Halo-Halo: a Filipino sundae unlike any other


halo halo

Where Can I Get it?  |  How Can I Make It?

What is halo-halo?

Halo-halo (pronounced: ha-loh ha-loh, not hey-low hey-low) is a colorful traditional Filipino dessert that resembles an ice cream sundae.  It literally translates to “mix mix” which is appropriate since it is a combination of several Filipino ingredients that are mixed together when eaten.  Halo-halo usually consists of: shaved ice, evaporated milk, sweet beans, coconut, jackfruit, sago (similar to tapioca) and gulaman (sweet jelly) topped with ube ice cream and pinipig (young toasted rice).

Although this rainbow colored dessert has been a staple in Philippine culture since the early 20th century, it has gained exposure in the US in the 2010’s (nearly a century after its invention) thanks to TV shows like Top Chef and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

Where can I get it?  

Halo-halo can be found in most Filipino restaurants including popular chains like Jolibee and Goldilocks. However, the best halo-halo is usually found in independent mom-and-pop type Filipino restaurants…

Chicago, IL: Isla Pilipina

photo: @islapilipina on Instagram

Nashville, TN: Ate’s

photo: @atenashville on Instagram

Portland, OR: Tambayan

photo: Tambayan on Facebook

Los Angeles, CA: LA Rose

halo halo
photo: LA Rose on Facebook

New York, NY: Lumpia Shack

photo: Lumpia Shack on Facebook

San Francisco Bay Area (San Bruno): Patio Filipino

halo halo (taken by Glutto)
photo: Margie Villanueva

San Diego, CA: Erlinda’s Filipino Cuisine & Ice Cream Parlor

photo: Erlinda’s on Facebook

Looking for more places that serve halo-halo?  You can find them on Glutto right here.

How can I make it? 

Halo-halo is really easy to make.  The most complicated part is making sure you have the right ingredients, which can usually be found online or at your local International/Asian market.  Here’s a straightforward recipe that you can also save for later on Glutto.

Special Tools


  • 1 cup ice (shaved/blended)
  • ¼ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 jar halo halo mix, or get the ingredients separately for more distinct flavors:
    • 2 tablespoons kaong (sugar palm seed)
    • 2 tablespoons sweetened langka (jackfruit – cut into strips)
    • 2 tablespoons macapuno (coconut sport strips)
    • 2 tablespoons red mongo beans
    • 2 tablespoons saba (sweetened plantains)
    • 2 tablespoons ube (purple yam jam)
    • 2 tablespoons leche flan (crème caramel custard)
  • 2 scoops ice cream (best with Filipino flavors like: ube, mango, macapuno)


  1. Put the shaved ice in a tall glass and pour all the milk on it.
  2. Add all the other ingredients one by one and top with the ice cream.
  3. Mix your halo halo with a long spoon and enjoy!


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