Skip to main content
<< Philippines forum

Street Food Cravings: Top 7 Delicious Filipino Dishes to Try

Table of contents


Adobo is a popular Filipino dish made with chicken or pork marinated in garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, and spices. It’s served with white rice on the side. Street food vendors often add their twist to the dish by using different types of meats such as beef or fish. The secret to making good adobo lies in the marinade; it must be cooked long enough for the flavors to fully develop and for the meat to become tender. Good adobo should have a balance between sweetness, saltiness, and tanginess from the vinegar.  

How it's Cooked Today

Today, adobo is still made using similar ingredients but there are many variations on how it’s cooked. Some recipes include additional ingredients like coconut milk for added creaminess or chili peppers for heat. The most popular way to cook adobo today is to fry it after simmering it in liquid; this gives the meat a crispy texture and helps bring out its flavor even more. You can also find different versions all over the country; for example, some areas might add potatoes or bell peppers to their recipe while others may use kalamansi (a type of citrus fruit) instead of vinegar for tanginess.  

Where to Find Adobo Street Food in the Philippines

Adobo can be found throughout the Philippines at street food stalls as well as at upscale restaurants. It is usually served with rice or bread as well as other side dishes such as pickled papaya salad or ensalada (chopped tomatoes mixed with onions). If you're feeling adventurous, try visiting one of Manila's night markets where vendors serve up their unique versions of this beloved dish! Whatever version you choose to try – whether traditional or modern – you won't regret trying this delicious street food staple during your trip to the Philippines!  



Pancit is another classic Filipino dish that has its roots in Chinese cuisine.  It's made with rice noodles and usually includes vegetables, pork, and shrimp. Pancit is often served on special occasions like birthdays or holidays, but it's also a great street food snack. The word “pancit” means “noodle” in Tagalog, so it usually consists of noodles stir-fried with vegetables and meat such as pork or chicken. Street food vendors often make their version by adding different ingredients such as shrimp or squid depending on what’s available at the market that day! Pancit has become a staple at special occasions such as birthdays or weddings due to its bright colors and festive feel.  

Why You Should Try Pancit Streetfood in the Philippines

Pancit is one of those dishes that you have to try when visiting the Philippines. Not only does it have its unique flavor but it also represents Filipino culture and history in one delicious meal. Plus, it’s relatively easy to find on almost any street corner in major cities like Manila or Cebu City! So if you ever find yourself craving a delicious noodle dish while exploring the Philippines, make sure to give pancit street food a try!



Halo-halo is one of the most popular sweet treats in the Philippines. On a hot day, this is the perfect way to cool off! Its name translates literally as “mix-mix”, and is perhaps the most iconic of all Filipino street foods. It is a dessert that combines shaved ice with evaporated milk and various toppings such as sweet beans, coconut jelly, fruits, and nuts. Every region has its variation of halo-halo — some are topped with ice cream while others are filled with yam or taro root. In short, halo-halo can be tailored to suit any taste buds!

Where To Find Halo-Halo In The Philippines

If you want to try halo-halo while in the Philippines, you won't have any trouble finding it. It's one of the most popular street foods in the country and can be found on nearly every corner. Many restaurants also offer their versions of this treat, each with its unique twist. Whether you're looking for something traditional or something more modern, there's a halo-halo for every palate!

4 Ways To Make Filipino Halo-Halo


Balut is a dish made from partially developed duck embryos that have been boiled alive and eaten directly from their shells. This unique dish has been around for centuries and continues to draw curious eaters from all over the world. While it might sound strange (or even a bit cruel!), Balut is considered a delicacy in many parts of the Philippines. There are various ways to eat this peculiar dish. Most commonly, though, it is eaten with a pinch of salt and a few drops of vinegar to enhance the taste of its soup. So, if you're feeling brave enough to try it out, why not give it a go?

The Making of Balut Streetfood

Making balut is no easy feat! The process involves carefully selecting young duck eggs from local farms and then fertilizing them with male duck sperm (collected from older ducks). The eggs are then incubated for about 14 to 18 days before being boiled or steamed for consumption. It takes skill and patience to make a perfect balut, as improper timing or technique can result in an unpleasant taste or texture.

What Does Balut Taste Like?

Balut has an acquired taste that some people love and others find off-putting. It has a savory flavor with hints of sweetness due to its high nutrient content—especially protein—which comes from the partially developed duck embryo inside the eggshell. It can be eaten directly out of the shell or served with vinegar and spices like garlic powder or chili powder for extra flavor. As with any food, your experience will depend on how it is prepared!

