Top 10 Milkshakes in Manila (2017 Edition)
This time, we ranked the classic vanilla!
(SPOT.ph) Whether it’s to beat the sweltering heat or just to wash down a greasy cheeseburger, nothing beats the milkshake. Since the last time we ranked the best milkshakes in the Metro in 2015, many more places offering their take on the drink have cropped up. Milkshakes loaded with wild and decadent toppings became the craze, some resembling desserts more than beverages. Still, we believe that nothing beats the classic stripped-down version. So for this year’s ranking, we’ve limited ourselves to a classic vanilla milkshake, judging each on consistency, flavor, and that X-factor that sets them apart from the pack. We endured brain freeze and additional calories so you didn’t have to—though we can’t say we regret every single sip.
All SPOT.ph Top 10 lists are researched, paid for, tested, and selected by the writers and editors. They are discreetly conducted without any notice made to the restaurants or their owners.
10. Starr’s Famous Shake in Vanilla (P95)
When it comes to a good milkshake at a friendly price point, Starr’s is still the one to beat. For less than P100, you can choose from 10 different flavors—though you won’t be disappointed with their Vanilla. While thinner and icier than some of those on this list, it’s still enjoyably thick. This shake leans more towards milky than vanilla-like, with a mild sweetness that is refreshing rather than cloying.
Starr's Famous Shakes is at Xavier Residences, Esteban Abada Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon City; 2/F UP Town Center, Diliman, Quezon City; V. Conception corner Laon Street, Sampaloc, Manila; The Rock Building, Holy Spirit Drive, Batasan Hills, Quezon City; and South StrEat: Gourmand Container Park, Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road, Tagaytay City.
9. Sunnies Café’s Vanilla Malt (P190)
Sunnies’ milkshakes are served in a tall glass that’ll remind you of retro soda fountains. Their Vanilla Malt tastes more like milk than vanilla, but the consistency is spot-on, with each sip going down smoothly. It’s also not too heavy, which makes this a great pair to their all-day brunch dishes. The funfetti adds a nice crunch that does make this drink, well, a little more fun.
See a list of Sunnies Café branches.
8. Farmacy’s Very Thick Shake in Vanilla Bean (P220)
When Farmacy says their shake is very thick, you better believe them. There’s no question that Farmacy uses only ice cream for their milkshakes with a result this dense and rich. You’ll thank them for the spoon they serve with every order, because you'll need it. The milky flavor of this drink is punctuated by notes of vanilla bean, though we found ourselves looking for a hint of something else to take this to the next level. Perhaps we’ll try it with malted milk (add P65) next time.
Farmacy is at G/F Net Lima Building, 4th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City; and O Square Greenhills, Ortigas Avenue corner Wilson Street, Greenhills, San Juan City.
7. Dean and DeLuca’s French Vanilla Bean Milkshake (P180)
This upscale grocery from New York has turned into a chill hangout spot all thanks to their winning menu that includes some excellent milkshakes. Their French Vanilla Bean milkshake is no-frills, but there’s no question that the flavors are a standout. The pleasantly sweet drink has a mild almond-like taste that you can’t help but chase after with every sip. The only-slightly-thicker-than-milk consistency also helps prevent this drink from getting too cloying—but if you prefer your shakes thicker, you can mix in the whipped cream topping with the rest of your shake.
Dean and DeLuca is at G/F Edades Tower and Garden Villas, Amorsolo corner Waterfront Drive, Rockwell, Makati City; and G/F Eton Tower, Dela Rosa corner V. A. Rufino Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City.
6. Sebastian’s Milkshake in Vanilla Pound Cake (P135)
Sebastian’s Vanilla Pound Cake stands out because of its rich vanilla butter cake flavor, which hits you from the very first sip. Turns out this is because Sebastian’s incorporates actual cake in their drink! This decadent shake is deliciously thick too, with the consistency of melted ice cream. The cherry is indeed the proverbial cherry on top of this cake, adding that sour pop that takes this shake to the next level.
Sebastian's Ice Cream has branches at SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City; The Podium, Mandaluyong City; and Regis Center, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City.
5. The Lost Bread’s Carnival (P180)
Anyone familiar with The Lost Bread and their Overshakes knows not to expect the usual from this milkshake bar and restaurant. Closest to a vanilla milkshake is the Carnival—though it’s taken up a notch with the cloud-like cotton candy topping that’s spun on the spot and the caramel popcorn that adds crunch. Still, beyond all these bells and whistles, the Carnival gets top marks on two important qualities: the flavor and the consistency. This milkshake is smooth and creamy all throughout, with a thickness your straw can still work around with. But what makes this drink a winner is the Butterball candy-like flavor from the caramel syrup—it'll hit you with a wave of nostalgia.
The Lost Bread is at StrEat: Maginhawa Food Park, Teachers Village, Quezon City; 80 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City; 4/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City; and The Yard Underground, Christian Route, Oranbo, Pasig City.
4. Sweet Ecstasy’s Classic Milkshake in Vanilla (P160)
Served in a white paper cup, this milkshake is as unassuming as it gets. But Sweet Ecstasy has always let their flavors speak for themselves. The same goes for their Classic Milkshake in Vanilla. It’s everything a diner milkshake should be: rich and smooth like melted ice cream, sweet but not too saccharine, and with hints of malt that’ll have you slurping till the end. This pairs perfectly with their cheeseburgers—so go on and have that Double.
Sweet Ecstacy is at 10 Jupiter corner Asteroid Street, Bel-Air, Makati City; and 2/F Uptown Parade, Uptown Bonifacio.
3. Johnny Rockets’ Original Shake in Vanilla (P215)
Johnny Rockets has become one of the default places for quality milkshakes, and this American diner continues to deliver. Their Original Shake comes in a tall glass with the extra served still in the tin shaker, so you know they blend their shakes the old fashioned way. This milkshake is really thick, like ice cream that’s barely melted—so you’ll need a spoon to finish this off. Sweeter than other vanilla milkshakes but not sugary, this is easily the most indulgent of the bunch. Perfect for those with a sweet tooth!
Johnny Rockets is at G/F Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City; and G/F Ayala Fairview Terraces Mall, Novaliches, Quezon City.
2. Grind Bistro’s Malted Vanilla Shake (P225)
Anyone who’s had honey corn flakes for breakfast knows that one of the best parts of your meal is drinking up the milk in your bowl afterwards—the perfect ending with sweet honey and cereal bits. It’s the same experience you’ll get with every sip of Grind Bistro’s Malted Vanilla Shake—though of course, leveled up into something richer. This shake doesn’t hold back when it comes to that sweet cereal-like malt flavor. The malt also adds a bit of a chew in each sip, which is a nice break from all the creaminess. If you enjoy malted shakes, this is one version you shouldn’t miss.
Grind Bistro is at G/F Net Park Building, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City; and 3/F SM Aura Premier, C5 corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City.
1. G Gastropub’s Back To Basics Vanilla (P195)
GRAMS Diner has rebranded into G Gastropub, but their signature milkshakes remain. It’s really difficult to beat a classic that just hits all the right spots. The consistency, similar to melted vanilla soft serve, gets top marks. So does the taste—sweet and malty, it’s like drinking butter cake. The whipped cream topping makes this drink thicker without taking away from the sweet flavor and the cherry adds a note of tartness to give your palate a break. All that for less than P200, which for us makes this one a sure winner.
G Gastropub is at G/F Crossroads Building, 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City.
For other Top 10 lists, check out SPOT.ph's Top 10 Everything Food Lists 3rd Edition. Co-presented with C2 Cool and Clean, it's priced at P195, available at major bookstores.