Our Top 5: Shave Ice

Unless you just arrived in Hawaii, you’ve probably been suffering with me for the last week through excessive humidity, vog and near 90-degree weather. It’s not summer anymore, but in this town, it’s almost always a good time to get some shave ice. I’ve done variations of this list before, but since it’s been so hot lately, I thought I’d remind you of some of the best places to cool off.

It’s hard for me to narrow it down to just five, but for this list, I chose places that are grab-and-go, so you can take your cone or cup to the beach or simply sit in your car with the air conditioning running. It’s easy to find great shave ice flavors, so in all of these cases, the ice is fluffy and the syrup is abundant too. (If you ever want to make my list, Waiola, stop being so chintzy with the syrup!)

My Top Five Shave Ice

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I’ll admit, it took me a while to check out Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha because it’s far from home. Uncle Clay and his nephew Bronson Chang serve up gourmet shave ice, featuring homemade syrups (pineapple, Kona coffee, lychee, strawberry, chocolate and even kale) and fresh toppings and homemade sauces made with local ingredients from vendors such as Otsuji Farms and Waialua Estate Chocolate. Everyone should try to get a scoop of ice cream on top.

Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha
820 W. Hind Drive

— Photo by Catherine Toth

Our Top 5 archive
Our Top 5: Happy hours (by Carey Bennett)
Our Top 5: Saimin (by Mari Taketa)
Our Top 5: Fried chicken (by Diane Seo)
Our Top 5: Pancakes (by Melissa Chang)
Our Top 5: Roast pork (by Myong Choi)
Our Top 5: Burgers (by Ed Morita)
Our Top 5: Poke (by Grant Shindo)
Our Top 5: Cocktails (by Tracy Chan)