Oahu’s Haleiwa – the shave ice capital of Hawaii

Shave ice with coconut, passion fruit and cotton candy flavors and “snow capped” (topped) with sweetened condensed milk.

The charming town of Haleiwa is known for its plantation town history, surfing and shave ice. This North Shore Oahu town has more places to purchase shave ice than anywhere else we know of in Hawaii. So, if you’re looking for a place to enjoy this refreshing treat, then navigate your way to Haleiwa!

With multiple options, where do you go to try shave ice in Haleiwa? In our opinion, you can’t go wrong with  Matsumoto, Aoki’s and Aloha General Store. Matsumoto’s is the most well known and established. Aoki’s is also a long-standing shave ice business that re-established after a short move. On our recent visit to Oahu, we tested Aloha General Store’s shave ice and loved it. For more options and reviews, check this Yelp search for shave ice in Haleiwa.

A shave ice sign from the 1960s

Expect to spend anywhere between $3 and $6 for shave ice, depending on your add ons. With the basic shave ice, you can choose up to three flavors. Of course the yummy flavors — like passion fruit, mango, coconut, pineapple, and more (!) — are delicious on their own, some additions make this treat even more special. Here are some of the usual additions to consider:

  • Vanilla ice cream – the ice cream is placed on the bottom and absorbs the shave ice flavors.
  • Azuki beans – red beans cooked with sugar. The beans are usually placed on the bottom.
  • “Snow-capped” – sweetened condensed milk is poured on top.

How do we like our shave ice? We love adding vanilla ice cream and snow capping it, too.
Where do you plan to get your first or next shave ice in Hawaii?

1 comment
  1. Our favorite Shave Ice in Haleiwa is at the Old Sugar Mill. They make it with pure fruit syrup, and it is fabulous!! Much better than the shave ice offered downtown. Try it.

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