HONOLULU | Shave Ice is a popular year-round treat in Hawaii, Waiola Shave Ice is one of the best places in Honolulu to find it. Shave Ice (there’d no ‘d’) is simple at its core. Blocks of ice, finely shaved into a cup or bowl, topped with syrup. The best places on town pride themselves on having ice that’s been shaved so finely, that it’s light and fluffy like a cloud.
Waiola Shave Ice has been around since 1940, and have two locations – one in Kaimuki, which I visited, and the original in Moiliili. All of the options available are listed above the window, so you can decide on your order before you get to the front of the fast-moving line. There’s an overwhelming array of options, but basically, choose your size and toppings. There’s over 1,000 flavour combos available, and you can also get toppings like mochi, coffee jelly, and adzuki bean.
There’s your usual flavours like strawberry, lime, and cherry, along with more Hawaiian leaning flavours like haupia (coconut), lychee, and lilikoi (passionfruit). I opted for the ‘Obama’, named for the order that the former President goes for when he’s in town and visits Waiola Shave Ice. It’s a three flavour combination of cherry, lemon-lime, and passionfruit.
It might sound like “just a snow cone” but shave ice does indeed live up to its reputation. Starting from the top and working your way down, the syrup disperses evenly across the ice. The texture is indeed very light and fluffy, and it doesn’t clump together after a few minutes. The perfect refreshing snack on a hot Hawaiian day. It’s easy to tell why it’s so popular with locals.
Waiola Shave Ice
3113 Mokihana Street
Telephone: 808 949 2269
Wed – Mon: 11:00am to 6:00pm