Where to Find the Best Shaved Ice in Hawaii - The Points Guy (2023)

like going from a mild white wine to agood champagne.The moment I had my first shave ice cream in Hawaii, I realized that the cones I grew up with were fun enough, but they weren't even close to what I'm holding in my hand now size.

Ice cream is believed to have originated in 10th or 11th century Japan, where it was known as Kakigori. It was introduced to Hawaii by Japanese plantation workers in the early 1900s and is now sold in specialty stores and ice cream trucks around the islands.

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While they all use chilled water and syrup, the cones I've had in other parts of the world use either crushed or mixed ice, which allows the flavors to escape through the small ice cubes. existhawaiiThey use razor-sharp blades on swirling ice cubes to create fluffy, powdery, shavings of snow that absorb aromas and hold them in place.

On the way back I turned into a woman with shaved (never shaved) ice cream in search of the best ice cream and made a trip to the North Shore of Oahu to check it outMatsumoto Shaved IceThis was a must on my last Hawaiian adventure.

Matsumoto shaved ice can be found inside the Haleiwa store, which produces more than 1,000 varieties of shaved ice on a sunny day while people line up outside for ice cream.

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There are over 40 flavors to choose from, plus a list that includes mochi and red beans, and after asking a regular customer for his top recommendation, I decided to opt for a scoop of vanilla under a pile of Liliko-covered shaved ice ice cream. and (passion fruit) syrup, topped with a "snow blanket" of sweetened condensed milk. As "Ice Ice Baby" played through the speakers, I watched my new favorite track being composed before my eyes.

When I feel the burst of joy from that first sip and the warm North Shore sun on my skin makes me sweeter, I knowany trip to oahuNow it will involve a pilgrimage to that place.

related:Top 5 Things I Want to Do in Oahu, Hawaii

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(Video) How to Start a Shaved Ice Business for less than $2,000

After I finished my last bite, I headed back to the gift shop for some souvenirs, and when I saw a cartoon of a man wearing an Aloha Stanley T-shirt, I realized the man had just walked into the store.

The owner, Stanley Matsumoto, smiled when I introduced myself and told me I was here to try his shave ice cream, before explaining that the place we were standing was once part of his parents' grocery store.

“They opened the store in 1951 and they started selling shaved ice in 1956. It was $0.05 for a small and $0.10 for a large. I grew up eating shaved ice,” Matsumoto said.

After taking over the store in 1976, Stanley was approached by a local artist named Scooter who offered to design a T-shirt with the Matsumoto logo on it. What was originally prepared only for employees and family members has become the first souvenir in the store in response to repeated requests from customers. Now, the gift shop is filled with Matsumoto bags, hats, towels, magnets, reusable straw sets, phone cases, face masks and more, and T-shirts include collaborations with Hello Kitty and Hurley.

Where to Find the Best Shaved Ice in Hawaii - The Points Guy (2)

While the strawberry, lemon and blue pineapple rainbow combo is the most popular "because Hawaii is full of rainbows," Stanley said, next time I should try peaches. "There are little peaches in there. It's very good."

(Video) Honest Review!!! Is Matsumoto's Shave Ice really the best?

While I haven't made a return trip yet, Peach Shave is high on my list - along with visiting other great island shaving spots. Here are some of the best.



After Shave Ice Life started selling items on carts in Mililani near the center of the island, the Shimazu team movedhonoluluThey have been delighting locals and tourists since 2006. Expect tons of fluffy ice cream and over 70 artisanal syrups, including mango pickle, fudge and key lime pie.

related:The time warp that still exists at SPG: The Westin Moana Surfer in Honolulu, Hawaii review

Onkla clay

At House of Pure Aloha (HOPA), Uncle Clay has served over 100,000 people with their all-natural shaving products over the past 25 years. Uncle Clay has a strict policy against the use of artificial flavors, sweeteners and colors in its homemade fresh fruit syrups, purees and cane sugar, and requires visitors to swear "Pure Aloha" to help "bring love into the heart , carrying others and shaping our living "world". a better place.

vintage island

If you need a refreshing shave in Waikiki, Island Vintage has the best ice chips and fresh fruit toppings and syrups. The lines here can be long. So try to avoid rush hour or have peace of mind knowing the wait will be worth it.

Hawaii (Big Island)

Kula Shaved Ice Cream

In Hilo, you can tell you're talking to a local by saying "ice shave" instead of "ice shave," and the Kula Shave Ice stand at the Hilo Farmers Market was an absolute highlight of my time on the island. Here, they freeze hundreds of barrels of filtered water to ensure the quality of their ice cream, and make their own artisanal syrup using organic cane sugar and locally grown organic fruits like sorrel, guava, mango and pineapple.

