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11 Hawaiian-Inspired Shave Ice Shops in the United Sates

Matsumoto’s Shave Ice
11 Hawaiian-Inspired Shave Ice Shops in the United Sates
With temperatures across the United States creeping into the high 90s and beyond this summer, we’re constantly looking for the best ways to cool down. It may just be time to swap out ice cream cones and frosé for the latest trend in icy treats: Hawaiian-style shave ice. Not to be mistaken for snow cones or Italian ice, shave (not shaved!) ice is made by shaving rather than crushing a block of ice, producing a snowlike texture. The finely shaved ice is then topped with flavored syrups, fruit, and other ingredients typically reserved for ice cream.

Shave ice shops are popping up across the U.S. mainland, and these 11 spots are essential for keeping cool this summer.
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    Matsumoto’s Shave Ice
    Matsumoto’s Shave Ice
    Haleiwa, HI

    Starting with where it all began, family-owned Matsumoto’s Shave Ice on the island of Oahu has been serving the icy treat to locals and tourists since 1951. Channeling the Japanese roots where the dessert originated, it offers toppings like adzuki beans and mochi and flavors like yuzu and green tea.
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    Hula Girls Shave Ice
    Hula Girls Shave Ice
    Huntington Beach, CA

    As the name suggests, Hula Girls is run by a mother-daughter team who have a long history of eating shave ice in Kauai. For years the women had a hard time finding true Hawaiian shave ice in southern California and decided to open their own shop after a Hawaiian friend gave them a shave ice machine. They became an instant hit in sunny Huntington Beach; their most popular flavor is Tropical Rainbow: guava, mango, and blue Hawaii.
  • 3 / 12
    Mac’s Scooby Shack
    Mac’s Scooby Shack
    Edmond, OK

    While we’re not sure where the connection between Scooby Doo and shave ice comes from, Mac’s Scooby Shack gets its name from the owner’s love for the famous cartoon. Not only can you enjoy shave ice flavors inspired by the series’ characters like Shaggy’s classic coconut or Daphne’s tropical piña colada, but you can also take photos with the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine parked behind the shave ice shack.
  • 4 / 12
    Wailua Shave Ice
    Wailua Shave Ice
    Portland, OR

    This shave ice shop got its start in Kauai and now has two locations on the mainland. Known for its dedication to making all natural shave ice with real fruit syrups and fresh local fruits, Wailua Shave Ice picked Portland as an apt expansion city. During the summer months, Love Potion #9, made with fresh strawberries, offers the best flavors of the season.
  • 5 / 12
    Big Mike’s Shaved Ice
    Big Mike’s Shaved Ice
    Louisville, KY

    When Big Mike opened Big Mike’s Shaved Ice, he was a 15-year-old sophomore in high school. Since then he’s been keeping Louisville residents cool while his classmates are enjoying their summer vacations by the pool. A small cup of pink lemonade or blue raspberry costs only $2, which is inexpensive enough that you might want to try several flavors.
  • 6 / 12
    Snowdays
    Snowdays
    New York City, NY

    While it’s not technically shave ice, the frozen dessert you’ll find at Snowdays is shaved cream, which captures both the fluffy texture of shaved ice and the creaminess of ice cream. Made with local dairy and seasonal toppings, Snowdays shaved cream offers a lighter alternative to a traditional cup of ice cream. New Yorkers are lining up for the shop’s New York cheesecake and house-roasted black sesame flavors with toppings like Nilla Wafers and Fruity Pebbles.
  • 7 / 12
    Brian’s Shave Ice
    Brian’s Shave Ice
    Los Angeles, CA

    Although you’ll typically find Angelenos drinking fresh juices and eating salads rather than desserts, during the city’s hot summer nothing cuts through the heat like a cup of shave ice. Brian’s Shave Ice offers traditional flavors and toppings like mango and mochi as well as California-born Ghirardelli chocolate and a monthly rotation of such flavors as pistachio and red velvet.
  • 8 / 12
    Blue Monkey Shaved Ice
    Blue Monkey Shaved Ice
    Nashville, TN

    It doesn’t employ the official name of the dessert (“shaved” vs. “shave”), but this Nashville-based shave ice truck has won “best food truck” in Nashville for the past several years thanks to its handmade real sugar syrups. The most beloved flavor, watermelon mint, has attracted locals who follow the Blue Monkey Shaved Ice truck around the city for a fix.
  • 9 / 12
    Mr. Bing
    Mr. Bing
    Miami, FL

    The shaved ice cream at Mr. Bing isn’t technically shave ice, but in the Miami heat, any iced treat goes when you’re trying to keep cool. Start with a base like coconut or taro, then choose from a variety of toppings like Lucky Charms or caramel corn, and you’ve got a bowl of shaved ice cream. The staff at Mr. Bing’s recommends eating these ribbons of shaved cream with a fork rather than a spoon, which may seem odd, but it’s too hot in Miami to question it.
  • 10 / 12
    Snow Dragon Shavery
    Snow Dragon Shavery
    Chicago, IL

    Watch the staff shave this hybrid of Hawaiian and Taiwanese-style ice right before your eyes. The shaved snow at Snow Dragon Shavery at Chicago’s famous Navy Pier is icy, yet creamy with seasonal flavors like key lime and pumpkin spice.
  • 11 / 12
    Hansen’s Sno-Bliz
    Hansen’s Sno-Bliz
    New Orleans, LA

    Back in 1939, Ernest Hansen invented his own ice shaving machine, his wife Mary developed her own flavored syrups, and together they created a New Orleans tradition. On humid, hot summer days, parents take their kids to Hansen’s Sno-Bliz for a chance to cool off. The syrups are made daily and include Mary’s traditional flavors like root beer and bubble gum as well as the Hansens’ granddaughter’s creations like satsuma and ginger.
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