Markets in Manila

I meant to write about markets in Manila ages ago, as this happened my first weekend here, but life got crazy.  Anyway, as some of you may know, my one of my (many) obsessions is food markets all over the world.  I feel that there is no better way to pick up on a country’s culture than by exploring its food in a preferably crazy open-air market setting where you can stroll around, people watch, and eat lots of things.  Pretty much my idea of a perfect daytime or evening activity.  Manila has a few weekend markets in its more trendy areas, Makati and Taguig City, known to locals as The Fort.  The daytime one I went to in Makati was fantastic and kept me entertained for quite a while.

Pretty typical homestyle fare.  It looks like they have literally cooked some dishes at home, put it in some foil pans, and are now selling it.  Love it.

Fresh grilled corn which smelled amazing

Some of the many fascinating tropical fruits.  I can’t name all of them, but the purple ones on the right are MANGOSTEENS (which do not taste at all like mangoes), an insanely cool fruit that I can’t really describe except to say it has a cult following.  I just love how funky and quirky all tropical fruits look.

Yeah, literally did a double take when I walked past this.  It is in fact an entire dead cow.  Sorry, cow – people love to eat you here. 😦

And what would a market be without a fresh fruit smoothie stand?  Mango smoothies are 1-2 dollars here.  Heaven.

Chicken is a big specialty here – sometimes fried, sometimes grilled with special sauces.  I did indeed get some chicken on a stick and felt very carnivorous gnawing away at it (and yes it was delicious).  So out of character for me.

At night, there is a great market in the Fort called the Mercato night markets, which have a wide variety of food that is a little less traditional Filipino and more international.

Meat on sticks is really big here.  I suppose it makes sense since it’s easy to walk around and eat it.

Much to my delight, they do have a lot of traditional baked goods in the Philippines in addition to other types of fascinating desserts.  Yay cake!

Delightful array of paellas…can’t pretend they are as good as what one might eat in Spain, but still, certainly delicious.

The most popular stand at this little market was the Taclings stand – tiny mini taco shells with fillings served in egg cartons.  So creative and adorable.

Any day spent at markets is a good one, and Manila certainly does not disappoint on that front – you just have to know where to find them!

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