Kaua’i Shave Ice Review #3: Wishing Well Shave Ice

Always long lines at Wishing Well Shave Ice
Always long lines at Wishing Well Shave Ice

Wishing Well Shave Ice, located in Hanalei on the north shore, may be Kauai’s most well-known shave ice vendor. It at least has had the most famous customers – there used to be a board posted out front where celebrities visiting Kaua’i who stopped by for a shave ice signed their name (including Ben Stiller, Pierce Brosnan, Robert Downey, Jr. and more). There were no famous people in line the day Brett and the girls stopped by, but as you can see from the long line, it’s still a very popular place. Brett and the girls stopped at the little white truck on their way home from their Kalalau Trail hike last week.

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The menu board
The menu board

Wishing Well has a fairly extensive menu, and offers both their own flavor combinations as well as allowing you to mix traditional and homemade flavors (only two though). Their traditional flavor shave ice also is available in three sizes, keiki (kid), small or large. The first time we visited, with friends Todd and Laurie, we were warned that the women who worked in the van liked the orders to be made in a particular way: size first, then ice cream flavor, and finally the shave ice flavors . . . or else. The women were known to get surly if you did it wrong. The girls and Brett said there were no such issues this time with the young people working inside.

The girls' selections
Good advice when you’re on Kaua’i

Wishing Well offers both traditional syrups as well as homemade organic syrups. Shave ice made with traditional syrups are priced according to size: keiki is $4.00, small is $4.50 and large is $6.00. Ice cream (either macadamia nut or vanilla) can be added for $2.00 more, and a snow cap adds another $1.00 to your order. Shave ice made with homemade syrups come in two sizes: keiki ($6.00) and regular ($8.00), and ice cream is still $2.00 extra, but toppings are included. Wishing Well’s combos are each priced differently, from $8.00 to $11.00, but some include a special ice cream flavor and toppings as well. Wishing Well also sells acai bowls and coffee, and they accept debit and credit cards.

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WenYu’s mango & lychee shave ice

WenYu wanted  green tea shave ice again, but they were out of the syrup so she instead ordered a small traditional mango and lychee combo over macadamia ice cream with a snow cap, and said it was delicious. YaYu ordered a lemon-lime combo over vanilla ice cream with a snow cap, but thought the syrups tasted a bit weird and said she wouldn’t order it again. Both agreed the ice was nice and fluffy though. Brett ordered the Caffeine Monkey combo, macadamia nut ice cream with coffee and banana shave ice and topped with fresh banana slices, a refreshing combo after a hot day on the trail.

The Caffeine Monkey
The Caffeine Monkey

In our family’s opinion, Wishing Well Shave Ice is well worth the stop if you’re visiting the north shore (maybe avoid the lemon/lime combo though). It’s a bit expensive as far a shave ice goes, but great for a special treat. And, you never know who you might run into!