Islands Restaurants Ride the Dairy-Free Wave with These Dishes


Last Update in November 2021! Though they boast a Hawaiian theme, most Islands Restaurants are in Southern California. They have a smattering of locations in other warm weather cities. But if  you are near one, they offer a rather expansive list of dairy-free options – with custom order. See our information below regarding recent changes and options from their detailed allergen menu.

Dairy-Free Menu Guide to Islands Restaurants

Dairy-Free Menu Guide for Islands Restaurants

In late 2020, Islands started cooking and toasting many items with butter, including all of their bread products. They changed their allergen chart to reflect the addition of dairy during that time. It was a trial, and they are not currently doing it as a corporate practice, but that might change, and some locations might still opt to use butter. So be sure to verify “no butter” at the location you visit.


  • Chips & Salsa
  • Chips & Salsa with Guacamole
  • Island Fries
  • Poke (Ala Moana only)
  • Tempura Green Beans

Heads Up! The Buffalo Wings, Sliders, Tenders, and Flautas at Islands contain milk. You might be able to custom order the Truffle Fries without dairy. They do use shared fryers, so cross-contamination with milk in preparation is always a possibility.


  • China Coast Salad (no fried noodles)
  • Chop Chop Salad (no cheese, inquire on dressing)
  • Kaanapali Kobb (no cheese)

Dairy-Free Dressings: Honey Mustard Dressing, Italian Dressing, Kobb Dressing, Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, Sesame Dressing, Thousand Island Dressing


  • Big Wave Burger
  • Longboarder Burger
  • Hawaiian Burger (no cheese)
  • Hula Burger (no cheese)
  • Impossible Burger (no cheese)
  • Malibu Burger (no cheese)
  • Maui Burger (no cheese)
  • Pipeline Burger (no cheese)

Heads Up! See the Bread & Bun section below before ordering. Make sure “no butter” is used on your order. All of the patties at Islands – beef, turkey, veggie, and vegan Impossible – are made without dairy. But double check that the cookie process at your location is safe for your needs. See the Bread & Bun section below before ordering.


  • Sandpiper (no cheese)
  • Shorebird (no cheese)
  • Toucan (no cheese)
  • The Wedge / BLT (no cheese)

Heads Up! See the Bread & Bun section below before ordering. Make sure “no butter” is used on your order.


  • Baja Tacos
  • Northshore Tacos (no cheese)
  • Yaki Tacos (no cheese)

Heads Up! The Fish Tacos can be ordered without dairy, but you need to omit the cheese and the Chipotle White Sauce. They might be able to substitute the Chipotle Aioli for you, or another sauce, which is dairy-free.

Beach Bowls

  • Chicken Bowl with Hoisin or Teriyaki
  • Grilled Fish Bowl with Hoisin or Teriyaki

Gremmie (Kids Menu)

  • Jr Plain Dogger (no cheese, see Bread & Buns section below)
  • Jr Wave (no cheese, see Bread & Buns section below)
  • Lil Beef Slider (no cheese, see Bread & Buns section below)

Heads Up! The Tenders do contain milk.


  • Applesauce
  • Island Fries
  • Island Slaw
  • Refried Beans
  • Smashed Beans
  • Sweet Potato Fries

Heads Up! The Onion Rings and Island Reds at Islands Restaurants do contain milk.

Optional Additions

  • Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • Avocado Slices
  • Chili
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Guacamole
  • Sautéed Mushrooms
  • Spicy Chicken

Bread & Buns

  • Corn Tortilla
  • Flour Tortilla
  • Gluten-Free Bun
  • Hot Dog Bun
  • Slider Bun
  • Kids Bun
  • Wheat Bun
  • White Bun

Heads Up! In late 2020, Islands allergen menu changed to state that all of their breads, buns, and tortillas contained milk. They didn’t, but they were testing out toasting all of them with butter. They have stopped using butter, for now, on the corporate level. However, this could change, and some locations might still opt to use butter. Be sure to check before ordering. You can order them with “no butter.” The Egg Bread / Texas Toast does contain dairy, regardless of the toasting method.


  • BBQ Sauce
  • Chipotle Aioli
  • Grilled Pineapple Salsa
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Islands Salsa
  • Machete Aioli
  • Mayonnaise
  • Roasted Garlic Aioli
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Yellow Mustard

Heads Up! At last check, the Chipotle White Sauce (different from the aioli) was the only sauce  at Islands that contained dairy.

This Post is for Informational Purposes Only

Menus, ingredients, kitchen procedures, management, and restaurants are subject to change at any time. Always read the menu and discuss your dietary needs with the staff before ordering. Make sure that they can accommodate your situation. This post is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as advice.

There is always a risk for potential cross-contamination of allergens in any commercial kitchen. If cross-contamination is an issue for you, always speak with the manager to ensure that your meal can be safely prepared. Listings here do not guarantee that a restaurant is safe enough for your individual needs. Only you can make that decision.

Dairy-Free Menu Guide to Islands Restaurants

Where to Find Islands Restaurants

They did close their Nevada locations, but still have many restaurants in Southern California, and a smattering in Northern California, Arizona, and Hawaii. See the website below for addresses, hours, allergen info, and contact info.


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Change of Bread

Rated 3 out of 5
September 8, 2021

We came in 2021, and they have changed their bread supplier and all bread now contains dairy.

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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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