It almost seems too obvious to say that the Philippines is a beautiful country to visit. But what makes it more interesting is the Filipinos’ exceptional love for food. The regular Filipino day consists of three meals, all of which consist of at least a cup of rice. In spite of this, they still enjoy eating snacks in between meals and this is where street food Philippines comes in.

The original notion was that street foods were meant to be just pantawid gutom or to ease hunger while you’re rushing from one thing to the next. And because the Filipinos have a knack for combining flavors and making the most of any ingredients at their table, they have developed sumptuous quick bites that have a variety of flavors.

In fact, some restaurants have included Filipino street food on their menu! But whether you like it on fine dining or just stick them up on the streets, these bites are something to try!

13 Must-Try Filipino Street Food Not to Miss

Philippines is not just popular for its pristine islands and colorful festivals but it’s also famous for its oh-so-good street food that will definitely make you drool. Here are the best street food in the Philippines you must try!

  1. Isaw
  2. Betamax
  3. Cheese sticks
  4. Fishball
  5. Squid balls
  6. Sorbetes
  7. Kikiam
  8. Banana cue
  9. Turon
  10. Taho
  11. Chicken skin
  12. Balut
  13. Kwek-kwek

What’s inside this blog?

Here is the list of street foods in the Philippines that every traveler must try!

1. Isaw

One of the most popular Filipino street foods is the isaw Philippines. It is pork or chicken intestines that are typically barbecued or deep-fried. Don’t worry because the intestines are cleaned thoroughly before grilling it. 

Fun trivia: Isaw Philippines has been around since the 1970s. When livestock supply was abundant in the 1950s, street food vendors opted to sell more expensive cuts of meat, but when the economic crisis hit the country in the 1970s, the scrap parts of pork and chicken suddenly became valuable and that’s when they started to sell isaw. Street foods in the Philippines articles aren’t complete without isaw.

2. Betamax

Betamax is the blood of pig or chicken that is coagulated and shaped into squares. It resembles the box-type video cassette tape called Betamax, hence the name. Although it’s made with blood, betamax doesn’t have a foul smell or taste. In fact, it has a mellow to bitter flavor that calls for spicy vinegar on the side.

3. Cheese sticks

Unlike France’s breadcrumb-coated and ooey-gooey mozzarella sticks, the Pinoy street food style cheese sticks uses cheddar cheese in the spring-roll wrapper and deep-fried until golden and crispy. It is served with a pink dip made with ketchup and mayonnaise combined. Every traveler must try this street food Philippines.

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4. Fishball

fishballs street food in the philippines

Photo source

Because almost everything in the Philippines is becoming expensive, the Filipinos came up with a pickup line that says fish balls na lang ang hindi nagmamahal that means fishballs Philippines are the only thing that remains cheap while other prices of goods continue to hike. It’s actually the cheapest street food in the Philippines that’s only PHP 0.50 per piece.

Fishballs Philippines are groundfish, usually made from pollock or cuttlefish and lots of flour, that are flattened and skewered before deep-frying.

5. Squid balls

Squid balls Philippines resembles fish balls, only it is fluffier and doesn’t become limp when deep-friend. From its name, the main ingredients of squid balls are squid, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, garlic, salt, and pepper. The squid balls Philippines is one of the most bought and popular street foods in the country.

6. Sorbetes

Sorbetes or dirty ice cream is a famous Pinoy treat that was introduced during the American occupation. This sweet treat is peddled in the streets by the sorbetero who scoops the ice cream into cones or bread buns from colorful wooden pushcarts. 

Dirty ice cream isn’t really, well, dirty. The term is only used to differentiate this dessert from the store-bought “clean” ice cream. The sorbetes is usually made from coconut or powdered milk and cassava flour. Popular flavors include chocolate, cheese, ube, mango, and langka.

7. Kikiam


Kikiam is a Filipino street food that was originally taken from Chinese cuisine and authentically consists of minced meat and vegetables. But unlike the Chinese version, the kikiam Philippines contains fish meat instead and a lot of fillers. They are brown and about the size of a finger.

