16 Must-Eat Street Foods In The Philippines
Manila, Philippines — Street food is one of the best ways to try many of the best Filipino foods. Of course, you can find excellent high-end restaurants where you can sit down and enjoy fine dining. But the fact is that street food is part of Filipino culture, and these delicacies may vary from one place to another. Here’s our complete guide to Street Food in The Philippines:
If you don’t enjoy at least a few meals from a street food vendor, you’re missing out. Figuring out which vendors to buy from can be pretty easy. Watch what the locals do, and if you see a line for a particular vendor, you know what they’re serving is going to be good.
Selling street food is a way of life for many Filipinos, and by eating from a vendor’s stand, you’re helping them to live their lives. At the same time, street food is probably the cheapest food you can buy, which applies not only in the Philippines. It’s the original fast food, and the prices are usually very low.
If you’re hoping to sample some of the most typical and delicious Filipino street foods, you won’t have any trouble finding anything on the list below. These are pretty standard across the country, but there are usually local specialties that you should also sample, so this is not a complete list by any stretch of the imagination. The list goes from salty, savory snacks to sweet desserts, with bigger meals in between.
In this Filipino Street Food Guide, we listed some of our favorite Pinoy Street Food that you can easily find anywhere in the Philippines:
Tokneneng and Kwek Kwek
These little treats are battered and fried eggs, but as you can guess from the size, they’re not all chicken eggs. Tokneneng is made with chicken eggs, but Kwek Kwek is made of quail eggs. They’re golden brown and crispy on the outside but pack a nice little protein punch.
Another deep-fried treat, this time of ground pork with vegetables inside bean curd sheets. Try all the sauces.
Deep-Fried Fish, Chicken, and Squid Balls
Usually, these come in particular flavors: squid, chicken, or fish balls. They’re a great snack and again, try the sauces.
Deep-Fried Breaded squid rings. Commonly served as an appetizer and best paired with alcohol drinks.
Isaw and other Grilled Goodies
You might think you know barbecue, but you haven’t seen Filipino street food barbeque. Chicken or pork is marinated in small strips, then skewered and grilled. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also get a helmet (chicken head), pwet ng manok (chicken ass), Adidas (chicken feet), isaw (chicken intestines), or Betamax, which is either chicken or pork blood that has been dried and then grilled.
A flavorful but straightforward noodle soup, usually with chicken or pork meat, pork cracklings (chicharon), and some veggies.
Taho is a famous street food made of soft silken tofu. It is topped with brown sugar syrup and usually served hot with sago or tapioca pearls. In Baguio City, a strawberry flavored Taho a must-try in Burnham Park or in Strawberry farm in La Trinidad Benguet.
Banana Cue or Deep-fried Saba
Whole lengths of banana, covered in caramelized brown sugar, and then deep-fried on a bamboo stick. Sweet and delicious, not to be missed.
Steamed white sticky corn kernels mixed with milk, shredded coconut with a sprinkle of sugar, powdered cheese, or salt.
This is perfect for hot Filipino afternoons. A sweet shaved ice experience served with condensed milk and your choice of flavors and ingredients. Tapioca pearls, sweet potato, corn, jackfruit, macapuno, and beans are common. Halo-halo is then topped with purple yam or Leche flan.
A balut or balot is a duck egg with a developing duck embryo inside. The egg is boiled and eaten in the shell.
Pancit Palabok is a famous Filipino noodle snack topped with yellow-colored gravy, shrimp, smoked fish flakes, pork cracklings (chicharon), eggs, onion springs and seasoned with local lime (calamansi).
Goto / Arroz Caldo
Popularly known as Lugaw, this is a local version of the Cantonese “Congee.” In the Philippines, there are two versions of Lugaw, one is Goto, and the other one is called Arroz Caldo. Both are cooked the same way, but the only difference is the toppings. Goto has beef tripe and intestines while Arroz Caldo has chicken on it.
Locally known as dirty ice cream. Sorbetes is the traditional variation of ice cream made in the Philippines. It is distinct from the similarly named sorbet. Peddled by street hawkers, it is usually served with a small wafer or sugar cones and bread buns more recently. It is uniquely made from either coconut milk or ordinary milk.
Turon, also known as lumpiyang saging, is a Philippine snack made of thinly sliced bananas and a slice of jackfruit, dusted with brown sugar, rolled in a spring roll wrapper fried. Other fillings can also be used, including sweet potato, mango, cheddar cheese, and coconut.
Lumpiang Sariwa / Fresh Lumpia
Another favorite Filipino street food is Lumpiyang Sariwa or fresh lumpia. It is usually made with sauteed veggies, pork, shrimps, and other ingredients wrapped in a soft, fresh wrapper. Usually served with a sweet peanut sauce.
Do you know any other famous Pinoy Street Food that we should include on the list? Please use the comment section for additional suggestions.