10 Street Foods in Manila for an Authentic Local Experience

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S Dominique

Street Foods Manila

Manila, the bustling capital of the Philippines, is a melting pot of cultures, flavors, and culinary delights.

The city’s street food scene vividly reflects its rich history and diverse influences, offering a unique gastronomic experience.

Street Foods in Manila

Here are ten must-try street foods in Manila that provide an authentic taste of local flavors and traditions.

1. Isaw

Isaw is a popular Filipino street food made from grilled chicken or pork intestines. The intestines are cleaned thoroughly, boiled, and skewered before being grilled to perfection.

The smoky flavor combined with a unique chewy texture makes isaw a favorite among locals. Often enjoyed with a vinegar dip, this street food is a staple at night markets and street-side stalls.

2. Palabok

Photo: Envato Elements/Motghnit

Palabok, also known as Pancit Palabok, is a savory noodle dish that offers a burst of flavors. The base consists of rice noodles topped with a rich shrimp sauce, hard-boiled eggs, chicharrón (crispy pork skin), and a sprinkle of green onions and garlic.

A squeeze of calamansi (Philippine lime) adds a tangy twist, making this dish a delightful treat.

3. Banana Cue

Banana Cue is another beloved Filipino street food that features deep-fried bananas coated in caramelized brown sugar.

Skewered on sticks, these sweet treats are enjoyed as a snack or dessert. The caramel coating provides a delightful crunch, while the banana inside remains tender and sweet.

4. Turon

Photo: Envato Elements/Motghnit

For those with a sweet tooth, Turon is a must-try. This delectable dessert is made by wrapping slices of ripe banana and jackfruit in a spring roll wrapper, then frying it until golden brown.

The result is a crispy, caramelized exterior with a sweet, soft interior. Turon is perfect as a snack or dessert and is commonly found at street vendors and local eateries.

5. Tapsilog

Tapsilog is a popular Filipino breakfast dish that has found its way into the street food scene. It consists of tapa (cured beef), sinangag (garlic fried rice), and itlog (fried egg).

The combination of savory beef, flavorful rice, and a runny egg yolk creates a hearty and satisfying meal that’s perfect any time of the day.

6. Adobo

Photo: Pixabay/Jonathan Valencia

Adobo is often considered the national dish of the Philippines. This savory stew is made with chicken or pork marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and various spices, then simmered to perfection.

While adobo is typically enjoyed as a home-cooked meal, it can also be found at street food stalls, offering a comforting taste of Filipino cuisine.

7. Sisig

Sisig is a flavorful and spicy dish made from chopped pig’s head and liver, seasoned with calamansi, onions, and chili peppers.

Traditionally served on a sizzling platter, sisig is known for its crispy and chewy textures. It’s a favorite pulutan (beer match) and can be found at street food stalls and local eateries across Manila.

8. Sinigang

Photo: Envato Elements/Motghnit

Sinigang is a sour soup that’s a staple in Filipino households. Made with a variety of meats (commonly pork or shrimp) and vegetables, this soup gets its distinctive tang from tamarind or other souring agents.

While sinigang is typically a home-cooked dish, street food vendors offer their own versions, providing a comforting and refreshing meal.

9. Crispy Pata

Crispy Pata is a deep-fried pork leg that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. This indulgent dish is often served with a soy-vinegar dipping sauce and is a popular choice for celebrations and special occasions.

Street vendors offer crispy pata in bite-sized portions, making it a convenient and satisfying snack.

10. Kare-Kare

Photo: Envato Elements/Junpinzon

Kare-Kare is a rich and hearty stew made with oxtail, tripe, and vegetables in a thick peanut sauce. This beloved Filipino dish is typically served with bagoong (fermented shrimp paste) on the side.

While traditionally enjoyed at home or in restaurants, street food versions of kare-kare provide a convenient way to savor this comforting meal.


Exploring the street food scene in Manila is a culinary adventure that offers a taste of the city’s rich cultural heritage. From savory meats to sweet treats, each dish tells a story and provides an authentic local experience.

So, the next time you find yourself in Manila, make sure to indulge in these ten street food delights for a truly unforgettable gastronomic journey.

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