Hawaii shave ice is one of the best known and loved deserts in the world. Spelled as "shave" and never "shaved", this treat comes from Japan, and is similar to their icy treat, kakigōri. If you are wondering what's so special about a snow cone, know that the shave ice is anything but. Where snow cones are made of flavored crushed ice, the shave ice is made from shaved ice. Instead of having the texture of crushed ice, the shave ice is more like fluffy snow. On top of that, frozen yogurt or ice cream is placed in the middle of the shave ice with flavored syrup poured over. Here's where to find the best of the best in Hawaii.
10. Anuenue Shave Ice, Kawaihae
Anuenue Shave Ice, is located in Kamuela and is another establishment where lines of patrons form, all waiting for a taste of some of the best shave ice in Hawaii. Before we go any further, don't be taken aback with the humble appearance of this place. Fans on Tripadvisor give this shave ice stand much praise, as you can see: Lilikoi cheesecake ice cream!!! Worth the stop! Get a delicious ice cream or shave ice, and make sure to visit the gallery downstairs. There are plenty of options, the staff is welcoming and very helpful when it comes to explaining those options. Syrups are great, ice creams are smooth, silky and creamy. If you don't know where to start, then try the Purple Sweet Potato, it's a definite fan favorite.
9. Island Vintage Shave Ice, Honolulu
Honolulu is the home of this shave ice establishment. Island Vintage Shave Ice is not only famous for it's delectable flavors, but also its portion sizes. Just one look at the shave ice being savored in the video gives you a pretty good idea regarding the huge portion size. Made with only the freshest ingredients, these are treats to die for on a hot afternoon. Choose between flavors such as Heavenly Liliko and Pink Island shave ices.
8. Kula Shave Ice, Haleiwa
Located in Haleiwa, Kula Shave Ice was established by Luke and Tiffany Golden. Their recipes are all home made with natural ingredients, which give their shave ices a fresh and vibrant taste They sell not only ices but also coffee and other drinks. However, the star of the show are the organic shave ice combos, such as the Lilikoi Dreamsicle, Soul Sweet, Chocoholic, and more.
7. Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha, Honolulu
Years ago, a candy store named Doc Fang sold candies and other treats to the locals. However, things were tough on the little store until owner Clayton Chang decided in 2011 to switch it up from a candy store to a shave ice establishment. That was way back in 2011. Today Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha attracts both locals and tourists looking for a sweet and fresh way to cool off under the warmth of the Hawaiian sun. What lures so many to their store?
6. Scandinavian Shave Ice, Kailua Kona
Also known as "Scandi's", a name bestowed it by the community was established in 1991. fans of Scandi's consider their shave ice as the absolute best in all of Hawaii. They offer their customers around 65 different flavors with ingredients locally sourced. This award winning eatery is located in Kailua Kona, near Kailua Pier and works hard to live up to their slogan, "Da Best Shave Ice In Paradise". Another feature of Scandi's is that they do shave ice catering for commercial or residential affairs.
5. Shimazu Store, Oahu
If you're traveling to Oahu and have a taste for a nice, cool and refreshing shave ice, then head to Shimazu Store. There's plenty of flavors to try, over 70 flavors in fact. The syrups are all homemade, all from their own recipes. Examples of their syrups include Key lime pie, gummy bear, Rainbow Drive-In Chili flavor and more. They also have other treats to enjoy, such as popcorn, halo halo, and much more. The staff is friendly and the shave ices delicious and affordable
4. Original Big Island Shave Ice, Kamuela
Established in 1957, the Original Big Island Shave Ice quickly became a crowd favorite. Operating from a truck back in the day, today it's located in Kings Shops, Waikoloa Village. Started by Lorraine Kaono all syrups were made by hand by Lorraine herself. The shave ices you'll try still use her recipes.
3. Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice, Maui
Ululani's Hawaiian shave ice comes in at number 3 on our list for a very good reason: Their shave ices are both refreshing and tasty. With 8 locations scattered throughout Maui, you're bound to find and taste one of their delicious ices in no time. In fact, Hawaiian Airlines has Ululani's Hawaiian shave ice on board.
2. Matsumoto’s Shave Ice, Haleiwa
Established in 1951, Matsumoto shave ice is one of the best known shave ice establishments in Hawaii, selling over 1,000 ices each day. You can find Matsumoto's shave ice in the Haleiwa Store Lots. In fact, on a warm day you can locate this shave ice brand simply by following the lines.
1. Waiola Shave Ice, Honolulu
Fans of shaved ice in Hawaii know the name of Waiola, as it's considered by many to be the best Hawaii shave ice establishments on the island. In fact, Waiola is known to have long lines during the warmer months, but take heart as the lines move quickly. The flavor of choice is strawberry. However, Waiola also has rainbow, lime, or melon. The secret to the Waiola shaved ice is a combination of using only local fresh fruit and homemade syrups.
For those of you who plan on traveling to Hawaii in the near future, plan on visiting one of these noted and well-trafficked eateries in order to grab a shave ice. The perfect way to sit, relax and have a cool down on a hot Hawaiian day, the shave ice establishments listed in our article, are bound to provide you with a refreshing treat. However, if you don't plan on getting to Hawaii, then know that you can purchase your very own ice shaver, where you can make your own.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn