10 Pinoy Summer Food Favorites

Ice Cream Vendor in El Nido

Popular Filipino Summer Foods

In the Philippines, everyday is like a summer adventure. The only difference is, when the seasons get hotter, the people have much more fun.

Halo-halo Summer Food Favorites
Halo-halo Summer Food Favorites

With this hot weather, every Filipino is surely looking for ways in order to beat the heat. The fans and air-conditioning units are on 24/7, some take a dip in the pool or go on a trip on the beach; others stay in the mall and of course, eating cool refreshments.

Filipinos definitely love food. And since it’s summer already and the heat is too much to bear, expect them to be whipping out those culinary skills and making their favorite summer foods and drinks.

Here are 10 perfect summer foods and drinks that would absolutely satisfy your craving and help you stay cool no matter how hot the day gets.

1. Halo-Halo

This is considered by many as the number one Filipino favorite iced treat not only on a hot summer season but all year round.

During these hot months, every corner in cities and rural areas are brimming with small stalls that sell halo-halo to everybody.

This delicious dessert is often reasonably priced and much cheaper than commercial ice cream. But nothing beats the homemade version of halo-halo because it has a scoop of ice cream on top.


Just the thought of the taste of the kidney beans, sweetened banana, macapuno, langka, monggo, ube jam, gelatin, nata de coco, creamy milk, Leche flan, and a scoop of ice cream on top of shaved ice and sprinkled with rice crispies in one bowl or glass would make you want to grab one now.

By the way, the term ‘halo-halo’ literally means ‘mix-mix’. Halo-halo is just an affectionate nickname for a dessert that is made from mixing together of up to a dozen different ‘sweet’ ingredients, not including shaved ice and evaporated milk.

2. Sorbetes or Filipino Ice cream

Sorbetes is the Filipino version of ice cream made from Carabao or coconut milk and comes in various flavors such as chocolates, mango, ube, and cheese, served on a cone.

Ice Cream Vendor in El Nido
Ice Cream Vendor in El Nido

Sorbetes is peddled by sorbeteros using colorfully painted wooden carts which usually can accommodate three flavors, each in a large metal canister. Peddlers get their carts from makers scattered around the cities of the Philippines in the morning and walk the streets the whole day, calling consumers from their houses by ringing a small handheld bell.

The cart is stuffed with shaved ice sprinkled with salt to produce a lower temperature around the metal canisters and keep the sorbetes frozen longer.

3. Sago’t Gulaman

If there is one famous refreshment drink that we can consider a hallmark of a genuine and true blue Filipino epicure, it has to be the Sago’t Gulaman.

You probably survived the tropical heat of the Philippines if you have your own version of one of these childhood merienda stories to foretell – the memorable innocent days of having to comfort yourself with this sweet and re-hydrating beverage under a scorching summer afternoon.

Sagot Gulaman
Sagot Gulaman

Just like Halo-Halo, Sago’t Gulaman is sold throughout the year but it is more affordable.

4. Maiz con Hielo (Mais con Yelo)

Maiz con Hielo is similar to Halo-Halo but not as grand as Halo-Halo. I remember my mom used to make this treat for us during hot and humid Philippine summers, and she used to call Maiz con Hielo – the poor-man’s Halo-Halo.

Maiz con Hielo photo courtesy of tripadvisor.com
Maiz con Hielo photo courtesy of tripadvisor.com

Maíz con hielo is a mixture of shaved ice, corn kernels, sugar, and milk. Usually popular in the summer months, it is a variation of the more renowned halo-halo.

5. Buko Pandan

BukoPandan is a popular Filipino Dessert; this is made using young coconut and Screwpine leaves (locally known as “Pandan”).

At first glance, this sumptuous dessert can be mistaken for Buko Salad because of the similarity in texture and dairy ingredients used. However, the green gelatin which contains the aroma and flavor of the Pandan gives the distinction.

Nathaniels Buko Pandan
Nathaniels Buko Pandan

Buko Pandan is a salad made of young buko strips, tapioca pearls, cream, milk, and pandan-flavored gelatin. Serve chilled for a perfect summer snack.

6. Leche Flan

Halo-halo (another Filipino dessert) topped with a huge chunk of Leche flan will help you beat the summer heat while strolling along the beach. Aside from its milky consistency, the Leche flan is what makes halo-halo treat worthwhile.

Creamy Leche Flan
Creamy Leche Flan

Leche flans are often made using a llanera, which molds the oval shape of the flan which Filipinos grew up to know. Its creamy texture makes me sigh with pleasure while reminiscing about the good old times.

A Leche flan can be paired with tons of dishes and delicacies that can tickle your taste buds. On my hunt for the best Leche flan treats, I have found in our local bakeshop a custard cake that consists of a layer of Leche flan on top and a melt-in-your-mouth caramelized chiffon cake at the bottom.

What makes people (even me) go crazy about the Leche flan, is the gooey caramel sauce and the melt-in-your-mouth experience after every bite.

7. Buko Juice / Shake

Coconut water has long been a popular drink in the Philippines where it is available fresh, canned, or bottled.

fresh buko juice
fresh buko juice

Coconuts for drinking are served fresh, chilled, or packaged in many places. They are often sold by street vendors who cut them open with machetes or similar implements in front of customers.

Processed coconut water for retail can be found in ordinary cans,Tetra Paks, or plastic bottles, sometimes with coconut pulp or coconut jelly included.

This tropical fruit which can be seen everywhere in the Philippines provides us the simplest yet nutritious refreshing drink this summer.

It can be served by simply adding ice to a fresh young buko juice with buko strips but milk and sugar can be added to make it sweeter.

8. Guinomis

Guinomis, also spelled with a U, guinumis is a Filipino dessert or snack similar to Halo-Halo. It has diced sweet gelatin, tapioca pearls, puffed pinipig (pounded young glutinous rice), sweetened with raw sugar and pandan syrup, and topped with shaved ice and coconut milk.

You will love the different textures of chewy sago and gelatin, crunchy pinipig, creamy coconut milk, and cool mouth feel of the shaved ice.

Guinumis for dessert
Guinumis for dessert

9. Ice Scramble

Pink-coloured sweetness topped with powdered milk and chocolate syrup, and sometimes sprinkled with bits of treats of your choice – that’s Skrambol for you.

Believed to have originated in Iloilo, the popular “panghimagas” is made of shaved ice tinted with pink food color, topped with powdered milk, tapioca pearls, and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

Other optional condiments include strawberry syrup, multi-colored mini marshmallows, pinipig (rice crispies), and chocolate chips.

10. Pinoy Street Food

Boracay Street Food
Boracay Street Food

Trying street foods in the Philippines is very fun, challenging, and saves some of your budget. Street foods are mostly spotted on schools, bus or jeep terminals, churches, and parks.

Prices of these street foods cannot go beyond 20 pesos or approximately 0.50 US dollars. And although most are best served hot, Filipinos can’t be stopped from eating these unhealthy yet flavourful snacks.

Want more updates about other Filipino Summer Food favorites? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on FacebookTwitterInstagram, Bloglovin, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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