Located in the heart of Kailua Village in Kailua-Kona, Scandinavian Shave Ice has been a fixture since 1991, and it’s easy to see why. For the uninitiated, shave ice is a dessert delicacy, unlike any other frozen treat. It consists of an ice cream core, covered in light, fluffy ice that’s the consistency of falling snow. The ice is covered in flavored syrups, and then topped with a “snow cap” of sweetened condensed milk. These different elements combine to create a deliciously sweet treat that is beautiful, refreshing, and distinctly Hawaiian.
At Scandi’s, as the locals call it, you’re greeted by a simple blue, wooden exterior adorned with a few playful murals, and a fun photo spot outside. A large glass window gives a glimpse into the establishment.
Inside, there are a couple of tables and a small counter at which to order. Behind the counter is a list of flavors, and instructions on how to order. The staff is friendly, fast, and informative, and the flavor combinations seem endless.
Here are a few of our favorites:
A classic Hawaiian flavor combination, you can’t go wrong with pineapple, orange, and guava-flavored shave ice. The juicy, refreshing flavor blend combines with fluffy ice and creamy ice cream to create an explosion of flavor and texture. A snowcap of sweetened condensed milk takes it to the next level.
Not only does this shave ice taste delicious, but it also looks beautiful. In this variation, the ice is flavored with a combination of mango, guava, and lilikoi syrup. The pinks and yellows create a stunning visual reminiscent of, you guessed it, a beautiful Hawaiian sunset. And did we mention that it tastes great?
For those who try to steer clear of artificial flavors and ingredients, Scandinavian Shave Ice offers a great selection of all-natural flavors. While not necessarily as strong as the other flavors, these natural options taste deliciously fresh, and we certainly recommend giving them a try. Natural flavor choices include banana, cherry, green tea, guava, lychee, mango, passion fruit, pineapple, strawberry, and vanilla. Our favorite combination? Cherry, pineapple, and vanilla!
At Scandinavian Shave Ice, the flavor possibilities are endless. With a little experimentation, you’re sure to find your favorite combo. And if you happen to be traveling with someone who isn’t a shave ice fan? No worries. Scandi’s also serves ice cream, shakes and frappes, and a variety of coffee and soft drinks. But trust us. Try the shave ice.
-Although parking can be tricky in this area, there is a dedicated, free parking lot on the side of the restaurant.
-Be prepared to wait in line. However, the line usually moves quickly. You shouldn’t be waiting more than a few minutes.
-Portion sizes are very large. It might be worth sharing a couple of orders between your group, rather than each getting your own.
-Located right across the street from the ocean, this is a great spot to grab a treat, then head across the road to watch the sunset.