A Taste of Philippines Food Culture Has To Include Our Delicious Street Foods

Street Foods are a big part of Philippines food culture, so here are a few of the more popular ones for you to try.  

When you are in Manila, the true street foods that you will find being sold represent the culture and character of the people in the Philippines. Aside from the street parties, traffic, and vendors everywhere, the street foods will definitely make you feel adventurous and determined. In this article you will find some of the street foods you need to try in the Philippines.

The Banana-que

This is a very popular “merienda” food in the Philippines. The only type of banana used for this is called “saba” that will be deep fried in sugar that is caramelized giving it a coating of crunchy goodness. After it has been fried, it will be poked with a stick.

Philippines food culture
Image by Andrew Abogado / Flickr

You eat it from the stick and it is nothing like the normal barbeque you will taste elsewhere.

The Kwek Kwek

This is one of the most popular Filipino street food made from hard boiled quail egg and deep fried in batter that is coloured orange. When you hear the sound “quail egg” being said with a local accent, it will seem like the 2 words have been mixed together making it sound like kwek kwek. Some also call this “itlog ng pugo”.

Philippines food culture
Image by digipam / Flickr

There is another version of this called Tokneneng which is technically the same, but made with hard boiled chicken egg.

Philippine food culture
Image by shankar s. / Flickr


You will often hear a street vendor shouting “Tahooooooo!” and you will see most people drinking it. The taho is like a tofu milk drink that is warm, and has more volume compared to the normal soy milk. They add in brown sugar that has been perfectly caramelized and “sago” or tapioca balls.

Philippine food culture
Image by John Ong / Flickr

A taho vendor can be identified if you see a person walking while carrying a long stick over his shoulders with 2 buckets on each side. The taho is easily enjoyed by anyone even if they’ve tried it for the first time.


Philippine food culture
Image by Micah Danao / Flickr

The isaw or chicken intestine is one of the most popular Filipino street foods that should be tried especially if you are the adventurous kind.

You might be disgusted by the sound of it at first, but they are thoroughly cleaned before being sold. They are also boiled to get rid of any bacteria that can cause harm to the health when ingested. They are curled up and grilled on a barbeque stick.

Philippine food culture
Image by Josh Aggars / Flickr

The best way to eat them is by dipping them in vinegar and you can also add a s sweet or spicy sauce to it.

A lot of first timers get surprised by the goodness of Isaw because it sounds gross at first.

The “Dirty Ice Cream”

This ice cream is not literally dirty.  It got its name from the outside appearance of the carts that sell it. The vendors walk the streets and they don’t use any gloves or sanitising liquid to clean their hands before serving you.  Even if that doesn’t sound very appetising, these ice cream carts are what you will wish for on a very hot and sunny day.

Philippine food culture
Image by fitri agung / Flickr

The usual flavours of the “dirty” ice cream are Ube (purple yam), Cheese, and Chocolate.

Don’t forget to walk through the streets of Manila and look for these street foods to make your experience even more memorable.

Philippines Food Culture and Street Foods  – By Ysabel Carbello

Featured Image by Carandol Eruaphadion and other Flickr images are licensed under CC BY 2.0

This concludes our Philippines Food Culture and Street Foods. We hope you find this information useful. If you are looking for a specific piece of information, please do comment below as we may have just forgotten to mention it.

Thank you

Philippine food culture
Image by Shubert Ciencia / Flickr

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