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“Tasty new dessert treat” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Island Snow

Island Snow
130 Kailua Rd, Kailua, Oahu, HI
(808) 263-6339
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Ranked #7 of 112 Restaurants in Kailua
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Good for: Families with children
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
MD
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Tasty new dessert treat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

I had never tried shave ice with condensed milk. It was a wonderful surprise. I had the mango and cherry with condensed milk on top. It was delicious. However, next time I would just have the mango with condensed milk.

Visited January 2013
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136 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    78
    41
    7
    7
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Oh Oh Oh”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

Now I know why the President gets his shave ice here. AND it's only 3.00. I made a meal more than once. On the mainland, I've never had shave ice with a scoop of vanilla icecream at the bottom. It really makes a difference. Also, the guys are generous with the syrups and boy do they have unique flavors.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Orange, Florida, United States
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Go for the SNOW”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012 via mobile

The shaved ice is delish! You get up to 3 flavors! The small $3 cone is NOT small!!!!!
Very good especially on a hot day!

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Altos, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Essentially a tourist trap. Clothing store.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

It's what one would call a "tourist trap"...what a shame. Explain to me why the "snowbama" isn't on the menu when it's the only thing that brings the tourists in here?

I loves me some tourist-time, so of course, that's what I ordered. Passion-guava, lemon lime, and cherry. BTW, the cherry syrup here is waaaay too sweet, it's overpowering.

Maybe I just have high shaved ice standards, but the ice here isn't even that soft. It got crunchy before it started to melt. Definitely more of a snow cone than shaved ice. And even the syrups left that sticky aftertaste on the tongue, very artificial.

Sure, $3 is an okay price. And it's conveniently located next to the kayak rental and lunch stops, making it a good snacky pit stop on a hot day. But there's no place to just sit and enjoy it outside; and it's a bit of a walk from the beach (with a blind turn and no sidewalks, I wouldn't recommend it out of safety).

This is no where near the best shaved ice on the island. It's just the most popular shaved ice in Kailua. For obvious reasons. It's definitely over-marketed, which you can tell by all the merchandise they're hawking. Island Snow is first and foremost a surf shop (or a "lifestyle and fashion hub" as they like to put it). The shaved ice comes second.

The point is, I've had better in the hole-in-the-wall places. So Island Snow represents to me the over-hyped and over-done, with very little flavor. If shaved ice is all the same to you and you just want some bragging rights and to name-drop Obama, go here. Or even if you're burning up and need an icy snack to kill that scorching sun, sure, this is a decent stop. But if you want the quintessential shaved ice experience in Hawaii, go elsewhere.

Visited April 2012
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Hong Kong
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Good locals’ recommendation of shave ice and cool store”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012

We mentioned to some locals that we went to Matsumoto and was disappointed, they shouted “it really isn’t that good!”. Instead, they recommended Island Snow. It is one of the best shave ice we’ve had in O’ahu. The ice was fluffy and quite a few of flavours were natural (as opposed to some sugar syrup). We asked the staff to mix something cool for us and enjoyed every bit of it.

Obama has been here too, but from our understanding, it’s not one of those places he’s been to a lot growing up, but one that he’s been to, once or occasionally, together with his family and many secret services, etc. Regardless, you can still pay your tribute to Obama by admiring his photo hanging on the store wall and hear from the staffs their encounter with him (they were hilarious).

The place is also a very cool store selling T-shirts, swimming trunks, sporty watches and all kinds of water sport equipment and souvenirs. The staffs were very patient selecting T-shirts with us and the ones we bought were edgy and chic.

A great playground for guys and girls!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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