Having Hawaiian shave ice in Hawaii is like
experiencing a cannoli
New York, or Sourdough Bread in San Francisco. It is as iconic as
of the best Honolulu attractions.
No Oahu vacation is
indulging in this frozen Hawaii shave ice treat! Don't miss the
best of Oahu spots, including Waiola Shave Ice, Shimazu Store, and the
famous Matsumoto Shave Ice!
Shave ice has carved its place on Oahu, and put smiles on faces
since the 1940’s. It was a simple snow cone with basic flavors
such as orange, lime, cherry, and grape.
We should give credit to the early Japanese grocery store establishments, and Hawaiian shave ice shops such as Matsumoto’s Shave Ice on the North Shore and Waiola Shave Ice in Waikiki, who helped pioneer this treat, and created a desire and passion for what it is today!
They along with others have put smiles on millions of faces
In the 80’s new tropical flavors surfaced such as mango, lilikoi (passion fruit), and guava.
Hawaiian shave ice became magical when a scoop of vanilla ice cream
was placed at the bottom of the cup before piling the snow on
top. As the sweet flavors drip there way down the cup and blended
with the ice cream, you can imagine the treat that awaits you!
Today Hawaii shave ice establishments continue to push the envelope with flavors & toppings, and create some of the most amazing creations Oahu has ever seen!
We gotta give it up for the longest running North Shore Hawaiian shave ice shop. Motsomoto’s Shave Ice has been in business since 1951, and for many good reasons still in business!
When you arrive in Oahu, it’s a ritual to head to the North Shore and specifically stop at Matsumoto’s in Haleiwa to get your hands on a shave ice!
Be prepared to stand in a long line outside the door in the
you arrive…but it’s all part of the experience.
There’s a laundry list of great flavors to choose from including cotton candy, guava, honeydew, creamy coconut, and white cake.
66-087 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa HI - Phone (808) 637-4827
Open daily from 9am to 6pm - Check out more at MatsumotoShaveIce.com
Motsumoto’s might be king of the North Shore, but Waiola Shave
is the longest running establishment on the island, since 1940.
Town side locals will swear you have to go no further than Waikiki to
satisfy your craving!
Waiola Shave Ice has perfected the art of making this icy treat. Today there are 2 stores the upper Waikiki/Kamaki area to help tackle the lines. Adding sweat azuki beans or tapioca pearls with the vanilla ice cream to the bottom of the cones, pushes the envelope to greatness.
For under $3.00 you can get a pretty tall cone. Start adding
fancy flavors such as Blue Hawaii, Green Tea, Creamsicle, POG, or
Pineapple, will run you a whopping .25 cents a flavor.
forget to go crazy on the toppings such as snow caps, caramel, or
Hershey Chocolate…each running you an extra .50 cents!
Location: 3113 Mokihana St., Honolulu HI (across from Safeway Grocery, off Kapahulu St) Phone: (808) 735-8886 - Check out more Waiola Shave Ice reviews
Open: 7:30 to 6pm weekdays,
except opening at 10am on Sundays
Leave it to the hole in the wall operation, located in an
undesirable location with no parking or seating, to possible serve the
best Hawaiian shave ice on the island!
Add some incredible toppings such as Creamy Haupia (creamy
Hing Powder, or dulce de leche that will put you over the edge!
There are other noteworthy treats in the store to discover, such as their special flavored popcorns.
They open up in the late afternoons and lines tend to be long, so have some patience and know that the reward is worth it!
Kapahulu Location: 3111 Castle St, in Hawaii's Favorite
Open daily 10am to 7pm, (808) 744-0465
Location: 330 North School
St, Kalihi HI, (808) 371-8899
Open daily 11am to 6pm, except closed on Mondays. Check out Shimazu's reviews
Monsarrat Shave Ice is not your typical Hawaiian Shave Ice.
They use real organic fruit that helps create the magic in their
syrups. The staff literary cakes the puree thick syrups onto the
pile of shave ice.
It’s not as sweat as some of the
and yet still is an amazing refreshing treat.
They have yummy flavors such as strawberry, mango, coconut, and green tea. Most popular is their pineapple and mix berry flavors!
You can order special toppings
azuki beans, kinako powder and
mocha balls, but don’t miss out on adding a scoop of vanilla ice
And unlike adding the scoop on the bottom of the
bowl, they scoop the ice cream on top! It looks beautiful and
somehow it just works!
Monsarrat Shave Ice is not easy to find…even though it’s right on the strip! Keep your eyes peeled for the Pioneer Saloon, and you’ll find it next door with a small sign in a small charming alley.
Also check out the Pioneer Saloon
that is also worthy of
their plate lunches and eclectic finds being displayed around the room!
Location: 3046 Monsarrat Ave - Phone: (808) 732-4001
Open daily from 11 AM to 5 PM (closed if raining)
Fresh hot malasadas from
Leonard’s Bakery is both a locals and
tourists (the fortunate ones) favorite, and it just might top Hawaiian
shave ice. “I can never get enough of these delicious hot
malasadas” are commonly spoken words.
If you’re not familiar already, a malasada is a light fluffy Portuguese style donut dusted with sugar. They’re hard to resist when eaten fresh out of the fryer.
Today Leonard’s Bakery continues to evolve this magical treat, and offers incredible fillings such as chocolate haupia, guava, and mango.
If only they could find a way to combine the flavor of fresh malasada into a shave ice…!
Kapahulu, Honolulu, HI - Phone (808) 737-5591
Open 5:30 to 10pm Daily - Check out more...
Located on the North
Shore and distributed in some local
supermarkets are Ted’s Pies. Not to be confused with any
dessert pie, but local tropical flavors with a punch!
If you’re headed to the North Shore (near Sunset Beach), it’s worth stopping by.
You can pick up a slice or go for a whole pie…not an easy decision! Haupia and Macadamia Nut are a two of many great flavors!
Location: 59-024 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa HI - Phone (808) 638-8207
Open 7am to 8pm Daily - Check out more at Tedsbakery.com