🇵🇭 Comfort Food: Balut -- a fertilized duck egg


Barbecue is an essential part of Filipino street food. Pork, chicken, fish, and even quail eggs are skewered onto sticks and cooked over hot coals. Unlike traditional American barbeque, which is cooked over a charcoal or wood fire, Filipino barbeque is grilled over hot coals or an open flame until it’s charred on the outside but still juicy and flavorful on the inside. Commonly served as an appetizer or snack, this dish is usually served with a simple dipping sauce made from soy sauce, garlic, and kalamansi (a type of citrus). The smoky flavor and slight charring on the outside make for a delicious snack!

Variety of Flavors and Styles

Barbecue street food in the Philippines comes in all shapes and sizes, offering a variety of flavors to tantalize your taste buds. Pork or chicken skewers are cooked over hot coals for an unbeatable smoky flavor that is unparalleled. For seafood lovers, there are grilled squid rings as well as whole fish on a stick with a sweet marinade. Vegetarians need not worry—there are plenty of veggie-friendly options like eggplant and tofu kabobs available as well!

Why Is It So Popular?

It’s no surprise that Philippine barbecue has become so popular among locals and tourists alike; it’s tasty, filling, and affordable. The marinade ensures that each bite is full of flavor while the grilling process adds a slight smokiness that ties everything together perfectly. Plus, all you need are some skewers and a portable grill, so it’s easy to make wherever you go!  

The Exceptional Cooking Techniques

The cooking techniques used for these barbecues are what truly set them apart from other street foods around the world. The meats are often marinated overnight in a special blend of local spices including garlic and vinegar. The seafood is usually basted with kalamansi (a type of citrus fruit) juice while being grilled to perfection over hot coals. Finally, all dishes are served with freshly grated coconut or banana ketchup which adds a unique sweetness to the savory flavors already present in each bite.       



Isaw is a type of Filipino street food made from marinated pork or chicken intestines that are threaded onto bamboo skewers and grilled over hot coals. It is usually served as an appetizer with a dipping sauce made from vinegar, garlic, chili peppers, and kalamansi (a local citrus fruit). Isaw can also be found in many restaurants throughout the Philippines serving Filipino cuisine.

How to Eat Isaw

Isaw is best enjoyed fresh off the grill when it’s still hot and smoky. The intestines have a chewy texture that may take some getting used to but once you get past that initial hesitation you will be rewarded with its unique flavor profile which combines smoky char-grilled meat with a hint of sweetness from the marinade. To enjoy your Isaw, dip each skewer into the accompanying vinegar dip before eating – this helps to cut through some of the chewiness of the meat and adds an extra layer of flavor too!  



Kwek-kwek is a popular snack that originated in the Philippines. It's made with quail eggs that are deep-fried and served with a spicy vinegar dipping sauce. However, other variations may include a whole chicken egg- which appears bigger than the original version. It can be found throughout the Philippines, especially in urban areas where there are lots of street vendors. This dish is very popular with students due to its affordable price and delicious taste. If you're feeling adventurous, give it a try!

The Origin of Kwek Kwek

Kwek kwek has been around for decades, but it wasn’t until recently that it started to become popular among locals and tourists alike. It is believed that the dish originated from street vendors who would fry up egg-based snacks for passersby to enjoy. The dish was originally known as “tokneneng”, which means “boiled egg” in Tagalog. Over time, its name changed to “kwek kwek” due to its signature sound when fried up—which is similar to the sound of a quail (known as “kwak-kwak” in Filipino).

How It Is Made

Making kwek kwek is easy and inexpensive. All you need are some boiled quail eggs, flour, spices (such as salt, pepper, garlic powder), baking powder, and water. First, soak the boiled quail eggs in a mixture of flour and spices overnight or until they are fully coated with the batter. Then heat some oil in a pan over medium heat before adding your battered eggs one by one into the hot oil until they are golden brown on all sides. Finally, drain off any excess oil with paper towels before serving with your favorite condiments such as vinegar or sweet chili sauce!

Easy Kwek kwek(Quail Egg) Recipe


If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines and are looking for a unique culinary adventure, head straight to Betamax. A popular street food snack in the Philippines, Betamax is made up of cubes of grilled or barbecued chicken blood and can be found throughout the country. It’s an essential part of Filipino cuisine, and it’s a must-try for anyone visiting the islands.