Where to Find the Best Shaved Ice in Hawaii - The Points Guy (3)

(Video) Top Shaved Ice Syrup Pint Packages | Hawaiian Shaved Ice

Original Big Island Shaved Ice

The original Big Island shaved ice started in 1957 in a pickup truck in Kawaihae, where Lorraine Kaono was selling homemade ice syrup. Today, you can still try her original recipe at her son Reggie's shop in Koloa Village, Hilowe, as well as some new additions to the line, including the unusual Halohalo with Sweet Potato, Melon, Ube Ice Cream and Jelly.

Scandinavian shaved ice

On the west side of the island, just a short walk from Hulihe'e Palace and Mokuaikaua Church, Scandinavian Shave Ice has been serving sweet, fluffy ice cream for over 20 years. Flavors include Baby Blue and Pink Bubble Gum, Red Velvet Cake, and Margarita. If you want something more natural, Scandi's also offers fruit and sugar-free options.

related:What It's Like to Fly Between Hawaii These Days


Hawaiian Ulu Lani Shaved Ice

Since opening its first brick-and-mortar location in Lahaina in 2008, Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice has been so successful that it now has six locations in Maui and a franchise in Kona, Big Island. Choose from over 55 flavors and an array of toppings, including vegan Haupia Cream and Li Qing Plum Powder, or choose one of Maui-inspired pairings, including Haleakala with Leche, Coconut and Snow Cap.

Where to Find the Best Shaved Ice in Hawaii - The Points Guy (4)

Surfendes Monkey Shave Ice Cream

For Paul Davies, his first visit to Matsumoto Shave Ice was not only a taste experience, but also the start of a new business idea. After moving to Maui, Paul decided to bring some ice magic to his new home island, and there are now two Surf Monkey shaved ice shops in Kihei and Wailea, where you can sample his all-natural ingredients, including 100 % Kona coffee flavor.

Island Cream Company

Have you ever wanted to control the pouring of shaved ice syrup? Well, at Island Cream Co. you can. Be your own crazy flavor combo explorer with the Glacier Ice system, where you can choose from 36 flavors with over 150 options popping up on different days.

(Video) MY flavor made with REAL GOLD at Matsumoto Shave Ice | Max Food

Kauai Island

freshly shaved

The family behind Kauai’s super-cute Silver Shave Ice Trailer opened their first location in Koloa this summer, and they’re continuing to make their signature ice cream using hand-cranked machines. At The Fresh Shave, snap a happy photo with a paper mustache straw, then enjoy ice cream in syrup made from organic fruit grown directly on the island.

Wailua Laciris

In the town of Kapa'a, Wailua shaved ice adds flavor to this classic island treat. Co-owner Brandon Baptiste attended the Culinary Institute of America before working for Thomas Keller in Per Se, New York and the French Laundry in California, and now shares his skills for homemade sauces and mousses. If you can't make it to Kauai, downtown Portland and San Diego also have shops.

Editorial Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author, not affiliated with any bank, credit card company, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by any such entity.


What is the most popular shaved ice in Hawaii? ›

1. Matsumoto Shave Ice. When someone says “shave ice,” most people hear “Matsumoto's.” It's perhaps the most popular, well-known shave ice shop in all of Hawaii.

What is the difference between shaved ice and Hawaiian shaved ice? ›

Snow cones are crunchy and made with crushed ice that's molded into a ball before being topped with flavored syrups. Hawaiian shaved ice is made by ice that has been shaved into a fine, powdery consistency. To make Hawaiian shaved ice, you will need to combine snow-like ice with sugar or fruit-based syrups.

Where does Obama eat shave ice? ›

Matsumoto Grocery Store on the north shore of Oahu. Now operating as Matsumoto's Shave Ice, the place has become so popular that waits can stretch past a half-hour. Shave ice is iconic enough that images of President Obama eating the dessert regularly show up in news-media coverage during his winter vacations here.

What is authentic Hawaiian shaved ice? ›

Shave ice or Hawaiian shave ice is an ice-based dessert made by shaving a block of ice and flavoring it with syrup and other sweet ingredients. On the Big Island of Hawai'i, it is also referred to as "ice shave." In contrast, a snow cone, a similar American dessert, is made with crushed ice rather than shaved ice.

What is the difference between Kona Ice and shaved ice? ›

Essentially, it's the same as shaved ice - ice shaved by a blade, but it does have it's differences. Sometimes with shave ice, they add condensed milk, azuki beans or a scoop of ice cream at the bottom. This kind of shaved ice is mostly found in Hawaii, due to it's history.

Why is Hawaiian shave ice so good? ›

Hawaiian shaved ice is all about the texture and flavor. Much smaller, more delicate ice shavings absorb the flavored syrup without it pooling at the bottom of the cup. Shaved ice is never watery, the texture is light and delicate, and the flavor combinations are endless.

