Best Shave Ice on O‘ahu

Yes, it’s fall. Yes, it’s sweltering. Here are our best picks for shave ice across the island.

 

Baldwin’s Sweet Shop

Waimalu

Baldwin Store Lemon Peel Shave Ice Melissa Chang

Photo: Melissa Chang

Baldwin’s Sweet Shop in Waimalu had lemon peel syrup even before the lemon peel craze—it’s just one of the unique local kine flavors they offer that I love. Well, this summer, I revisited Baldwin and found that they now have grated lemon peel (the dried, salted kind) as an extra topping! Not only does it add more lemon peel flavor to my shave ice, I love having the chewy peel in every bite of the tart ice. Excuse me while I salivate. —Melissa Chang

98-040 Kamehameha Hwy., (808) 488-0505, @baldwinssweetshop

 


 

Banán

Waikīkī

Banan Shave Ice Screenshot Thomas Obungen

Screenshot by Thomas Obungen

Legendary plant-based frozen treat purveyor Banán serves up their take on fresh and fruity shave ice where the water breaks at Fort DeRussy Beach. Each creation starts with a base of their signature banana soft serve that’s layered with a mountain of fluffy snow and fresh fruits. My favorite part is choosing among several tropical flavors like mango, guava and dragon fruit that they make in-house using locally sourced fruit. Then I finish off my guilt-free indulgence with drizzles of coconut cream or sweet local honey. The silky smooth ice and syrups are so pleasantly refreshing, especially after a day at the beach. —Thomas Obungen

Banán Waikīkī Shore, 2161 Kalia Ave., (808) 773-7231, banan.co, @banan

 


SEE ALSO: Shades of Shave Ice: Local Fruit Shines at Waikīkī’s New Shave Ice Shop


 

Island Vintage Shave Ice

Waikīkī

Island Vintage Shave Ice Martha Cheng

Photo: Martha Cheng

The line at Island Vintage Shave Ice’s kiosk in Waikīkī is usually formidable. But brave it for soft shave ice drenched in syrups made with real fruit. Favorite combinations include Heavenly Liliko‘i, the ice shaped around a frozen yogurt center, then topped with fresh strawberry and liliko‘i pulp and handmade mochi. —Martha Cheng

Multiple locations, islandvintagecoffee.com/pages/islandvintageshaveice, @islandvintageshaveice

 


SEE ALSO: Worth the Splurge: Island Vintage’s $19 Honey Cream Pineapple Shave Ice in Waikīkī


 

Kawaii Ice Wave

Kapālama

When I’m craving something sweet and cold, my taste buds direct me to a Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Wave from Kawaii Ice Wave. There’s sweetness from the strawberry purée over a soft and fluffy bed of shaved ice, with strawberry slices and cheesecake chunks, finished with condensed milk drizzled on top. Did I mention there’s also soft serve on the bottom? I know it sounds like a lot, but this shave ice satisfies all my dessert cravings in one bite. Who knows, you might even find a sneaker to pair with your dessert. —Lauren Kaneshiro

1111 Dillingham Blvd., (808) 725-0651, @kawaii_icewave

 


 

Kula Shave Ice

Kahuku

Kula Shave Ice 1 Maria Burke

Photo: Maria Burke

With super ‘ono options like soursop and liliko‘i topped with a cloud of haupia cream and dotted with bouncy house-made mochi, or a cacao lover’s dream complete with chocolate shell, this organic-fanatic trailer is the coolest excuse to holo holo up North. —Maria Burke

57-146 Kamehameha Hwy, kulashaveicenorthshore.com, @kulashaveicens

 


SEE ALSO: Hawai‘i Island’s Kula Shave Ice Brings Its Natural and Organic Bowls to O‘ahu’s North Shore


 

Monsarrat Shave Ice

Diamond Head

Monserrat Shave Ice Mango Coconut Thomas Obungen

Photo: Thomas Obungen

You know you’re lucky when you stop by this tiny window next to Pioneer Saloon and it’s actually open and serving. The elusive Monsarrat Shave Ice is worth the gamble and fight for parking. Silky smooth ice and fresh organic fruit syrups are painstakingly layered into a bowl until a sugarloaf mountain of flavored ice is formed. My favorites are the borderline-haupia coconut syrup and the sweet mango which go well with chewy mochi and a scoop of Meadow Gold vanilla ice cream. Your best chance to give it a try? Go on a sunny weekend closer to noon and you’ll probably time it just right. –Thomas Obungen

3046 Monsarrat Avenue, (808) 732-4001, @monsarratshaveice

 


Shimazu Store

Liliha and Kapahulu

20220317 Your weekend St patricks day Shave ice Shimazu shave ice

Photo courtesy of Hawaiʻi’s Favorite Kitchens

Shimazu Store is always a classic! I love that their shave ice syrups include classic flavors as well as contemporary, fancy new ones, and their cones are big—still a good deal for shave ice. Although I’ve never had it, I’m especially enamored by “The Larry,” the ginormous shave ice mound that’s bigger than your head. Whenever I buy my shave ice, there is always someone in the store getting a Larry for themselves. —Melissa Chang

Multiple locations, @shimazu_shave_ice

 


SEE ALSO: 4 Favorite Halo Halo on O‘ahu, One You Need to Get Now


 

Waiola Shave Ice

McCully and Waikīkī

Waiola Shave Ice Credit Thomas Obungen

Photo: Thomas Obungen

When I was a beach bum in college, Waiola Shave Ice was the perfect cheap eat. My friends and I would hunt for change in my Honda Civic to pay for Waiola’s finely shaved snowballs splashed, not drenched, with sweet syrups. Our salty lips would smile, big. My go-to flavor was and still is rainbow with mochi and I love that my small size comes in a cup—not cone. It makes it easier to eat in a short amount of time. I love slurping my shave ice and fishing around for chewy balls in a pool of purple-y sauce. —Stacey Makiya

Multiple locations, @waiolashaveice

 


SEE ALSO: Shades of Shave Ice: Kapahulu is Home to Two Old-School Shave Ice Institutions


 

Wilson Store

Kailua

Wilson Store Shave Ice Screenshot Thomas Obungen

Screenshot by Thomas Obungen

We’re fortunate to have many wonderful shave ice places close to our Kailua home. Kailua General Store and Island Snow have fed us icy treats for years. But we’ve been won over, of late, by Wilson Store, specifically the liliko‘i-lychee combo with a request to layer the powdered dried lemon peel into the ice for a salty-sour-sweet combo that keeps calling us back. —Robbie Dingeman

20A Kainehe St., (808) 728-3855, wilson-store.business.site, @wilsonskailua

 


SEE ALSO: Shades of Shave Ice: Kailua’s Neighborhood Shops With Shave Ice Counters


 

Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha

‘Aina Haina

This shop in ‘Aina Haina specializes in all-natural, fruit-forward syrups—here, the Classic Rainbow is a combination of strawberry, mango and pineapple flavors, crowned with fresh pineapple and mango, plus condensed milk and vanilla ice cream. It’s the shave ice version of an ice cream sundae, but so much lighter and fresher. —Martha Cheng

820 W. Hind Drive, (808) 373-5111, houseofpurealoha.com, @uncleclays