Where to go for sweet treats in Manila

Time for dessert? Here are the best cafes and restaurants to get a sugar fix in the capital of the Philippines.

The quirky Little Flour Café is one of Manila's best dessert hotspots.
  • Rina Diane Caballar
  • July 2019

Travelling in the Philippines? Leave your diet behind and dig into these delicious Filipino sweets. Whether you’re a chocolate person or prefer a hint of fruity flavour, there’s something to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Little Flour Café

Vintage chairs hang from the ceiling setting the scene for this new, playful iteration of the celebrated Wildflour Café, known for its bread and pastries. The coconut pie with crème sauce and cassava cake with house-made coconut jam are the best-sellers but Little Flour Café opens in new window is also a great place to enjoy all-day brunch offerings. There are three locations in BGC, Makati’s Salcedo Village and SM Megamall.

Mary Grace

You might walk in for the whimsical décor, complete with fairy lights, glass lanterns and mechanical birds but you’ll stay at Mary Grace opens in new window for ensaymada – the quintessentially Filipino snack this café is famous for. Pair the concoction of soft, delicate bread topped with a touch of grated cheese and sugar, with one of their hot chocolate drinks, such as the tsoknut chocolate.

The classic Filipino dish ensaymada is a must try at Mary Grace.
The classic Filipino dish ensaymada is a must try at Mary Grace.

Via Mare

There’s a reason this casual restaurant opens in new window at Makati’s Greenbelt shopping centre has been in business for four decades – their bibingka. The warm buttered rice cake, served on banana leaves with coconut on the side is popular during the Christmas season but Via Mare make it year-round. Try one with salted egg or Laguna cheese and queso de bola (the Philippines’ version of edam cheese) for a next-level taste experience.

Café Adriatico

Drink your dessert at Café Adriatico opens in new window in Malate, where you can indulge in tsokolate – yummy Filipino-style hot chocolate. It’s rich, thick and bitter with hints of sweetness.

Fely J’s Kitchen

Exuding Old Manila charm with wooden tables and walls covered in black and white photos, this eatery opens in new window in the shopping and dining district of Bonifacio Global City (BGC) serves hearty Filipino dishes based on family recipes. Their best-kept secret is the Sikreto ni Maria Clara dessert – suman (rice cake cooked in coconut milk) with ripe mango slices hidden under scoops of creamy coconut ice cream sprinkled with brown sugar. Mmmm!

Look out for the Sikreto ni Maria Clara at Fely J's Kitchen.
Look out for the Sikreto ni Maria Clara at Fely J's Kitchen.

Razon’s of Guagua

Don’t be fooled by this no-frills fast-food restaurant – no-one does halo-halo (a popular Filipino shaved ice dessert) quite like them. The secret lies in delicious layers of sweetened bananas and macapuno (young coconut), finely shaved ice drizzled with creamy milk and a silky slice of leche flan to top it off. Visit any Razon’s of Guagua opens in new window location around Manila to taste their refreshing take on the traditional and cool treat.