NYC’s First and Only Kakigōri Cafe Is Now Open at the Canal Street Market

what is kakigōri?


Kakigōri is a traditional Japanese summer dessert with origins dating back to the 11th century Heian Period. Kakigōri is made by carving a block of pure ice using a special machine, and adding toppings to create flavors like mango or melon. 



What makes kakigōri so unlike other shaved snow desserts is the combination of the uniquely specific texture of ice with flavors that are made from seasonal fruit and handmade toppings. Each spoonful melts instantly in your mouth, packs a punch of fresh flavor, and leaves you feeling refreshed.

At Bonsai Kakigōri we place enormous importance on the quality of our flavors and toppings. We believe that food tastes best when ingredients are fresh and in peak season. That’s why each flavor that we create starts with a trip to the farmers market where we pick the best of what’s in season. We add as little as possible to highlight the natural flavor and hand make all our toppings from scratch, never using anything artificial. Using a hand-cranked vintage machine is crucial to create the fluffy melt-in-your-mouth texture that is so unique to kakigōri.  


our story




After returning to New York, we tried to find Kakigōri but realized that no one made it. We tried other types of shaved ice and snow but nothing came close to the texture and ingredients that made kakigōri so special.

Frustrated and determined to have some, we set out to make our own.

We ordered an original hand-cranked kakigōri machine from Japan, nicknamed it ”humi” after our favorite kakigōri shop in Tokyo, and began testing flavors. We started making some for friends and realized that the best part of making kakigōri was sharing it with others. So, Bonsai Kakigōri was born.

We decided to name our company after the Bonsai tree. Even though Bonsai trees are Japanese in origin, it's up to the person to influence how it's grown and take shape. That's what we've set out to do with kakigōri. We seek to honor the Japanese roots of the dessert but make our own kind, influenced by our identity as New Yorkers.

Our mission is simple: Make the highest quality kakigōri possible and share it with as many people as we can.


Although we’re still in the chokehold of winter, frosty desserts are a year long fascination for anyone who has a sweet tooth. Ice cream is certainly a reliable classic, but there’s a new kid on the block, Bonsai Kakigōri, New York City’s first (and only) kakigōri cafe, now open at Canal Street Market.

Make your way over to Bonsai Kakigōri, open at the Canal Street Market on

Saturdays (10am to 8pm) and Sundays 10am to 6pm. For more information,

click here