CA, Monterey – Hula’s Island Grill


On a recent visit to Monterey, we visited Hula’s Island Grill for Happy Hour. They have a gluten-free menu with many naturally dairy-free selections on the menu, so I thought they could be a good option for both Tony (who is gluten-free) and my dietary needs (dairy-free). Fortunately, I was right!

Hula's Island Grill in Monterey offers a gluten-free menu, numerous dairy-free and veg options, and a friendly attitude toward special diet needs.

The lively but laid back atmosphere is made possible at Hula’s Island Grill by friendly staff members who obviously enjoy their jobs. Our server was extremely helpful and prompt in letting us know what options were both dairy-free and gluten-free, but please note that I am okay with traces of dairy. While this restaurant is quite accommodating to special diet needs, they do state on their menu:

Food Allergy Concerns? Despite taking every precaution, we cannot guarantee that our menu items are free of trace amounts of nuts, tree nuts, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish, or other allergens.

Hula’s Island Grill is described as a “throwback to the popular tiki restaurants and bars of the ‘50’s & 60’s.” Consequently, their menus (they serve lunch and dinner) are fish-heavy, but they also have meat and veg options among their burgers, sandwiches, salads, bowls, entrees, and “pupus” – all with a Hawaiian flavor flair. They also have a fun assortment of “adults-only” drinks, many served in tiki glasses, of course.

We trialed a few of the pupus and all were quite excellent – I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the non-dairy options. And when one arrived with wheat-based won ton dippers, and they overheard my husband say he’d just avoid those, they quickly brought out lettuce wraps for him!

Hula’s Island Grill has a second location in Santa Cruz, CA, too, but they didn’t have a gluten-free menu listed for that location online. However, they had the same food allergy disclaimer and may be equally accommodating to general special diet requests.

Location: 622 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey, CA 93940

Phone:(831) 655-4852


About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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