Visiting the Philippines: the Best Filipino Dishes

by Emmanuel Domingo

The Philippines is filled with unique and lovely riches: one of the best should be the food! Filipino dishes are delicious as can be — salty, savory, sweet, sour—name them all. Filipino food can give your taste buds the tingle you’ll keep chasing throughout your life. Explore Filipino foods in your own home town and on your travels. And if you decide to travel to the Philippines, be sure to complete your adventure by trying out every one of these best Filipino dishes you can find.

Chicken Adobo

This Filipino original will give life to the table with its sour and savory taste that makes chicken a very delicious meal. It comes from the very roots of the country’s culture, when Filipinos used to preserve their food with vinegar. This was just a way to lengthen the storage life of meat and fish.

chicken adobo best Filipino dishes

Chicken adobo (Photo courtesy Emmanuel Domingo,


This oxtail stew in peanut sauce or peanut butter just gives a different view of Filipino dishes – this time, the sweet side.

It’s prepared with a lot of green veggies, such as eggplants, string beans and cabbage. It’s eaten with cooked fermented krill or bagoong as they call it in native tongue.

karekare best Filipino dishes

Kare-kare (Photo courtesy


Have you ever eaten a pig’s head? Well, if you plan on eating pig’s head for the first time, reward yourself with sisig. You wouldn’t actually think you’re eating a chopped up head of a pig with all the spices in it.

Onions, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, eggs, peppers, garlic and sometimes liver mixed together will result in an outstanding dish deserving of awe and international praise.

Actually, it has been recognized by a famous chef: Anthony Bourdain. He said, “I think sisig is perfectly positioned to win the hearts and minds of the world as a whole.”

Filipino foods are rising in fame around the world. Several Youtubers have even featured the country’s delicacies in their videos to grab delighted reactions. Households around the world are learning to cook the Filipino way. There are websites, like my own, Eat Like Pinoy, that make recipes of these best Filipino dishes available.

Sigig best Filipino dishes

Sisig (Photo courtesy Emmanuel Domingo,


Lechon has been making noise the way it crunches in the mouth to foreigners visiting the Philippines. It’s prepared in every region of the Philippines during big or small occasions: feasts, birthdays, graduations, weddings, etc.

The pig is stuffed with spices and herbs before it’s taken to its last station. It undergoes several hours of roasting and basting until its skin turns caramel brown and crispy.

Lechon best Filipino dishes

Lechon is truly one of the best Filipino dishes you’ll find in the Philippines (Photo courtesy Emmanuel Domingo,


Tapsilog is the Philippine’s top breakfast choice. Cured beef served with egg and rice. It’s a simple dish that satisfies the stomachs of millions of Filipinos before their day starts. Well, it’s also served for lunch and even for dinner.


Tapsilog (Photo courtesy Emmanuel Domingo,


Balut is a very exotic street food in the Philippines. This dish is a  fertilized duck egg incubated for 14 to 21 days before it’s boiled or steamed. You buy it just like you’d buy a normal chicken egg, it comes intact in its shell. Then, you peel a portion of its top to make a tiny opening enough for you to sip its “soup” that’s aromatic and briny in taste.

This is what you should do before you peel all its shell: put it in a platter with salt and vinegar on the side. Then it’ll be time for you to eat what’s inside: a developing duck embryo.


Balut (Photo courtesy Emmanuel Domingo,


The star of the summer season. Halo-halo is powerful enough to make a large crowd at the corner of a street in the Philippines when the temperatures and humidity rise.

A dessert, halo-halo is made with crushed ice, mixed fruits, purple yam, beans and tapioca balls.


Halo-halo (Photo courtesy Emmanuel Domingo,


When you start hearing Christmas songs and see Christmas lights illuminating the streets of the Philippines at night, it’s most likely that you’ll be able to find rows of bibingka vendors selling their rice cakes to big crowds.

Bibingka is just like the star of rice cakes when December starts in the country. Bibingka is made with galapong or glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar, eggs and baking powder before it’s cooked in a clay pot.

When travelling to the Philippines, mountains, beaches, historical sites and churches are usually what’s in the itinerary. But, you wouldn’t enjoy the beauty of the country without getting deeper into its culture. And how else can you do that? Eat! Taste the beauty of the Philippines.


Bibingka (Photo courtesy Emmanuel Domingo,

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-Photos courtesy Emmanuel Domingo,, as credited. Cover photo by Paolo Capino, courtesy by Pixabay.

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Stella Wilson July 2, 2020 - 9:29 pm

Amazing blog. One of the best I have ever read on the Philippines. Thanks for sharing 🙂

Nancy Zaffaro July 3, 2020 - 9:17 am

So glad you enjoyed Emmanuel’s article, Stella. Thank you.


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