When you hear “shave ice” the image of a snow cone may pop into your mind, with a typical course ice texture and fruity flavors. Although shave ice and snow cones are both two yummy icy treats, there is a difference. Shave ice has a softer consistency, ironically giving it a more snowy texture than a snow cone. Shave ice also comes in more flavors than we usually see in snow cones, flavors can range from sweet, to savory, to sour and everything in between! The various options that exist when customizing the perfect shave ice to settle your cravings is one of the reasons why the dessert is such a popular item in Hawaii. Oahu offers a great selection of shave ice hot spots, so the next time you come to Oahu, try out these establishments for the best shave ice on the island:
Established before Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States, Matsumoto Shave Ice has been serving Oahu’s north shore since 1951. Today, Matsumoto has over 35 shave ice flavors to choose from, including classics like strawberry and lemon. For those looking for a break from the ordinary, try their more adventurous flavors like white cake, pickled mango, and cotton candy. Customers can choose up to 3 flavors for their shave ice, but if you’re looking to let the experts decide for you, consider trying one of their combination shave ice cups for the perfect mix.
Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha is the place to go if you’re looking for quality fresh, homemade shave ice. Local and hand-crafted is their motto as they mix their syrups in-house and only use real fruits and other natural ingredients for shave ice free of artificial flavors and colors. Top off your shave ice, which you can order in sizes tiny, small, and regular, with one of their delicious toppings, including their Tropical Dreams Ice Cream flavors.
This colorful little shop will have you smiling as soon as you walk in. Offering a multitude of flavors of shave ice, as well as tea, bubble smoothies, and coffee, Waialae Shave Ice and Bubble Tea is a one-stop shop for all your flavor needs. This is a great place to go for shave ice if you’re bringing children along, as they make shapes like snowmen out of the shave ice for kid size portions.
Come try a Hawaiian staple dessert the next time you come to Oahu at one of these establishments and see what flavors you can create!
For information on beautiful places to stay while vacationing and the best shave ice in Oahu, visit our vacation rental page or call us at (888) 737-4188 or (808) 726-2878.
For generations food trucks have been a part of life in Hawaii. Both locals and tourists flock to food trucks not just for the delicious bites but also for the convenience. As time has passed, some of these nomadic crowd pleasers have become so well established that they set up shop permanently. Although there are just too many to list, we did gather up the five best food trucks found in North Shore Oahu.
Possibly the crown jewel of all food trucks in Hawaii, Giovanni’s is the original white shrimp truck. Mentioned in multiple guidebooks, Giovanni’s vintage truck with unique graffiti (you can even sign your name on it) serves up all things shrimp. Whether you are craving scampi, hot and spicy, or lemon butter, this sensational seafood is fresh and delicious. You can also grab a jumbo garlic dog and rice if shrimp isn’t your thing. Giovanni’s has been around since 1993 and has two trucks: one in North Shore and in Kahuku.
Seen on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, Elena’s bright orange lunch truck is easy to find. Serving up Filipino cuisine like pork adobo fried rice omelets and tightly wrapped lumpias, Elena’s has various locations in addition to the food truck offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To find dates and locations of Elena’s “Super Friends” truck, visit her Facebook page.
From fish and shrimp to pork, chicken or beef, this tasty taco truck is sure satisfy any craving. North Shore Tacos offers different taco plates that locals and tourists alike stand in line for. Every day the menu features a different locally caught fish. Be sure to call in your order, or go during non-peak hours to avoid long wait times.
Did someone say pizza? Yes, this is the only pizza truck in Haleiwa serving up both traditional and non-traditional pizzas. This famous food truck moves along Kamehameha Highway and stands by its name. Because of its popularity, Impossible’s Pizza often runs out or takes long vacations, so if you see it be sure to stop and experience the Impossible. Generally this popular pizza truck is open Thursdays through Saturdays from 3 pm to 8 pm.
With a vibrant red and white horizontal striped truck, Leonard’s knows malasada. This famous desert of Hawaii is found anywhere form the North to the South Shore. Traditionally, a little bakery in Kaimuki, Leonard’s took malasada mobile delivering different island-inspired fillings like Haupia, which is the most popular choice. For locations and times check here.
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When you’re on Oahu and it’s time to eat, you have so many delicious choices. You’ll want to enjoy a traditional Hawaiian meal, seafood, and the multicultural dishes that give the island such a rich and diverse culinary heritage. These specialties are made by some of the country’s best chefs — and not all of them are in restaurants. The food trucks on Oahu serve up amazing meals and treats that you’ll want to try, too.
You owe it to yourself to check out Kapolei food trucks. Here are some of the best food trucks on Oahu’s Leeward side:
Local Stop food trucks feature a Korean/Puerto Rican fusion style with Malasada burgers, kalua pig, and the local favorite pastele.
Check out Grinds 2 Da Max for large lunch plates full of katsu (a breaded cutlet of meat or chicken), ahi, salmon, ribeye, crab salad, kimchi, noodles, and more.