Why is Matsumoto shave ice popular? ›

Owner Stan Matsumoto says his parents, Helen and Mamoru, started selling shave ice as an added value treat for customers. It was a hit with both locals and visitors, especially traveling surfers who came to Oahu's North Shore for its legendary waves.

What does Blue Hawaii taste like shaved ice? ›

It tastes like Hawaiian Punch with a hint of coconut. Use Blue Hawaiian syrup on a snow cone and you might think you've been transported to the islands. The electric blue color is a reminder of the clear blue water of Hawaii, and the taste and smell are distinctly tropical.

What is blue Hawaiian shaved ice? ›

This tasty flavor is packed with the sweet, tangy tastes of Hawaiian punch. Meanwhile, a slight hint of coconut gives Blue Hawaiian shaved ice syrup a distinctly tropical taste and scent. If you're looking to buy Hawaiian punch snow cone syrup, choosing Blue Hawaiian will take your sweets to the next level.

What is the white cream on shaved ice? ›

Sweet Cream (Condensed Milk)

Condensed milk is whole milk combined with cane sugar, with most of the water removed. Shaved ice business owners quite commonly offer this as a topping. After you prepare your shaved ice, pour an ounce or two on top very carefully, as it can quickly get messy.

Why is shaved ice so expensive? ›

With shave ice, the ice is shaved to order and made much thinner, making it a more labor and cost intensive process. This is a big reason why shave ice shops need to charge more. Check out our infographic for more differences between shave ice and snow cones.

Who owns Ululani shave ice? ›

In December of 2008, Ululani & David Yamashiro and Brad Edgerton (David's best friend, Janice's, husband) and now partner decided to take a chance and open their first “brick and mortar” shop in Lahaina, Maui.

What kind of milk is used in shave ice in Hawaii? ›

The crowning glory comes from a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk poured over the top, commonly known as a “snow cap”and you can include a scoop of ice cream on the bottom if you wish (and I always wish).

What is the flavor of Tiger's Blood? ›

What is it? Despite what you may think, no tigers were harmed to produce this syrup! Tiger's blood is a delicious combination of sweet watermelon, strawberry flavoring and a hint of coconut. Tiger's blood shaved ice is often served at concession stands and ice cream trucks all across the world.

What flavor is Hawaiian Shaved Ice? ›

Shaved Ice Flavor List & Descriptions
Bahama MamaA fruity blend of pineapple, coconut, orange and cherry
HawaiianA blend of fruity flavors. Tastes like tropical punch.
LemonadeTart, tangy lemonade flavor.
Lemon-LimeA refreshing combination of lemon and lime flavoring, slightly tart.
LimeRobust, fresh-squeezed lime flavor.
45 more rows

What is the best shaved ice machine on the market? ›

1. Best Overall: Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine. Thanks to the included molds, this popular machine makes fluffy shaved ice as well as coarser snow cone-style ice (ice cubes can be used, but they won't produce a snowy texture).

Is eating shaved ice healthy? ›

Eating ice in shaved ice pieces (like snow cones) may seem relatively harmless, but it can have a long-term harmful repercussions on teeth. Dr. Gray, your dentist in Edmond has seen the dental damage that can happen as a result of patients eating ice. Here is a list of problems that Dr.

How healthy is shave ice? ›

No, eating shaved ice is not considered a healthy food. While it can contain some fruit pieces, it is primarily made up of sugary syrup, and does not contribute any real nutrition or health benefits. The sugary syrup and artificial flavorings can also contribute to cavities and other oral health problems.

Is shave ice good for you? ›

Consuming large amounts of shaved ice can lead to an upset stomach, dehydration, and headaches. Eating too many servings of shaved ice in one sitting can also cause a person to consume too much sugar, which can lead to headaches, fatigue, and hyperglycemia.

What is the most popular Matsumoto shave ice? ›

The classic Matsumoto flavor combination is lemon-pineapple-coconut. Another iconic favorite (one pictured on some of the shop's merchandise) is the rainbow combination, which tastes like strawberry, lemon, and pineapple.

What kind of syrup does Matsumoto's use? ›

What on the menu contains corn syrup? Yuzu syrup and the vanilla ice cream(contains corn solids).

Is shaved ice healthier than ice cream? ›

To be honest, your average snow cone or shave ice made with refined sugars, artificial flavors, and artificial colors, is not the healthiest food option out there, but they are still low on the calorie scale as compared to ice cream and frozen yogurt.

What flavor is Rainbow shaved ice? ›

Above: The Rainbow shave ice is always a crowd pleaser with a blend of strawberry, lemon, and pineapple syrups.

What does silver fox shaved ice taste like? ›

Creamy Almond and Vanilla combination. Excellent as a cream flavor.

How do you eat Hawaiian shaved ice? ›

You eat shave ice with a spoon and a straw. You start with the spoon, and because some of the ice will have melted by the time you finish eating the ice, you then use the straw to suck up the rest. Shave ice is abundant in Hawaii. You will see it everywhere.

