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Enter the Shave Ice Debate

Big IslandFood, Fun & After Dark


SHAVE ICE — it’s not your average snow cone. Debates rage over which shack, shop or stand has the most finely shaven ice or perfectly crafted syrup. In fact, there’s even some disagreement about what it’s called.

Hilo residents seem to prefer “ice shave,” while the rest of the island (and state) calls the cool treat “shave ice.”

From haupia (coconut) to li hing mui (a salty, dried plum) to strawberry, shave ice flavors can be selected to fit anyone’s taste buds, making this icy treat the perfect ending to a sunny day at the beach.

On top of all of the delicious flavors available, local shave ice is often accompanied by ICE CREAM, CONDENSED MILK OR AZUKI BEANS. To TRY IT LOCAL-STYLE, add all three. There are numerous options throughout the island: In Kawaihae, try ORIGINAL BIG ISLAND SHAVE ICE CO., served out of its colorful food truck (check obisic.squarespace.com for locations).

In Kona, try SCANDINAVIAN SHAVE ICE, a.k.a. “Scandi’s,” on the corner of Ali‘i Drive and Likana Lane; ONE ALOHA SHAVE ICE CO. on Kuakini Highway (contact for updated hours), or HAWAIIAN ICE CONES in Keauhou Shopping Center; in Kamuela, visit ĀNUENUE SHAVE ICE at the Kawaihae Harbor Shopping Center; or when in Hilo, check out WILSON’S BY THE BAY, located at 141 Mamo St.

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