The dog days of summer have arrived, and in some parts of Europe it's hot enough at high noon to recall the tropics. There's no better time to seek out the Philippines' best invention against the heat: halo-halo. With few Filipino ingredients available, diasporic chefs get creative to maintain the dessert's distinct, layered flavour. Take a tour of Europe's best halo-halo and you'll taste some made with fresh strawberries, homemade halaya, and no-churn ice cream flavoured with smuggled ube powder.
Cafe Presko prides itself on its impressive roster of desserts, with everything from the British classic banoffee pie to sky-high ice cream sundaes on offer. But when the craving hits, nothing beats their halo-halo, even in Edinburgh's mild and misty summers. Theirs comes in a wide sundae glass to show off all the colourful toppings, like sunshine-yellow jackfruit and green pandan jelly.
(Photo courtesy of Cafe Presko)
342 Gorgie Rd, Edinburgh EH11 2QU, United Kingdom
Grecian summers can be sweltering, so it's no wonder Athens' only Filipino restaurant is named after everyone's favourite shaved ice dessert. Many of its components are homemade, including the ube halaya and the creamy leche flan. Even vacationers from the Philippines are known to declare it "the best halo-halo ever."
(Photo courtesy of Bulacan Halo-Halo)
Michalakopoulou 105, Athina 115 27, Greece
Barako Káveház is a coffee shop first and foremost, but every summer devotees await the return of their halo-halo — the only one on offer in Budapest. With few Filipino grocery stores in town, co-owner Luleyn Andres makes all the ingredients herself. For the fluffy ube ice cream, she carts home sacks of dried ube on trips to the Philippines. Try it with a shot of their single origin barako espresso.
(Photo by Bruno Koch)
Budapest, Török u. 3, 1023 Hungary
Larry's Bar & Restaurant
You can count on Larry's, a high-end Filipino restaurant in the castle town of Lübeck, to bring a touch of class to everything it does. That applies to the halo-halo, which comes in a curvaceous cocktail glass, topped with homemade leche flan and fresh fruit. It's only on the menu from May to October, so get it while you can.
(Photo courtesy of Larry's Bar & Restaurant)
Marlesgrube 9-15, 23552 Lübeck, Germany
Pinoy Street Food
If you ever get tired of gelato while exploring Malta, stop by this spot in the Is-Suq Tal-Belt for a different kind of frozen treat. It's the only place to get it on the island, and their ice shaver works hard every day through the summer. Enjoy yours under the ornate iron trusses of the historic covered market or take it to go and walk the two blocks to the waterfront.
(Photo courtesy of Pinoy Street Food)
is-Suq tal-Belt Triq Merkanti Valletta, VLT 1175, Malta