10 Must-Try Desserts in Manila For a Cooler and Sweeter Summer

Summer in the Philippines is something we're never excited about (except for beach trips, of course) mainly because it gets extremely hot making us sweat bullets. The only thing we're actually looking forward to this summer are the refreshing food finds that will, at least, try to cool us down from this heat. From sweet and light to fruity and creamy, here's a list of must-try desserts in the metro for a cooler and sweeter summer you'll actually like:

Bliss Bowls
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Who says you can't indulge while eating healthy? Each of their bowls is made with 100% pure fruit, vegetables and superfoods with absolutely no ice, water, dairy or sugar added. Enjoy a bowl all by yourself without feeling guilty at all!

Order one of their best-selling bowls, Berry Bliss (P199) which boosts performance, endurance and immunity. It is a delicious and refreshing blend of strawberries, beets, banana and fresh coco water topped with fruit, granola and coconut flakes. A bowl that's close to an actual dessert is the Cacao Kiss (P260) promoting heart health and is a natural anti-depressant. It's a mixture of banana, strawberries, unsweetened cocoa, nut butter, coconut or almond milk, granola and coconut flakes. 

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With over 50 stores worldwide, they continue to share the phenomenon they've created with their expansive menu of over 180 different ingredients like M&Ms, Kitkat, fresh fruits, Oreo cookies, Skittles and Lindt to name a few. Every international Shakeaway store features a special menu and the Manila store isn't an exception. They have chocnut, chocolate coated polvoron, choco mallows, macapuno, pandan cupcake, peanut kisses, and one of their named shakes is even called Jose which has ube & macapuno and pinipig. Alongside their world famous milkshakes, they also offer their re-invented frozen yogurts, smoothies, and all-natural shaved ice.

Sebastian's Ice Cream
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Known for having unique ice cream flavors such as champorado with dilis, turon, mangga't suman and so much more, Sebastian's Ice Cream has unveiled a new line of sorbets that's perfect for this summer heat. Smooth, creamy and refreshing fruit sorbets made with real fruit and no dairy. Choose from a bright and mouthwatering Dalandan sorbet, a tropical Buko Pineapple sorbet, a smooth Orange Dark Chocolate Sorbet made with freshly-squeezed oranges swirled with dark chocolate and a tart Berrylicious sorbet that's a combination of strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and blackcurrant swirled together. 

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Image: Bucky's

Bucky's isn't just about their brownies. They also have some pretty good comfort food – grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup, fried chicken with a side of mashed potatoes and a refreshing badi bowl to name a few – you can enjoy while hanging out in Poblacion. End or begin your meal at Bucky's with their carabao's milk soft-serve ice cream served with fruity pebbles and drizzled with the darkest chocolate sauce. 

Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar
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Image: Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar

Want to feel refreshed while sipping on some smoothies that are packed with nutrients? Hillside Cafe's smoothies do not only look pretty, each glass is boosted with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can benefit one's overall health and immune system that's sure to make you feel and look good. 

Try the Hillside Greens (spinach + moringa + mango + chia seeds + coconut meat + coconut water), Mango Beet (mango + banana + orange + beets + hemp protein), Cacao Fudge (cacao + banana + cacao nibs + almond milk) or the Superfood Smoothie of the month, Cucumber Calamansi that's available for the whole month of April. 

Carmen's Best
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Carmen's Best doesn't have "best" in their name for nothing. They take pride on their ice cream which does not rely on any prepared mixes, artificial flavorings, colorings or thickeners. Carmen's now has over 37 flavors to choose from with best-sellers like Salted Caramel, Butter Pecan, Malted Milk and Brazilian Coffee. They also offer local flavors such as Coconut, Ube, Cheese, Macapuno, Pineapple and Melon Sherbet. One pint ranges from P370 to P420 while the single-serving cup costs P98-P110.

BLK 513
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Image: BLK 513

The very first store in Manila offering Activated Charcoal-enhanced froyo, BLK 513 serves Greek yogurt which has a creamier and thicker consistency than other froyos in the market. Their froyo has a unique ashy gray color containing active probiotic cultures, is gluten-free and is low in fat and sugar. Their dark skim frozen yogurt is made fresh daily and in small batches, making sure it is consumed within the day.

Have it in a cup (P185) or cone (P170) which are both customizable with your preferred crunch, fruit or sauce. You can choose from Matcha, Hot Nutella Fudge, Milk Jam, Cereal Milk, Spice Cookie Caramel and Espresso Latte to drizzle on your froyo. As for the crunch, there's Oreo Pie, White Chocolate Oldie, Valrhona Granola and more.

Cool Juans
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Everything on the menu will make you reminisce everything about your childhood. Chef Wado Siman has some of the most interesting ice cream flavors like the Iskrambolan (P180) which is an ice scramble ice cream with polvorón on the side and toppings of chocolate sauce, candy sprinkles, milk powder and mini mallows. There's also the unique Kwatro Kantos (P165) which has scoops of pomelo ice cream topped with crisp corn flakes and a shot of gin on the side. All of these are served on a liquid nitrogen bath which makes it a lot more interesting to consume.

Phat Boys
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An ice cream sandwich joint which started as a pop-up in BGC has proven that two good things when combined make a bomb dessert. Choose from their Phatboy Originals like the Phatcake (P180) which looks insanely good with its cheesecake ice cream sandwiched between a red velvet cupcake and the Mother Fudger (P180) which is hard to miss with its generous scoop of mocha ice cream, almond slivers and chocolate syrup in between two snickerdoodles. You can even create your own ice cream sandwich if you just can't choose from any of the existing combination. 

Freezer Burn
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Image: Freezer Burn

If you're looking for some fun and crazy ice cream flavors, Freezer Burn is the ice creamery for you. They have flavors as crazy as Ketchup and Mayo, Butter, Cookies and Junk Food and Corn and Cheese! There are simpler flavors as well – Chocolate, Maple Bacon, Browned Butter Pecan and Thick Mints. You can enjoy it by the scoop (P150), by the scoop with toppings (P180/2 toppings; P190/3 toppings) or their sampler bowl (P395) which gets you four scoops of ice cream for sharing.

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