There’s perhaps nothing more refreshing than authentic shave ice made with care right in paradise. The ultra-cool ice pairs beautifully with bold syrups and other additions, making it a definite must-have experience whenever you have downtime between your island adventures. Ready to get a taste of all the shave ice deliciousness that awaits?
Here are the top places to go for shave ice while visiting the Big Island:
Original Big Island Shave Ice
Whenever you find yourself at the Kings’ Shops, jet into the Original Big Island Shave Ice for an icy treat. This shop has proudly served as the go-to place for authentic shave ice served with all the aloha in the world.
To get a taste, you’ll need to decide if you want to build your own or go for one of their specialties. Available in small and large sizes, their specialties include Pineapple Cream, Root Beer Float, and Kona Coffee. Their most popular specialty flavor is the HaloHalo, however. This treat comes with ube ice cream, boba, azuki beans, fruit jellies, cantaloupe, sweet potato cream syrup, condensed cream, and whipped cream.
If you build your own, you’ll need to select your size and decide if you’d like to go with an ice cream base. After that, it’s just a matter of choosing your syrup flavors and then picking out all the toppings you want to take your snack to the next level.
Kula Shave Ice
As you explore all that Hilo has to offer, you’ll undoubtedly come across Kula Shave Ice. And when you do, simply waltz through the doors for a decadent sweet treat to remember.
Their treats are second-to-none thanks to the handcrafted spin they put on each one. Their approach starts with the creation of their handmade syrups, which don’t have any corn syrup or artificial ingredients in the mix. They also make their own toppings, ice cream, and mochi, so you can always get the best of the best at every visit.
Although you can build your own, all their specialty flavors are worth a try at least once. Their most popular flavor is The Kula Rainbow, which features blueberry, mango, and strawberry flavors over vanilla ice cream. If you’d like to keep your treat vegan, create your own using vegan coconut ice cream underneath and papaya over the top.
Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice – Kailua-Kona
The Kailua-Kona experience is definitely not complete until you stop by Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice. Although they got their start on Oahu, their popularity inspired them to open up even more shops on Maui and the Big Island as well.
Across all their locations, their winning formula stays the same, allowing you to savor all their top flavors no matter where your travels take you. They have a couple of signature combinations, but it’s worth making your own whenever you get the chance.
The build-your-own process starts with selecting your treat size and deciding if you want Roselani’s Gourmet Ice Cream or azuki beans underneath. Then, you can select up to three syrup flavors, like Li Hing Mui, Passion Orange, and Wedding Cake. Need to keep things sugar-free? They can do that, too. Finally, you’ll get to add your toppings, which range from snow cap and haupia cream to toasted coconut and fresh mochi.
Scandinavian Shave Ice
If you’ll be in the Kailua Bay area, always plan a visit to Scandinavian Shave Ice. Also known as ‘Scandi’s,’ this Kona favorite goes big on the shave ice and pairs it with specialty coffee, frozen drinks, and smoothies.
Start your journey by ordering yourself a shave ice, for sure, and go for the large size if you have room in your belly. Truly larger than life, this treat features ice cream or frozen yogurt in the center, plus up to three syrup flavors. You can get toppings, too, if you wish, or just go with some mochi to keep it simple yet delicious.
If you’re not in the mood for shave ice or just want a double dose of tasty goodness, you can get ice cream as well. They offer their ice cream in single-, double-, and triple-scoop sizes, and you can put it in a waffle cone for an extra charge.
Anuenue Ice Cream & Shave Ice
Located in Waimea, Anuenue Ice Cream & Shave Ice keeps things chill while serving up the most decadent treats around. Ice cream, milkshakes, and shave ice galore await whoever ventures up to their front counter.
In creating their shave ice, they stick to a time-honored formula: Up to three syrup flavors of your choice put over a small or regular size pile of soft, fluffy ice. If you’d like ice cream or azuki beans in the middle, they can make that happen. Plus, you have your choice of the most popular toppings, like li hing powder, snow cap, and coconut snow cap.
Their long list of syrup flavors means you never have to get the same thing twice. You can mix and match all the flavors you want, like lime, lychee, and coconut or strawberry, tangerine, and mango. They also have sugar-free syrup flavors, which are always made using Splenda.
It’s Time to Treat Yourself to Shave Ice Galore
Every shave ice eatery does things just a little differently from the next. So, don’t hesitate to try them all one by one to find your favorites. If you cannot decide the first time through, try them all again until you’re sure. You won’t regret savoring all the sweet treats before you, especially if you time your visits in between all your island adventures.
Once you find your favorites, switch things up from time to time to experiment with all the flavors in your midst. You cannot go wrong no matter what flavors you mix together, so go big to see what wild creations you can make each visit.