Cebu City is the Queen City of the South. It is where I was born. There are a lot of interesting things you can find on every corner, from native food to cultural events. One day, I traveled around the city to know the different kinds of street food that I can find here. Then, I came to realize that even I am new to these wonderful and interesting delicacies that sprawling around the beautiful and lively city.
Cebu’s famous street food that you should try
As I went to Colon (the oldest street in Cebu), I became subservient to anything new (well, most of them are new to me). “Who inspired you, Aira?” I asked myself. As I walked along the mini plaza of Sto. Niño, I passed by this group of foreign friends. It motivated me as I can be the catalyst of the vivaciousness our foreign friends can be if I can share these wonderful things to them who sauntered around and continue to bedazzle to our city.
Interesting, delicious, and intriguing, there are the different street food that you can find as you go ahead and start nibbling every piece of that your hands can grab, and your mouth can chew.
Banana cue or Pinaypay
It is a fried banana coated with sugar. You can find this food in every school as this is our student’s favorite snack. For ₱10, you can have one stick that consists of two (2) bananas or two (2) pinaypay (sliced bananas and turned into fans; shown on photo).
Buko, gulaman and calamansi juice
Soft drinks are great but, it is no healthier than fruit juices in my opinion. Most students prefer to buy worth ₱5 of fruit juice nowadays rather than buying soft drinks which cost ₱8 the least or fruit shakes at the stalls which will cost ₱35. You can find local fruit juices anywhere near school campuses.
It is Carcaranon’s famous delicacy. You can find it at the supermarket or you have to go to Carcar to buy the best and authentic bibingka. Luckily, you do not have to travel that far as it is available here at Mabini Street, Cebu City, near the famous Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. Manong tindero just needs to bring the ready-to-cook ingredients, make them, and steam them through his customized steamer.
You can buy four (4) bibingkas for only ₱20.
Kwek-Kwek is a hard-boiled quail egg coated in a batter, then deep-fried. This is very famous street food that can be found mostly at school campuses, public market or near offices. You can buy three (3) Kwek-Kwek for ₱10. It is served in paper cups and drizzled with hot and spicy or sweet and sour sauce.
You can also get one at the entrance of the busy Cebu IT Park in Lahug, every afternoon.
Puto maya and Sikwati
Here in Cebu, Puto Maya (sticky rice cake or bun) is best partnered with Sikwate, which is also well known as Hot Chocolate. It is much tastier if you will pair it with ripe mango. The taste is tangy, and at the same time, sweet on the taste buds.
You can buy this at the public market or near Sto. Niño Basilica.
Peanuts can be bought at any supermarket or can be most accessible buying at the sidewalk. You can also find the roasted peanuts and sweetened peanuts, too, another version of the top-notch street nibbles. However, there is only one type of how peanuts were prepared. What I love the most are the steamed peanuts. No added ingredients just a pure peanut that has been steamed. You can buy them for only ₱20.
There’s a lot of unique food that Cebu City can offer. They are common, yet unique, here in the city. You can also easily spot them almost anywhere however, there are delicacies that were made carefully and turned commercialized. Most of them are displayed in bundles (or inside a box) and we call it Pasalubong delicacies and these are commonly bought by tourists from neighboring regions, and overseas. One of the delicacies that I find very amazing is the Tagaktak.
It is like dried ‘noodles’ and it is sweetened. You can buy a piece for ₱25. You can find these near the Sto. Niño Basilica. The Tagaktak makers are no other than our very own, the Carcaranons, in Carcar, Cebu.
Tempura is a famous deep-fried and battered seafood originated in Japan, which was introduced by Portuguese Jesuit missionaries. Very common street food or snack food for students and workers, this was served on a stick. But that’s how I remember it eating. However, as I wander around Mabini Street after I bought the bibingka, I saw this small cart serving food in a cup. It captured my attention and somewhat urged me to try for a bite. I was surprised that they now served Tempura in a cup.
It is also covered in a sweet and sour sauce with pipino (cucumber) and guso (seaweed).
I remember one of the folks’ old saying from home about the different ways of eating. And the most agreeable and most enjoyable way there is: eating your food with your bare hands. Have you tried it? You should.
Well, the concept will be applied if you buy and eat Ginabot, or chicharon bulaklak is deep-fried pork innards. You are expected to eat with your bare hands or else, why to bother to venture to try to dine at a pungko-pungko, the very place where you can get this sumptuous street food. You can buy ginabot for ₱10 and you can easily find it near Abellana Sports Complex or at the Redemptorist Church.
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What about you? What’s your most favorite street food in Cebu? Care to share your experience with us and leave your comments in the comment box section below.