Food Lover's Guide to Manila

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For a town that just years ago had little appeal in the way of good eats, metro Manila has taken a positive turn and is well on its way to becoming a dining mecca with plentiful options. Read on for some of the best bites and food experiences in the Philippines.

Must-Try Dishes
In the Philippine capital, grilled meats are a street-food favorite, with marinated fish, chicken, and pork cooked to a variety of specifications. Dishes like sinigang na hipon, a slightly sour shrimp soup, and fried lumpia, a type of spring roll, can be found on restaurant menus throughout the city. Those craving noodles should sample palabok, a simple dish made from noodles and egg. Seafood lovers will appreciate kinilaw, Manila’s answer to ceviche or poke, made with fresh fish, onions, garlic, ginger, spicy chilies, tomato, and coconut vinegar. You also can’t go wrong with arguably the most famous Filipino dish, chicken adobo.

The huge variety of tropical fruits that grow in the archipelago, including mangoes, jackfruit, and coconut, inspire many of Manila’s sweet treat. Buko salad mixes them all together with a sweet cream. In the heat of summer, locals cool off with halo-halo, a pile of shaved ice topped with evaporated milk, diced fruits, sweet red beans, purple yam, and coconut gel.

Must-Do Experiences
  • Sample some of Manila’s best Filipino street food on a walking tour of Bonifacio Global City night market.
  • Learn to transform typical Filipino ingredients into delicious and popular dishes at a hands-on cooking class within a local Manila home.
  • Feast on the flavors of the world’s oldest Chinatown, historic Binondo, during a guided food tour of the neighborhood.
  • Dive into the history and heritage of Filipino cuisine during a hosted dinner in a private home in Quezon City, showcasing lesser-known Filipino dishes.
  • Immerse yourself in the traditions of the Philippines by combining a barrio fiesta feast with a traditional dance performance.
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