Quezon City, often hailed as the “Culinary Capital of the Philippines,” is a bustling metropolis that offers a diverse array of dining experiences. Amidst the city’s vibrant culinary scene, it’s the street food culture that truly captures the essence of Filipino flavors and culinary creativity. From savory skewers to sweet treats, Quezon City’s street food vendors serve up a delectable array of dishes that cater to both locals and adventurous food enthusiasts. Here are some of the must-try street food delights that define the unique gastronomic experience in Quezon City:
1. Isaw (Grilled Chicken or Pork Intestines)
A quintessential Filipino street food, isaw consists of marinated and skewered chicken or pork intestines that are grilled to perfection. Seasoned with a blend of spices, isaw is known for its smoky flavor and satisfying chewiness. It’s often served with a tangy vinegar-based dipping sauce and makes for a popular snack or appetizer.
2. Fish Balls and Squid Balls
Fish balls and squid balls are beloved Filipino street food staples. These deep-fried spheres of goodness are made from a mixture of fish or squid paste, flour, and various seasonings. They are typically served with a choice of sweet, spicy, or vinegar-based dipping sauces, providing a delightful burst of flavor in every bite.
3. Betamax (Grilled Chicken or Pork Blood)
Named after its resemblance to the popular 80s video cassette tapes, betamax is a unique street food made from skewered and grilled cubes of coagulated chicken or pork blood. Marinated in a special sauce and then grilled, betamax offers a rich, earthy flavor that is a favorite among adventurous eaters.
4. Kwek-kwek (Quail Eggs)
Kwek-kwek is a playful and colorful street food made by coating hard-boiled quail eggs with orange batter and deep-frying them to a crispy perfection. They are typically served with a vinegar-based dipping sauce or a sweet and spicy sauce, offering a delightful contrast of flavors and textures.
A beloved Filipino breakfast treat, taho is a sweet and warm snack made from silken tofu, sweet syrup (arnibal), and sago pearls (tapioca pearls). It’s often served by vendors carrying large containers on their shoulders, calling out “Taho!” to alert passersby of their delicious offerings.
6. Banana Cue and Camote Cue
Banana cue and camote cue are popular sweet street foods in Quezon City. They consist of deep-fried caramelized banana or sweet potato chunks, skewered on sticks. The crispy, caramelized coating adds a delightful crunch to the natural sweetness of the fruit.
7. Adidas (Grilled Chicken Feet)
Adidas, named after the popular sportswear brand due to its shape, is a flavorful street food made from marinated and grilled chicken feet. The combination of tender meat and crispy skin, infused with the smoky flavor from the grill, creates a unique and delicious treat.
Kikiam is a Chinese-inspired Filipino street food made from a mixture of ground pork, shrimp, and various seasonings, wrapped in bean curd sheets, steamed, and then deep-fried. Sliced into bite-sized pieces, kikiam is typically served with a sweet and spicy sauce, providing a satisfying and flavorful experience.
9. Adobong Mani (Garlic Peanuts)
Adobong mani is a simple yet addictively delicious street snack. Peanuts are sautéed in garlic, soy sauce, and other seasonings until they turn golden and crispy. The result is a savory, aromatic treat that’s perfect for munching.
Exploring the street food delights of Quezon City is a culinary adventure that offers a taste of the rich and diverse flavors of Filipino cuisine. Whether you’re a local looking for a quick bite or a visitor eager to experience authentic street fare, Quezon City’s vibrant street food scene invites you to indulge in a world of delicious discoveries.