Top 5 Street Food Delicacies in the Philippines

Do not be deceived by what you see in the photos. I repeat, do not be deceived. Not to mention getting thrown off because of their names. Some of the names of these street food delicacies are not sounding really tasteful, eg. isaw, balut, kwek kwek. But let's reserve the judgment after you've actually tasted them.

1. The Barbeque Gang

Mang Larry’s Isawan,

If you ever get the chance to walk along the residential streets of Manila or Quezon City, not the posh, guarded ones though, you will notice that at around four in the afternoon, barbecue grills will start appearing out of nowhere. Their menu? Meat of all kinds. Even blood.

Barbecue - your typical pork barbecue coated with a secret sauce
Isaw - made of chicken intestines
Adidas - so named because of the three distinct claws of the chicken feet resembling the Adidas brand logo of three stripes
Betamax - remember the betamax? Those rectangular shaped black boxes that contained filmstrips? Because of the similarity to it, they named the dried chicken or pork blood after it
Helmet - what better way to name the head of the chicken
Pwet ng manok - chicken's ass
Balat ng baboy - pig's skin
Tenga ng baboy - pig ears
Balun-balunan - chicken gizzards
Atay ng manok - chicken liver

The beauty of these street vendors is that you will be able to choose from the lot what you want to be grilled. And they will also cook it for you right then and there. But take note, not all of these are available all the time. Some of them are more popular than the others so expect these to be running out sooner.

Mang Larry's Isawan
U.P. Diliman (Magsaysay Ave cor. F. Ma. Guerrero St.), Quezon City, Quezon City, Philippines

2. The Small Balls

Saint Jude Catholic School,

Somehow, the Filipinos have an affinity to small balls. You will notice how the street vendors have these white and brown balls on their woks, frying all the time. These could be anything from fish balls, chicken balls, and even squid balls.

Dip in the sweet and sour sauce or the vinegar mixture and you're good to go.

Saint Jude Catholic School
327 Ycaza Street, San Miguel, 1005 Manila, City of Manila, Philippines
+63 2 735 6386

3. The Egg Variety

Food Vendor (squid ball, kikiam, kwek kwek),

Egg as a street food? Yes, it's popular. Especially the small, Quail's eggs. You will know what I'm talking about if you see the quirky, orange, ping pong ball sized goodies being deep friend. These are called kwek kwek and they're best enjoyed bathing in vinegar.

Another egg delicacy is called the tokneneng. Just like the kwek kwek, its wrapped in the same orange batter, which gives it a distinctive character. But this is just your ordinary chicken egg that's boiled first and then fried with the orange batter.

Food Vendor (squid ball, kikiam, kwek kwek)
Quezon Ave, Quezon City, Quezon City, Philippines

4. Legendary Balut

They say that eating this will make your, ehem, knees stronger and give you children. Whatever it is that eating balut changes in your body, you're sure to be courageous first. Especially if you squirm and you're sensitive with dead animals. Woah. You might think this is a bit morbid. Though it actually is, as the balut is actually a developing duck's embryo. So you need to peel off the egg's shell, which will reveal the developing embryo. It's an experience that you really need to try.

1621, Philippines

5. The Dirty Ice Cream

Rizal Park,

Why would you eat dirty ice cream? Well, because it's not really dirty in the first place! It's completely clean. The only reason why it got this nickname is because the vendors roam around with their ice cream carts and ring their bell around. Their carts contain at least two flavors of ice cream, some three or four, and they have cones and cups as well. Normally, $0.10 will get you two to three scoops of different flavors.

Rizal Park
Padre Burgos Ave (Maria Y. Orosa St), 1000 Manila, City of Manila, Philippines
+63 2 302 7381


Having an adventurous palate will be quite a ride here in the Philippines. With cuisine influences from all over the world, your taste buds will never have an idle second.


5 things I can't live without: coffee, books, my iPod, wifi, and my husband :D Born and raised in Manila, Philippines but I've lived in Qatar, Indonesia, and the UAE. I am currently living in Romania, and I have been on vacations to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam :) And does a stop over in Bahrain and Germany count?