Below is our guide to eating Gluten Free at Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa located in Ko Olina, Ohau, Hawaii.
Our trip took place December 2018.
Aulani has a number of dining options the encompass everything you could want from a resort experience. You can find the full list of dining here.
I would also like to suggest a few dining options in the shopping center across the street, you can find those recommendations at the bottom of this post.
The first morning at Aulani we dined at Makahiki for their character breakfast. The experience here was a lot like what you would experience at Walt Disney World. When an allergy is noted on your reservation they have the chef come to your table and walk you through the line.
I felt the options here were plentiful, in fact, when we got finished going through the line and the chef asked if we wanted anything special like Mickey Waffles or pancakes I almost said no! I came to my senses quickly and realized I should never turn down a Mickey Waffle.
On the buffet you have your breakfast classics like an omelette station, bacon, fruit, smoked salmon, but unique to this buffet were some Japanese classics like Miso Soup and white rice that were all safe for a gluten allergy. I know this may seem odd to enjoy so much on a breakfast buffet but I LOVE Japanese food and it’s not usually safe to eat with a Gluten Allergy so I was pretty happy.
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You also have the chance to meet Mickey, Minnie and Pluto throughout the course of your breakfast.
Sorry Pluto! I think I was too busy eating my Miso soup to take a photo with you.
Next let’s talk about Ulu Cafe! This is the equivalent of a Quick Service location at Walt Disney World. Here you can find grab and go items, Dole Whip, as well as Acai Bowls, Poke, and Flat Breads.
Dole Whip is always a great Gluten Free snack choice! As far as the Acai Bowls go, the Cast Member told me they occasionally have Gluten Free granola, but if they don’t just leave it off and that makes it the perfect Gluten Free breakfast!
There were several items in the Grab and Go fridges that did not have Wheat/Gluten listed as an allergen. You can see a sample of those in the photos below. The selection included some veggies, fruit, eggs, chia seed pudding, cheese and nut platters as well as a Greek Salad!
We also tried two of the Flatbread Pizzas! My favorite was the Pork Flatbread, the Mushroom and Spinach was also yummy.
The star of Ulu Cafe for us was the Poke! During lunch time, until 3pm I believe, you can create your own Poke Bowl. The Cast Members behind the station brought out the allergy info and double checked as they added each item to our bowls.
We had the Shrimp, and Tuna with the Spicy Sauce and added fresh scallions, avocado, and cucumber all over rice!
I also want to note both the Poke Bowls and the Flatbread Pizza’s were very large portions. Big enough to share or keep you full for a long time!
You are going to want to skip Mama’s Snack Stop with a Gluten Allergy. Pretty much everything there is battered and fried, and the stuff that’s not battered is still fried in the same oil.
A place you won’t want to miss is Pāpālua Shave Ice! This was the best Shave Ice we had on the island. The flavor choices were tropical and fun, and we suggest adding the sweet condensed milk!
Our favorites were the lilikoi, orange, and guava!
Little ‘Opihi's is a kiosk down by the beach. They have some frozen adult beverages, snacks and the best part is Dole Whip. There is nothing better than Dole Whip on the beach!
Off the Hook is the poolside bar, and it’s also the menu that you can order from when you are sitting by the pool and bar. They have Fish Tacos, Flatbread Pizzas, and a selection of Sandwiches on Gluten Free bread!
All of the specialty drinks here are Gluten Free. I suggest the Coconut Mojito!
While we were here Cam and I had one of the Flatbread Pizza’s and the Fish Tacos. They were both delicious! (although, I would suggest going across the street for better Fish Tacos!)
A sampling of the amazing food we ate is above. The chef came by to tell us what was safe to eat but we also had the assistance of allergen warnings on the signs.
We didn’t end up eating at ‘AMA‘AMA at all, but I noticed some of the items on the Luau buffet were on the menu at ‘AMA’AMA like the purple and sweet potatoes!
OVERALL GLUTEN FREE THOUGHTS ON AULANI
We really enjoyed the food at Aulani but Cam and I are pretty adventurous eaters. Even as a kid, I would have loved all of the options presented to me Gluten Free. However I know that is not the case for everyone! You are not going to find chicken tenders, burgers and at Aulani that are safe to eat Gluten Free. If this is going to be an issue for you or your family and you are in a room where you can cook, I would suggest making a Costco or Target run on the way to the resort.
The ABC Market across the street also had a great selection of Gluten Free bread, cereal and chips!
Speaking of across the street, make sure you have at least one meal at Monkeypod. We ate their twice during our time in Hawaii, and I highly recommend the Wings, Fish Tacos, Burger (no bun) and Mashed Potatoes. Also, GET THE MAI TAI, sorry for the all caps yelling but it really is that imporrant. They have really good Happy Hour specials on drinks and appetizers as well.
Our favorite breakfast/coffee was also across the street, Island Vintage Coffee. Get the Island Latte with coconut milk, and the Acai bowl! They have Gluten Free granola, that we realized was the Paleo granola from Costco. It’s topped with fresh fruit, honey and a beautiful flower.
They also have sandwiches and breakfast food items on the menu, most of which are available Gluten Free.
Hawaii in general was the most accommodating place we have ever been when it came to food allergies. It’s very common for people to eat Gluten Free and Dairy Free. Even Meghan (@travelingwithmeghan) who has a Tree Nut, Peanut and Shellfish allergy found it easy to eat at Aulani and beyond!