Hawaii Five-0 fans know to ask for the “Five-0 Rainbow” when they go to Waiola Shave Ice. The lilikoi, lychee, and cotton candy combo became an official flavor after Kamekona (Taylor Wily) offered it to the show’s three main characters during a first-season episode. In fact, Waiola became a recurring name in Five-0 that continues to share its sweetness with Hollywood and real-life customers today.
Two Honolulu Locations
You’ll find Waiola Shave Ice in two places in Honolulu — check them out and pick your favorite!
The original one on Waiola Street is tucked in a local neighborhood and has served the community for decades. It’s even managed to keep its colorful, vintage facade to this day. This is easily one of the most fun hole-in-the-wall places to visit in Hawaii.
The second place is like the original’s hipper and younger sibling. Right off of Kapahulu Avenue, just minutes from Waikiki, this shop is also squished between local residences. It could be easily mistaken for a house itself…if it weren’t for its bright blue and yellow exterior. Originally, it was located on Kapahulu Avenue but has since moved a couple blocks mauka (toward the mountain) to Mokihana Street.
There are lots of shaded tables and benches outside Waiola Shave Ice’s Kapahulu location. The inside serves as both a souvenir shop and crack seed store. But what I like most is that, despite its fresh coat of paint, it still manages to pass as another hole-in-the-wall.
However, this one is an especially convenient place for refueling after a long day in Waikiki’s sun and surf.
The Best Oahu Shave Ice
You’re probably wondering how the shave ice at Waiola’s compares to Matsumoto’s, the world-famous one on the North Shore.
Waiola is, hands down, my favorite shave ice place. Not only because it’s closer to home, but because it’s got a texture so smooth that it’s almost like ice cream.
Flavors at Waiola Shave Ice
You’ll order your Shave Ice in three easy steps:
- Choose your size
- Pick your flavors
- Add your toppings
Speaking of flavors. Waiola has tons – from local ones like lilikoi and guava to the classics, like vanilla and strawberry.
You can liven up your Waiola shave ice concoction even more than it already is by adding ice cream, chocolate, mochi balls, li hing mui, and condensed milk on top.
My personal favorite? Azuki beans, a sweetened red bean paste from Asia that you will likely find in Asian pastries from Chinatown.
Trying Hawaii Shave Ice
Shave Ice in Hawaii is famous for its super-fine, powdery ice and flavorful syrups. And Waiola Shave Ice knows how to make it amazing. Visit one of their Honolulu locations to discover the flavors, texture, and relaxed vibes of Hawaii Shave Ice.
WAIOLA SHAVE ICE (MŌILIILI) • 2135 Waiola St., Honolulu, HI 96826 • 808-949-2269 • Parking in lot or on street; near bus route
WAIOLA SHAVE ICE (KAPAHULU) • 3113 Mokihana St., Honolulu, HI 96816 • 808-735-8886 • Parking in front or on street; near bus route