When it comes to Hawaiian shave ice, move over Oahu, because Kauai is king. The Fresh Shave and Wailua Shave Ice are the top Kauai shave ice spots that you want to visit if flavor profiles beyond the generic “rainbow” shave ice is what you’re after. At Wailua Shave Ice, only fresh local fruits are used and forget about artificial flavors, dyes, or high fructose corn syrup…they don’t roll like that…they only use fresh ingredients that are locally sourced.
A few weeks ago, our friends over at Island Air asked me to participate in a 12-hour island hopping adventure. The goal? To showcase just how easy it is to travel to one of Island Air’s neighbor island destinations (Lihue, Kahului and Kona). I wanted to be sure to fill the 12-hours with a ton of stuff that I had never experienced before on the the Valley Isle.
Oahu might have paved the way for the explosive popularity of local style shave ice, but Kauai has quickly taken over as the king of the fresh fruit shave ice movement. The Fresh Shave, owned by Daniel & Priscilla Soule chooses to use all-natural, local, and organic produce in their shave ice. Plus, they infuse a bit of hipster fun by mustache-ing up every detail of your shave ice eating experience. Mustaches aside, the shave ice at The Fresh Shave simply taste great.
Where to get shave ice on Maui? The consensus answer seems to be Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice. As with Hawaii’s other famous shave ice joints (see Matsumoto’s and Waiola’s), Ululani’s serves up their finely shaven (that’s the secret to a good shave ice) concoction with a nice pouring of homemade flavored syrups. And they go to eleven with their flavors. Think tiger’s blood, li hing mui, calamansi and leche. Too adventurous for your shave ice palate? They also serve the standards: strawberry, pineapple, coconut, and almost any other flavor that you can think of.
The last day. By this time, I was more than ready to go home. The only thing standing in my way was the famous Halemauu switchbacks. I’ve read and have heard hikers describe the switchbacks as never ending. I was eager to leave Haleakala and pop open of a can of Coca-Cola, but I was not looking forward to the switchbacks that I would have to pass through first.