Best Eats + Restaurants

8 Flavorful Halo-Halo in Manila to Help You Beat the Summer Heat

Mix in fresh flavors to your summer with these unique halo-halo versions!

By: Patricia Marie Prado | April 05, 2018
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best halo halo in Manila 2018


Summer in the Philippines is not easy thanks to the scorching heat. Thankfully, we have many ways to keep cool in the form of our gorgeous beaches and, of course, our summer staple: halo-halo. Halo-halo is a sweet dessert that is a combination of shaved ice, evaporated milk, and various fruits and ingredients like banana, jelly, and beans. This truly Filipino dessert is a party in your mouth and one of the things that makes summer bearable.

If you’re tired of your neighborhood store’s halo-halo, why not treat yourself to better and more unique versions of the dessert? Here are eight restaurants in the metro that give halo-halo a fancy twist.


1. MilkyWay Cafe

Address: 900 Pasay Road 2/F, Milkyway Building, Makati



best halo halo in Manila 2018

Milkyway’s halo-halo stayed faithful to the 1960’s version of the dessert.

Images: Left, Milkyway Café Facebook Page; Right, @ jeanuy_22


For residents of Makati or even those who lived since the ‘60s, MilkyWay Café is known as one of the staples in the neighborhood. The restaurant started out as a small ice cream shop in 1962 but has since grown to offer sumptuous Filipino food. Some of their famous offerings include Baby Crispy Pata (Php1495) and MilkyWay Kare Kare (PhP625).

Although MilkyWay’s ice creams (PhP595/half gallon) are great companions this summer, their halo-halo (PhP225) is also one of their most known offerings. Milkyway’s version is a classic treat that follows their recipe from 1962; it contains preserved fruits, pinipig (toasted glutinous rice), and leche flan and is made better with their very own ice cream.


2. Razon’s

Various branches



best halo halo in Manila 2018

Razon’s secret to their halo-halo? Simplicity!

Image: Left, Razon’s Facebook Page; Right, @jov05


Another famous restaurant known for their halo-halo is Razon’s. Originally from Pampanga, Razon’s started out as a refreshment parlor in Guagua that offered simple afternoon snacks like hamburger, fries, and pancit luglug (thick glass noodles with shrimp sauce). But, of course, their most famous offering is their halo-halo (PhP115).

Razon’s version won many hearts because of its simplicity as it contains only three ingredients: leche flan, saging na saba (banana) and, macapuno (coconut sport). The owners pride themselves in using natural and freshly-cooked ingredients instead of preserved components, thus giving their halo-halo that signature taste.


3. Kabigting’s Halo Halo

Address: 528 Banawe Avenue, corner Calamba Street, Quezon City



best halo halo in Manila 2018

Who knew pastillas in halo-halo would work?

Image: @maui_sailor


Another brand from Pampanga that became known for their halo-halo is Kabigting’s Halo Halo. Flora and Jacinto Kabigting started their journey in a small sari-sari store in Arayat, Pampanga in the ‘70s where they also sold halo-halo. To make theirs unique, the Kabigtings decided to use unusual ingredients to stand out from the competition.

A Kabigting Halo-Halo (PhP105) contains sugared white kidney beans, pastillas made with carabao’s milk, and corn, which resulted in a sweet and salty but tasty dessert that became well loved by many Kapampangans. Today, the “Pride of Arayat” also branched out in Quezon City so Manilenos can also have a taste of their halo-halo.


4. Dekada Historic Filipino Cuisine

Branches:
Second Floor, Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City
Level 4, Trinoma, North Ave, Quezon City



best halo halo in Manila 2018

With Dekada, presentation is key.

Image: @ebelleoh


For those who love a trip down memory lane, dining at Dekada Historic Filipino Cuisine is as nostalgic as it gets what with its interiors filled with knick-knacks from days of old. In addition to its interiors, Dekada’s food is also an homage to our heritage serving both classic and contemporary versions of our favorite Filipino dishes.

Among the classic items on the menu is their halo-halo under the name Proclamation No. 1081 (PhP168). Although it’s named after the proclamation for Martial Law, there’s nothing scary about this halo-halo—it’s just pure bliss. Served in a coconut shell, you’ll get your usual favorite ingredients including jackfruit, coconut shavings, ube, various kinds of beans, and more with a cherry on top! The syrup is also set aside so you can control the sweetness of your dessert.




