Hawaii: In Real Life ~ Ailana Shave Ice

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Here we are in the middle of July, probably the most oppressively hot time of year in Hawaii. Shave ice is popular year-round, but the business booms during the dog days of summer.

There are shave ice spots all over Oahu, so no matter when the heatwave hits you, you can pull over and get an icy treat. I guess the question now is, what kind? Do you want traditional shave ice in a cone? Or one of those fancy new things with the fruit, pudding, oatmeal, and other add-ons?

Well, to help you decide, we drove around the island to try the various shave ice places — traditional and newfangled — and compiled a list of our top five in either category.

Before I show you my top five, however, I want to introduce you to Gene at Ailana Shave Ice, since they’re one of the newer players on the shave ice scene. He brings a new twist to old-school shave ice with homemade syrups using real fruit.

If you want to learn more about Gene and see us taste some of Ailana’s popular shave ice flavors, visit HawaiiIRL.com.

And now, on to the lists! Here are my choices for the top five old-school style shave ice. If you recall, I’ve done a top 10 list twice before, so I haven’t “forgotten” anyplace; these are simply my choices.

Old school shave ice: My top five

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Since today's video focused on Ailana, I'm going to start with that as one of my top five shave ice spots.

Ailana Shave Ice
1430 Kona St.
808-955-8881

If you like “added value” in your shave ice, or just want to try new twists on your favorite frozen treat, here are my five favorites:

Shave ice: the new players

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There's no end to the variations on toppings or ices used in the new generation of shave ice. At Yogo Krazy, you'll find a twist on the Filipino halo halo dessert that is as filling as it is tasty.

Yogo Krazy
Pearlridge Center
98-1005 Moanalua Rd.
808-487-3979

What are your favorite shave ice spots? And do you prefer traditional, or the fancy new ices?

 

 

24 comments
turkfontaine
turkfontaine

shave ice is to me what saimin is to @nonstopmari i just never could see what all the fuss was about

Annoddah_Dave
Annoddah_Dave

Delicate Blossom: with that list, you need a best shave ice creation competition! Have a judging staff to try all the places...I volunteer. I know its a tough job but somebody's gotta do it!

konaish
konaish

Ailana's is my current favorite, but thanks for the other ideas. I need to try Uncle Clay's, since it's so close to home. The spinach/kale syrup there is intriguing! Frost City is good, but a little pricey for what you get.

jamarilyn
jamarilyn

I love the tall creamy looking wavy not quite Ice cream ones. They're a work of art. Blow mind how many flavors and styles, Melissa. You make me wanna try one shave ice. Nevah liked traditional shave ice. Just sugar water to me...

lihinggirl
lihinggirl

Yay for shave ice! Thanks @Melissa808 for sharing! I prefer traditional shave ice. I've been to 4 of 5 of your top five. The only one I've NOT visited is Sugar Mill Shave Ice. I'm not into getting all types of toppings. Most times, just plain or at most maybe azuki beans underneath. I agree with your top five (except for Sugar Mill Shave Ice which I've not visited yet).

@MyongChoi Bee's Dessert House sounds intriguing..and that's just down the street from where we live!

DianeSeo
DianeSeo

Great post, Melissa. I think Uncle Clay's in Aina Haina may be my favorite shave ice place at the moment. I'm addicted to the strawberry/chocolate combo. I also love Frost City's lychee. But I haven't tried Ailana yet. I'm gonna go soon and compare that strawberry to Uncle Clay's strawberry.

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

I'm partial to Bee's Dessert House in Mapunapuna mainly because of location in addition to taste. It's in the same area as both my residence and current office. Always get the honeydew with mochi balls and ice cream.

nonstopmari
nonstopmari moderator

good lists, v comprehensive. pandan at yogo crazy, huh? must try that.

808pooh
808pooh

This makes me wanting a shave ice today!!!!! I think i might have to go and try Ailana.

KAN
KAN

This post made me so homesick. I loved the haupia topping at Shimazu. I've never liked azuki or ice cream in my shave ice, but anything with coconut or li hing is winnahs.

ParkRat
ParkRat

Chocolate luuuuuvvver!

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

@turkfontaine @nonstopmari Hmmm interesting. Maybe you ate a junk one? Not that shave ice is a food that will change your life, but there's definite differences. Also like saimin, it does have a childhood sentimentality attached.

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

@Annoddah_Dave That is a cool idea!!! Pun intended. No, really! But I guess it's limited to the guys who can transport their shave ice machines.

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

@konaish I will def try Uncle Clay's! I know @thedailydish did a blog about them, and it sounded neat, but drrrrrriving all the way out there! Wheeew

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

@jamarilyn I actually love Ululani on Maui! But you may enjoy Frost City, with all the real fruit!

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

@lihinggirl I think on a really hot day, a plain traditional shave ice is what you need. No frills!

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

@DianeSeo Aina Haina! The end of the earth for me! nah, I should try there!

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

@MyongChoi *knock knock* what's that, Myong? Is that an invitation to join you I hear??? :D

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

@nonstopmari It's amazing. The owners/staff didn't know what pandan was; someone told them to do it, so they did. and they were skeptical even up till the time they served their first halo halo!

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

@KAN I agree! I guess it's a textural thing. Well, I can take ice cream in my shave ice, but definitely not beans.

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

@ParkRat I am SO glad the readers can't hear you say it out loud!

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

@Melissa808 Sure! Hit me up anytime you're in the area and we go get shave ice!...and Korean spicy pork...and Inari bento...and pho...and curry ramen! LOL

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