A Guide to the Street Food of Manila

Manila is one of the most vibrant cities in Asia and is known for its mouth-watering street food. From sizzling sisig to taho, Manila’s street food scene has something for everyone. With an array of vendors located in major night markets and around popular tourist spots, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

This guide provides an overview of the city’s street food offerings, as well as tips on where to find the best street food stalls and markets in Manila, and how to enjoy a safe street food eating experience. Enjoy discovering the diverse flavors of Manila’s vibrant street food scene!

A Guide to the Street Food of Manila


A Look at Manila’s Vibrant Street Food Scene

Manila’s street food scene is renowned for its vibrant culture and delicious treats. Offering a huge range of roadside delicacies and snacks, this exciting foodscape is sure to satisfy both the curious explorer and regular local visitors alike.

From balut to sizzling sisig dishes to bubbling halo-halo stands, there is something for everyone in Manila’s streets. Those that are interested in discovering traditional Filipino flavors will be spoilt for choice given the creativity of vendors who work in the open air with resourcefulness and skill.

It is no surprise that many have become famous nationwide thanks to what they have dished up on the streets of Manila over the years. Savor some of their culinary delights as you take a stroll through all the hustle, bustle, and aromas of this vibrant city.

A Look at Manila's Vibrant Street Food Scene


Must-Try Street Foods in Manila

When it comes to Manila’s street food, there is no shortage of flavors and dishes to explore. From savory sisig to sweet halo-halo, these Filipino favorites are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a full meal, here are some of the must-try street foods in Manila that you won’t want to miss.


1. Sizzling Sisig

Sizzling sisig is a popular Filipino dish made of pork parts, garlic, onion, and chili peppers. It is usually served on a hot plate with an egg and can be enjoyed as either a snack or part of the main course meal. Start your culinary journey in Manila’s street food scene with this must-try dish!

Sizzling Sisig


2. Balut

Balut is a Filipino delicacy made from partially developed duck embryos that are boiled and eaten directly from the shell. It is available in most night markets, typically served with chili vinegar or garlic sauce. Eating Balut is an experience like no other – one that some call fun, and others find too challenging to stomach.



3. Taho

Taho is often found around the streets of Manila as early as 4 in the early morning and is one of the most traditional and common street foods in the area. It’s a deliciously warm concoction usually made from soft tofu, sweet syrup, and sago pearls that are served in small cups. Taho is definitely one of those must-try street foods when in Manila!



4. Isaw

Isaw is a must-try type of classic philippine street food made from grilled chicken intestines, often served with a dipping sauce. It can be found in most night markets and is a popular snack for locals and tourists alike.



5. Halo-Halo

Halo-halo is a famous Filipino dessert made from shaved ice, evaporated milk, beans, fruits, and other ingredients. It is usually served in a tall glass and can be found at most street food stalls around Manila.



6. Kwek-Kwek

Kwek-Kwek is a must-try street food in Manila that will surely tantalize your taste buds. It is fried chicken eggs wrapped in an orange-colored batter that are deep-fried until golden and crunchy. Kwek-Kwek is a popular snack amongst both locals and tourists alike due to its mix of crunchiness and salty sweetness – definitely enough to make any foodie come back for more!



7. Banana Cue

Banana cue is a sweet snack made of deep-fried bananas that have been coated in brown sugar and served on a stick. This popular street food can be found in many night markets and is usually served with a cup of hot coffee or tea.

Banana Cue


8. Ginataang Bilo-Bilo

Ginataang Bilo Bilo is a traditional Filipino dish that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds. It’s a sweet and creamy concoction made with glutinous rice mixtures and topped with coconut milk, banana fritters (bilo-bilo), saba bananas, and other ingredients like jackfruit, taro, yam, or sweet potato. This is usually served with vanilla ice cream for added sweetness.

Ginataang Bilo-Bilo


9. Turon

Turon is a delicious and traditional street food from Manila. It’s composed of a fried spring roll filled with plantains dipped in caramelized sugar and then wrapped in a spring roll skin. Perfect for any time of day, Turon is an ideal snack that provides an explosion of flavor.



10. Buko Juice

Buko juice is a refreshing Filipino drink made of young coconut water, milk, and sugar. It is usually served in an ice-cold glass and can be found at most street stalls around Manila.

Buko Juice


11. Fish Balls

Fishballs are a must-try street food in Manila. These bite-sized deep-fried fish delicacies are usually served with sweet and tangy sauces and a generous sprinkle of herbs, making them an incredibly moreish snack. An incredibly popular street food in Manila, these tasty treats can be found in almost all-night markets around the city.

