Signs of Hawaii: Time for Shave Ice

Time for Shave Ice

It’s 2:45pm and time for Hawaii’s delightful shave ice! Well, anytime is a good time for shave ice, right?

If you’ve never had a shave ice in Hawaii, you’re in for a treat. It’s ice that’s very finely shaven to make a soft fluffy ball of ice that’s then topped with flavorings. If you’re thinking, “Oh, that’s just like a snow cone.” Well, in a way it is because it includes ice and flavorings, but the difference is thatย  Hawaii shave ice is much softer and smoother. The consistency ofย  great shave ice is almost like that ice cream, whereas snow cones have chunkier pieces of hard ice. See this shave ice photo for a better visual idea of the consistency.

I snapped these photos a couple of weeks ago at Matsumoto in Haleiwa on Oahu’s North shore. Matsumoto is probably Hawaii’s most well known place for shave ice. I took the following photo so that you could see all the all their ordering and flavor options.

Shave Ice Flavors and Options at Matsumatos in Haleiwa

Notice that you have the option to add ice cream and sweetened Azuki beans to the bottom of your shave ice. I’ve tried that combination and while it was interesting , I think I prefer my shave ice without beans and ice cream. On this last visit to Matsumoto, I chose a small shave ice with island flavors of coconut, lilikoi and guava. It was onolicious (delicious).

What are your favorite shave ice flavors? Do you order your shave ice with Azuki beans and ice cream? Where’s your favorite place for shave ice in Hawaii?

11 comments
  1. I think I tried the Hawaiian “combo.” There were almost too many choices.

    I agree with you on the Azuki beans, glad I tried them, but next time I’m going shave ice only.

  2. By far my most favourite shave ice joint is in Kihei, Maui at Da Local Boy Snack Shop. I like anything with coconut. They have tons of extras to choose from, but I like it plain and simple! Yum.

  3. Yum! I love shave ice, but especially with macadamia ice cream on the bottom. Jojo’s Shave Ice in Kauai has excellent shave ice.

  4. Best shave ice on the island is at angel’s ice cream in the Laie shopping center on Oahu. They have something called Angel’s Halo that is amazing. . . it’s shave ice with ice cream in the bottom and whip cream and condensed milk on top!!! Sounds too sweet but it is honestly delicious. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I LOVE Matsumoto’s. I usually get orange, strawbery & Lemon with ice cream on the bottom. YUM! I also had very good shave ice from a truck parked at Waianapanapa State Park in Maui.

  6. The best shave ice on Maui is a new shop in Lahaina called Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice. If you haven’t tried it – you cannot compare the others because the comparison starts there.The finest shave and they are becoming very popular amongst locals from all over the island for their great tasting flavors and combinations.Visit this shop before making any further recommendations or comparisons.

  7. There are two Ululani’s on Maui. One in Kahakuloa that is good, but not too many flavors and quite a drive. The one on front street in Lahaina is the best anywhere. I spent a long time trying shave ice all over and their’s is da best. Lots of flavor options. I like blue vanilla and tiger’s blood with cream.

  8. Tiger’s Blood is cherry mixed with coconut, but I have also seen it as strawberry with coconut. I tried Aloha island shave ice in Paia. I give it 4 1/2 stars, Tom’s Mini Mart in Wailuku gets 4 1/2 stars, the Espresso shack in Kihei gets 4 3/4 stars, but Ululani’s gets 5 stars. These are my top 4 so depending on where I am on the island I’ll go to these places. Everywhere else gets 3 stars or less.

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