Top 15 Must-Try Filipino Street Foods

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15 Must-Eat Street Foods In The Philippines

Street food is one of the best ways to try a lot 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.

How about Balut
How about Balut

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 and this applies not only in the Philippines. It’s the original fast food, and the prices are usually very low.

Barbecue Street Food Ihaw-ihaw
Barbecue Street Food Ihaw-ihaw

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

Kwek-Kwek photo courtesy of Bigberto
Kwek-Kwek photo courtesy of Bigberto

These little treats are battered and fried eggs, but as you can guess from the size, they’re not all chicken eggs. Tokneneng are made with chicken eggs but Kwek Kwek are made of quail eggs. They’re golden brown and crispy on the outside but pack a nice little protein punch.

Kikiam

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

Fishballs

Usually, these come in particular flavors: squid, chicken, or fish balls. They’re a great snack and again try the sauces.

Calamares

Calamares
Calamares

Deep Fried Breaded squid rings. Commonly served as appetizer and best paired with alcohol drinks.

Isaw and other Grilled Goodies

Isaw by anna_d via Flickr
Isaw by anna_d via Flickr

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 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.

Batchoy

Batchoy
Batchoy

A flavorful but straightforward noodle soup, usually with chicken or pork meat, pork cracklings (chicharon) and some veggies.

Taho

Strawberry Flavored Taho in Baguio City
Strawberry Flavored Taho in Baguio City

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

Fried Banana
Fried Banana

Whole lengths of banana, covered in caramelized brown sugar, and then deep fried on a bamboo stick. Sweet and delicious, not to be missed.

Binatog

Steamed white sticky corn kernels mixed with milk, shredded coconut with a sprinkle of sugar, powdered cheese or salt.

Halo-halo

Halo Halo
Halo Halo

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.

Balut

Balut
Balut

A balut or balot is a duck egg with developing duck embryo inside. The egg is boiled and eaten in the shell.

Palabok

Pancit Palabok photo by Eiliv Aceron via Unsplash
Pancit Palabok photo by Eiliv Aceron via Unsplash

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

Lugaw
Lugaw

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.

Sorbetes

Ice Cream Vendor in El Nido
Ice Cream Vendor in El Nido

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 more recently, bread buns. It is uniquely made from either coconut milk or ordinary milk.

Turon

Turon
Turon

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 and fried. Other fillings can also be used, including sweet potato, mango, cheddar cheese, and coconut.

Do you know any other famous Pinoy Street Food that we should include on the list? Please use the comment section for additional suggestions:)

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