Is it your first time in Iloilo City? Or maybe you’re one of the few people who’s never actually given street food in Iloilo City the full credit it deserves. Or maybe you’re just reading this list to know whether your favorites made the list.
Whatever the case, you’re here reading this to fulfill any of the three motives.
Iloilo City is famous for a lot of things — the nightlife, the restaurants, the natural wonders and tourist spots, shopping malls, the rich history of various Spanish-era churches. But as far as underrated things go, street food in Iloilo City definitely belongs in that list.
Picture yourself during an impromptu night out on the town. Where would you and your friends go to have budget-friendly “no reservations” dining?
Here’s your answer: street food in Iloilo City.
#1 Indian Mango
Summertime in the Philippines (most especially in Guimaras and Iloilo) means a large production of Indian mangoes. Commercially, it’s not popular. But take a trip down any street in Iloilo City, and you’ll find vendors selling these Indian mangoes on the street.
Stop by and buy these and season them as you wish. They’re usually coupled with ginamos (fish paste), toyo (soy sauce) or patis (fish sauce), asin (salt), or langgaw (vinegar).
#2 Banana cue / Camote Cue
Another popular childhood favorite dessert for a lot of Ilonggos — and Pinoys in general. You can find banana and camote cue anywhere in the Philippines.
“Saba” bananas and the camotes are the key elements of the dish. These are fried and skewered on sharp banana sticks and covered in caramelized brown sugar.
It’s one of the best mid-afternoon snacks to have out there. It’s hard to resist because it’s both nutritious and delicious.
And while we’re on the subject of dessert, let’s move on to the other Filipino dessert that has people talking — especially in the month of December.
Bibingka is Filipino kakanin — synonymous with the celebration of Christmas and cold early mornings, drinking hot cocoa and eating this specific dessert. But why tuck away the bibingka for the holiday seasons only when you can have it everyday?
Made from the best ingredients, bibingka has a silky texture and indulgent sweetness, making it one of the most sought-after desserts in the Philippines.
There are various stalls in Iloilo City, selling prized bibingka. You’ll find a lot of them behind churches or close to them in the perimeter of the Plaza.
Lumpia is yet another popular street food in Iloilo City despite its origins as a spring roll from China. Made of thin crepe pastry skin known as the “lumpia wrapper,” it’s filled with a variety of fillings.
Depending on who’s making it, this can have cheese, chopped vegetables, minced meat, etc. You can get these at outrageously low prices in any plaza, cooked to perfection and filled with various fillings.
And while we’re on the subject of lumpia and the goodness that it offers, it’s time to look at the more extreme variety. Primarily geared for spicy lovers, Dynamite lumpia is an appetizer of green chili peppers wrapped with lumpia and spring roll wrapper.
In some stalls, they serve it with sauce and the mentioned dish above. Sometimes, the green chili peppers are made with cheese and meat — usually ground beef or ground pork.
Ah, the joys of eating fishballs, squidballs, kikiam, chopped hotdog on sticks, kwek-kwek, tokneneng, and a whole lot more.
A favorite among students and the working class alike, it’s easy to stop by a stall, get your favorite tusok-tusok cooked fresh and eat them on your way home. They come with sauces and dips too. One of the best snacks to have when you’re on-the-go and don’t want to stop and sit down for a quick meal.
For all you meat lovers out there, there’s a place you can get your fill of meaty goodness…
And what’s even more bizarre is this collection of barbecuing stalls are right outside a government hospital and close to popular schools in Iloilo City. Hungry students and workers at the hospital frequent this place a lot. No surprise there
If you’re feeling up for grilled entrails, cooked blood, and skewered meat on sticks, you should totally head on over to Don Benito in La Paz, Iloilo City. Plus, nothing says street food in Iloilo City experience like eating grilled meat on a stick with rice from a cellophane bag.
Which street food in Iloilo City would you like to eat now?
Are you hungry from all the food talk yet?
Well, at the very least we hope this list of must-try street food in Iloilo City is enough to make you think twice about trying these goodies for yourself. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the sweet variety we listed.