Location is one of the key factors in running a successful restaurant business, especially in finicky Metro Manila.

Limited parking, tons of traffic? Time to move on. Malls, dallas filipino restaurant parks, or neighborhoods that guarantee steadier foot traffic are the best bets to make your concept survive, but even then, no one is immune to closures.

This is the problem of Il Fiore, a gelateria that is slightly cursed by its location. Although technically a short walk away from the bustling Poblacion community, it’s on the outer fringes of the hipper places that could easily supply it with people looking for something sweet after dinner. During all frequent (we’re talking about maybe once to twice a week here) visits, we’ve been the only costumers, which is a shame because their product is swoon-worthy, extremely well-priced, and some of the best gelato out there.

Il Fiore’s array of flavors come at a reasonable PHP 140 per cup.

Their rich dragonfruit gelato gets its color from all-natural ingredients, and shines in this cup beside their mascarpone.

Il Fiore is a gelato lab first and foremost, and a café second. They offer a range of vegetarian-friendly options, like portobello burgers, and veggie lasagnas and pasta, but their gelato is so good, it will distract you from ordering anything else. The selection is limited, but all flavors have their own merits, which will make decisions difficult. It is rich, dense, creamy, and cold without being icy.

Fior de latte or Mascarpone

Their matcha is more grassy than floral, and is great with their star gelato, the fior di latte.

Cheese ice cream is all the rage these days, and Il Fiore offers up the Italian versions of this indulgence. It’s hard to choose between their fior di latte and mascarpone flavors, because both are so well-made, and make such lasting impressions. The fior di latte is a lighter version, as this cheese is made similarly to mozzarella without the buffalo milk. It tastes like a more intense milk gelato, with ribbons of white chocolate strewn into it quite seamlessly, so that it intensifies flavor without changing up the thick texture of the product. If you want more in-your-face cheese flavor, the mascarpone tunes it up a notch for you, and tastes as rich as a tub of the cheese would. There are ribbons of the cheese folded into each scoop as well.

Vegan gelato

Their cashew cream and vegan chocolate gelato aren’t just for vegans.

Okay, vegan gelato seems an oxymoron, but if you had to eat a vegan treat for dessert, it should be at Il Fiore. It is surprising how much flavor is packed into their vegan take, and how the texture is not too far off from the creamier, milk-based counterpart. To make up for the flavor that milk brings, they magnify the main ingredient instead. The chocolate is crazy dark, for example, and the dragonfruit tastes like a silky, frozen version of the fruit.

Il Fiore

A highly underrated gelateria that serves vegan options.

Address: 4740 Salamanca cor Eduque, Poblacion, Makati
Visit: Tuesday-Sunday, 7AM-10PM
Contact: (02) 555-5645
Spend: PHP 140 for two flavors in one cup, around PHP 300 per person for food
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