A popular Filipino dessert, halo-halo (literally means “mixed together”), is a surefire hit during these hot days of summer. With its mixture of shaved ice and evaporated milk and a concoction of everything you can actually think of – boiled sweet beans, bananas, jello, sweet preserves and other fruits – it’s a perfect way to beat the summer heat. Anthony Bourdain even described it as “oddly beautiful”, having tasted one during a visit to the famous Filipino fastfood Jollibee branch in Los Angeles, USA.
We rounded up ten of the best-tasting halo-halo in the country, taking special notice of one-of-a-kind concoctions, popular choices and absolutely taking no preference even in regions (you get to see half of the list’s located in various parts of the country!).
1. Chowking Halo-Halo Special
There’s a reason why Chowking made it to the list, and it’s not because of their market reach (you can easily find a branch at almost every mall in the country). It is known for its humongous amount of ingredients, topped with ube ice cream and leche flan – all the more giving more color to the sweet dessert. Since you get to order one from different branches, consistency arguably varies, especially with how fine their shaved ice is and how sometimes you ask for more milk, but it still is a popular choice for everyone. They have a new version out called Milky Halo-Halo with its milk creamier (and more abundant!).
Using just four ingredients – macapuno, sweetened bananas, leche flan and creamy milk – Razon’s halo halo has a die-hard following. So much is its popularity that Razon’s, which originally was based in Guagua, Pampanga, now has numerous branches across the country. One can try to dissect what makes Razon’s concoction so special but it always boils down to this – the creaminess of the mix and the very finely crushed ice (these guys are consistent with this ingredient) makes it as one of the best commercially produced dessert in the country.
Located in D’Mall in the island of Boracay, Halowich is a tourist favorite. It’s a perfect treat for sharing, as servings are placed in humongous bowls (not glasses) in a mix of corn flakes, sweet beans, real fruit slices of bananas, mangoes, pineapple, slushied with mango puree and topped with chocolate syrup, ice cream and cherry. Now, didn’t that just make your mouth water after reading all the ingredients?
4. Kabigting’s Halo-Halo
Another favorite hailing from Pampanga, Kabigting’s halo-halo has always been hugely popular in their native Arayat. Starting with the base of extra fine shaved ice, it only has three ingredients – mashed beans, corn and carabao’s milk pastillas – and yet you wouldn’t be asking for anything more once you’ve tasted it. That’s how blissful it tastes like.
5. Aling Foping’s Halo-Halo
Located in Davao City, it would come as no surprise that Aling Foping’s halo-halo has durian jam and durian ice cream in it! Wonder how that tastes like? Surely not near as bad as smelling actual durian fruit, as Aling Foping’s halo-halo is one of their best selling items.
6. Digman Halo-Halo
Bacoor, Cavite’s Digman Original Halo-Halo (Talk of the Town) is a famous spot that serves halo-halo since 1969. Once you enter the shop, you get to see a wall full of artists and celebrities that have enjoyed a serving though the years. Loaded with the usual ingredients of langka, beans, bananas, sago, nata de coco and more, it is topped with a scoop of ice cream and ube on top.
7. Lana’s Halo-Halo
Hit TV series Amazing Race Philippines has Lana’s Halo-Halo as one of its stops in the Bicol leg of the show. Located in the Legazpi City public market, there is a reason why it was chosen to be featured – it is something worth stopping, looking for and trying when you are visiting the city.
8. Aling Banang Halo-Halo
Serving Filipino favorites for 80 years and counting, Aling Banang’s halo-halo is served in ordinary plastic cups filled with the usual ingredients, its sweet filling on top, shaved ice in the middle, beans and jello at the bottom and right below the shaved ice you hit a unique ingredient – grated cheese. They have a number of branches in the Metro, click here for the list.
9. Nathaniel’s Halo-Halo Special
Famously known for its buko pandan, Nathaniel’s can also boast of its version of halo-halo. A great mix of sweet, creamy, colorful and crunchy, eating Nathaniel’s halo-halo is akin to eating comfort food – a surefire way to perk one’s spirits up that its big size isn’t really a challenge to finish. You just end up surprised that you managed to finish one tall, big glass without feeling the need to share. It’s that good.
10. Aling Taleng’s Halo-Halo
Served since 1933, Aling Taleng’s halo-halo is still a crowd drawer, even if it is located in a residential area near the town church and plaza of Pagsanjan, Laguna. What is its unique taste? Using candied “kundol” as a topping instead of the usual leche flan, ube, and ice cream.
These are just 10 of the mouthwatering halo-halos in the whole country, we might have missed some must-try’s. Do you have any recommendations for us to try? Let us know in the comments!
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