Shave ice in Oahu topped with fresh fruit and ice-cream

The 9 Best Shave Ice Spots in Oahu

If you’re wondering where you can find the best shave ice on the island of Oahu, we’ve got you covered!

We’ve scoured Oahu and found some great places where you can indulge in a bowl of delicious shave ice. Whether you’re looking for fruit or cream-based shave ice, we’ll provide you with our list of the top 9 best places on Oahu!

Here are our favorite nine spots on Oahu to grab some tasty shave ice treats that will cool you down amid this summer heat!

Our Top Picks: Waiola Shave Ice, Matsumoto Shave Ice, Kaimana Shave Ice, Shimazu Shave Ice, Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha, Island Vintage Shave Ice, Monsarrat Shave Ice, Island Snow, Kokonuts Shave Ice

Before we begin, let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Best Shave Ice in Oahu: FAQs

What is Obama’s favorite shave ice?

The Obama family is known to visit the Island Snow shave ice store in Kailua while they’re on Oahu.

What makes Hawaiian shave ice so good?

The difference between Hawaiian shave ice and “snow cones” you might get on the mainland is that the ice is finer and softer; there are no pebble-sized chunks of ice in Hawaiian shave ice.

Hawaiian shave ice also typically has more fruity flavors, unlike some other varieties of shave ice which only use syrup for flavor. This makes it easier to enjoy more flavors at one time.

What is shave ice made of?

Shave ice is typically made by shaving a block of ice (similar to how you would make snow cones). After the large block is shaved, it’s mixed with flavored syrup and multiple other add-ons.

Is shave ice the same as a snow cone?

No, these two treats are totally different. A snow cone has flavored, crushed ice that’s been pressed into a cup and served with flavoring. It generally does not have cream or condensed milk added to it as an option.

Shave ice is finely shaved ice mixed with sweeteners, condensed milk (add-on choice), or other ingredients. It comes in many delicious flavors!

What is the best flavor of shaved ice?

There really is no best flavor; it’s all about your personal preference! Some popular shave ice flavors are mango, pineapple, lilikoi, and coconut.

If I had to make a recommendation, I would say make sure you select the ice cream add-on if you are an ice cream lover.

It changes the whole flavor profile of the shave ice and makes it a whole different treat. Trust me on this one!

The first time we ordered shave ice in Oahu, we did the basic order with no add-on, and it didn’t “hit” like we expected. The entire game changed when we started to add ice cream at the bottom.

Two shave ice cones in Oahu. One is strawberry and the other is mango.

Without further adieu, here are the top 9 places to get shave Ice in Oahu!

The 9 Best Shave Ice Spots in Oahu

1) Waiola Shave Ice

Location: 2135 Waiola St, Honolulu, HI 96826

Waiola Shave Ice has been a Hawaii favorite for a while, and it’s for good reason. They truly have some of the best shave ice on the island.

What to get: You can’t go wrong with the classic shave ice flavors like strawberry, pineapple, and lilikoi, as well as the local favorite li hing mui flavor. You can also try to get special flavors like the sundae shave ice, custard bowl, mocha bowl, or the Azuki Bowl with mochi.

Location: It’s located very close to Waikiki.

WHY WE LOVE THIS PLACE

Different varieties plus multiple add ons: The flavors to choose from are endless!

Affordable: The prices are reasonable for what you get. You can get shave ice with multiple add-ons for about $7.00. It’s even cheaper if you don’t want any add ons.

The texture of the Shave Ice: The shave ice is excellent; everything from the texture of the snow to its taste is impressive. The texture of the snow is so fluffy and perfect. If I had to pick a winner on the texture of the shave ice, I would choose this one!

2) Matsumoto Shave Ice

Location: 66-111 Kamehameha Hwy #605, Haleiwa, HI 96712

As Oahu’s most famous shave ice spot, this is an absolute Oahu must-do! 

The line here can be long (we’ve waited in line for over 30 minutes during the summer), but it’s worth the wait!

