From taho to pandesal, lechon, and longganisa, take your tastebuds on a culinary trip with our pick of local food shops you need to try.
When it comes to Filipinos, if there’s one thing that’s certain, is that food will always be on the table. Whenever we have guests over, offering food is one of the first things we do. We love it and it’s part of our culture to celebrate special occasions with food. It’s no surprise then that when it comes to Filipino food, there are so many options out there that cater to a wide variety of tastes. Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, merienda, or dinner, there is always a local delicacy to satisfy any craving. As we celebrate Filipino culture and identity through food, here are our picks of local food shops you need to try.
When it comes to locally made chocolate, you can’t go wrong with Auro Chocolate. This award-winning local chocolate is known for its rich taste and creamy texture. Every chocolate bar is made from cacao beans planted by Filipino farmers and sustainably processed and produced. Aside from chocolate bars, they also sell ice cream bars, gelato, and chocolate for baking. Not only are these chocolates are high-quality, but they are also proudly local.
Bake With Cassie
Ensaymada and pandesal are classic Filipino baked bread. But you know what’s better than ensaymada and pandesal? Ube ensaymada and pandesal and are what Bake With Cassie sells as their specialty. They also offer cheese ensaymada while the ube pandesal can be filled with cheese or chocolate. Not only do they look good, but they also taste good, too. They’re perfect for breakfast or for afternoon merienda.
When you think of classic Filipino comfort food, bibingka is near the top of the list. There’s nothing better than biting into a warm bibingka that is both soft yet chewy. If you want to know what great bibingka tastes like, order a box from Bibingka Manila. They come in a variety of flavors from salted egg and cheese, ube and cheese, and four cheese. They make for a great snack or a gift for someone special.
Dad’s Belly Roast
The owners of Dad’s Belly Roast, a husband and wife, used to be wedding videographers. When the pandemic hit, they transitioned to doing a food business and that is when they started this Dad’s Belly Roast. The roasted pork belly looks as good as it tastes. They buy the pork belly straight from the market, and it is then marinated for 12 hours before being tied around a bouquet of lemongrass. This Pasig-based shop’s pork belly has juicy meat and crunchy skin. DM them on Instagram or Facebook to reserve.
Taho is a street food favorite. But since we can’t go out as much as we used to these days, it’s not easy to go on the street and buy from a street vendor selling taho. Because of this, why not bring the taho home? True to their name, Giant Taho does sell taho by the tub, which is a 2.5L tub of taho with 350ml of classic syrup and 250g of small sago. Of course, if you don’t want that much taho, they also sell it by the cup for only 50 pesos and comes in multiple flavors like Ube and Pandan. They also sell soya milk with tapioca which is reminiscent of a milk tea with pearl.
Indulge by DaisyMarie
When people think breakfast, what usually comes into mind is toasted bread with butter or cereal. But in the Philippines, breakfast can include the chocolate rice porridge dish called champorado. If you want to relive your memories of eating champorado as a kid, we recommend you try the champorado from Indulge by DaisyMarie. This shop sells two different kinds of champorado; a triple chocolate champorado and a dark Adlai champorado. The champorado is sold in 1L tubs and they also sell add ons like fried dilis and tuyo flakes to make it even better.
Milk tea may not be considered Filipino food, but Filipinos love drinking it. Kahatea mixes both milk tea as well as local flavors and ingredients. They are the country’s first Filipino-themed milk tea shop, and their menu is filled with drinks themed around local ingredients and flavors. Some of the flavors you can find on their menu include iskrambol, halo-halo, Leche flan, and halyang ube. Prepare to take a trip around the country with their assortment of drinks and flavors.
Manila Creamery specializes in making gelato infused, made, and based on local ingredients and flavors. You can get flavors like Tablea Lava Cake, Chocnut Crumble, Buko Pandan Cake, Mangga’t Suman, Ube, and many more. They also offer dairy-free options. We also recommend that you try their parfaits such as their Mango Float Parfait which is made with mango gelato, pandan whipped cream, and crushed Grahams, or their Sapin-Sapin Parfait made with ube, langka, and coconut suman gelato.
Minatamis started out as a ginataan stall in 2019. When the pandemic happened, they switched to making and selling kakanin. If you want to get your fill of classic Filipino desserts and kakanin, this is the place to get it. On their menu, they sell staples like Biko, sapin-sapin, kutsinta, and buko pandan salad. Aside from selling classics, Minatamis also strives to sell kakanin based on regional ingredients and flavors such as paralosdos, which is a ginataan from Bulacan.
Ube is such a versatile ingredient. You can put it in a variety of dishes, and it can level it up to new heights. Molita Bakery decided to mix a cheese role with ube and the results are amazing. They are known for their cookies, but their ube cheese rolls remain to be one of their best sellers and customer favorite. The ube cheese rolls were actually the first things Molita Bakery started selling. They are made with ube dough filled with real ube halaya. They are then topped with a homemade mild cheddar cheese sauce and grated cheese. You can also request to change it to cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
Filipinos love to share food. It’s in our nature to come together and eat. But the pandemic has made that hard to achieve and food parties happen a dime a dozen these days. That doesn’t mean though can’t order party meals for your family or friends. Papa Pancitan comes from the people behind Manam and they specialize in selling pancit and ulam in bilao sizes. Their smallest size feeds around 3-5 people and you can get Filipino staples like pancit canton, pancit bihon, pancit sisig, pancit sisig, lumpiang gulay, and crispy pata.
So far, the shops featured on this list sell already cooked/baked food. But if you want to buy quality local meat to cook, Que Rica has got you covered. This Bicol-based business sells an assortment of frozen meats from different kinds of longganisa, to chicken tocino, Bicol express, and more. The products from Que Rica are not only good but buying from them will also support the local communities that they work with.
Ricky D’s Chorizo de Cebu
Ricky D’s was started by Ricky Dela Cruz after he lived in Cebu City for a few years. He had a liking to the local meats like Cebu Lechon and Chorizo de Cebu, so he decided to sell those back in Manila. These days, you can buy a variety of meats from this shop such as longganisa from different provinces and chorizo de Cebu (both in spicy and original). If you do decide to buy from them, get extra garlic rice for an even more delicious meal.
Siram: Fine Local Taste
In Siram: Fine Local Taste, they sell their take on a variety of Filipino and Bicolano dishes. They have ginataan dishes like Bicol express, sinantolan, and laing. They also sell meat products like Vigan longganisa, chicken tosino, and ready to fry lechon kawali. This family-run business also sells desserts and kakanin like bibingka, suman, and coco jam.
Timpla Artisanal Mixes
Of course, you can’t have a meal without a special dipping sauce and Timpla Artisinal Mixes has what you need. They sell an artisanal gourmet vinegar that is made with a mix of citrus, spice, and sweetness. The sauce comes in three varieties: mild, spicy, and hot. Their sauce is perfect for a variety of dishes from chicharron to grilled chicken, lumpia, and shrimp.
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