10 Best Dessert Places in Manila
Life is better with desserts.
(SPOT.ph) Desserts are like the cool cufflinks on a pretty shirt; the red sole under black pumps; the cherry on top of chocolate ice cream. They are the little extras that make things worth it. It doesn't matter how bad the appetizer is. When a meal ends with a killer cake, ice cream, or tart, then you know it is pretty much a good one.
Le Petit Souffle
This indoor French courtyard is one of Chef Miko Aspiras' playgrounds for fun, quirky, and exceptional desserts. Its focus started on souffles, but Le Petit Souffle has come up with a trove of exciting options—including a sensational squid-ink ice cream (!) and parfaits featuring salted egg, azuki beans, and jellies. As if the bold combinations aren't already compelling, Le Petit Souffle presents their desserts like art on a plate. The only reason you tear through their sweet sculptures is because you know the flavors are going to be even better. Hurry up and take the Instagram shot already!
Must-tries: Classic Souffle Pancake (P160), Matcha Parfait (P195)
Le Petit Souffle is at Century City Mall, Makati City. Read more about Le Petit Souffle.
The Cake Club
We can never discount this oldie because it's still very much a goodie. Our three-time Top 1 Cheesecake is always tops when it comes to whatever dessert you think of: giant "macarons," homemade ice cream, mini cakes, cheesecakes—all exquisite, all on point. Even their more daring creations—like the short-lived foie gras macaron—are worth a try or two.
Must-tries: Diamond Ensaymada (P150), Baked Cheesecake (P260)
The Cake Club is at Power Plant Mall, Makati City. Read more about The Cake Club.
Cafe Seol Hwa
This bingsu stop opened only last year, but it's already topping many people's lists of favorite dessert places. Seriously, we've never been this interested in ice before. Cafe Seol Hwa embellishes theirs with fresh ingredients, no synthetic elements, and no preservatives. Imagine creamy shaved ice adorned with the usual sundae trappings—cake chunks, beans, cereals, nuts—the works! If you're already feeling cool, then have those toppings over toast.
Must-tries: Brownie Choco Bingsu (P250 to P360), Berry Cheese Toast (P250)
Cafe Seol Hwa is at Forum South Global, 7th Avenue corner Federacion Drive, Bonifacio Global City. Read more about Cafe Seol Hwa.
Lady M's Madame Emy Wada is a dessert genius. Paper Moon, the Philippine franchise of her brand, has been impressing people with their picture-perfect crepe cakes, but this place is no one-hit wonder. The cookies (the ones with the ginger, especially) are absolutely stellar, the strawberry shortcake (which have to be ordered three days in advance) are life-changing, and the cream puffs are lighter than air. There's something very distinctly Japanese in how Paper Moon makes their desserts: everything is graceful, subtle, but explosive.
Must-tries: Mille Crepe (P225 to P2,000), Ginger Cookies (P150), Strawberry Shortcake (P3,000)
Paper Moon has branches at SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City; Glorietta 3, Makati City; and Trinoma Mall, Quezon City. Read more about Paper Moon.
Papa Diddi's Handcrafted Ice Cream
Paul Perez's humble ice cream shop may not be as famous as the other places on this list, but, well...it should be. Papa Diddi's is his tribute to his late father, a lawyer who concocted his own homemade ice cream using ingredients from their farm. Papa Diddi's the restaurant does the same—featuring only locally sourced ingredients to create ingenious flavors. The ice cream is whipped up in small batches because freshness is a priority, while sugar is kept minimal to let the flavor really stand out. Paul also donates some of the proceeds to local libraries—because his dad loved reading.
Must-tries: Roasted Forbidden Rice Ice Cream (P55 to P95), Churros con Tsokolate Ice Cream (P85)
Papa Diddi's Handcrafted Ice Cream is at 168 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City. Read more about Papa Diddi's Handcrafted Ice Cream.
Rita's Italian Ice
Rita's will go down in history for coming up with so many ways to enjoy custard and Italian ice. You can have them layered, mixed, with toppings, as cake, as a shake, individually, or as a sundae. However you want your Rita's, this Philadephia-based ice stop is always reliable for a quick and tasty treat.
Must-tries: Frozen Custard (P125 to P160), Gelati (P130 to P160)
Churreria La Lola
With numerous locations in top commercial establishments around the Metro, Churreria La Lola has become a regular stop post-meal, pre-movie, or when you simply need a strolling buddy. You can have your churros any way you like, and as much as we love the manchego and jamon-blessed xuxos, it's their sweet incarnations that have developed a tremendous following. The freshly fried tubes are sold as is, but dipping them in the hot chocolate sauce is like dipping into happiness. And that's only one of the things you'll find at La Lola.
Must-tries: Xuxos (P120), Clasicos (P110 to P275), Chocochurros (P195 to P495)
No one can quite catch up with Xocolat when it comes to chocolate masterpieces. This cozy cafe doesn't specialize in chocolates by the bar, but their chocolate cakes, tarts, drinks, and brownies are always a winner. None of their desserts are cavity-inducing sweet—which proves that they only use the good stuff. Whichever item you choose, you're sure to get that heady hit of subtle but intense chocolate favor.
Must-tries: Flourless Xocolat Cake (P125), Gourmet Brownie (P95)
Xocolat has branches at 172 B. Gonzales Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon City; and Promenade Mall, San Juan City.
It may seem like Bizu is on this list because they introduced Filipinos to macarons and they have a brand-new creperie, among other achievements, but we are actually most impressed with how they're so brilliant when it comes to creating sugar-free confections. In fact, they're so good, it felt only fair that two items from their sugar-free collection made our Top 10 Sugar-Free Desserts list. Their desserts are decadent, beautifully balanced, and lighter on the calories. Now that is commendable.
Must-tries: Mango Chiboust (P265), Jolie (P295), Naomi (P275)
Ah, another classic (pun intended). Classic Confections is famous for its Nono's Chocolate Oblivion, a luscious chocolate cake (ranked No. 5 on SPOT.ph's Top 10 Chocolate Cakes) that will make you forget every bad thing in the world. This chocolate edifice may be the reason for Classic Confections' longevity in the industry, but Baba Ibazeta is pretty amazing when it comes to non-chocolate treats, as well. Her confections may not be as avante garde as others places, but she proves you can never go wrong with something simple done right.
Must-tries: Nono's Chocolate Oblivion (P250), Lemon Torte (P275), Banana Cream Pie (P200)
Classic Confections has branches at Brixton Street, Pasig City; and Greenbelt 5, Makati City.