Island Snow: (Image from: https://www.instagram.com/p/BXMRVaiB7sU/)
As mentioned previously, growing up in Kailua almost predetermines that Island Snow will be at the top of my list of shave ice shops. With this preface out of the way…Island Snow is hands down the best shave ice on Oahu. It has the most presidential endorsements and best Li Hing Mui flavor. The original location was perfectly placed walking distance from Kailua Beach, making it the perfect snack after a day in the water. My personal order is Li Hing Mui with macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom and a snow cap.
Matsumotos Shave Ice: (Image from: https://www.yelp.com/biz/matsumoto-shave-ice-haleiwa-10)
Matsumoto’s has a line wrapping around the side walk pretty much everyday of the week. The surrounding shopping center was recently remodeled, but Matsumoto’s stayed open during construction and now even has three times the sidewalk to wrap its always full line around. While it is known by many as the best shave ice spot on the island, many locals like myself would say that it is merely the most popular on the island.
Waiola Shave Ice: (Image from http://www.waiolashaveice.com)
Although it’s not the at the top of the list, Waiola’s is the oldest running shave ice shop on the island. If you’re a townie, Waiola is your spot for shave ice. The original location is located in Honolulu near the iconic Leonard’s bakery. Give POG mixed with Lychee a try.
Aoki’s: (Image from https://www.instagram.com/aokishaveice/)
Although Aoki’s may not have quite the line or the fame as Matsumoto’s, it definitively holds it’s own. Due to its proximity to Matsumoto’s, Aokis is sometimes considered the younger, lesser brother of the two. However it is known by many locals as just as good if not better, but most importantly a fifth of the wait in line. Taste the Tropical Mix or the Sour Pucker.
The stand at Waikele shopping center (Mountain Magic Shave Ice): (Image from https://www.yelp.com/biz/mountain-magic-shave-ice-waipahu)
If you live in Waipahu, Aiea, or Pearl City there is a high chance that your favorite shave ice is served at the stand at Waikele shopping center, officially known as Mountain Magic Shave Ice. While it’s just a stand, Waikele’s own packs the punch of a full shop. Try the Li Hing Mui topping on a strawberry cone.
Ever wonder what locals recommend doing and seeing on Oahu to get the true local experience?