Buko Pie Taste Test
Taste Test

Buko Pie Taste Test: Is Colette’s Really The Best Buko Pie in Town?

September 1, 2014

If you’ve ever made a trip down south to Tagaytay, chances are you’ve made a stop along the narrow, winding highway to buy a Buko pie. Traditionally from Laguna, these pies are the Filipino version of a coconut cream pie, but without cream, using custard sweetened with condensed milk instead. They are a nostalgic slice of Filipino pasalubong, which got us wondering: of all the kiosks dotting the highway, which one would we really take home?

Lety’s Buko Pie: “Memorable Crust”

Buko Pie Taste Test
  • Gela: “The crust is what Lety’s does best: I can easily eat one pie piece out of my hand and the bits scattered on a plate are manageable. The buko inside is tasty, but the crust is the most memorable thing about this pie. A friend from the area insisted it was the best in Laguna, but perhaps the pies need a little more to really stand out as such.
  • Mia: “I’m not so sold on the filling; it’s gummy and that’s about it. This pie wins for the flaky crust though, and you can taste it’s ‘toast’ even after its been refrigerated for a bit.”
  • Pamela: “The crust was my favorite, not too thick, and with an edge of salt. It also had the most buko, so much so that a slice displayed layers and layers of the stuff– that will definitely make it the choice of some. I tend to like my things just a little sweeter though.
Buko Pie Taste Test

Colette’s Buko Pie: “Declined Quality”

Buko Pie Taste Test
  • Gela: “Colette’s may be the most familiar brand, but its quality has declined since its expansion. The crust is a doughy white, which means the bakers didn’t even bother to color it for better presentation. Both the crust and buko insides are bland and not even worth mentioning.
  • Mia: “The crust did not do anything for the pie and the filling was bland and unexciting. I felt like you could have mixed gelatin and canned buko shreds together and you’d come out with the exact same thing, or even better.
  • Pamela: “After tasting the pie, I wondered how this must have tasted like way back before it turned into a chain along Tagaytay. That must have been amazing compared to what we tasted, and it makes me feel sad. The crust tasted chalky, which echoed the pale color of what is supposed to be a golden top. The filling was mushy and weird, and a forkful smushed all the layers so that even the crust was relegated to a wet mess. Yuck.
Buko Pie Taste Test

Loumars: “Melts In Your Mouth”

Buko Pie Taste Test
  • Gela: “Loumars buko pie completes the checklist for buko pie, if there ever was one. First, the crust stands out in presentation alone, with the egg wash giving it a nice, golden brown color. Next, the crust is good both cold and warm, and the buko is so tender that it nearly melts in your mouth.
  • Mia: “This one’s smooth, very smooth. The crust is a pleasant kind of crumbly, and the filling is a fun kind of gooey that melts right on the tongue.
  • Pamela: “This had the most golden-colored crust, which held up well against the filling. I loved the filling just because I have a sweeter tooth, and this combined the coconut with a sweeter custard. Overall a pretty good eat.
Buko Pie Taste Test

Our Picks

Gela: Loumars

It’s perfect with black coffee, sweet enough on its own, and a tasty merienda when fresh off the fridge.

Mia: Loumars

I’m not even a big fan of buko pie as I thought they all tasted like Collete’s. Loumars changed that for me and it is probably the only buko pie that got me going for seconds.

Pamela: Loumars

“Loumars, with the sweeter custard that still didn’t hide the requisite bite of buko, was my favorite. Cold or hot, the flavors and consistency held up. If you combined their filling with that of Lety’s though, I would probably never stop eating buko pie!”

Have you tried any of the buko pies featured above? What are your thoughts about them? What’s your favorite buko pie brand? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

43 comments in this post SHOW

43 responses to “Buko Pie Taste Test: Is Colette’s Really The Best Buko Pie in Town?”

  1. Victoria Castillo says:

    Yes to Loumars! And Lety’s is pwede na. Colette’s, ugh.

    I can only guess you didn’t get to pick up a pie at Orient/The Original near UPLB because the lines are always long, because THAT is the best.

    • Pamela Cortez says:

      Haha yes! Two separate occasions, and they were both out. Apparently there is still a shortage of coconuts due to Glenda

      • Victoria Castillo says:

        Oh yikes! I’m surprised there isn’t a gray market for those pies yet. I’ve never had any success in several attempts myself, and was lucky enough to have been given a box.

      • Mae says:

        We were there last weekend. No buko pies for us too :(. They said they were having buko shortage as of the moment due to a pest called cocolisap. They were getting buko from Quezon pa daw.

  2. Chiqui says:

    You should include D’Original which for me beats all of the above!

  3. OJ says:

    Ito pa rin ang buko pie ko.

  4. Kars Pangan Sarmiento says:

    Rowena’s is also a must-try 🙂

  5. Marian Manuel says:

    Dear pepper.ph, as a buko pie lover.. I am disappointed with your list. Driving along Sta. Rosa Tagaytay road, there are other buko pie places worth mentioning.

    1. Orient’s D Original Buko Pie in Caltex Station I can’t believe you missed this one. By far the best buko pie.
    2. Rowena’s Buko Tart/Pie
    3. Amira’s
    4. D Krusty Tart

    Colette’s quality has simply degraded throughout the years, unfortunately.

    • Pamela Cortez says:

      Hey! Pepper taste test is a feature where we pit 3 versions of a famous dish against each other. It comes from a huge list then js usually already whittled down to 3- a famous version, a recent one, etc. Orient’s was originally on our final 3, but due to the cocolisap problem, we had to substitute with another famous one, Colette’s. We’ll try those next time!

