Manila’s diverse culinary scene is an ever-evolving entity. The flavours become more defined, and yet, there’s still so much to explore in the city. This constant change is why Manila food tours are always exciting and bear repeating a few months or so. Prepare those taste buds for some of the best dishes served by this lovely city!
Manila food tours to experience the city’s palate
1. The Big Binondo Food Walk
Old Manila Walks is an icon in teaching the history of Manila. The Big Binondo Food Walk is an exemplary tour that introduces the world’s oldest Chinatown while remaining fun throughout. Beginning inside Binondo Church, the tour sets off to Ongpin Street, possibly the busiest stretch of shops and stalls in the entire district.
Various Eastern trinkets and medicine are available for purchase along Ongpin, but The Big Binondo Food Walk is all about the food! The entire stretch is a treasure trove of authentic Cantonese culinary gems. Some of the restaurants on this street have also been around for decades, so there are sure to be fascinating stories that abound.
The colourful Carvajal Street is also a stop in The Big Binondo Food Walk. This street is famous for its healthy snacks in the form of fresh and juicy fruits!
2. Bukas Quiapo
Quiapo is home to many interesting foods, all coming from a convergence of different cultures. From traditional afternoon snacks like palabok and lumpiang sariwa to the grand and delectable Christmas ham, the busy district of Quiapo never runs out of food for its hungry denizens. Foodies who also want to explore authentic Maranao cuisine can also sample their food in Quiapo.
While Bukas Quiapo is more than eager to share Quiapo’s history with its guests, the history lesson can be very tasty. The tour will pass through stores serving Quiapo’s most famous foods, such as Excelente Ham and Vienna Bakery. Exploring Quiapo for the food is one of the most enriching Manila food tours to go through, especially for the taste buds!
As of writing, Bukas Quiapo has yet to resume its normal tour operations. But all is not lost! Their partnership with Culture Shock’s Quiapo Heritage Tour includes most of Bukas Quiapo’s stories and food stops. Until Bukas Quiapo, well, opens, tour with Culture Shock for a taste of Quiapo for the time being.
3. Ultimate Manila Food + Market Tour
Manila’s markets are naturally surrounded by many food stalls, some of which truly exhibits how innovative the city’s palate is. Ultimate Manila Food + Market Tour sees both Quiapo and Binondo’s creative food scene by focusing primarily on its busy wet and dry markets. Make sure to embark on this tour hungry!
4. Colors of Manila
As mentioned earlier, Quiapo has a strong Maranao community embedded in its district despite its proximity to the Roman Catholic bulwark that is Quiapo Church. It is a testament that Filipinos can see past their differences to create a thriving community. While the intersectionality has many benefits, Manila foodies are forever glad to experience the taste of Maranao cuisine without booking a plane ticket to the South!
Colors of Manila food walk brings these lovely dishes from the South into the light for its guests in the country’s capital. Apart from halal dishes, the food walk features a meal from every Pinoy’s favourite fast food chain, Jollibee. The tour highlights the combination of commerce, culture, and history, making for an incredibly insightful journey.
5. The Big Marikina Heritage and Art Food Tour
Marikina City continues to grow as an emerging culinary hub in Manila. The Big Marikina Heritage and Art Food Tour is a rather new venture in an attempt to showcase the history of the city. The tour features expressive artworks from Marikina’s incredibly talented pool of local artists. But most important — for foodies, at least — is the tour’s exploration of Old Marikina cuisine. Marikeños tend to satisfy their sweet tooth, even in their savoury dishes, which is why it became the birthplace of the sweeter counterpart of menudo in the form of their local delicacy, waknatoy.
6. Re/Discover Poblacion
As a growing nightlife district in Makati, Poblacion sees droves of people every night. From hip bars to diverse restaurants, Poblacion continues to grow as a hub of exciting counterculture movements. This dynamic convergence and clash of cultures promise the rise of Poblacion.
Naturally, the cuisine to discover in this nightlife district makes it an excellent location for Manila food tours. Aside from the food, Poblacion also has a rich history in the inception of Makati. Re/Discover Poblacion aims to do exactly what it says: Introducing the nightlife district as a cultural hub with a trove of surprises in store.
7. Manila Food Tour: Introduction to Philippine Street Food
Manila Food Tour: Introduction to Philippine Street Food can be an immersive introduction to the life of an average Manilenyo. But make no mistake: These skewers will get the average labourer through their busy days at the cost of a few coins and maybe a bill or two. Did we mention that they’re delicious?
Expect the colourful kwek-kwek and the shapely isaw to make an appearance among the many streetfood. For something truly special, brace the stomach for the tender taste of balut. No spoilers! Balut is excellently paired with a bottle of nice cool Pale Pilsen beer, which is also included in the tour.
The thought of going through Manila food tours can be mouth-watering. Imagine heaps of diverse culinary treasures from all walks of life and cultures just a few feet apart from each other! So, gather a few friends and feed on the flavours of Manila for an enriching food journey.
Featured image credit: Texugo | Wikimedia Commons