chicken adobo

Top Five Most Popular Dishes You Should Try in Manila


Manila, the Philippines’ proud and glaring capital, is one of the most populous cities in the world. It sits on the Eastern Shores of Manila Bay, accentuated by houses with various architectural designs. As one of the fastest-growing cities globally, Manila upholds a rich culture visible in its festivals, holidays, sports, arts, and food. The meals in Manila are outstanding, and most of them represent a blend of every adopted culture within its walls. With a high yearly influx of tourists, you may guess which of these dishes are mostly eaten, even among the foreigners. Let’s see some of the prominent meals you should try on your next visit to Manila.

Top Five Most Popular Foods in Manila

  1. Lechon

If you know something about the Filipinos, you would believe they eat roasted pigs all year! Lechon is coiled from the name Leche, which means milk. It is made from a piglet that had been fed with milk only. The entire suckling piglet is roasted for some hours over hot charcoal. It is a perfect meal for special holidays and festivals in the Philippines.


  1. Sinigang

If you’ve once stayed with a Filipino family, you would have tasted this sour and spicy soup or stew called Sinigang! It is typically made of meat, fish sauce, onions, tomatoes, tamarind, and siling mahaba. You can also use other ingredients such as vegetables, water, spinach, eggplant, and okra for it. However, the common meat used for it is pork, chicken, or beef. You will get this easily in most Filipino restaurants. Otherwise, you can try out any good Japanese food delivery in Manila.


  1. Tapsilog

Now here is a popular Filipino breakfast you may not be able to avoid. Tapsilog is a combination of fried eggs, fried rice, and tapa. Tapa is a slice of dried meat or fish cured with preservatives like salt and seasoned with lots of soy sauce, black pepper, brown sugar, and calamansi juice. It can then be cooked, fried, or grilled to be used in the big meal – tapsilog. Meanwhile, the crowd rice is made with curry and garlic to give it a strong taste.


  1. Balut

This is one of the most popular foods in the Philippines. It is a developing embryo of a duck or chicken that is boiled and eaten from the shell. The eggs are incubated in the sand or basket for about two to three weeks. As interesting as it seems, this meal supplies the body with a high dose of protein, calories, iron, and calcium. You can also take it as a snack.

  1. Chicken Adobo

Unarguably the most popular food in the Philippines, Adobo derived its name from Adobar, a Spanish word for marinating. Chicken Adobo has its main course, chicken, marinated in garlic, vinegar, bay leaf, soy sauce, and black peppercorns. Different people have unique methods for preparing it. In the Philippines, a defining way of cooking this is using a clay pot. This delicacy is served with white rice. The salty and sour taste is one of its uniqueness that will keep you asking for more.

chicken adobo


Asides from its high level of urbanization, Manila has lots of fascinating meals that will keep you glued to it. Thus, we have compiled a list of five most popularly eaten foods in Manila, including their ingredients, and with the Chicken Adobo being the most popular food.