What to get: Try Matsumoto’s classic rainbow shave ice with flavors ranging from cherry, strawberry, pineapple, lime green tea, and more. 

Make sure to add sweetened condensed milk and azuki beans on top!

If you’re looking for something other than the classic flavors, try the mango haupia (coconut pudding).

You can also try the Ichiban special, where you can add ice cream, condensed milk, and mochi.

They have about 38 different flavors you can choose from, but you can only combine 3 in one order.

WHY WE LOVE THIS PLACE

Different varieties and multiple add-on choices:  Matsumoto has so many different flavors to choose from; you won’t run out of options.

Price: The shave ice here is very affordable 

Overall taste and texture of the shave ice: Last but not least, the shave ice is excellent; everything from the texture of the snow to the taste of it all is fantastic.

3) Kaimana Shave Ice

Location: 66519 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712

If you are on the North Shore of Oahu, definitely check out Kaimana Shave Ice. They have a great selection of flavors that will keep you going back for more. They even have a nice backyard where you can sit and enjoy your shave ice.

They use all-natural ingredients and syrups made from fruit. The ice is so fluffy and perfect you will undoubtedly keep coming back for more.

What to get: You can never go wrong with lilikoi, pineapple, the sunrise, or the sunset with Mac nut, mango, and passion fruit flavors.

WHY WE LOVE THIS PLACE

The flavor and texture of the Shave Ice: The shave ice here is perfect! It’s not too sweet or bland.

Location: Kaimana is located in Haleiwa, close to some of the best food trucks on Oahu’s North Shore. It’s also close to some of the best beaches on the North Shore of Oahu.

4) Shimazu Shave Ice

Location: They have two locations. See below:

3111 Castle St, Honolulu, HI 96815

330 N School St, Honolulu, HI 96817

Shimazu Shave Ice is known for its enormous portion size and fine texture of shave ice. They have sizes ranging from small to Larry (extra large). Even the small size here is enough to feed two people!

What to get: The classic flavors are good, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. We recommend trying the mandarin orange, red or blue raspberry, and don’t forget the vanilla ice cream add-on or the condensed milk.

WHY WE LOVE THIS PLACE

Generous Portion: The portion size is humongous, and the prices are reasonable.

Not as crowded: Compared to Matsumoto, the line for Shimazu isn’t as long; the wait is shorter.

The texture of the Shave Ice: The shave ice here has a perfect consistency and texture. Not too soft and not too hard.

Note: Make sure you have some cash with you, as Shimazu doesn’t take credit cards.

5) Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha

Location: 820 W Hind Dr #116, Honolulu, HI 96821

Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha is a family-owned and operated local business. This place is known to have the Aloha feel to it, and you will most certainly notice the moment you enter the door.

What to get: Try their famous signature strawberry Dream Shave Ice or the Classic Rainbow. The strawberry Dream comes with fresh strawberries, homemade mochi, condensed milk, and Tahitian vanilla ice cream. 

The classic rainbow has strawberry, mango, and pineapple syrups with fresh mango and pineapples. It also includes condensed milk and Tahitian ice cream.

WHY WE LOVE THIS PLACE

Unique flavors: The classic rainbow has a twist with the mango and pineapple syrup.

Affordable: The prices are reasonable for what you get.

The texture of the Shave Ice: The shave ice is great; everything from the texture of the snow to its taste is impressive.

We love Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha for its delicious fruit, homemade syrups, generous portions, and the Aloha feeling you get when you are there.

6) Island Vintage Shave Ice

Location: 2201 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Island Vintage Shave island is located right in the heart of Waikiki, so it’s very easy to access. Their flavors are made from homemade fruit purees—not artificial syrups, which is a huge plus.

What to get: When in doubt, you can always go with their signature flavors such as the Hawaiian Rainbow, Heavenly Lilikoi, or the Super Island. All of these are served with homemade mochi and condensed milk.

WHY WE LOVE THIS PLACE

Location: This place is right in Waikiki, making it convenient.