Popular with locals, TeppanLegend also serves katsu with fried noodles or rice, plus seafood specialties. Visit their Instagram account for their rotating location schedule.
Legacy Grindz prepares shrimp, chicken, ahi, pork chops, burgers, and fries with island flair.
At Laverne’s food truck, get a taste of squid luau, kalua pig, chicken, beef stew, mahi mahi, and more Hawaiian specialties.
Then there’s our favorite, Jed’s Lunchwagon.
This is a no frills food truck located in Kapolei that specializes in early breakfast including local hawaiian favorites like the loco moco and omelette with portuguese sausage.
Since 2009, Jed’s Lunchwagon has been supplying the hardworking people of Hawaii with delicious breakfasts and local-style plate lunches.
Jed’s is located in Campbell Industrial Area from Monday through Friday, 5 am to 1 pm.
For authentic Texas-style barbecue, the Sunset Smokehouse is the place to go. Try smoked brisket or spareribs with some cole slaw and sweet tea. Open weekends only.
Smoked ribs and barbecued chicken with fries are on the menu at Bozie’s. It’s Chicago-style Tennessee barbecue “with Aloha spirit.”
Get your morning joe at Aloha Brew Coffee Bar, which crafts lattes, chai drinks, hot chocolate, and tea. Check their Instagram for locations.
You don’t always see a Volkswagen bus turned into a food truck, but that’s what Rocket Coffee uses to deliver organic cold brew coffee, açaí bowls, tea, and more.
El Jalisciense brings out enchiladas, tacos, rice and beans, and other Mexican dishes to Waikele Premium Outlets in Waipahu.
Shaka Bowls is the place to go for made-to-order açaí bowls, poke bowls, and gelato.
For more food trucks on the leeward coast, you can usually find them gathered at Campbell Industrial Park (1001 Kamokila Boulevard in Kapolei) and Mililani Technology Park (100 Kahelu Avenue in Mililani).
Many food trucks close when they sell out of food, so check their schedule first and arrive on the early side to make sure you have the chance to sample their ono specialties.
Contact us for information on beautiful places to stay while vacationing and the best Kapolei food trucks.
If your idea of an amazing Oahu vacation includes exploration, adventure, and a bit of an adrenaline rush, a zip line tour might be just the thing to try. Whether you’ve done it before or you’ve only thought about it, these top Oahu zip line tours offer amazing views and tons of fun.
Coral Crater Adventure Park – Kapolei, HI
Coral Crater is the newest zip line hot spot in Oahu, located only about 15 minutes from Ko Olina Resort.
Guests can choose to go on the full zip line tour, which takes you through six zip lines of differing lengths from 300 to 900 feet. This signature tour lasts about 2 hours, but if you’re a little more apprehensive, you can opt for the half zip line tour, which lasts about 75 minutes and guides you through 3 zip lines.
All zip line tours at Coral Crater are available for anyone ages 6 and up. You can even choose to add another activity to your zip line tour, such as the Adventure Tower or a Sunset Snorkel & Dinner Cruise.
Bay View Mini-Putt and Zipline – Kaneohe, HI
Just a bit further out is a zip line experience that also offers 2 tropical miniature golf courses. Bay View Mini-Putt and Zipline is located about 30 minutes away from Ko Olina Resort and is a great option for families.
The zip line track is only 400 feet long, but it has a dual track that allows two guests to ride side-by-side at the same time. It also provides a lovely view of Kaneohe Bay.
Kualoa Ranch & Zipline – Kaneohe, HI
Kualoa Ranch is almost an hour away from Ko Olina Resort, but for those looking for a more nature-focused, intense zip line experience, it might be worth the trip.
The zip line tours take place in Ka’a’awa Valley, which has been featured in films like Jurassic World and is a part of the Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve. Naturally, the views are spectacular and the zip lines range from 200 feet to a quarter of a mile in length. The complete experience lasts about 3 hours, including a 45 minute drive to the Zip Tour Base Camp. There is no age restriction for the zip line tour, but guests do have to fit into the safety harness.
Kualoa Ranch also offers activities like ATV and horseback riding tours, so you’ll be able to have a full day of fun. However, you’ll want to make reservations in advance.
CLIMB Works Keana Farms – Kahuku, HI
If you’re serious about zip lining, CLIMB Works Keana Farms boasts Oahu’s longest zip lines, though it’s just over an hour away from Ko Olina Resort.
Located on Oahu’s North Shore, the zip lines at Keana Farms range from 500 feet to about a half a mile long and tours last for 3 hours. Riders can travel side-by-side at the same time thanks to their dual lines and you’ll be able to enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the North Shore. Tours are available for anyone ages 7 and up and reservations are encouraged.
Whether you choose to try just one of these great zip line tours or end up visiting all four, you’ll definitely leave with high spirits and even better pictures.
Contact us for information on beautiful places to stay while vacationing and the best Oahu zip line tours.