When you’re heading to Kauai, one of the best ways to beat the heat is with a glorious heaping of shave ice. Refreshing, cooling, and delicious, shave ice can really hit the spot just when you need it most. But not all shave ice is created equal. Fluffy ice, unique flavor combinations, toppings, and natural syrups are all things that can add to your shave ice experience. 

So where do you get the best shave ice on Kauai? We have you covered with these five spots you can find around the island. 


What is Shave Ice?

A deliciously fluffy pile of shaved (not crushed) ice sweetened with syrup. Shave ice begins with a block of ice which is shaved down into incredibly fluffy little pieces. These shavings are then piled high, usually into a bowl, and then syrup or other toppings are poured over. And some places will serve ice cream under the ice. 

Best shave ice kauai

Is it Shave Ice or Shaved Ice?

Don’t make the first-timers mistake and ask for “shaved” ice. In Hawaii, it’s called shave ice so drop the d. 

Two things that Kauai is known for is shave ice and food trucks. Once you pick your favorite shave ice place, there will most likely be a food truck nearby. See our Ultimate Kauai Food Truck Guide for the best food trucks on Kauai.

5 Best Spots for Shave Ice on Kauai

1. The Fresh Shave (Koloa)

Want to try some incredibly unique shave ice flavors? Look no further than this shop. It’s menu is full of the most tempting and interesting flavors. Enjoy the Lip Luggage (chai and cream), the Chevron (Coconut and lime), or my son’s favorite, the Fu Manchu (strawberry, banana, and cream). Plus each flavor comes with a unique topping like chopped fresh fruit or cream. And there just might be a secret menu where you can find flavors like chocolate and cookie crumble. Take your shave ice outside and enjoy it in the courtyard at one of the picnic tables. 

Honestly, this is my favorite spot for shave ice in all of Hawaii. The ice is fluffy, the flavors are creative, and it’s refreshing. And yes, I did order a second after finishing my first the last time I was there. 

Best shave ice kauai the fresh shave

2. Wailua Shave Ice (Kapaa)

If you’re looking to enjoy shave ice in Kapa’a, look no further. Wailua Shave Ice used to be located in a food truck, but now you can enjoy your shave ice in an air-conditioned retail location (with plenty of parking). Stop here on your way to or from Lydgate Beach and enjoy their creations. 

The prices are pretty reasonable — cheaper than what you’ll find at some of the other spots up north. You can add ice cream or upgrade to a large one for a minimal price. The service was fast and friendly and the shave ice was truly delicious. Henry opted for the rainbow flavor and I went with Root Beer Float — our usual orders. Light, fluffy ice and not too sweet of syrup. 

The only bummer is there is no outdoor seating.

Best Shave ice Kauai Wailua Shave Ice

3. Wishing Well (Hanalei)

If you’re looking for the coolest spot on the island to enjoy your shave ice, look no further. Wishing Well has been located in an old bus at the entrance of Hanalei town on the north shore since 1983. Here you won’t find a set menu, but you’ll instead be able to make your own and add things like ice cream and toppings like honey. 

And a big selling point of this stop is that if not everyone in your group is excited about shave ice, they do have other options. Enjoy an acai bowl, smoothies, or a coffee. 

Visit Wishing Well’s website for more information. 

After your shave ice, head to one of the best kid friendly beaches in Kauai.

Best shave ice Kauai Wishing Well

4. Jojo’s (Hanalei) 

Jojo’s is a hot spot in the center of Hanalei. They have an extensive menu with set flavors and the ability to create your own. Read the menu carefully, some of the flavors come with ice cream on the bottom, which is a welcome addition. The syrups seemed a little sweeter than what we found at other spots, which can be a pro or con depending on your taste preferences. Because it’s in the center of Hanalei, the line can be long and slow moving. But even with the long wait, we didn’t see any unhappy customers. 

Not near Hanalei? You can also find Jojo’s in Waimea and Kapa’a. 

Best shave ice Kauai JoJo's

5. Waikomo Shave Ice (Poipu)

Natural fruit syrups made with cane sugar and local honey are on the menu at this food cart stop in Poipu. This place uses real, fresh ingredients which is a refreshing change from so many syrupy sweet options on the island. Choose from a list of flavors to make your own creation and add on ice cream for a little extra. I loved the mango and lilikoi (passion fruit) with vanilla mac nut ice cream. 

And if you’re feeling festive and fun, grab your shave ice in a souvenir coconut cup with a bamboo straw. 

Stay up to date with Waikomo Shave Ice

Don’t forget to stop at one of the best snorkeling spots on Kauai. 

Best shave ice Kauai Waikomo

Headed to Kauai?

Check out our Kauai guide page for everything you need to know to help plan your trip. 

And to make your trip planning even easier, check out our done-for-you itinerary. This instant download gives you 5 excursion days that take you around the island to give you a tour of what makes this place so special. 

“The itineraries were great and gave us many great ideas to plan our adventures each day! They were helpful in planning our 2 week trip to Maui and Oahu. Thanks a million, we were very happy.” – David B. 

Check out our Hawaii itineraries to help make your vacation even better

Hawaii Itineraries


Erica Gellerman

Erica Gellerman

I'm the co-founder, with my husband Jordan, of The Hawaii Vacation Guide. We live on Maui with our toddler Henry and our sweet but quirky dog Hattie. I am a planner! I love to plan island-hopping adventures, days out on Maui, and everything in-between. I spend a lot of my time on our SUP and my favorite time of year in Hawai'i is whale season!

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