They say that street food is the window to a country’s culture. In fact, street food has been a huge part of our identity as Filipinos. It’s almost impossible not to spot a vendor on the side of the road, with their vibrant selection of food on display. People working nearby flock around the stall despite the blistering heat to grab a quick bite.
There’s street food around every corner in Manila, but only a few stand out from the rest. Here are some of the best street food you can find in Manila:
Aling Sosing’s Carinderia
Aling Sosing’s has cooked their way since 1986 to become one of the most popular carinderias in Manila. A carinderia is a small eatery with ready-made dishes. Just point at the dish you want to get, and they will serve it to you on a plate (hence the term turo-turo). You get your typical Filipino dishes cooked in the familiar home-cooked flair. Make sure to come early during lunch break, because all tables are already fully packed by 11am. Those who work nearby would frequent the eatery for lunch, so you might run out of seats!
Benjong’s Bagnet, Kambing at Itik
Benjong’s Bagnet, Kambing, at Itik is a pretty straightforward concept. As the name suggests, they serve a load of everything bagnet. Bagnet is boiled and deep-fried pork belly, similar to lechon kawali. They take classic Pinoy dishes and combine them with, you guessed it, bagnet. Bagnet Kare-kare, bagnet kilawin, bagnet sinigang… the list could go on. They also use kambing (goat) and itik (duck) as primary ingredients for their dishes.
Mang Tootz Food Haus
Mang Tootz is not your typical street food carinderia. This eatery cooks up a fusion of dishes ranging from Filipino classics like sisig, to dishes inspired by foreign influences like pork pot roast and chicken kebab. But what Mang Tootz is really known for is their banana rhuma. It’s just like your typical turon, coated with a special kind of caramel glaze (it has rum and pineapple juice!). Since then, they’ve become pretty much a household name in their community because of the dish. It’s well-loved by the students from the university nearby who want to grab a budget-friendly meal.
Panchita’s BBQ House
Panchita’s BBQ House is located in a small nook in the outskirts of Makati. You might miss it, but those who know the place know where to look. It’s a galore of skewered meats from isaw (chicken intestines) to hotdogs. Pick the skewers you want, and they’ll cook it for you over a charcoal grill. Bring all your spare change to Panchita’s (prices start at PHP10) and leave with a full stomach.
Get to know some of the best street food in Manila:
Do you have any street food recommendations? Share it in the comments!