorkeling: A 4 hour snorkeling tour that had gluten free lunch options on the boat! The boat staff cooked burgers and hotdogs on a cleaned grill and provided gluten free buns. The let you grab the buns on your own so that you don’t have to worry about cross contact. I did avoid the breakfast items because passengers on the boat where using to tongs for the bread in the fruit as well. I totally forgot to take a picture of what we ate…but here is a picture of us snorkeling!
Umekes Fish Market Bar & Grill: Another place highly recommend by locals! While they had a few gluten free options and they were good about cross contamination I found the food to be very bland. I ordered the Kalua Pork Bowl with a side of Lomi Lomi Salmon. The food wasn’t bad it just wasn’t my favorite. Maybe it was what I ordered, but I definitely liked Foster’s Kitchen gluten free food much better.
Scandinavian Shave Ice: We really wanted to go to the famous Original Big Island Shave Ice, but we never seemed to be in the same place as the food truck. We did try Scandinavian which was voted best shave ice of 2019!
Kona Coffee & Tea: I swear the line here is longer than Starbucks, but definitely worth checking it out! Clearly people really love Kona Coffee. I ordered a vanilla latte and it was delicious! Totally worth the wait.
Mountain Thunder Coffee Tour: If you are at all interested in the coffee making process then this is the tour for you! I was so amazed at how difficult it is to actually make coffee. The tour is free and at the end you will even get to sample the different kinds of coffee they make.
Paradise Brewing Co. : I am going to start off by saying I wouldn’t recommend eating here if you are looking for a vast amount of gluten free options. The fish tacos were the only choice I had for dinner. They tried to tell me the fries were gluten free, but they are put in the same fryer.
Not food related at all but we also took our engagement photos in Kona! We booked a session through Flytographer and it turned out AMAZING!! If you want to book with our photographer Aly click here. If you want $50 off any Flytographer shoot use code: CODE93616.
The items in yellow on the map under GF Restaurant Ideas are other gluten free restaurant suggestions in Kona, but I did not eat there. Here are the restaurants I did not have a chance to eat at:
Island Ono Loa Grill
Original Big Island Shave Ice
Have fun planning and enjoy eating gluten free in Kona!