Mang Raul's BBQ Haus
South Manila’s best choice for an isaw face-off comes with four signature dips, where the tamis-anghang (sweet and spicy) flavour has won many a customer’s taste buds. This shop has been around since the ’70s, starting as a humble barbecue stall in a village in Las Piñas. With the neighbourhood’s recent makeover, now known as ‘Happy Place’, the BBQ Haus has swapped its former street ambiance for a more refined setting. However, feel free to dine in the surrounding stalls, as they sell rice to the shop’s loyal customers.
If you are a little bit more concerned about your surroundings when you eat but still want to have that taste of good isaw and barbecue, then Lola Ote is just right for you. More expensive compared to the first two but this place offers you a table and chair setting where you can enjoy their well-seasoned and tender 18” barbecue for just about PHP 135. Groups of people can also eat a set meal of barbecue, isaw, and liempo for a value of PHP 300.
Just a little way up North, Urban Street in Marikina offers you a variety of street food that is not limited to just kwek-kwek (hard-boiled eggs with orange batter) and isaw, but also those from other Asian countries such as Singapore and Japan. Your money of around PHP 150–250 will definitely take you on a great adventure of flavors and dining experience. Just a drive away and you’re able to taste the different flavors of Asia.
Skinita Street Foodz
The name of this Kapitolyo restaurant hints at its goal, to pull off that genuine eskinita (street corner) feel, all the while serving upscale quality street food. Hence, graffiti art is nearly everywhere – on the walls and mirrors, to the chairs and tables. The lure of cheap beer and their authentic take on the comfort foods many Filipinos grew up eating on the streets.
Public markets are great places to try Filipino street food, and this bustling ‘old downtown’ district of Manila has choices in abundance. From popular tusok-tusok (skewered delicacies, including fried and grilled isaw, aka pork/chicken intestine), to mami (noodle soup), fresh lumpia (spring roll) and the infamous balut, this place gives customers a fantastic overview of what Philippine cuisine has to offer. As a sort of free market, there are many things going on all at once here. Be ready to brave the crowds to taste the real culture of Manila.
Chef Arch's Lime Street Food na Pinasosyal
Street-style barbecue platters served with a side of orchids? This may sound unconventional, but it works. This creative food presentation extends to their unique dishes, such as balut in red wine sauce and creamy garlic tuyo pasta (dried fish pasta). Remember to try the crispy dinuguan (pork blood stew) or the embutido stuffed crispy pata which can be downed with a bottle or two of cold beer. This is a resto bar after all, with a laid-back ambiance and fusion food that’s both familiar and new.