Be sure to enter my $50 OshKosh B’gosh giveaway!
Hello and happy Saturday! I spent some time today going through the rest of my Kauai vacation pictures (over 800 pictures to sort through! 😆) and I realized that I hadn’t shared one of the best part of the trip with you all yet: the food! There wasn’t a single meal where I wasn’t blown away with the incredible quality, freshness, and unique flavors of the island. I was given multiple recommendations to try the shave ice when I was there and I can honestly say that it is a must-have if you ever visit Hawaii!
What’s so special about Hawaiian Kauai Shave Ice?
For starters, be sure to call it “shave ice” and not shaved (no “d”). While I have had my share of snow cones before, let me be the first to say that Hawaiian Kauai shave ice is nothing like a snow cone. There is such a huge difference in texture and flavor. While snow cones are coarse and crunchy, shave ice is soft and fluffy — it truly tastes like snow! A whole multitude of different syrups are added along with condensed milk, fresh fruit and sometimes even scoops of ice cream! The result is creamy, smooth, and absolutely delicious! The taste is probably most similar to gelato
And so, with all the hard work I did of taste-testing as many Kauai shave ice locations as I could in the one week (seriously, there wasn’t a single day when there wasn’t shave ice! 🙈), I figured I’d share a complete review plus my recommendations!
“Coconut x Coconut x Coconut”
coconut milk, haupia foam, roasted coconut flakes
nutella, coconut milk, almonds, roasted coconut flakes
“Da Mango One”
mango juice, mango snow cap, fresh cut mango
front row: “Coconut x Coconut x Coconut”
second row: “Da Mango One”, “Lava Flow”
third row: “Da Mango One”
fourth row: “Almond Joy”
Wailua Shave Ice was our first stop just hours after we landed in Kauai and it set the bar high for all shave ice to come! It’s one of the most well-known spots for Kauai shave ice and it definitely lived up to its reputation. Each bowl was piled high with fresh local fruit and their syrups are 100% natural. The “coconut x coconut x coconut” flavor was my favorite as it was so creamy and the coconut flavor mixed perfectly with the haupia foam on top. The syrups aren’t too thick or sweet and actually taste more like fruit juice which I prefer. They even give you a straw so that you can sip the melty goodness when you’re at the bottom!
In Kauai, Wailua Shave Ice is a small old-school van converted into a food truck located in old Kapaa town tucked away among a series of small shops and such a cute area to have a walk and burn off the extra calories! It looks like they have locations in Portland, Oregon and San Diego, California too if you’re lucky enough to live in one of these spots!
Kauai, Hawaii: 4-1306 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI 96746 (808) 634-7183
San Diego: CA: 4879 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107 (714) 609-0855
Portland, OR: 1022 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209 (808) 652-9394
Shave Ice Tege Tege is hands-down my favorite out of all the places we went! Their shave ice style originates from Japan and you’ll see them use a hand-crank the shave ice machine brought over from Japan (called the Hatsuyuki). All their ingredients are organic and made with fresh fruits such as mango, passion fruit, and even dragon fruit. Tege Tega has some of the most unique flavors such as hibiscus, lychee, and tahitian gooseberry and you have the option of adding in a scoop of ice cream too (which I recommend!). The strawberry flavor was my favorite but all of their creations are serious works of art! I seriously stood there watching for probably 10 minutes as they would alternate layering shave ice with condensed milk to create a huge shave ice ball!
In Kauai, Tege Tega is found in a small outdoor food truck / food court area with the Tega Tega truck in the back. I would highly recommend getting there early as they usually sell out around 2:30pm and be sure to bring cash. There is also usually only 1 person taking orders and making the shave ice so expect to wait — definitely worth every minute!
4-1620 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI 96746
berries + acai topped with kauai honey, bananas, and shredded coconut
The Fresh Shave is another Kauai shave ice favorite and so cute! All their menu options are named after mustache styles and even their straws have a playful mustache attachment that makes for a fun Instagram-worthy shot! The Fresh Shave uses all organic ingredients and local farm produce along with a hand-cranked ice machine. Their syrups are homemade and you can can seriously taste the freshness! “The Professor” flavor is one of their most popular but other fun flavors include “The Fu Manchu” and “The Dirt Squirrel”!
The Kauai store is a small silver trailer tucked away behind a few other food trucks (a bit of a hidden gem) but it looks like they also just opened a location in Long Beach, CA!
Kauai, HI: 3540 Koloa Rd, Kalaheo, HI 96741 (808) 631-2222
Long Beach, CA: 3768 Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90807 (808) 631-2222
4 rotating seasonal flavors topped with seasonal fruit
Wishing Well Shave Ice is a super cute, hipster roadside spot that has organic shave ice, acai bowls, and coffee. The have unique flavor combinations such as “The Sunset”, “Da Bomb”, and “The Rainbow” and topping options such as guava, ginger, and even coffee and root beer!
In addition to your typical vanilla ice cream flavor option, they also offered macadamia nut — which I highly recommend! The ice cream is buried in the center as shave ice is added and it seriously adds a whole other dimension of flavor and texture to the shave ice experience! As you scoop the shave ice from the top, melted ice and flavored syrup combine with the softening ice cream to create a sweet, semi-thick concoction that is absolutely divine!
5-5080 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI, 96714 (808) 639-7828
Now while Uncle’s Shave Ice may not look as impressive as those before it, don’t be so quick to dismiss it! Uncle’s is pretty well-renowned down in Kauai (voted 2016 Best Shave Ice on Kauai!) and is also the only place in Kauai to offer shave snow! Shave snow is inspired by Taiwanese shave ice and is a combination of condensed milk, water, flavoring, and sugar frozen together — no syrups required on top! If you can even imagine, the shave snow is even lighter and fluffier than the shave ice and melt-in-your-mouth delicious! There are also interesting flavors such as birthday cake, blue hawaiian, and strawberry colada to give it a twist!
The Shops At Kukui’ula
2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka, Ste K158B, Koloa, HI 96756 (808) 742-2364
Whew, I’m officially hungry after looking at so many shave ice pictures! With the 100-degree temps lately, I could definitely use a refreshing Kauai shave ice right about now. 🍧 Hope you all are having a great weekend!
Have you ever tried anything similar to Hawaiian shave ice?
Have you ever been to Hawaii?
Be sure to check out the rest of my Kauai trip posts!
I was provided with a press trip to Kauai for my review. Thank you for supporting my blog and making trips like this possible!