Riptides Shave Ice & Snacks

Riptides Shave Ice & Snacks – Get Comfort Food Done Right on the Shores of Poipu
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

As you adventure across Kauai, take a moment to stop at Riptides Shave Ice & Snacks for comfort food, sweet treats, and the best service around. At this Poipu stand, they’re always happy to satisfy all your cravings while making you feel right at home. Even better, you can walk just a few steps to the beach to enjoy your selections while gazing in awe at the breathtaking ocean views.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

While traveling far from home, there’s perhaps nothing better than comfort food in the heart of paradise. That’s why Riptides Shave Ice & Snacks set up shop and proudly serves what you’re craving in between all your Kauai adventures. Set in the heart of Poipu, their stand stays busy all day long, rolling out hot dogs, ice cream, and everything in between. Their shave ice is second-to-none, too, allowing you to savor all the best flavors in every bite.  

To sample all they’re serving up, you’ll just need to waltz over to the front of the Lawai Beach Resort. Then, find the end of the line and patiently wait your turn to order. Even though they’re open seven days a week year-round, their stand almost always has a long line of loyal patrons leading to the front counter. Thankfully, their line goes fast, and it’s well worth the wait anyway.

On top of that, you’ll be thankful to have the extra time to browse their huge chalkboard menu. The Riptides Shave Ice & Snacks menu covers the front of the stand and is absolutely filled with all the best eats imaginable. A variety of tasty drinks round out their offerings, too, allowing you to build a full meal to your liking.

If nothing else, you’ll want to try their shave ice at least once. You get to build your own creation, starting with one to three flavors of your choice. They have all the best syrups on tap, including guava, blue raspberry, POG, pina colada, li hing mui, and so many more. In addition to selecting your flavors, you can elect to add vanilla ice cream, white cap, li hing mui powder, mochi, or sour spray.

No matter what you order, their team will work fast in getting all your items ready once you let them know what you want. Upon getting your food, you can sit down at the nearby picnic table to eat if it’s open, but it’s better to go straight to the grassy lawn near the waterfront. From there, you can see the waves lapping the shore while you dine on your selections.    

Riptides Shave Ice & Snacks most popular eats include:

Nui Dog
For a hot dog unlike anything you’ve ever tasted, treat yourself to the Nui Dog. To create this memorable snack, the chef takes a ¼ pound all beef hot dog and wraps it end to end with bacon. Then, it gets fried until crispy on the outside and juicy in the middle. Once it’s done, the dog lands in a bun and gets whatever toppings you’d like. Want chili on top? Just ask, and it’ll be an extra charge.

Kalua Pork Nachos
Whenever you’re craving bold flavors in every bite, order up their Kalua Pork Nachos. This dish begins well before you get there, with the kalua pork cooking low and slow until tender and juicy. As soon as you order, their team puts the pork over a pile of tortilla chips topped with cheese. Additional toppings vary, but you can count on each one elevating the flavors beautifully.

Spam Musubi
If you’re looking for something simple to enjoy while on the go, the Spam Musubi is calling your name. This iconic snack starts with Spam sliced and fried until crispy. Then, they put it over a compacted rectangle of freshly cooked rice before wrapping the whole lot in nori.

Although it’s hard to skip the shave ice, all their other frozen treats are also well worth trying. They have sundaes, frozen hot chocolate, ice cream bars, Melona bars, floats, and ice cream sandwiches. The star of the show is their fully loaded sundae, the Ono Ice Cream Lava Bowl. This decadent treat features a freshly baked brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, mac nuts, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream.

Insider Tips:
-If you’d like to skip the artificial syrup, go with their Organic Fruit Shave Ice flavors, like mango, pineapple, and passionfruit.
-Need to keep things sugar-free? Ask about their zero-sugar shave ice syrups.
-Games on the grass in front of Riptides Shave Ice & Snacks are a common sight. Ask to join in if you see people playing.
-If you’d like to skip the hot dog bun, ask to get yours over rice instead.