A Quick Halo-Halo Recipe, Plus Where to Buy this Pinoy Dessert in Manila

Halo-halo, literally ‘mix-mix’ in Filipino, is a staple Pinoy shaved ice dessert, especially popular during summer. Read on to know how to make your own halo-halo at home and where to find the best versions in Manila.

Halo-halo, literally ‘mix-mix’ in Filipino, is a staple Pinoy shaved ice dessert, especially popular during summer. Although halo-halo is very much akin to ais kacang in Malaysia and Korea's patbingsu, sources claim that Pinoys learned how to make halo-halo from the Japanese.

According to Kiyoshi Osawa’s (1981) book ‘A Japanese in the Philippines,’ the Japanese has a war time monopoly on a food business called ‘mongo-ya’. “Mongo is a Tagalog word meaning red beans. What was sold for ten centavos was a plateful of cooked red beans heaped with ground ice, topped with sugar and milk”. This was supposedly introduced by karayukisan-san– Japanese women groups who traveled to East Asia and Southeast Asia to work as prostitutes about 100 years ago.

Today, halo-halo is ubiquitous in both pop-up side street stands in residential neighborhoods and proper Filipino restaurants. Making a glass at home is possible, too, as most of the ingredients can be bought ready-made from the supermarket. 

Homemade Halo-Halo Recipe
Yield: 1 glass


1 tablespoon nata de coco

1 tablespoon garbanzo beans (Chickpeas)

1 tablespoon saba; cooked in brown sugar

1 tablespoon sweetened corn kernel

1 tablespoon macapuno

2 tablespoons sago (Tapioca Pearls); cooked

2 tablespoons gelatin; cooked

1 tablespoon kaong (Sweetened palm fruit)

1 teaspoon pinipig (roasted rice puffs)

1 – 2 cups (depending on size of glass) ice; crushed or shaved

2 tablespoons langka slices (Jackfruit)

2 tablespoons ube jam (Purple Yam)

2 tablespoons leche flan

¼ cup Evaporated Milk

1 scoop ube ice cream


Combine nata de coco, garbanzo beans, sweetened saba, sweetened corn kernels, sago, gelatin, pinipig, macapuno and kaong in a tall glass (preferably parfait glass). Fill the glass with ice. Pour 1/8 cup evaporated milk. Top with langka, ube, leche flan and ice cream. Pour the remaining 1/8 cup of milk. Serve.

If you can’t be bothered buying your ingredients and making your own glass, you may order halo-halo from the following restaurants:

Razon's Halo-halo

Razon's of Guagua
View branches 
Price: P100

Digman Halo-halo

Photo: Digman's Facebook Page

BC2 Original Digman Halo-Halo
54 Gawaran St., Bacoor
Cavite, Philippines
Price: P55

Milky Way Halo-halo

Photo: Milky Way's Facebook Page

Milky Way
Branches: Virra Mall, Greenhills, San Juan, Milky Way Bldg. 900 Arnaiz Ave (formerly Pasay Road), 
(02) 726 5541
Price: P125

Manila Peninsula's Halo-halo Harana

Photo: The Peninsula Manila's Facebook Page

Halo-Halo Harana by The Lobby at Manila Peninsula
GF The Peninsula Manila
+63 2 887 2888 Ext 6759
Price: P600++ 

Photo: Conti's Facebook Page

View branches
Halo-Halo Special (P110)
Junior Halo-Halo Special (P65) 


Via Mare Halo Halo

Photo: Via Mare's Facebook Page

Via Mare
View branches
Price: P112

Max's Giant Halo-halo

Max's Special Halo-halo

Photo: Max's' Facebook Page

Max’s Restaurant
View branches
Halo-Halo Regular P 93.50
Halo-Halo Special P 119.90
Giant Halo-Halo P 456.50 (serves 5-8 persons)

Aristocrat Halo-Halo

Photo: Aristocrat's Facebook Page

The Aristocrat Restaurant
View branches
Special – P125
Regular – P90

Chowking Halo-Halo

Photo: Chowking's Facebook Page

View branches
Special: P97

Mang Inasal Halo-Halo

Photo: Mang Inasal's Facebook Page

Mang Inasal
View Branches
Small P49
Regular P69

Photo: Chicboy's Facebook Page

Chic Boy
View Branches
Price: P75

Photo: Mini Stop's Facebook Page

Mini Stop
16 o.z.: P45 (add P5 for ice cream)

Singling out the best halo-halo in the metro is almost impossible as everyone would have their own preference in terms of flavor and ingredients' proportion. Therefore we're leaving it up to you to name the best halo-halo you've tasted in the metro. Let us know your thought in the comments section below.


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