10 Must-Try Sweets in Honolulu

Shave Ice at Waiola and Ice Garden

Everyone has "their" shave ice spot, but mine is a tie between the very famous Waiola's, and Ice Garden in Aiea. Pictured is the Azuki Bowl from Waiola's. It goes like this: one mountain of super fine powdery shave ice doused in two syrup flavors...they have a huge menu of syrup choices (I love lilikoi, green tea, calpico, li hing mui, and lychee)! Then comes a pour of azuki beans and soft mochi. I often add sweetened condensed milk and/or ice cream to my order. It is incredible. At Ice Garden, tucked in the 2nd floor of the Aiea Shopping Center, get
Custard Shave Ice
—an overflowing bowl of shave ice, no syrup and lots of sweetened condensed milk, a heafty scoop of mochi balls and homemade custard. They do the best custards of any shave ice place on the island.

Waiola Shave Ice: 2135 Waiola Street, Honolulu, HI 96826 (map); 808-949-2269;

Ice Garden: 99-080 Kauhale Street, Aiea Shopping Center, Aiea, HI 96701 (map); 808-488-5154

There are so many more than "just" ten sweets one must try when in Honolulu, my hometown. I think this list could easily be thirty or even forty long. But we'll start with ten—you must begin somewhere!

We have the classics: malassadas hot out of the fryer, best at the Punahou Carnival, and also found at Leonard's Bakery and Champion Malasadas. There's shave ice to be devoured at Waiola's (pictured above, an azuki bean shave ice bowl) and at Ice Garden in Aiea where the custard-cup topped shave ice is unlike any other. Don't miss the famed coco puffs from Liliha Bakery, mochi ice cream at Bubbies, and fresh mochi from Nisshodo in Kalihi.

And then there are the baked goods, a whole loaf of plush sweet bread from Ani's Bake Shop and the ridiculous butterflake roll at Saint Germain. To drink? We got you covered—the coffee jelly and chocolate milk from La Palme D'or when you're in an indulgent mood, and pineapple jelly and plantation iced tea when you crave something more tropical. But whatever you do, no visit to this island is complete without a visit to Thang's in Chinatown for what well may be the world's best avocado smoothie.

Don't Miss These Sweets

Shave Ice at Waiola and Ice Garden
Saint Germain's Butterflake Roll
Avocado Smoothies at Thang's
Bubbies Mochi Ice Cream
Sweet Bread from Ani's Bake Shop
Dessert Drinks at La Palme D'Or
Malassadas
Local Fruits: Mango, Avocado, and Papaya
Coco Puffs at Liliha Bakery
Fresh Mochi