Try Now: The 8 Best Shave Ice Spots in Honolulu

Here are eight of our favorite shave spots to hit now. Because otherwise, making it to the end of the day without melting is gonna be a close shave.
Clockwise from top left: Ailana Shave Ice, City Cafe, Monsarrat Ave. Shave Ice, Frostcity


Unless you’ve been living in a fridge (and if you are, can we join you?) you’ve noticed it’s hot. The best way to cool off? Shave ice, of course.

Here are eight of our favorite shave spots to hit now. Because otherwise, making it to the end of the day without melting is gonna be a close shave.


Where to go for…


Housemade syrups

Head towards Palolo valley for Your Kitchen’s mountain of shave ice. Here, you’ll find one of our favorite shave ice bowls, at one of our favorite hole-in-the-wall spots. The tropical bowl features housemade mango and haupia syrups, topped off with a scoop of haupia ice cream.
1423 10th Ave., 203-7685

Ailana Shave Ice’s roster of housemade syrups include mango, Calpico, and strawberry milk (with seeds and all). The uji kintoki is a winner, with green tea syrup, housemade mochi, azuki beans and ice cream.
1430 Kona St. #102, 955-8881


All-natural syrups

If the thought of artificially-flavored sugar water makes your teeth hurt, stop by newcomer Monsarrat Ave. Shave Ice, an adorable little spot tucked in an alleyway next to Pioneer Inn. In this oasis, chill out with flavors such as mango, blueberry and yuzu, some of them so thick they’re more like purees than syrup and are layered into the ice like a parfait.
3046 Monsarrat Ave.

House of Pure Aloha is home to kalespin, a kale and spinach blend, for what’s gotta be the healthiest shave ice flavor in town. It’s improbably good. Especially when paired with the pineapple or liliko‘i flavors.
820 W. Hind Dr., Ste 116, 373-5111


Taiwanese shave ice

With Taiwanese baobing, it’s less about the syrup flavor (the ice is traditionally doused in a brown rock candy syrup) than it is about the toppings. Deck out your shave ice at City Cafe with sweetened beans (red or green), jellies (lychee, coffee or grass), and tapioca (big or small). There’s even sweet, stewed peanuts and taro. Crown it all with a creamy pudding.
1518 Makaloa St., 949-9898

One of the newer trends in Taiwanese-style shave ice is “snow ice,” fruit-flavored ice shaved in delicate sheets as thin as phyllo. Frostcity’s is the best in Honolulu, with fresh flavors from lychee to black sesame.
2570 Beretania St., Ste 105, 947-3328


Classic shave ice

For some, it’s not shave ice unless it tastes like rainbow/blue vanilla/red. For old-school cool relief, there’s always Waiola, with the finest shave ice around (it teeters on the edge of slush and ice). Check out the new location at Ward Centers (which is also open later).

For variety of flavors, you can’t beat Shimazu—more than 50 flavors that include creme brûlée, red velvet and buttered popcorn. Go here if you’re really, really hot—even the small would give an elephant a brain freeze.
330 N. School St., 371-8899