First of all, it's called shave ice—shave not shaved. But regardless of what you call it, shave ice is a big deal in Utah, especially Utah County. And I'm not talking about a ball of granular ice in a paper cone. The good places shave fluffy ice off a block, after the Hawaiian tradition, and add creams and ice creams to pretty much any flavor you can imagine. After traversing the valley and eating more than I care to share, I've compiled the best of the best.


Photo by Madeleine Brown

Alpine natives claim Snoasis is hands down the best place to get shave ice. They have plenty of yummy flavors, and the ice isn't crunchy at all. It's cash-only, so bring extra change ($1.50) to add a “glacier”—ice cream on the bottom and cream on top. If you're feeling adventurous, try out the red hot and horchata flavors, but watch out for long lines after school and in the evenings.

424 S. Alpine Highway, Alpine


Photo by Madeleine Brown

This is definitely the place to be if you're in Utah Valley. Hokulia has been around for a few years, and they know what they're doing. Of all the places I tried, Hokulia had the fluffiest and softest ice and the most flavors—everything from tiger's blood (I think we're all stuck in a rut here) to wedding cake to li hing mui to passion orange guava. I got what my Hawaiian friend was getting—half lychee, half li hing mui, with li hing mui powder on top and a scoop of Farr's ice cream on the bottom.

130 E. University Parkway, Orem; other locations in American Fork, Provo and Spanish Fork

Sumo's Shave Ice

Photo by Madeleine Brown

Fifty flavors, including the ever-popular tiger's blood and blue Hawaii, aren't the only reason to hit Sumo's this summer. They put sweetened condensed milk on the top and then tongue-tingling, carbonated soft-serve yogurt on the bottom—yes, carbonated. You can also get sour spray and edible glitter, if you're into that sort of thing. Head there during “Jus' Chill Hours,” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., for a 50-cent discount.

452 N. 900 East (next to Gold's Gym), Provo

Ono Shave Ice

Photo by Madeleine Brown

Just across the street from the BYU Creamery stands Ono Shave Ice. Besides putting Ono (“amazing”) sauce on the ice, they put free soft serve on the bottom and another surprise that I promised to keep secret. If you're tired of the usual tiger's blood and piña colada, try unique flavors like the off-the-menu cactus juice. Check out Ono Shave Ice's Twitter account for deals.

1218 N. 900 East (across from the Creamery), Provo

Summer Sno

Photo by Madeleine Brown

This tenured shave ice is perfect for cooling down after a day at the pool. They don't have preservatives in their 35 flavors (including sugar-free flavors), which they make every day. The syrups are kept cold so they don't melt the ice. For only 50 cents, you can add ice cream or half and half—or you can go crazy and get both for only a buck.

277 N. 200 East (by the Scera pool), Orem


Photo by Madeleine Brown

Yuki is the shave ice place for foodies. You won't find any tiger's blood here. The owner makes the syrups from fresh and mostly local ingredients as produce comes into season. I wasn't feeling adventurous enough for the Sriracha or the Juneberry, so I had the lime. It was so fresh that it tasted like someone was squeezing a lime straight into my mouth. You won't be disappointed by the quality of flavors and the lightness of the ice.

1796 N. 950 West (by Mountain West Burrito), Provo and 4801 N. University Avenue (south of Provo Beach Resort), Provo

Most places close in September, so get out and try some shave ice. Tell us about the places we missed and your faves in the comments below.