Every local and tourist alike will proclaim where they like to go for a shave ice – a local sweet treat some say was born in the Hawaiian islands. Local Boys, in the town of Lahaina, is one of my favorites.
Shave ice (not shaved ice, and certainly not its mainland cousin, the snow cone) is a treat served up at numerous stands and establishments on Maui, but our family has always been partial to the family run Local Boys. We’ve gone to their location in the town of Lahaina for a number of years, and they never disappoint.
What sets them apart? The consistency of their ice is like fresh heavy snow – and I consider myself a snow expert living in the Great White North. The texture is perfect to absorb the myriad of in-house mixed syrup flavors offered, from the familiar strawberry and banana to the more exotic (and mysterious, to us at first) flavors of Tiger’s Blood and Melona Cheesecake. A scoop of any flavor of Roselani’s Ice Cream can be added for free, as can homemade azuki beans, mochi balls, gummi bears, (the latter always requested by my daughter), and their signature Kauai cream. Depending on how full you may be after a meal, you can pick a size from the Big Baby to the very daunting Papa Nui.
The interior isn’t fancy – there are a couple of children’s picnic tables inside if you choose to stay, and the floor is usually sticky from the occasional spill, but to me those only add to the casual charm of a little establishment with a loyal following and a steady stream of customers. The girls working the counter are just lovely (and incredibly patient…did I mention that the shave ice sometimes gets spilled?).
Local Boys West is situated near the historic Banyan Tree on Front Street in Lahaina. I’d recommend getting your shave ice and heading to a bench in the park (don’t sit on the branches…it’s illegal) to enjoy this sugar-packed but very wonderfully-sweet treat.