8. Banana cue

Banana cue is a sweet treat on-the-go made of deep-fried bananas coated in caramelized brown sugar. Like the other famous street food in the Philippines, pork barbecue, the bananas are skewered. An alternative for this is camote cue, which uses sweet potato instead.

9. Turon

Another banana sweet street food is turon which is one of the most famous street foods in Manila. It’s a popular food-on-the-go for Filipinos as this can be easily eaten everywhere. The bananas are cut in half and wrapped in a spring roll wrapper. It’s also deep-fried and coated with caramelized brown sugar.

10. Taho

No time to have breakfast and looking for a quick morning fix? Taho is every (rushing) Filipino’s best friend. And for some, their mornings are not complete without taho. It’s made of fresh soft or silken tofu, arnibal syrup, and sago pearls. This is available in almost every part of the Philippines. What’s cool here is that you don’t have to go to a certain place just to buy taho because it will come to you, at your doorsteps, literally.

11. Chicken skin

Another famous street food Philippines is the chicken skin. It is literally made of chicken skin covered in batter and deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. This Philippines street food is the go-to snack of students and those who are saving some money because chicken skin is actually filling and cheap! You can score a cup of chicken skin for only PHP 10! And you want to have a heavier meal on a budget, just buy rice in the nearest eatery and pair it with chicken skin, then you’re good! 

12. Balut

If you’ve been searching for a list of street food in the Philippines, you’ve already probably encountered the most talked-about Filipino delicacy in some street foods in the Philippines articles: Balut.

It is a 16 to 21-day old fertilized duck egg that contains not only a yolk but also a semi-developed duck embryo that’s eaten from the shell! Disgusting for some but with a bit of getting used to, you’ll finally understand that this exotic Filipino street food is something you must try.

13. Kwek-kwek

This famous Filipino street food has quail eggs in it and the brightly-colored orange that covers it is made of batter. Most of its goodness relies on its sauce and street food vendors have their own recipe. The best choice would be vinegar with chilis and garlic. 

And here’s an interesting trivia about the history of kwek kwek. According to Esquire Magazine, “a local legend details that kwek-kwek was accidentally invented when a balut vendor in Cubao dropped her merchandise. Not wanting to waste what remained of the balut, she peeled off the shells, rolled the eggs in flour, and fried them. Kwek-kwek supposedly refers to bird chirps.”

Frequently Asked Questions About Street Food Philippines

Q: Is it safe to eat street food in Philippines?
A: Eating street food in the Philippines is definitely safe. But always be cautious. If you have a sensitive stomach, you must choose the street foods you’ll buy carefully.

Q: What is the most popular street food?
A: If you’re a foodie, you’d definitely enjoy the Philippines as there are many Philippine street foods you must try. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  1. Isaw
  2. Cheese sticks
  3. Fishball
  4. Squid balls
  5. Sorbetes
  6. Kikiam street food
  7. Betamax street food
  8. Banana cue
  9. Turon
  10. Taho
  11. Chicken skin
  12. Balut
  13. Kwek-kwek

Q: How much is street food in the Philippines?
A: Street food in the Philippines is very cheap! In fact, you can buy a fishball for only 50 cents ($ 0.010). That is why when eating Pinoy street food, not only you’ll have your tummy satisfied but you’ll be able to save money that you can spend on other things.

Q: What is the most delicious street food in the Philippines?
A: We can’t tell which street foods exactly are the best as there are so many options to choose from. But to help you out, we’ve listed our favorite street food in the Philippines that are worth trying:

  1. Isaw
  2. Balut
  3. Kwek-kwek
  4. Sorbetes
  5. Fishball
  6. Betamax street food
  7. Kikiam street food

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Anyone who loves to dine knows that Metro Manila’s food landscape is a mix of different cultures around the world but has its own distinction that takes Filipino cuisine to a next level. Well, that makes Manila food culture lively, communal, vibrant and oh-so-fine! So if you’re looking for the best restaurants in Manila, you’ve come to the right place!

Here are the 10 best restaurants in Manila 2020!

10. Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant

Address: Plaza San Luis Complex, Gen. Luna St, Intramuros, Manila.

Intramuros always fill our history and sightseeing cravings but other than these, it’s also a good place to find the top restaurants in Manila. One of these is Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant. If you’re looking for authentic Filipino food to add to your historical day trip, Barbara’s is the perfect place to go to. Try all of the dishes from their grand buffet, while enjoying cultural dance performances.

Cuisines: Filipino, Spanish

Average Cost: PHP800 for two

Zomato Ratings: 3.8/5

9. NIU by Vikings

Address: NIU by Vikings is located at SM Aura in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Photo from NIU

Cuisine: Seafood, American, Mediterranean, Japanese

Average cost: PHP3,000 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.5/5

Dive into a night of international cuisine, a world-class buffet, a romantic live piano, and indulgence that you deserve! NIU is one of the restaurants under the Vikings Group. Two words that NIU live by: fresh and intricate. Thus, they commit to bringing the finest dishes from all over the world. So expect this to be another best buffet in Manila.

8. Seoul-Sky 100 Revolving Restaurant

Address: 100 Revolving Restaurant is located at 33th Floor, MDC 100 Building, Eastwood Avenue, Bagumbayan, Quezon City.

If you want an over the top (literally and figuratively) dining experience, try Chef Jessie Sincioco’s 100 Revolving Restaurant in Quezon City. It will take you for a spin, literally because it revolves, giving you a 360-degree view of Metro Manila. Among the must-try dishes, there are the Assorted Seafood Gambas, Grilled Lamb Chops, Spicy Puttanesca, and Dark Chocolate Souffle.

Cuisine: Korean

Average Cost: PHP2,000 for two

7. Lemuria Gourmet Restaurant

Address: Lemuria is located at 5 Julieta Circle, Horseshoe Village, Quezon City.

Photo from Lemuria

If you’re looking for a place under the radar, try Lemuria Gourmet Restaurant. It is a hidden romantic restaurant in Quezon City that serves expressive French Mediterranean cuisine made from scratch using only the best and freshest ingredients. Their menu evolves to offer new discoveries of flavor combinations that challenge the adventurous palate desiring cuisine beyond the mainstream offerings.

Cuisines: French, Mediterranean

Average Cost: PHP3000 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.2/5

6. Cru Steakhouse

Address: 2 Resort Dr, Pasay City.

Truly one of the most enjoyable experiences every meat lover will agree on is indulging themselves into a juicy steak. They use dry aging—a unique method that involves hanging the meat in a refrigerated cooler. The meat is kept at a specific temperature and humidity from 10-28 days and comes out with a new array of flavor and depth. 

Some of the prominent businessmen and personalities have also dined here so there’s no doubt that Cru Steakhouse has the best steak in Manila.

Cuisines: Steak, Italian, American

Average Cost: PHP4,000 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.3/5

5. Rustic Mornings by Isabelo

Address: 11 Isabelo Mendoza St, San Roque, Marikina.

Photo from Rustic Mornings

If you’re a morning person and you love breakfast, don’t miss the Rustic Mornings by Isabelo. It’s one of Marikina’s hidden gems that doesn’t only serve delicious food with quality service, but also has a garden-style set up that’ll surely make your romantic date memorable as it is one of the best romantic restaurants in Manila.

Cuisines: American, Filipino

Average Cost: PHP1200 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.6/5

4. Wildflour Cafe + Bakery

Address: Wildflour has several branches in BGC, Makati, and Ortigas.

Photo from Wildflour

A mainstay of the Metro Manila brunch scene, Wildflour offers experimental dishes and perfected comfort favorites. They’ve got bowls of speciality salads, a vibrant selection of smoothies, rich milkshakes, and coffee-based concoctions. In each of its branches, chef-owner Ana de Ocampo has crafted and executed this signature experience that’s been reeling in the regulars since her first in 2012. Their must-try dishes are the Wildflour Breakfast and Fried Chicken and Waffles.

