Ah, Shave Ice: the quintessential Hawaiian treat, the perfect snack for a quick sugar rush after a day spent in the ocean. Is there really any better dessert on a hot Hawaiian afternoon? We sure don’t think so. Before we can talk about where to find the best shave ice, we’ve got to get one thing straight: shave ice and snow cones are not the same. The consistency of a true shave ice is that of new fallen snow, not the granular and crunchy ice so many are used to. Without further ado, here are 12 of the most popular shave ice spots in Hawaii.
1) Matsumoto Shave Ice, Haleiwa
Located in the historic surfing town of Haleiwa, on Oahu’s north shore, is this famous shop. What once began as a small grocery story has transformed into so much more – t-shirts, souvenirs, snacks and, of course, their famous shave ice. On a hot summer day, the store produces more than 1,000 shave ices!
2) Scandinavian Shave Ice,Kona
If you’re in Kona, the cold, sweet treat is best at Scandinavian Shave Ice. Pick from approximately 45 flavors (you can try more than one at a time, of course), and definitely grab it snow-cap style, with a drizzle of condensed milk on top, for a little extra richness.
3) Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice, Lahaina
With five-star ratings on both TripAdvisor and Yelp, you know Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice is absolutely to die for. With six locations across Maui, you’re sure to find the shop that’s most convenient for you.
4) Ono Ono Shave Ice, Kapaa
From grape and guava to lychee and peanut butter, the shave ice flavors at Ono Ono are incredibly unique, and you can choose up to four at one time. But if the thought of making that decision terrifies you, grab their Kauai Sunset, a combination of mango, passionfruit, pineapple and coconut – all quintessential Hawaiian flavors.
5) Waiola Shave Ice, Honolulu
This quint grocery story is said to be the best shave ice in Honolulu, but don’t take our word – look to the 1,500 hundred individuals who have left an average 4.5-star review on Yelp, or just try it for yourself.
6) Original Big Island Shave Ice, Kawaihae
For the ultimate shave ice experience on the Big Island, head to Kawaihae. The adorable food truck serves up innovative and classic creations alike with all-natural flavors.
7) Local Boys Shave Ice, Lahaina
This colorful, family-owned shop serves up housemade shave ice – always with a complimentary scoop of ice cream. Established in 2003 Kihei with little money, the shop now has a second location, and a whole lot of aloha.
8) Uncle’s Shave Ice, Koloa
This surf-themed dessert bar is known for their classic shave ice with original island-inspired flavors and killer smoothies. Spend the day at Poipu Beach, and grab shave ice from Uncle’s afterwards for the perfect Kauai day.
9) Shimazu Store, Honolulu
This popular neighborhood shop may not look like much, but the shave ice is absolute perfection – and they have some pretty interesting flavor choices as well… Are you brave enough to try their Chili flavored shave ice?
10) Anuenue Shave Ice, Kamuela
While this particular shop is little more than a walk-up window that only takes cash, they serve up the best shave ice, ice cream and milkshakes around.
11) Wishing Well Shave Ice, Hanalei
Some of the best food in Hawaii comes from unassuming food trucks on the side of the road, and nowhere is that more true than Wishing Well Shave Ice, a Hanalei favorite.
12) Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha, Honolulu
Using only locally sourced artisanal syrups, the all-natural Hawaiian shave ice served at Uncle Clay’s is certainly a step above the rest.
Tell us, where is your favorite place to grab shave ice? And what’s your favorite flavor combination?