Freshly made toppings: Island Vintage is also known for its freshly made toppings, such as mochi.

Flavor and texture of the shave ice: You can’t go wrong with any of the flavors. They’re bold and delicious. The shave ice here has a very good consistency and texture. Not too soft and not too hard.

Note: The prices here tend to be more on the pricier side than the others mentioned in this list, but again they are located in the heart of Waikiki. If you are already staying in the area, it saves you a drive.

7) Monsarrat Shave Ice

Location: 3046 Monsarrat Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Monsarrat Shave Ice is another favorite of ours, and they definitely deserve a spot on this list.

This place is known for its fresh fruit flavors made from natural fruit. This is a huge plus if you don’t like overly sweet desserts, as the ones made from high fructose corn syrup tend to be too much.

What to get: The classic flavors are delicious too, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. If you want something more unique we recommend trying the toasted coconut and lychee honey boba add-ons.

WHY WE LOVE THIS PLACE

Delicious flavors: The fresh fruit flavors are amazing. You can taste the real fruit in each of these flavors.

The texture of the Shave Ice: The texture is consitent.

Price: This place has reasonable prices for quality flavors.

Note: The line here might seem too long because only one lady is working, but trust me it’s worth the wait if you get there during a busy time.

8) Island Snow

Location: 130 Kailua Rd, Kailua, HI 96734

If you are on the windward side of Oahu, be sure to stop by Island Snow and check out their delicious flavors. It’s a very popular place in Kailua, so be prepared to wait in line.

Their signature shave ice is made from fresh fruit syrup and served with homemade mochi and condensed milk.

What to get: If you can, try the local flavors. For a fruit flavor go for the strawberry guava, tropical island, or the Heavenly Liliko’i. It’s a local favorite and tastes fantastic. 

You can also try to add on the macadamia nut ice cream at the bottom; trust me, it’s to die for and what dreams are made off in Hawaii!

As mentioned before, Island Snow is also known for being former president Barack Obama’s shave ice spot where he gets his shave ice from when he is on the island. If it’s good enough for him it must be something special!

WHY WE LOVE THIS PLACE

The flavor and texture of the Shave Ice: The flavors are fantastic, and the texture is always consistent and perfect.

Great location: This place is located in the heart of Kailua—close to Kailua Beach, making it easily accessible.

9) Kokonuts Shave Ice

Location: 7192 Kalanianaʻole Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96825

Last but certainly not least, we have Kokonuts Shave Ice. Many people stop here after hiking Koko Head, and I don’t blame them. 

What a wonderful treat after challenging yourself and hiking one of the best hikes in Oahu.

What to get: They have so many great flavors here! We tried the lilikoi and strawberry flavors and they were both excellent.

WHY WE LOVE THIS PLACE

Great Flavor: Their flavors are amazing; you can’t go wrong with any flavor here. They are rich and not overly sweet like most places that use high fructose corn syrup.

Price: Not only are the flavors good, but it’s also reasonably priced.

Great location: You can’t go wrong with stopping here after hiking Koko Head.

Other items on the menu: You can also get other things, including my personal favorite: crepes. If you are craving a sundae or a shake, this place has it all.

The Verdict: Best Shave Ice in Oahu

So, there you have it!: Waiola Shave Ice, Matsumoto Shave Ice, Kaimana Shave Ice, Shimazu Shave Ice, Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha, Island Vintage Shave Ice, Monsarrat Shave Ice, Island Snow, and Kokonuts Shave Ice are some of the best places to get shave ice in Oahu.

If you are struggling with where to go, look no further because these are perfect for any day or occasion.

No matter what you crave, be it a fruity flavor or something more traditional like vanilla ice cream at the bottom, you’re sure to be satisfied. These places have you covered!

So, if you are looking for a new treat on your next vacation to Oahu or just craving some shaved ice from any of these places, then go check them out.

You won’t be disappointed with the fantastic taste and flavors that each place has to offer!

Mahalo for reading our post! Until next time, Aloha, and enjoy your shave ice in Oahu!

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