Must-Try Filipino Street Food to Excite Your Taste Buds

Food and a country stick to each other. Food becomes the identity of a country and region. Travelers visit a new place sometimes to crave its typical food. Sometimes travelers also identify the area through the food. The same thing happens in the Philippines, where street foods and snacks are missed very much.

Let’s Get to Know More about Filipino Street Foods and Snacks

Cheese Ube Puto
Cheese Ube Puto, a steamed rice cake made from purple yam

The Filipino street foods and snacks are typically sweet and sticky. They boost your mood and make your tummy full soon. Coconut, sticky rice, coconut milk, or brown sugar are typically the ingredients, but the other ingredients are still various. Let’s see what street food you can try when visiting the Philippines!

1. Lugaw

Lugaw (rice porridge) with a hard-boiled egg inside and sliced fried tokwa (tofu) on the side! /yum

It is a rice porridge that is usually served to sick people or the ones who need soft food. It does not need to chew, indeed. You just need to feel it on your tongue and let it slip into your throat slowly. It is mushy and warm, so it can be eaten with some seasonings and any meat.

Lugaw, similar to other porridge, is usually for breakfast. Yet, some people take it as a snack. The toppings include chicken, sliced boiled eggs, scallions, calamari, garlic chips, and fish sauce.

The cook also adds some lemon squeeze and ginger for more flavor. You often meet Lugaw in traditional celebrations, especially at the Christmas Eve meal called Noche Buena.

2. Butsi

Do you know that butsi is also known as buchi?

It is a snack that looks like Chinese jian dui. The balls are made with glutinous rice flour, which is shaped in a round and then stuffed with mung bean/creamy lotus/red bean paste or shredded coconut. Then, it is coated in sesame seeds and fried until golden brown.

The Filipino version of Chinese jian dui is very popular there. The people enjoy the chewy texture, the crispy shell, and the creamy filling as the dessert or the quick snack.

Read More: Don’t Miss These 17 Filipino Snacks You’ve Got to Try!

3. Puto

Cheese Puto

It is a traditional Filipino street food made with soaked rice and steamed in round containers. Then, it is served in slices when it is warm. Puto is modified in various colors, sizes, textures, shapes, and flavors.

Originally, it had a neutral flavor and was nice for light desserts and snacks. Sometimes, Filipinos have it to accompany savory dishes such as hearty Filipino stew.

4. Cascaron


It is often called bitsu-bitsu, the traditional food served for the guests or snacks after dinner, which is made from glutinous flour, coconut milk, and shredded coconut. It tastes sweet and chewy and it is usually served with sugar syrups.

The cascaron dough is shaped into a small round then it is fried deeply into the hot oil. It is fried until it is crispy and looks golden brown. Although some people serve it with syrup, you can also have it plain. The syrup itself is basically caramel sauce or the locals’ latik sauce, which comes from sugar and coconut milk.

Cascaron balls are also sold on the street food stall that is skewered on bamboo tiny sticks. Taste it! It is the most famous Filipino dessert with the mild flavor of coconut.

5. Lumpia


Similar to butsi, lumpia is inspired by Chinese snacks. It is a spring roll made of rice or flour dough wrap, and it is stuffed with meat and vegetables such as onions, carrots, cabbage, and garlic. It is smeared with egg and fried deeply.

The result is a crunchy and crusty snack that is more delicious to dip in the sweet and sour sauce. It is a side dish or a snack, and it is served in a variety like unfried lumpia, saba bananas (ripe plantains), hearts of coconut palms, lumpia bean sprouts, or bangus.

Read More: Exciting Night Markets in Manila for Your Nightly Escapade!

6. Proben


This crunchy snack is addictive and makes it a popular snack in the country. The basic ingredient is proventriculus, a part of the chicken which is similar to the chicken gizzard.

It is deep-fried with flour or cornstarch until it is crispy and looks golden brown. They are fried individually and served in plastic bags or fried in bamboo stick skewers.

It is a nutritious snack, fast served, and cheap. It represents real street food in the Philippines because many young students consume it after school.

7. Kwek-Kwek

Kwek Kwek

You almost find this snack everywhere in the Philippines, and it is a kind of tokening. Tokneneng is Filipino street food made from boiled duck or chicken eggs, and kwek-kwek is the smaller version of it with boiled quail eggs as the basic ingredient.

Both of them are fried until they turn a deep orange color after they are wrapped with some batter. The batter is from flour, water, cornstarch, and annatto powder as the food colour. The mixture makes kwek-kwek as a deep orange snack that tastes crispy and is usually served with sour and spicy sauce.

8. Bola-Bola


It is the Filipino word for meatballs, so the base is the same as the ordinary meatball. It is made of ground pork or beef and mixed with onions, garlic, soy sauce, eggs, and some other spices. These Filipino meatballs taste savory in the soups and usually are served plain.

Filipinos take this as a nutritious snack or appetizer. Some others consume bola-bola as a main dish and complete it with tomato sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or curry sauce.

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9. Taho

This sweet soybean curd dessert is the perfect dish to start or end your street food hunting!

Taho means tofu in Filipinos. As a snack, the tofu is doused in Anibal syrup which makes it a sweet dessert. It is sprinkled with plump sago pearls and is served warm. The tofu used is silken tofu, the softest kind of tofu, and it makes the dessert creamy and very soft.

The chewy sago pearls are made of tapioca and go really well with sweet carnival syrup and mild vanilla flavors. Taho is usually offered in the early morning by the street vendors as an alternative to breakfast.

10. Isaw


Another popular street food in the Philippines is Isaw! This grilled satay dish is made from chicken or pig entrails slathered in a mix of spice and sweet soy sauce. Now, this food may not be a commonly consumed dish, but for many Asian people, chicken or pig entrails are appetizing after they’re cooked!

For vegans, worry not. If you are curious to try this dish, there is a vegetarian-friendly version of Isaw using mushrooms. So, make sure to find this dish when visiting the Philippines and give it a try!

Read More: Cebu and Its Many Hidden Gems in the Tourism Industry

Are you ready to explore the foods and snacks in the Philippines? Book your flight to the country at and be ready to stroll around the food stalls in the Philippines.


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