You Voted: Here’s Your Top 5 Shave Ice on Oʻahu
Classic shave ice shops dominate the spread from Mākaha to ‘Āina Haina.
When it comes to shave ice, it’s a difficult task for anyone to name one shop the best over another. With so many factors to consider, from the texture of the snow to the intensity of the syrups and the quality of the toppings, one list isn’t going to truly show the depth and breadth of our love for this icy treat. So we put the question to our readers, asking them to vote for their favorites.
We learned that although many of Honolulu’s new-age shave ice shops have passionate followings, the classics we grew up with have staying power. Thanks to this list, it looks like we have a lot more ground to cover and we’re not mad about it: Our reader poll last Friday listed 26 shave ice shops across O‘ahu; readers wrote in more than two dozen others. The No. 1 shave ice purveyor isn’t even a shop, but it commanded nearly a third of the total vote. The rest of the race was much closer, with some shops separated by a mere few votes.
Get your spoons ready—these are your picks for the top 5 shave ice on O‘ahu.
No. 5: Shimazu Store
Pass by this iconic shop on School Street on a hot day, and you’ll see a crowd outside enjoying enormous ice cones. A second location inside Hawai‘i’s Favorite Kitchens in Kapahulu is also a must-stop for locals and visitors. With 6.3% of the total vote in our reader poll, Shimazu Store proves that when you stick to the classics, folks from all generations will gladly return for a taste of small-kid time in the form of huge shave ice cones.
No. 4: Kaulana Shave Ice Creations
Another standout on this list, Kaulana Shave Ice Creations isn’t even searchable on Google Maps. But with 6.4% of the vote, passionate fans put it on the map. To get your hands on these icy bowls, you either have to be invited to a party that’s serving them up or attend one of the street festivals where Kaulana pops up.
No. 3: 6Sixty Apparel
Is it strange that a clothing store in Wahiawā would wind up among the Top 5 shave ice on O‘ahu? Not when you realize that they can pump out serious bowls topped with everything from gummy bears to Fruity Pebbles and li hing mui powder. With just five more votes than Kaulana Shave Ice Creations, 6Sixty Apparel lands in the Top 3 shave ice shops on O‘ahu.
670 California Ave., (808) 200-2418, @6sixtyapparel
SEE ALSO: Best Shave Ice on O‘ahu
No. 2: Waiola Shave Ice
One of our team’s favorites is also one of your favorites. Despite the somewhat strict ordering criteria and some difficult parking at peak times, Waiola is always worth a visit on a hot summer day. Whether you like to hike it over to the Kapahulu location or chill on a side street in McCully, this is a destination for shave ice connoisseurs. Waiola comes in at second place on our list with 7.7% of the vote.
Multiple locations, (808) 949-2269, @waiolashaveice
No. 1: Mountain Magic Shave Ice
With a whopping 29% of the entire vote, this food trailer in a shopping center parking lot is your pick for the best shave ice on O‘ahu. Either we’re missing out or shopping for deals in Waikele makes everyone crave a sugarloaf mountain of ice dressed with syrups, mochi, ube caps and li hing powder. Once a cart near Lowe’s, Mountain Magic Shave Ice has since migrated to the fence near Dick’s Lechon and Leonard Jr’s Hot Malasadas. Given how warm it gets in West O‘ahu, shave ice is the perfect thirst-quenching treat.
Multiple locations, (808) 681-9582, @mountainmagicshaveice
With such close results, failing to mention the remaining shops in the Top 10 would be like forgetting to mention our best friends from hanabata time. They are:
No. 6: Ululani’s Shave Ice – 6.2% of the vote
No. 7: MM Island Shave Ice – 5.7%
No. 8: Chillest Shave Ice – 4.5%
No. 9: Matsumoto Shave Ice – 4.4%
No. 10: Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha – 3.1%
Among write-in votes, the top four were Fine Time Shave Ice and Puchie’s Shave Ice, which both do events and catering, and ‘Ewa Seed Co. of ‘Ewa Beach and Aunty Kalei’s Shave Ice in Pacific Palisades.