7 Most Loved Filipino Street Foods

Taho
Taho | Source
Kwek Kwek
Kwek Kwek | Source

Travelers visiting the Philippines just cannot leave the country without sampling the country’s chow staples: Filipino street foods.

The most-loved Filipino street foods can be found almost anywhere in the country, from the street corners to malls, supermarkets, bus and jeepney terminals, food courts, and even student canteens.

Locals absolutely love Filipino street foods.

They delight their taste buds, keep their stomachs full, and, of course, they do not cost them an arm and a leg.

So, foreigners wishing to experience the authentic Filipino way of eating must at least sample these foods before leaving the Philippines.

While a complete list may be really long, below are some of the most-loved Filipino street foods that are a must-try for foreigners.

1. Taho

Made of soft silken tofu, taho is topped with arnibal or caramelized brown sugar and sago or pearls.

Most magtataho or taho vendors peddle this street food by walking through Filipino neighborhoods and shouting out the food’s name, “Taho!”

Buyers can easily spot the magtataho, who can be seen carrying large and small aluminum buckets.

The large bucket holds the soft tofu while the small bucket holds the arnibal and sago.

Buyers are served taho in varying sizes of cups.

Usually sold in the mornings and late in the afternoon, taho is a street food that Filipinos eat as part of their breakfast and/or merienda or late afternoon snacks.

2. Banana Cue and Camote Cue

A popular merienda in the Philippines, banana cue is deep-fried saba (a type of banana) coated in caramelized brown sugar.

Once cooked, banana cue is skewered for easy eating.

Camote cue or camote fritter is a lot similar to banana cue.

It is made of deep-fried sweet potato coated in caramelized brown sugar then skewered before being sold.

Many hawkers and food kiosks sell banana cue and camote cue in the late afternoons when most Filipinos eat merienda.

3. Binatog

In the mornings or late afternoons, Filipino food hawkers riding bicycles and sounding their bells can be heard shouting, “Binatog!”

Binatog is one of the Filipinos’ favorite street foods.

It is made of steamed corn kernels then mixed with shredded coconut and a sprinkle of either salt or sugar.

4. Iskrambol

Iskrambol is a Filipino street food that locals gorge on during the Philippines’ unforgivably hot days.

Iskrambol is shaved ice mixed with caramelized brown sugar then topped with milk powder and chocolate syrup.

Usually appearing pinkish due to its artificial color, it can be eaten with the use of a spoon or a straw and is served in small cups.

Iskrambol is very popular among Filipino kids.

In fact, it is usually sold outside local elementary schools where iskrambol vendors can be seen peddling their carts.

5. Calamares

Gaining popularity across the Philippines, calamares is an adaptation of the Spanish calamari.

It has been eaten as pulutan or dry finger foods that accompany alcoholic drinks.

Recently, however, creative street food hawkers have served this same dish with a twist.

Calamares is made of sliced squid rings and heads, dipped in egg whites, dredged in flour, and then deep fried.

Instead of serving the calamares in the common mayonnaise dip, street food hawkers offer buyers two kinds of dip.

One dip is spicy, made of water, vinegar, chili, pepper, and onion.

The other one has the same ingredients, just minus the chili.

6. Tokneneng and Kwek-kwek

Tokneneng and kwek-kwek are easily recognizable. They are round-shaped, appear to be soft and colored in bright orange.

While similar, tokneneng and kwek-kwek are actually different.

Tokneneng is made of either chicken or duck egg while kwek-kwek is made of quail egg.

They are prepared by dipping the eggs in egg whites, dredging them in flour with orange artificial colors, and then deep-frying them.

Their sauces are the same as those of calamares above.

7. Fish Balls

A list of most-loved Filipino street foods can never be complete without… fish balls.

In fact, it is hard to imagine a typical local street without fish ball vendors.

Made from fish meat, fish balls are deep fried, skewered, and then dipped in sauces.

There are at least three kinds of dip.

The first one is a spicy concoction made of vinegar, pepper, onions, water, and chili.

The second one is made of cornstarch, sugar, salt, water and catsup.

The third one is made of the second type of sauce but mixed with chili.

So popular are fish balls in the Philippines that it has spawned varieties: chicken balls, squid balls, and even kikiam.

Copyright © 2011 Kerlyn Bautista

All Rights Reserved

How to Make Tokneneng and Kwek-kwek

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Comments 36 comments

Paolocruz profile image

Paolocruz 3 years ago from Philippines

Balut! Every foreigner should try it. Although I'm a Filipino I haven't tried everything on the list. But now I am planning to. I will definitely use this as a checklist! Thanks!


Earnhart 4 years ago

wOw!! gusto ko lang jan yung kwek kwek i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!


jean 4 years ago

wow! easy lang pala!! try den ako sa amin!! tnx for the tips!!


Cymbelline profile image

Cymbelline 4 years ago from Cebu City, Philippines

Awww, I really miss eating these food. Don't forget the variation of #2 - Turon (banana with langka) One of my favorites! Nice hub! :)


mamalila profile image

mamalila 4 years ago from Washington, DC

I'm just enjoying learning so much about the Philippines and the food there! I'm now having to go to bed hungry though. Taho looked like my kinda eatin'. I'll have to settle for some cereal instead, unfortunately. But I'm going to get a taste in one of these days. Thanks for writing such delicious articles!