Fish Balls


12. Chicken Inasal

Chicken Inasal is a popular Filipino dish made of grilled chicken marinated in annatto (achuete) and garlic. It is usually served with a dip and can be found in many night markets around Manila.

Chicken Inasal


13. Dirty Ice Cream

Dirty ice cream also known as “dirty scoop,” this beloved treat consists of soft-serve ice cream with a topping of crunchy cornflakes – sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate. An incredibly popular dessert among locals, it can be found in carts scattered throughout the city and continues to attract both local and international visitors.

Dirty Ice Cream


14. Adidas

Adidas is a popular Filipino street food made of chicken feet boiled and grilled in soy sauce, calamansi juice, garlic, and black pepper. It can be found in most night markets around Manila and is a favorite among locals.



15. Chicharon

One of the most beloved street foods in Manila is chicharron. It is a crunchy, savory treat made with a deep-fried pork belly that is often enjoyed as an appetizer or cocktail snack. To make it, pieces of pork belly are cooked in hot oil until they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Chicharon can be found at multiple vendors throughout the city so you can get your fix anytime!



Where to Find the Best Street Food Stalls and Markets in Manila

If you’re a foodie visiting Manila, then you’re in for a real treat! The city is known for its vibrant street food scene, with countless stalls and markets serving up delicious dishes that are sure to satisfy your cravings. Here are some of the best places to find street food in Manila:


1. Quiapo Market

This bustling market is located in the heart of Manila and is home to some of the city’s best street food vendors. From grilled pork skewers to fresh seafood, you’ll find it all here.

Address: 313, 1001 Palma St, Quiapo, Manila, 1001 Metro Manila

If you want to visit this place, check the directions here.


2. Binondo

Binondo also known as the “Chinatown” of Manila, Binondo is a food lover’s paradise. Here you’ll find everything from traditional Chinese dim sum to Filipino-style BBQ.

Address: Chinatown Walk, Binondo, Manila, 1006 Metro Manila

If you want to visit this place, check the directions here.


3. Mercato Centrale

This popular night market features dozens of food stalls serving up a wide variety of dishes, including Filipino favorites like adobo and sinigang.

Address: 5F A Space MNL, 110 Legaspi St., Makati, Metro Manila

Phone: +639178401152

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.


4. Poblacion

This trendy neighborhood is home to some of Manila’s hippest bars and restaurants, but it’s also a great place to find street food. Check out the weekend night market for some fantastic eats.

Address: Poblacion, Makati, Metro Manila

If you want to visit this place, check the directions here.


5. UP Town Center Food Bazaar

Located on the campus of the University of the Philippines, this weekly bazaar features dozens of food vendors selling everything from burgers and fries to exotic Filipino delicacies.

Address: 249, 216 Katipunan Ave, Diliman, Quezon City, 1800 Metro Manila

Phone: (02)7795 9595

For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.

Where to Find the Best Street Food Stalls and Markets in Manila


Tips for Safe and Enjoyable Street Food Eating in Manila

Eating street food in Manila is a great way to experience the flavors of Filipino cuisine. However, it’s important to follow these tips for a safe and enjoyable street food eating experience:

Tips for Safe and Enjoyable Street Food Eating in Manila
Tips for Safe and Enjoyable Street Food Eating in Manila


  • Look for vendors with good hygiene standards: Check that the vendor’s stall is clean and free of dirt, that the ingredients are fresh, and that the vendor is wearing gloves when handling food.
  • Observe How the Food is Prepared: Watch how the vendor prepares the food. If it looks unsanitary or if you see cross-contamination, it’s best to avoid it.
  • Eat Cooked Food: Opt for cooked foods such as barbecued skewers, fried lumpia (spring rolls), and grilled meats over raw dishes like ceviche or sushi.
  • Check the Temperature: Hot foods should be hot and cold foods should be cold. Make sure that your food has been cooked thoroughly and is served at the right temperature.
  • Use Hand Sanitizer: Bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you so you can clean your hands before eating. This will help prevent any bacteria from getting into your system.
  • Drink Bottled Water: Avoid drinking tap water when eating street food in Manila as it may not be safe to drink. Instead, opt for bottled water or other sealed beverages.


By following these tips, you can enjoy delicious street food in Manila without compromising your health and well-being.


In Conclusion

Eating street food in Manila is an exciting and unique experience. From sizzling sisig to banana cue, there are so many flavors and dishes to explore. While street food can be delicious, it can also come with certain risks if you don’t follow some safety precautions.

With the information provided in this guide, you can have a safe and enjoyable street food eating experience while savoring the unique flavors of Manila’s vibrant street food scene. Bon appétit!