Cuisines: American, Italian, Bakery, Coffee

Average Cost: PHP1,500 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.4/5

3. Blackbird

Address: Nielson Tower, Ayala Triangle Gardens, Salcedo Village, Makati City

Photo from Blackbird

One of the best fine dining restaurants in Manila is Blackbird. It is a contemporary European and Asian restaurant headed by Chef Colin Mackay. The restaurant has an aviation theme that is inspired by the Manila International Air Terminal which was built and used to stand on the same location in 1937. With Blackbird’s simplicity and sophistication, it has also become one of the best romantic restaurants in Manila.

Cuisines: European, Asian

Average Cost: PHP3,100 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.6/5

2. Spiral Manila

Address: Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.

Photo from Spiral Manila

Enjoy a lavish meal at one of the best restaurants in Manila. Spiral is divided into 21 dining ateliers. In France, an atelier is an artist’s special workshop and in Spiral, it is where secret recipes are masterfully prepared right your very eyes. This buffet destination features a wide range of cuisine created with the focus and attention to detail by seasoned culinary artisans. Spiral is also a multi-awarded dining destination making it the best buffet in Manila!

Cuisines: European, Asian, Indian

Average Cost: PHP6,000 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.9/5

1. Manam

Address: Manam has branches at SM Megamall, Greenbelt, and others.

Photo from Manam

When it comes to places for the best Filipino food in the metro, Manam tops the list. It’s a reliable option, whether you’re treating balikbayans who are craving for a taste of home or introducing foreigners to the Pinoy cuisine. When in Manam, never miss their Crispy Pork Sisig. It’s safe to say that it could be the best food in Manila as it’s like a masterpiece made for your tastebuds. You should also try the Kansi, Crispy Pancit Palabok, and Ube + Sago Pampalamig.

Manam is definitely one of the best restaurants in Manila.

Cuisines: Filipino

Average Cost: PHP700 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.5/5

Bonus! More best restaurants in Manila!

Jin Joo Korean Grill

Address: Jin Joo Korean Grill has several branches around Metro Manila.

Photo from Jin Joo

The craze with Korean restaurants, especially Korean BBQ, is all over the metro. You’ll find groups of people in long lines, waiting to have a go at these restaurants. Jin Joo Korean Grill sets themselves apart from other K-BBQ places with their playful vibe and unique take on Korean food. Take Jin Joo’s 8 Flavors, which features eight flavors of samgyupsal that comes with six kinds of unlimited banchan (side dishes) that they change every day. 

Another fun dish is the Cheese Dung Galbi that allows you to dip barbecued baby back ribs into an oh-so-good combo of melted mozzarella and cheddar. With all these offers, no wonder it’s included in the best korean restaurants in Manila.

Cuisines: Korean, Korean BBQ, Grill

Average Cost: PHP1,500 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.0/5

Shake Shack

Address: Shake Shack Philippines has branches in Taguig and SM Megamall.

Filipinos got excited when the New York based burger shop announced that they’d bring their world-class burgers to the Philippines! Shake Shack might be named for their signature shakes which are often hailed as some of the best in the industry but what people really line up for are their famous burgers. Many claim that they have the best burger in Manila! 

Cuisines: American

Average Cost: PHP900 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.1/5

China Blue by Jereme Leung

Address: China Blue is located at Conrad Manila, Seaside Blvd. cor. Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

Photo from Conrad Manila

As you step into the high-ceilinged dining room of China Blue, you will notice the gorgeous details of the walls, cushions, and tablescapes in dark brown, gold, and blue tones. A team of skilled chefs under the prominent chef Jereme Leung meticulously crafts innovative interpretations of classic Chinese cooking. Diners would feast upon non-traditional dishes that are rooted in classic Chinese cuisines and infused with a refreshing and contemporary twist. What sets this best Chinese restaurant in Manila is that people get to enjoy a stunning view of Manila Bay while dining.

Cuisines: Chinese

Average Cost: PHP2,200 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.5/5

If you’re thinking of having a staycation in Manila, book your budget hotels at ZEN Rooms and enjoy the lowest rates but quality accommodation!


Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.