iEat Halo - halo

The Philippines’ most popular shaven ice dessert originated here at Quinta market


Halo-halo, which is Tagalog for ‘mix-mix’ is the most famous of all Filipino desserts, especially popular during the sweltering summer. Local legend says that Quinta Market vendors invented this Filipino classic in the 1930s. This mixture of shaved ice and evaporated milk is a perfect analogy of Quiapo, a veritable melting pot of all flavours and textures.

Japanese dessert with a local touch

The popular dessert can be traced back to the arrival of Japanese settlers in the 1930s who introduced flavoured shaved ice. Quinta Market, being so close to the old Manila Insular Ice Plant across the river, was a popular place to have Halo Halo. Boiled sweet beans, fresh fruits, tapioca, and other colourful sweets were added for a local touch and now Halo-halo has become the ubiquitous Filipino dessert across the world. It all started here under the Bridge in Quiapo.

Pancit Palabok Quiapo style

Try Pancit Palabok at Nanay Dada. Palabok is a lovely light rice noodle dish with shrimp and garlic sauce adding deep flavours. It’s a favourite teatime snack of many Filipinos, and few make the Palabok like Nanay Dada. The family eatery, which dates back to the 1940s, has been passed on for generations and since 1980 Nanay is the holder of the family recipe. At PHP 50 a plate, a must-try.

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