The Philippines or the Republic of Philippines is an island country in South East Asia, which comprises 7641 islands, is the fifth-largest island country in the world, and also the 12th most populated country in the world. Manila is the capital city of the Philippines that has the influences of Eastern and Western cultures. The Philippines exhibits aspects found in Spanish and American countries along with Malaysian heritage.

The Philippines is famous for its stunning landscapes and pristine beaches, and the people over here are just awesome. They always welcome you with open arms. They feed you just as your grandma does, exhibit an excellent sense of humor, try to teach their language, and, most importantly, they are amongst the friendliest people you will ever meet. Earlier, the cuisine of the Philippines was restricted to only Malayo-Polynesian origins, but today they have embraced the cuisines of Asian, Hispanic, American, and Chinese in their local street foods, which makes their love for food an unparalleled one.

Top 12 Filipino Street Foods You Should Try:

Filipinos (people of the Philippines) have a high affinity towards fast food, and you can spot street food outlets on many street corners. They like to have a quick bite anytime and anywhere, and hence you find numerous stalls on almost all the islands of this country. Here we present you with some of the best street foods in the Philippines:

1. Inihaw:

The English meaning of this food is “grilled.” A marinated piece of meat that is basted with a sauce is grilled and burnt over charcoal. This dish, instead, I would say this as a snack is served with a vinegar chili dip, and this goes well with a pint of beer on the shores of evening beach.

2. Isaw:

This street food is quite famous on the afternoon grills throughout the Philippines, this food refers to both chicken and pig intestines, burnt over a hot flame. The intestines are coiled into a skewer and smoked over charcoal until it becomes smoky and charred. Isaw is served with onion vinegar, the pig intestines are a little chewier and have a strong taste compared to chicken intestines.

3. Kwek Kwek:

The Kwek Kwek is similar to the Indian Egg bajji, except that the eggs used in Kwek Kwek are quail eggs. The boiled quail eggs are coated with orange-colored batter and deep-fried in the oil. Kwek Kwek is served with the traditional Filipino spicy sausage.

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4. Balunbalunan:

This is the same as the Isaw, wherein the intestines are grilled over charcoal, in Balunbalunan the chicken gizzard is grilled. The taste and flavor of Balunbalunan come from the sauce it is brushed with before grilling or its dipping sauce after.

5. Helmets/Adidas:

Helmet and Adidas are some of the quite adventurous foods of the Philippines. In Filipino cuisine, nothing goes waste, Helmets and Adidas refer to chicken heads and feet. They are skewered and grilled over charcoal and served with green onion sauce.

6. Mango Shrimp Paste:

This is an Indian version of mango spread with some pepper and salt. Here, the Indian mangoes are cut off the seed, and a spicy shrimp paste is spread over it. When you order it, the vendor generously spreads the spicy, salty and fishy shrimp paste on the crisp and sour mango and serves you with a skewer

7. Fish balls/Chicken Balls:

This is one of the most beloved street foods in the Philippines. It is said that Filipinos are born to make these delicious fish balls. The little fish balls or chicken balls are coated with rice flour and fried deeply in the oil. These are served with chili-onion-vinegar. Grab a skewer and poke the meatball, dip in the vinegar sauce and enjoy this heavenly snack on the beaches of Manila.

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8. Turon:

This is the classic Filipino desserts found abundantly on the streets of the islands of the Philippines. This sweet is made by enclosing slices of jackfruit and saba banana in an egg roll wrapper and fried deeply in oil. This is then served generously with a coating of brown sugar on it.

9. Kakanin:

The name Kakanin is derived from two words kain means ‘to eat,’ and Kanin means ‘rice.’ This sweet is made from the glutinous rice and coconut milk, the ones which are abundantly available in the Philippines (tropical country). The rice, coconut milk, and sugar or fruit are mixed perfectly and served in the form of cakes. For an appealing look, dry fruits are topped on the cake and served on your table.

10. Taho:

This is the morning refreshing drink that you should have to start your day. Taho is the combination of arnibal (brown sugar syrup), silken tofu, and sago pearls (sabudana). Many Filipino mobile vendors sell this making a strange voice ‘Tahoooo!’ Don’t miss this authentic Filipino drink when in the Philippines.

11. Kutsinta:

This is a sweet rice cake with a gooey jelly-like moochi texture. This mouth-watering dish is served with grated coconut topped on it with a sticky caramel tasting spread.

12. Balut:

This snack is considered one of the famous ones on the streets of the Philippines, and hence Filipinos named it as king of all Filipino street foods. This is a partially developed duck egg embryo, which is best enjoyed during the evenings. In order to eat it, you need to make a small hole on the shell, drink the chicken soup, then peel the rest of the egg. Eat the embryo and yolk by seasoning it generously with salt and vinegar.

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Best Street food Places and available foods in the Philippines:

  • Filipinos are best known for their affordable and best street foods on most of the islands. In Manila, areas like Quiapo and Divisoria Market are hotbeds for street food.
  • The local dishes such as Binignit, Bihon, and Lomi are best tasted at Cebu Supermarket in Manila. Just go there on a means of local transport and enjoy the delicacies.
  • The local market in Banaue serves you the best chicken and pork. You can also do some traditional shopping at this place. Grab your bags for some good shopping and take a break for the best street food at this place.
  • The Balagtas street near to the University of the Philippines offers you the best tusok-tusok snack. Students in and around can grab a quick bite in the break time.
  • Concepcion Public Market in Malabon city is famous for the classic food ukoy/okoy, a crunchy deep-fried batter made of bean sprouts and shrimp.
  • If you are in Pasig city, then you should head to Skinita street foods to enjoy delicious street food.
  • There is a public market under Boni MRT station, which is famous for the clean eateries and food carts that provide you with traditional Manila street food.
  • The best and affordable of the Isaw, chicken grill, and pork is found in Mandaluyong city, a street named Sierra Madre sts Highway hills.

The thought of trying new food is quite intimidating; when it comes to Filipino foods, they are amazing and also adventurous. Go with an open mind and try out these Filipino foods. At first, you may think they are unpalatable, but slowly they turn out to be delicious street foods. One small suggestion about the food of this place is that ‘Eat at your own risk,’ however, if you made some local friends in Manila, they would surely take you to the best food joints where you will discover amazing treats. Once you are back from this beautiful trip of the Philippines, do share your food experience with us.


About Sandeep

With a decade of experience as a content creator at Stylesatlife, sandeep brings a wealth of expertise to lifestyle writing. His articles, on fashion, beauty, wellness, and travel, reflect a passion for delivering engaging and informative content. Sandeep unique blend of creativity and meticulous research establishes him as a trusted voice in the dynamic world of lifestyle journalism.