SPOT.ph’s Halo-halo guide: Our Top 10

We tell you where to get the best halo-halo concoctions in the city.


The halo-halo was named as one of Top Chef’s top three Quickfire challenge dishes when contestant Dale Talde prepared one with avocadoes, mangoes, lemongrass, kiwi and cashew nuts on the show in 2008.   In a by TIME magazine article in 2006, The Peninsula Manila’s halo-halo was hailed "the best legal high" in the city. Our humble halo-halo, which baffles foreigners to no end ("Is it breakfast or dessert?") with its mixture of milk, shaved ice, crunchy rice krispies and sweet ingredients, remains a summer staple. Here’s our list of where to get the best versions of this summer cooler in the city:

Sweetness meter:
3 -••• Too sweet
2 -••     Just right
1 - •       More sugar, please


dayrits

10. Dayrit’s

Paseo de Magallanes, Magallanes Village, Makati City. Tel. No. 854-9943; 31st & 2nd Ave. Bonifacio Stopover, Taguig City. Tel. No. 818-0168

Price: P115
Ingredients: red mongo beans, sweet beans, garbanzos, nata de coco (coconut gelatin), langka (jackfruit) and macapuno strips topped with ube ice cream
Sweetness meter: 3 •••

Probably the sweetest from the ones we tried, densely-packed ice sits on top of the layers of mongo beans, sweet beans, garbanzos, nata de coco, langka and macapuno strips, and milk, topped with ube ice cream. Served in a narrow glass, Dayrit’s version was hard to mix without spilling the shaved ice. Those who have a sweet tooth will like this version though, and you can request for more sugar and milk from the servers.


maxs


9. Max’s

1407 Quezon Ave., Quezon City. Tel. No.373-7355; with various branches all over Metro Manila

Price: P69 for the regular size; P82 with ice-cream; P375 for the giant halo-halo (good for 3-4 people) with 5 scoops of ice cream, waffle sticks and 1 whole leche flan
Ingredients: macapuno balls, pinipig, sweet beans, ube, green gulaman, sweet garbanzos (chickpea), leche flan, sago, red mongo beans, nata de coco, bananas, and red kaong (sweet palm fruit) drizzled with cheese
Sweetness meter: 3 •••

Sweeter than most with a lot of ingredients, the crushed ice in Max’s halo-halo is also hard to mix. The unexpected cheese drizzle in the mixture lent a salty flavor to counter the overly-sweet milk and the huge serving can easily serve two.

pancake

8. Pancake House

Bonifacio High Street, Ground Level, B3 Quadrant, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. Tel. No. 856-5451;with various branches all over Metro Manila

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Price: P74 for the regular-size; P89 with ice-cream; P50 for the mini and P63 for the mini size with ice-cream
Ingredients: red mongo beans, sliced bananas, kamote (sweet potato), sweet garbanzos, ube, langka (jackfruit) strips topped with ube ice cream
Sweetness meter: 2 ••

The go-to place for comfort food, Pancake House’s menu also lists Halo-Halo Jubilee among its dessert fare. Red mongo beans, sliced bananas, kamote, sweet garbanzos, ube, and langka strips are placed on top of a bed of red gulaman (jelly). Much like Dayrit’s, Pancake House’s halo-halo is packed with dense ice, and is topped with a generous slab of leche flan and ube ice cream. Patience is key to enjoying Pancake House’s halo-halo: the packed ice makes it hard to mix, you have to wait for the ice to melt before you can scoop the sweet ingredients.

contis

7. Conti’s

61 President's Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City. Tel. No. 850-5852

Price: P85
Ingredients: Green kaong (sweet palm fruit), red gulaman (jelly), bananas, macapuno strips, sweet beans, and lots of leche flan
Sweetness meter: 2 ••

Leche flan lovers will love the halo-halo at Conti’s. Not just mixed in as a topping, a whole layer of sweet and soft leche flan is nestled in between the jelly, kaong, bananas, sweet beans and coarse ice. Even with the abundant leche flan in the mix, the concoction is surprisingly moderately-sweet.