  6. Ginny says:

    My favourite brand isn’t in Tagaytay. Orient’s D’Original Buko Pie from Laguna is still the only buko pie for me. 🙂

  7. Haydee says:

    I love loumars especially their buko crumble tart.

  8. Kyle says:

    — Am just wondering if these “buko pie” pie taste testers did their research? Here in Laguna, when you guys say “buko pie” = that’s the Original (short for Orient’s D’Original Buko Pie), the one and only. They opened a branch in Tagaytay last year, February I think. Couldn’t believe you guys missed the Original!? Lety’s is all right, you can still enjoy the buko and the crust even out of the fridge for two days 🙂

    • gela velasco says:

      Yup we did check out the lists and preferences of locals and unfortunately Orient was out when we tried to get it. Some things aren’t within our control.

      • Tere says:

        Orient’s D’Original Buko Pie is the undisputed buko pie for Laguna locals, Gela! You should’ve waited for it once it became available before you went through this research just sayin’. 🙂

    • Pamela Cortez says:

      In this section, we pit 3 versions of a famous dish against each other and it usually comes from a huge list then narrowed down to 3- a famous version, a recent one, etc. Orient’s was unavailable for shooting due to the cocolisap problem, so we had to make do. But it’s my fave too!

  9. HiddenMickey says:

    SORRY, but why the frick are you posting about Buko Pies amidst the coconut crisis? This is completely insensitive of you! Half of southern luzon have lost their coconut trees and their livelihood due to the coconut scale insect that has been spreading since the past 2 years, and you’re doing this rating NOW? When they can’t get their best stocks? When they sell very little and is forced to amp up cassava cake production instead? Gosh you Manilenyos are so out of touch!

    You know, it could take a few years before the Philippines can stabilize its supply of coconuts again. Our industry basically got KILLED. If you even cared about sustainability in trade and isn’t just being a pahipster blog, you’d know about this. I’m extremely disappointed.

    • Jenny G says:

      lol he’s funny 😀

    • Regina George says:

      So activist. Much environmentalist. Very wow.

    • Sagacity Girl says:

      I get what you mean. But can you be a little bit optimistic? Yes there are coconut plantations that where devastated by pests and storms, specially in the Quezon Province. And I hope and pray that their coconut livelihoods will thrive again. But I believe there are other coconut plantations in the Philippines that are still thriving. And as we wait for the other plantations to heal, for the thriving plantations is their time to shine. It don’t think that it will take the whole Philippine Coconut Industry to supply all the buko pies. And furthermore, I don’t think the writers of this blog were being insensitive. They’re just reviewing buko pies. In fact, nobody thought that an article about Buko Pies could bring up such a strong political and environmental opinions.

      And please don’t tell me to check my privilege, because as far as I know I’m a free Filipino, born and raised in the Philippines, a voter in fact, and that itself is a privilege.

  10. irisinwonderland says:

    Maybe you’d like to try somewhere in the North. In the province of Nueva Vizcaya, the one before Isabela, they boast of a buko pie more than 20 yrs in the business. It’s GnB Buko Pie and they’re pies taste the same way still up until now. It’s sweet, milky and creamy and the best part is that the buko they use it the soft meat part only.

  11. blerg says:

    I remember back during college in Laguna, we buy Orient as our default pasalubong when we head off to Manila. We only buy Colette’s when every other buko pie place has sold out or closed for the day. The latter has always paled in comparison ever since.

  12. kikay says:

    All time fave pasalubong —> Orient’s The Original Buko Pie

    • ChrysChin says:

      I think that should be on the list. Every family reunion we had in Laguna, we always buy boxes of those on the way home. It’s still the best for me. 🙂

  13. rizza says:

    orient’s and shiela’s from los banos are the buko pies for me

  14. Edward Encarnacion says:

    Hell no, Orient’s Original FTW

  15. Marijo says:

    You might wanty to try El Mare’s Buko pie in San Pablo City, Laguna.:)

  16. Sagacity Girl says:

    Wow, a lot of strong opinions about Buko Pies here.

  17. peppy! says:

    I still think that the “nameless buko pie” (they also sell apple pie) of Caleruega is still the best!
    They also sell baked chicharon…

  18. ann says:

    Orient’s “The Original” Buko Pie is the best in Laguna.

  19. anne says:

    someone should send pepper.phs’ staff “d original” buko pie from los baños, stat. they’re reviewing the wrong pies.

  20. Katarina Antonio says:

    A Collette’s branch whose buko pie is still pretty decent is the one along Visayas Ave. Other branches are just blech. Also, if you ever find yourself in Nueva Vizcaya, GnB buko pie is a must-try. 🙂

  21. Dylan Gozum says:

    True. Where is Orient’s ‘D’Original’ from Laguna?

  22. Carmela says:

    If you get lost somewhere in Hinigaran, Negros Occidental, you can find one of the best tasting buko pies in the Philippines, Mila’s. They’re not the type to have the gummy, gooey buko “gelatin” as a filling but they have it in the form of a cream. It’s so decadent and mouthwatering, it’ll give the buko pie’s featured here a run for their money. 😉

  23. Joan says:

    D’ Original is the best… You are misinformed, my friend. The ones you featured here doesnt even come close.

  24. Sonia says:

    Hi guys, may you try this buko pie. available in sm clark, ayala distric imus, greenhills viramall, lucky china town mall, robinsons angels, ayala subic, sm rosales, cb mall pangasinan, porta vaga mall baguio, pacific mall legaspi & sm cauayan.

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