If you’re one of those that travel so your taste buds can have a gastronomic adventure of their own, then the Philippines is certainly a destination you should visit! While Filipino cuisine is flavorful and fresh, and sometimes quite bizarre, sampling it only adds on to your travel experience. The selection of street food found in the Philippines is truly incredible. From deep-fried fruit to iconic sweet treats, this list covers some of the best.
If you’ve been to the Philippines and haven’t tasted halo-halo, you’ve truly missed out. Halo-halo, meaning ‘mixed together’ in Tagalog is quite aptly named as it is actually a mixture of a variety of ingredients. Evaporated milk, sweet beans, palm sugar, an array of fruits, coconut, and other sweet treats are added to shaved ice to form the famous Filipino dessert. It is the perfect dessert for a warm day, or a relaxing day at the beach, and can be found throughout the country.
Fond of bananas? Ginanggang is a must-try! It is made from ‘saba’, a particular type of banana found in the Philippines, and originates from the island of Mindanao. The banana is first skewered, then grilled over charcoal, and then brushed with margarine and sprinkled with sugar. Yum!
Another item that can be found sold on the streets in the Philippines, is dirty ice cream, or ‘sorbetes’ similar ‘sorbet.’ Actually just creamy homemade ice cream, dirty ice cream is a must-have cold treat when in the country. The ice cream comes in a variety of flavors, ranging from more uncommon ones such as ube, jackfruit, and cheese to fruity flavors like strawberry and mango, and even regular ones like chocolate and vanilla.
Kwek kwek is another popular Filipino street food that is basically quail eggs coated in an orange, tempura-like batter and then deep-fried until golden. Also, a common snack found in the country is tokneneng, which uses chicken eggs, instead of quail.
When in the Philippines, you are sure to hear street vendors calling out ‘tahooooo!’ A fresh soft bean curd with a richer volume to it, topped with caramelized brown sugar and finished off with ‘sago’ or small tapioca balls, taho is a signature sweet throughout the country, with some cities, such as Baguio City, having their own versions. .
Turon, crispy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside, is another snack on the list that is made out of ‘saba’. A typical Filipino dessert, it is a spring-roll type sweet that is filled with thinly sliced bananas and most often a slice of jackfruit, glazed with sugar, wrapped in a lumpia wrapper and then deep fried.
A favorite street food amongst Filipinos due to its affordability and taste, fish balls, are simply made of pulverized fish, made into a flat shape and deep fried and served with a sweet and spicy sauce or a hot and spicy one.
There is no way you can go to the Philippines and not try out a refreshing buko, or coconut. Buko juice is not only a great quencher, but it also happens to be delicious and incredibly good for you. Try it once, and we can guarantee you’ll want one every day you’re there!
Yet another sweet treat on this list made from the locally grown ‘saba’; (boy do the Filipinos like their bananas!), banana-cue or banana-que is a popular afternoon snack. The banana is coated in sugar, and then deep fried, and skewered on a bamboo stick.
Fresh manggang hilaw or green mango may not be as exciting as the others on this list, but it is an absolute must-try when in the Philippines. Street vendors generally cut up the mango, put the slices in a little bag or container, and add some salt or shrimp paste to it. Delicious!