What is Hispanic shaved ice called? ›

Shaved ice became “raspado” in Mexico, meaning “shaved.” It is now served all over the country in various flavors like tamarind, cajeta, lime, pineapple, etc. One thing is for sure — people of all ages, ethnicities, and cultures seem to love the sweet, refreshing flavors of raspados.

What flavor is Li Hing Mui shave ice? ›

Li Hing Mui

A salty dried plum, this local favorite is about as sour and tangy as it gets, so order with caution. Get it at most shave ice stores in Hawaiʻi.

What is Aloha Hawaii Snowie flavor? ›

Aloha Hawaii (Hawaiian Punch & Coconut)

What goes on top of Hawaiian shaved ice? ›

Condensed milk is commonly drizzled over the tops of Hawaiian style shave ice, where it's often referred to as a “snow cap”.

Do you eat or drink shaved ice? ›

Shave ice is a domed mound of ice drizzled with flavored syrup, served in a cup and eaten with a spoon. While it bears some resemblance to a snow cone, shave ice is far superior. Since it's made with shaved (rather than crushed) ice, syrup can be absorbed by the ice instead of pooling at the bottom of the cup.

What's the difference between shave ice and shaved ice? ›

It's a very common question with a simple answer: The difference between shaved ice and shave ice is only the name. In Hawaii, you'll most likely hear it called “Shave Ice” without the “D”. Elsewhere, it's more likely to be called shaved ice.

Can I eat shaved ice everyday? ›

Sucking on or chewing ice in moderation is unlikely to cause harm. However, anyone who feels a compulsion to eat ice may require medical attention. If ice cravings last for longer than 1 month, a doctor should investigate the underlying cause.

Which is better shaved ice or snow cone? ›

Many people wonder what the difference between shaved ice and snow cones are. The answer is simple really. Snow Cones have larger granules of ice than shaved ice. Shaved ice is more comparable to snow, and is very fine, light, and fluffy whereas Snow Cones have larger pieces of ice.

What does Ululani mean in Hawaiian? ›

The name Ululani is primarily a female name of Hawaiian origin that means Divine Inspiration.

Does shaved ice make money? ›

Shaved ice and snow cones have a high markup, which means each sale produces a large profit.

Which country invented shaved ice? ›

The origin of shave ice can be traced back to Japan's Heian period, with the earliest evidence of the dish arising roughly one millennium ago. The dessert, known as kakigōri (かき氷), consisted of shavings from a block of ice mixed with a sweet syrup.

What flavor is Hawaiian shaved ice? ›

Shaved Ice Flavor List & Descriptions
Bahama MamaA fruity blend of pineapple, coconut, orange and cherry
HawaiianA blend of fruity flavors. Tastes like tropical punch.
LemonadeTart, tangy lemonade flavor.
Lemon-LimeA refreshing combination of lemon and lime flavoring, slightly tart.
LimeRobust, fresh-squeezed lime flavor.
45 more rows

What flavor is blue Hawaiian shaved ice? ›

It tastes like Hawaiian Punch with a hint of coconut. Use Blue Hawaiian syrup on a snow cone and you might think you've been transported to the islands. The electric blue color is a reminder of the clear blue water of Hawaii, and the taste and smell are distinctly tropical.

What is the best ice for shaved ice? ›

Solid block ice is the preferred form of block ice used in the shaved ice industry. Shaved ice machines that use block ice are easy to operate, but it may take a little bit of time to train users.

What flavor is Tiger's Blood? ›

The flavor known as “Tiger's Blood” is a delightful combination of watermelon, strawberry, and coconut. It has a bright red color, but its similarities to blood end there.

What is the shelf life of Hawaiian shaved ice syrup? ›

What is the shelf life of the syrup? Each bottle of syrup is printed with a "Use By" date. We ensure the quality and taste will be nothing less than perfect until that date. Upon delivery to your door, you can expect a minimum of 1 year remaining on the shelf life, if not more.

What flavor is tsunami? ›

Shaved Ice Concentrate. From Southern Snow ®

Light Green - A smooth tropical fruit blend.

What flavor is island rush Kona Ice? ›


This blue tropical punch flavor has become a quick fan favorite. Named after our gaming app, you'll feel like you're running on the beach with the wind in your hair!

What is the cream they put in shaved ice? ›

Sweet Cream (Condensed Milk)

Condensed milk is whole milk combined with cane sugar, with most of the water removed. Shaved ice business owners quite commonly offer this as a topping. After you prepare your shaved ice, pour an ounce or two on top very carefully, as it can quickly get messy.

Does shaved ice hydrate you? ›

You can also stay hydrated by eating popsicles, shaved ice, freeze pops, and slushies! Another idea is using a fun drink cup or water bottle.


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