You all know that I love to eat. So it should come as no surprise that I believe a great way to explore any city is through its food. You can learn so much about an area and its people this way.
Whenever I travel I’m always on the lookout for different food places to try. Sometimes I look on review sites. Other times I ask for advice via social media.
For the most part, the places I’m most inclined to try have to:
1) Not be a big chain (of course there are exceptions*)
2) Be affordable
3) Be family friendly
About a twenty minute drive from the Waikoloa Resort area of the Big Island in the town of Kawaihae, Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, Inc. is a fairly new sweet treat truck that meets all three of these criteria.
As the name would suggest, they sell shave ice. They have the standard shave ice ($3.75), which is made up of finely shaved ice topped with different flavored syrups. You can get these with a variety of ice creams ($1.00 extra), including ube (purple sweet potato) and haupia (coconut cream) or a multitude of toppings like azuki beans, condensed cream, or fresh mochi balls (75¢ each).
Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, Inc. also offers specials ($6.00). These specials include shave ice with ice cream and a variety of other toppings. They have a chocolate sundae, strawberry sundae, and halo halo special. Of course, I had to try the halo halo one.
It was soooo good. I’m such a sucker for anything that has ube ice cream. Pair that with the flavors of a traditional halo halo (lots of coconut goodness) and it’s a total winner for me.
Although our experience at Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, Inc. was a favorable one, there are some things to be aware of:
1) The line can get REALLY LONG. I think we just went at a bad time. It was late afternoon on a Saturday, right after people were finishing up trips to the beach. We had to wait about half an hour to place our order and get our shave ice.
2) There is little to no shade while you wait.
3) There are no tables or chairs. Most people ate standing up or sat near their cars.
So, if you’re ever in the Kawaihae area and in need of an icy cold sweet treat, head on over to Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, Inc. The tasty and very generous portions definitely make the wait worth it.
Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, Inc.
61-3616 Kawaihae Rd Kawaihae, Hawaii 96743 (in the Blue Dragon Restaurant parking lot)
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11:00am-5:30pm; Sunday 1:30pm-5:30pm
Like Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, Inc. on Facebook
Photos by Marcus Hoapili
*If there is an In-N-Out Burger in the immediate area, I’ll probably stop by at least once. Because it’s good and we don’t have one in Hawaii.