Manila is home to some of the world’s best and cheapest street food. In almost every corner and every street, you can find food being sold by local vendors. They are so all over the place that you can even find them in the middle of traffic and hopping inside buses while it’s moving.
Food is a great way to get to know and understand a country or culture. With that being said, we have come up with a list of Filipino’s favorite street food that you simply cannot pass on when hitting the streets of Manila.
01 Fish Balls
Deep-fried balls made out of fish paste. You have a choice of dipping it in sweet, spicy, or sweet and spicy sauce. Don’t forget to try the squid balls, too!
Quail eggs deep-fried in a bright orange batter until it is crispy. Kwek kwek is best served with spicy vinegar, but tastes just as good with any of the fish ball’s sauces as well.
Dark rectangular blocks made out of pig or chicken’s blood on a stick. It has a liver-like texture, taste, and consistency.
04 Day Old Chick
A day old chick deep-fried in bright orange batter, Kwek kwek style. And just like Kwek kwek, it tastes best with spicy vinegar.
Isaw is one of the local street food finds that may scare some travelers. But who can blame them? This snack is made out of barbequed chicken or pig intestine! I promise you that it doesn’t taste as unappetizing as it sounds. If the barbequed version doesn’t satisfy you, watch out for the fried ones!
06 Pig’s ear
The pig’s ears straight from its head to the grill. Grilled with the classic street food barbeque sauce, this chewy snack is best served hot and dipped in spicy vinegar.
This healthy classic Filipino breakfast food is made out of soft tofu, tapioca balls, and caramelized syrup. Taho vendors can only be found in the morning, so make sure to keep an ear out for a vendor yelling out “Taho!” before they run out!
08 Mango Bagoong
Indian mango with shrimp paste. The sourness of the Indian Mango and the saltiness and fishiness of the bagoong create an interesting contrast of taste that is bursting with flavor.
Balut is a developing duck embryo that is eaten directly from the shell. Expect to sip a little bit of it’s tasty soup before you get to the to the chick. It helps not to look and also goes down better with a dash of salt and vinegar.
10 Dirty Ice Cream
Do not worry, dirty ice cream isn’t exactly dirty. They coined the term “dirty ice cream” from a mother’s warning to her child to think twice about eating ice cream sold on the streets. Look out for vendors pushing metal carts that store three flavors of ice cream with cones and cups on display. You can also choose to have your dirty ice cream placed in bread, making a Filipino dirty ice cream sandwich.
Wild banana wrapped in egg wrapper and deep friend in brown sugar. The sugar and egg wrapper create a crunchy and crispy barrier around the soft and sweet wild banana. Sometimes, it is also made with Langka or Jackfruit.
12 Banana Q
Wild banana or Saba deep-fried in oil with brown sugar, adding an extra crunch contrasting the soft wild banana. They also do this with Kamote or Sweet Potato and it is absolutely delicious!