little-quiapo

6. Little Quiapo

90 Malakas Street, Diliman, Quezon City. Tel. No. 922-4131

Price: P90 for the regular size; P110 with 1 scoop of ube ice cream; P120 for the fiesta halo-halo served in a big bowl
Ingredients: bananas, ube, langka and macapuno strips, red mongo beans, kamote (sweet potatoes), kaong, sweet beans, and pinipig
Sweetness meter: 2 ••

Chunky and filling - Little Quiapo’s halo-halo is not a lightweight with generous servings of bananas, ube, langka and macapuno strips, red mongo beans, sweet potatoes, kaong, and sweet beans mixed in with shaved ice and pinipig, topped with leche flan. The ice melted easily into the milk with just the right amount of sweetness down pat.

razons1

5. Razon’s

22 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air Village, Makati City. Tel. No. 897-2481; with various branches in Metro Manila

Price: P85
Ingredients: sweet bananas, langka, macapuno strips, topped with leche flan
Sweetness meter: 2 ••

Hailed as a favorite by many, the Pampanga version is understated and simple. No chunky ingredients can be found, everything mixed in is almost pureed, coupled with finely-shaved ice that lent foam to the milk. What it lacked in texture is compensated by the taste, with the syrup from the bananas lending sweetness to the whole mix.

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icebergs

4. Icebergs

5 Timog Ave., Quezon City. Tel. No. 374-3831

Price: P88 for the halo-halo special; P98 for the super halo-halo with two scoops of ice cream
Ingredients: ube, cornflakes, sweet corn kernels, langka strips, red and green gulaman (jelly), bananas, macapuno balls, a peach slice, topped with ube ice cream
Sweetness meter: 2 ••

Served with extra milk and sugar, Icebergs’ halo-halo does not really need more sugar. Chunky because of the myriad of ingredients nicely thrown in together with shaved ice that doesn’t easily melt, the only pet peeve is that the syrup from the corn kernels is far too distinct in taste and is too noticeable when you put a spoonful of the halo-halo in your mouth.



manila-pen

3. The Lobby, The Peninsula Manila

Corner of Ayala and Makati Avenues, Makati City. Tel. No. 887-2888

Price: P400
Ingredients: sweet garbanzos, pinipig, ube, macapuno and langka strips, red, green and white kaong, nata de coco, topped with ube ice cream and leche flan
Sweetness meter: 2 ••

Served in a huge bowl, this concoction served at the posh lobby of the The Peninsula, Manila Hotel is undoubtedly made for sharing.   With generous amounts of all the ingredients mixed in together, the Halo-Halo Harana is perfect for those who want a filling version of the local dessert.


chowking

2.  Chowking

E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave., Quezon City. Tel. No. 723-1961; with various branches in Metro Manila

Price: P49 for the regular size; P79 for the fiesta size (add P10 per scoop of ice cream); Available for dine-in and delivery.
Ingredients: bananas, green gulaman (jelly), ube, pinipig, sweet beans, sago, garbanzos, langka strips, kaong, and leche flan
Sweetness meter: 2 ••

A crowd-pleaser with its many ingredients served with crushed ice, Chowking’s halo-halo is popular as a dessert quick-fix. Apparently making up for 25% of the fast food chain’s sales, the milk in Chowking’s halo-halo is creamier than the ones served at other spots. If you’re watching your sugar intake or cannot have beans, you may also ask for your glass (or bowl) of halo-halo to be customized.


milkyway1

1. Milkyway Deli

2nd Level Milkyway Bldg. 900 Pasay Road, Makati City. Tel. No. 843-4124

Price: P95
Ingredients: red mongo beans, sweet beans, garbanzos, nata de coco, macapuno and langka (jackfruit) strips
Sweetness meter: 2 ••

Served in a tall glass with layers of red mongo beans, sweet beans, garbanzos, nata de coco, macapuno and langka strips, topped with ube ice cream, Milkyway’s halo-halo is filling without being overwhelming. The milk is creamy without being overly sweet and while the ice was densely-packed, it was easy to mix in all the ingredients together.

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Photos by Trixie Zabal.


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