Must Eat: Shave Ice in Hawaii – feat. Matsumoto’s in Oahu

Aloha!  Over the next week, I’ll continue to share some of the highlights from our Hawaii vacation (Oahu and Kauai). When possible, I’ll suggest some equivalent food or activity options in the LA area. 🙂  
Shave Ice” is a must eat when you are in Hawaii.  This refreshing and thirst quenching treat can be found everywhere- in coffee shops, mom and pop stores, stands, etc.  Hawaiian shave ice is sort of like what we call “snow cones”. However, unlike snow cones, shave ice is not ground ice, but is very finely shaved ice so that the flavors are completely and evenly absorbed.  In Hawaiian, you can find dozens of flavors, many of them unique and tropical – such as pineapple, lychee, passionfruit…with ice cream or other toppings such as red bean or condensed milk.
Matsumoto‘s is one of the highest ranked shave ice places in Oahu, and is the first place to come up when you google “shave ice hawaii”.  They have so many choices, we went for the “Matsumoto” which was pineapple, coconut and lemon. For 25 cents, you can get a purple plastic shave ice holder which is a good idea otherwise I can imagine the paper cup leaking and things getting a bit messy (Hawaiian’s like their shave ice very colorful as you can see in the below photos)
We also had a craving for shave ice on Kauai, and tried out Jo-Jo’s on our way to Waimea canyon.  Apparently, according to yelp, this is not the original Jo-Jo’s (which reportedly is down the street), but we didn’t know better, and it tasted pretty good to us anyhow. We got the #2 Tropical Rainbow with a scoop of Macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom.  It tasted like a tropical creamsicle with a nutty crunch!
By no means can I say that these are the best places to get Shave Ice in Hawaii as there are way too many places to try. But what I can vouch for is that I’ve never had such tasty ice before!  
*Apparently, you can find Hawaiian Shave Ice in Los Angeles at the “getshaved” food truck.  
on Oahu:  
Matsumoto’s Grocery Store
66-087 Kamehameha Hwy
Haleiwa, HI 96712
808-637-4827
on Kauai:
Jo Jo’s Shave Ice
Mile Marker 23
Kaumualil Highway
Waimea, HI 96796
808-635-7615

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I am a mom, wife, daughter, sister, doctor, adventure enthusiast, food lover, and photographer. I spend a lot of time researching fun things for my family to do, explore and eat - so I created this space to share some information that might be helpful to others.

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