What’s great about Filipino culture is the abundance of street food. In Cebu City, you can spot street vendors near the churches, schools, recreational parks, and jeepney and bus terminals. It’s the way of life of most people, an easy business and a source of income. A majority of Filipinos prefer street food because it’s affordable, easily accessible and absolutely delicious. Here are some of my favorites.
BBQ is one of the most common street foods of Cebu City that you’ll find on every corner of the city. Vendors grill marinated chicken or pork over an open fire or coals. They often serve these with wrapped rice known as “puso” and ice-cold soda. Chicken dishes may include feet, liver, intestines, and gizzards. The smell of smoke barbecue will make your stomach grumble, even if you have already eaten. A full meal may cost 80 pesos per person.
Dimsum, particularly siomai, has made its way into Cebu City streets and has become one of the most accessible and most affordable foods you can find almost anywhere and anytime. Siomai consists of ground pork, beef, or shrimp wrapped in wonton wrappers, steamed or fried. You can eat this as a snack on your way home from the office, or as a full meal if accompanied by rice. Eat it with calamansi, soy sauce and chili-garlic oil. & Tempura
You will find fish/squid balls and tempura mobile carts near churches and schools in Cebu. Sellers fry these treats over low heat and stir continuously until golden brown. Fish balls and tempura originated from our northern Asian neighbors China and Japan. You’ll surely enjoy these tasty and affordable street foods in hot or curry sauces.
At night, balot vendors roam around the streets of Cebu shouting Baluuut! This famous and exotic midnight snack looks like an ordinary white egg, but the moment you open the shell you will see veins, skin and an underdeveloped duck embryo. Dip it in salt or chili, garlic, and vinegar.
Street vendors throughout Cebu City sell all boiled, raw, skinless, and spicy peanuts. It’s healthy and packed with proteins and vitamins. Peanuts also lower the risk of heart disease and weight gain. A small pack may cost 5 pesos while the bigger pack costs 10 pesos.
Locals snack on skewered plantains/bananas sold anywhere on the streets of Cebu. The treat is made of deep-fried bananas coated in caramelized brown sugar. According to research by The New England Journal of Medicine, bananas contain lots of vitamins and minerals and can also boost your brain power. It is good for the heart and helps fight fatigue and anemia as well. Affordable and nutritious this is highly recommended for all.
The crispy chicharon is always available on the public streets and bus stations all over Cebu. Chicharon street foods are made up from pork rind, chicken skin, chicken/pork intestines and pork omentum. My advice is not to eat too much of this so-called addictive food for some people, as it can raise the bad cholesterol levels in the blood increasing the chance of high blood pressure and stroke. Chicharon originated in Spain and was introduced in our country by the Spaniards.
Silken tofu or taho is my favorite street food made up of fresh soft/silken tofu, brown sugar syrup, and pearl sago. Vendors roam around the streets of Cebu in the early morning and shout “taho” for everyone to hear. Its main ingredient is soybeans, which are a good source of quality protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. According to a study by the University of California Agriculture, eating soybeans may help protect against heart disease, heart failure, and stroke. For sure, you’ll enjoy this healthy snack.
Have you tried any of these Cebu City street foods? Share your experience in the comments below.