You’d think anyone who opens up a shave ice shop next to world-famous Matsumoto’s Shave Ice in Haleiwa Town
would struggle to find success, but Aoki’s Shave Ice is a big exception to the rule. This humble shave ice joint is just as popular with the locals and tourists, especially after spending a day at one of many North Shore Beaches
. Open daily from about 11:00 am to 6:30 pm, Aoki’s offers a wide variety of flavorful, homemade syrups—from strawberry to coffee to li hing mui—to be poured over their finely shaved ice. Some consider Haleiwa Town
to be the best place to eat shave ice, and Aoki’s is a testament to this widely held belief.
The Haleiwa storefront was opened in 1981 by Sumie (Shimoda) Aoki and her son, Michael, Aoki’s Shave Ice has actually been around since the 1930s. The Shimoda family began selling their sweet treat at the Old Haleiwa Theater, which was built in 1931. But in the 1980s, developers bought the land and demolished the building after community protests. Thus, Sumie Aoki decided to open the current shop. Today it is run by Michael Aoki and his daughter, Cathy.