What Is Betamax?

Betamax is a type of Filipino street food that consists of cubes of chicken blood that have been solidified. It gets its name from its shape; the cubes resemble small VHS tapes (also known as “betamax”). The chicken blood is boiled until solidified. When done, it is sliced into smaller rectangular pieces so it can then be grilled. When cooked, it is dipped in a special soy sauce, giving it a delicious flavor. It can be enjoyed on its own or paired with other dishes like boiled eggs, pickled vegetables, garlic rice, and more.

How Is Betamax Enjoyed?

Betamax is typically eaten on its own as a snack or appetizer but can also be enjoyed as part of a larger meal. It pairs well with boiled eggs and pickled vegetables for breakfast, garlic rice for lunch, and beer for dinner! It’s a versatile dish that can easily fit into any mealtime routine.  



Honorable Mentions

Ngo Hiong

Ngo hiong is a traditional Filipino snack made from deep-fried pork intestines that are seasoned with garlic, pepper, and other spices. It is usually served as an appetizer or snack with a dipping sauce made from vinegar, soy sauce, chili peppers, and onions. Ngo hiong is a popular street food because it’s affordable and easy to make. The combination of flavors makes it one of the most beloved snacks in Cebu City.


Dinamita is a mashed-up mix of plantains, pork rinds, and tomatoes. It's deep-fried into a ball and served with a spicy vinegar sauce. It's a delicious snack that packs a punch!


Carioca is a popular Filipino street food snack made with glutinous rice flour. It's formed into small balls, deep-fried, and served with brown sugar syrup or condensed milk. It's the perfect way to satisfy a sweet tooth!

Chicken Skin

Chicken skin is a popular street snack in the Philippines. It's made by deep-frying pieces of chicken skin until they're crispy and crunchy. You can dip it in some sweet or spicy sauce for extra flavor.

Mais Con Yelo

Mais con yelo is a popular Filipino dessert made with shaved ice, corn kernels, and sweetened condensed milk. It's the perfect way to cool down and refresh on a hot summer day.

Banana Cue

Banana cue is another popular snack made with deep-fried saba bananas that have been rolled in brown sugar. The bananas are usually served on skewers and can be found at almost any street market or stall.


Lumpia is a type of spring roll that is filled with chopped vegetables, pork, or shrimp and then fried until crispy golden brown. They can be served as an appetizer or as part of a larger meal.

FILIPINO STREET FOOD TOUR: PHP 150 Worth of Philippines Street Food

Things To Keep In Mind

What Can You Expect?

When it comes to street food in the Philippines, you can expect a wide variety of flavors and textures. From savory pork barbecue skewers to sweet and spicy adobo chicken wings, there's something for everyone. You'll find stalls selling traditional Filipino dishes like sinigang (sour soup) or kare-kare (oxtail stew), as well as international favorites like nachos and hot dogs. Many of these dishes are served with rice or noodles, which makes them filling and satisfying after a long day of sightseeing.

Where Can You Find Street Food?

Street food can be found all over the Philippines - from busy city streets to smaller towns and even rural areas. In larger cities like Manila or Cebu City, you'll find streets lined with vendors selling everything from local specialties to international treats. If you're visiting more rural areas such as Bohol or Palawan, look out for small carts selling snacks like steamed buns filled with vegetables or sticky rice cakes topped with sugarcane syrup.  

Safety Tips

When it comes to eating street food in the Philippines, it's important to practice proper hygiene and follow safety guidelines. Make sure that any prepared food is cooked thoroughly before eating - avoid raw foods such as salads or uncooked meat or fish. Also, be sure to wash your hands before eating and never eat off dirty surfaces (look for vendors who use clean plates). By following these simple steps, you can enjoy some delicious street food without risking your health!

The Cultural Experience

When you indulge in Filipino street food, you get more than just a delicious meal—you also get an immersive cultural experience. The sights, sounds, and smells of the bustling markets will transport you back in time, allowing you to truly appreciate the history of this unique cuisine. It’s also a great way to meet local people and learn more about their customs and traditions through conversations with vendors or other patrons.



Whether you're looking for something savory, sweet, or just plain adventurous, the Philippines has plenty of street foods to offer. From adobo to halo-halo, there's something for everyone! So be sure to try some of these delicious Filipino street foods on your next visit. Bon appetit! 

Go back to Philippines