5. Kuya J

Various branches



best halo halo in Manila 2018

No watery halo-halos here, Kuya J only uses frozen milk for their dessert!

Image: Kuya J Restaurant Facebook Page


Kuya J may be known as a Filipino restaurant, but it is their halo-halo that’s been making waves for years now. The brand started out in 2005 in Cebu, and it slowly became well-known in Manila. The restaurant offers classic Filipino fares like Crispy Pata (Regular PhP549/Family PhP695), Kare-Kare (PhP435), and Pancit Canton (PhP180). Going back to their halo-halo (PhP109), Kuya J’s version has become a favorite thanks to the unique texture of its ice. Unbeknownst to many, Kuya J uses frozen milk instead of frozen water to give their halo-halo a creamy consistency that doesn’t easily melt.

They also serve three variations of their halo-halo namely Halo Halo Espesyal, their classic halo-halo; Ube Halo Halo which using ube-flavored frozen ice to make the halo-halo extra flavorful; and Saba Halo Halo, a more simplistic halo-halo using only sweetened banana, jackfruits, and tapioca pearls.


6. Icebergs

Various branches



best halo halo in Manila 2018

No matter howyou look at it, Icebergs’ Super halo-halo is full to the brim!

Images: Left, @taste_of_qc; Right, @keenniu


Another oldie but goodie on our list is Icebergs. The shop started way back in 1986 as a small halo-halo eatery in Timog Avenue but has since grown into a full-pledged restaurant serving various desserts and some savory dishes as well.

If there’s one dessert that made Iceberg famous, it’s their Super Halo-Halo (PhP128). Iceberg pioneered the ‘flipped’ serving of halo-halo where the ice is at the bottom of the glass and the ingredients are highlighted at the top. Aside from the presentation, their halo-halo brimming with various sweets from ice cream to leche flan, and cornflakes made it a popular and classic choice among many.




7. Sentro 1771

Branches:
G/F Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City
Meralco Ave., cor. Shaw Blvd., Kapitolyo, Pasig City
36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City



best halo halo in Manila 2018

A block of ube made in-house makes Sentro 1771’s halo-halo special.

Images: Left, louisenasol; Right, @lanzchantabz


Sentro 1771 features a menu filled with classic and eccentric dishes like Sinigang na Corned Beef (PhP595). After tasting their extensive offerings, end your time with Sentro 1771 by ordering their Halo Halo (Small PhP75/Big PhP150).

Sentro 1771 sticks to the classic way of preparing this dessert, but they made sure to use only the best ingredients. Made with red mung beans, nata de coco, and sweetened garbanzos, their halo-halo is made better with their leche flan and ube made in-house.


8. Chef Jessie Grill

Address: Ground Level, The Grove by Rockwell, E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue (C5), Pasig



best halo halo in Manila 2018

A halo-halo made by an award-winning chef might make your summer better.

Image: Chef Jessie Grill Facebook Grill


If you’re willing to splurge on a good glass of halo-halo, one restaurant to consider is Chef Jessie Grill. For a whopping PhP300, the price might make you want to think twice before ordering, but for this price you’ll taste a cup of halo-halo made by an award-winning chef, so why not go ahead and try it?

The restaurant’s president, Josefina Sincioco, is a multi-awarded chef who has cooked for Pope Francis in 2015 and for the ASEAN Summit in 2017. The restaurant’s version of halo-halo will leave you pleasantly surprised as it is made with homemade ingredients such as sweetened banana and kamote, jackfruit, tapioca pearls, red beans, jellies, macapuno, and kaong. The dish is elevated by ube ice cream plus ube halaya (yes two ube!) and a square of leche flan with a hint of lime.




A classic halo-halo will never go out of style, but these unique versions of our favorite dessert are a nice surprise in this humid weather. Let us know in the comments section which of these halo-halos you will try first!
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author
About Patricia Marie Prado
Patricia came from the field of business and accounting but is now pursuing her dreams of being a writer. She is a self-confessed introvert and is passionate about reading, travelling, writing, movies, coffee and God. When she's not writing, she loves discovering new coffee shops/cafe and doing TV-series marathons.
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