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@masmasika Wow, thanks for the comment kabayan :) Not to worry, I'll keep coming up with hubs about us Pinoys and the Philippines.


masmasika 5 years ago

I love the hub and love the pictures more Your hub is great in that it relates to the way of life of Filipinos. Great hub and keep writing.


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@anjperez Wow, you live in South Cotabato! I love Gen San's tuna! :D

We'll be entering the yuletide season and puto bumbong would be all the rage :) Hope you get the chance to buy them on the streets. They are much cheaper and tastier than the ones sold in malls.


anjperez profile image

anjperez 5 years ago

i am here in south cotabato. i have stayed in manila my college days but never encountered it. DARN. will definitely look out for this when i go there. would you believe? even puto bombong, i only tasted it when i got there. i bought it inside a mall in makati.


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@anjperez Oh boy, I think binatog vendors are getting fewer and fewer through the years :( Uh, binatog isn't sold in stands. You'd just hear a binatog vendor shouting out "Binatog!" and he usually passes by quickly. Oftentimes, he rides the bicycle.

Where exactly in the Philippines do you live? One Pinoy hubber told me that binatog isn't peddled in her hometown. She got to taste it only when she moved to Manila.


anjperez profile image

anjperez 5 years ago

i am a filipino. and i think i tried all the things up here except for "Binatog". where is it sold? tell me so that i can look for it if ever visit the place.


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@The Dirt Farmer Hello! Oh banana cue is so popular here! :) You can make your own calamari, you know. It's super easy!


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 5 years ago from United States

These street foods look delicious, especially the banana cue. How wonderful if I could buy calimari on the street here in MD!


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@HERBERT ubaldo Yummy indeed! :D


HERBERT ubaldo profile image

HERBERT ubaldo 5 years ago

great, yummy foods forever....


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@isangbuhay Geez, your daughters have very sharp memories! :) You're lucky to have them. Thanks much for sharing your anecdotes and I'm glad that your family had a good time in the Philippines :)


isangbuhay 5 years ago

Ilooked on this site for pork adobo recipe which I made tonight - very nice! The snacks info brought back happy memories of our year or two living in Philippines. Our 2 daughters were both under 5 and they loved waking up in the morning to the sound of the Taho man and running out to him with their cups!They loved those pork kebabs too and even ate "the fat one" at the end of the stick. That was 12 yrs ago but they retain a keen interest in street food wherever they go. best wishes


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@lzlpio90 You don't have binatog in your area? Hmmm, I notice that less and less vendors sell them in the Philippines :( So, another person who dislikes balut =) Well, it's not everyone. It's not for me, too :D


lzlpio90 profile image

lzlpio90 5 years ago

I love them all! But it's the first time I've heard about binatog. We don't have it here. Banana cue is one of my favorite snacks. and kwek2x is definitely delicious... Honestly, i don't like balot as well... :D


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@felicitylovespari Balot/balut?! :D Wow, how did you know about it? You even know bistek, adobo and mango float! :) Hmmm, I guess you have some Filipino friends in LA. Thanks for your message dear!


felicitylovespari profile image

felicitylovespari 5 years ago

These look quite good. I have not tried street food. My favorites would probably be the beef bistek and adobo for Filipino food. I have seen these though. For deserts.... Mango float? :)


felicitylovespari profile image

felicitylovespari 5 years ago

Whew. Glad you didn't mention balot. Haha.


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@denden mangubat Salamat (Thank you)! Marami rin kayong ganitong street foods sa Cebu (You've got lots of these street foods in Cebu). :D


denden mangubat profile image

denden mangubat 5 years ago from liloan, cebu, philippines

mouthwatering goodness.


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@travel_man1971 You're so welcome :)


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

It's been awhile since I read about awesome hub on Filipino street foods.

Thanks for sharing, kerlynb!


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@queen cleopatra That's another excellent way of preparing that dish! Thanks for sharing.


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 5 years ago

I like crispy calamares so I marinate the squid rings in calamansi and soy sauce overnight before dipping in thick batter then deep-frying. Yummy! :)


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@SilentReed Thanks for your comment. You're right , many Filipinos eat "balut" and good to know that you also like it :-) As I've said in this hub, a list of the most-loved Filipino street foods that are a must-try for foreigners is really long. I actually left out some of my favorites here! :-D


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines

Thanks for the information videos.It is understandable that you left out one of the Filipino's favorite delicacies since you are encouraging foreign visitors to try some of our street food.Another filipino hubber wrote about it under the title "Disgusting filipino street food".I am referring to the "Balot" which I love as a "pulutan" with my beer :)


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@Alladream74 Binatog is tasty and healthy :) Thanks for dropping by.


Alladream74 profile image

Alladream74 5 years ago from Oakland, California

The binatong looks very interesting.


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@Peggy W Thank you for dropping by :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

These all sound delicious. Thanks for including the videos showing how to make several of these common Filipino street foods. Useful hub and voted that as well as up and interesting.


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

Yup, give these foods a try prasetio30! I've been eating them since I was a kid, hahahaha! :)


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love this information. You make me hungry, LOL. But thanks for share with us. I should taste most of them if I go to Philippines. Hmmm.....Yummy. Vote up!

Prasetio

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