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A Guide to Oahu's Ono Shave Ice

About 2 year(s) ago by Marina Hawaii Vacation

By far the tastiest way to beat the summer heat is with Hawaiian shave ice. Shave ice is a Japanese tradition, first brought to Hawaii many years ago by Japanese immigrants. It only takes one shave ice indulgence to understand why it is in a dessert league of its own, separate from snow cones, Italian ice, and other frozen treats. Between the texture of the ice (interestingly enough, this makes a huge difference in the experience) and the tantalizing tropical flavors such as lilikoi, pina colada, and guava, there is no better summertime snack. While you can depend on almost any Hawaiian shave ice stand, these are our very favorite shave ice spots on Oahu:

Waiola Shave Ice

Do not let the somewhat shabby exterior fool you: Waiola makes top-notch shave ice. Like many authentic Hawaiian food establishments, its appearance is low-key, and all of the staff energy goes into the food itself. Part of what makes this place so special is all of their creative additions to the shave ice, such as li-hing sauce and mochi balls. Don’t miss Waoila if you’re staying in Honolulu or Waikiki!



Taking a trip to the North Shore? Make sure to stop through Haleiwa, and pick up world-famous Matsumoto’s shave ice. This is one place that really lives up to the hype. Matsumoto’s is a humble family business that refuses to franchise and continues to make arguably the most melt-in-your-mouth shave ice on Oahu. You simply cannot go wrong here, and their shave ice is a perfect midday snack during your day on the North Shore.



This cash-only establishment is another charming mom and pop spot in Honolulu. Known for their wild flavors and large portions, Shimazu is a great choice if you really want to dig into a hearty helping of sweet shave ice. Parking can be tough, but it’s worth the hassle!

Don’t forget to add ice cream and azuki beans to your shave ice to make it even more authentic and delicious, and just remember: a shave ice a day keeps the heat away!


For any questions about Waikiki vacation rentals, please contact Marina Hawaii Vacations and an agent would be happy to assist you. We can be reached at 808-946-0716 or info@marinahawaiivacations.com

Susie Bowman 
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