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9 Vegan Filipino Street Foods to Eat in the Philippines

Unfortunately, most Filipino street food you’ll see in the Philippines won’t be vegan, nor vegetarian. BUT there are some accidentally-vegan Filipino food and vegan Filipino snacks that are common throughout the Philippines.

Below are 9 vegan Filipino street foods to try in the Philippines.

They are some of the classics and must try vegan and vegetarian pinoy foods in the Philippines. These are perfect vegan Filipino breakfast foods and vegan merienda, or light meals and snacks to have on any day.

📖 Read next: If you’re traveling with non-vegans, or new to veganism and need vegan tips, check out my Vegan Philippines Guide and 7 Vegan Filipino Cookbooks to check out (Yes, they exist!)

Related: Ultimate Travel Guide to the Philippines

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1. Banana Cue

Banana Cue fried Philippines saba bananas glazed in brown sugar and skewered on a BBQ stick. Common vegan Filipino street food

Banana Cue (banana + barbecue) is one of the most popular Filipino street foods. This vegan Filipino snack uses the saba banana variety and is coated in brown sugar, fried in oil, then served on skewers (or sometimes just sliced and plated).

The sweet and caramelized flavor of the brown sugar complements the natural sweetness of the saba bananas. It’s generally fried in separate oil, so you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination.

You can enjoy it as a snack or dessert, and you’ll often see sold on the street, or served at fiestas, parties, and other celebrations.

2. Carioca

Carioca Filipino dessert, fried coconut rice flour balls on a BBQ stick coated in brown sugar syrup

Carioca, or karioka, is my favorite street food dessert from the Philippines (when done well!).

Carioca are deep-fried glutinous sweet rice balls made with glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, sugar and coconut shreds. After being fried, these chewy, soft, and crispy balls are coated in a brown sugar and coconut milk glaze, then skewered on BBQ sticks.

No recipe I’ve seen uses dairy or butter for karioka, so are always generally vegan.

You can find karioka sold on street food stalls and sometimes Filipino restaurants. It’s not as common as the other vegan Filipino foods and snacks listed here though.

Try my carioca recipe.

3. Turon

Turon, a Filipino dessert of bananas and jackfruit fried in a spring roll wrapper, another common vegan Filipino street food

Turon is another common vegan Filipino street food to look for.

Turon is a sweet deep fried spring roll filled with saba bananas, sugar, and sometimes jackfruit. The ones with jackfruit are much better in my opinion!

The wrapper used for turon is usually always vegan. The vegan Filipino snack is popular all throughout the Philippines and in the Filipino diaspora, and is often enjoyed as a snack, dessert, or party food.

4. Taho

Taho, a Filipino dessert of silken tofu in a cup mixed with tapioca pearls and brown sugar syrup

Taho is a dessert snack and is one the most iconic street foods in the Philippines.

It’s made from three ingredients: silken tofu, arnibal sugar syrup, and tapioca pearls. It’s similar to other silken tofu desserts in other Asian cuisines, but a bit sweeter.

You’ll hear a person yelling tahoooooooo usually in the morning in provincial neighborhoods or streets signaling they’re selling taho. This snack is inexpensive and usually costs around 50 US cents. In Baguio, you’ll find strawberry variations.

It’s usually served warm, but you can also put it in the fridge and eat it cold. Classic vegetarian and vegan pinoy food!

Read more about taho.

5. Buko Juice

Glass of buko or coconut juice surrounded by halved coconuts

Buko Juice is a popular beverage in the Philippines and is enjoyed by locals and tourists. Buko means coconut in Tagalog.

You’ll find plenty of buko juice street vendors wherever you go. Buko juice is either served straight from the coconut, shelled and whole, or extracted and mixed with sugar to sweeten it.

There’s also a lot of vendors that sell buko shakes. Just make sure no milk or dairy was added.

6. Suman

Suman, a Filipino snack of glutinous rice steamed in banana leaves

Suman is a Filipino delicacy made from glutinous sweet rice that is cooked in coconut milk, wrapped in banana leaves, and then steamed.

You’ll find this throughout the Philippines with different variations. The suman itself is not sweet. You eat the suman by dipping it in sugar, or top it with coco jam, a sauce made with coconut milk and brown sugar aka the best sauce ever.

You can find coco jam sold in jars in supermarkets. This sauce is also used in a lot of vegan Filipino desserts like carioca and bibingkang nasi, or bibingkang malagkit, though more saucy than in the jars.

7. Camote Cue

Camote cue, a Filipino dessert of sweet potato fried in brown sugar and skewered on a stick

Camote cue is similar to Banana Cue, but made with sweet potatoes, or “camote” in the Philippines.

It’s made with the white yam, not the orange sweet potato variety. This vegan Filipino food is coated in brown sugar and then fried in oil and skewered on BBQ sticks.

It’s not as sweet as banana cue, but just perfectly sweet and has a slight crunchy glazed coating It’s usually an afternoon vegan Filipino snack (”merienda”) in the Philippines.

8. Adobong Mani

Adobong Mani, a Filipino snack of peanuts cooked in oil and garlic

Mani, or peanuts, is one of the only few savory vegan Filipino street foods you’ll find in the Philippines.

Adobong Mani is made from peanuts that are fried with garlic and topped with salt. Some vendors might add other ingredients like chili flakes or sugar, or fry the peanuts with soy sauce or vinegar.

It’s the perfect savory vegan pinoy snack. You can also buy packaged adobong mani in most supermarkets, along with other accidentally-vegan Filipino snacks.

9. Fresh Fruits

Marang, a fruit from southern Philippines. Green on the outside, inside is soft pillow-looking white pods

And when in doubt, you can also try fresh fruit being sold by street vendors.

The vendors on the streets are likely to sell pre-cut or whole fruits, such as mangoes, pineapples, and bananas. Philippines is generally hot all year long, so finding fresh fruit wherever you travel to is so nice.

Most of Philippines speciality fruits like durian, marang, pomelos, rambutan, mangosteen, and jackfruit are grown in southern Philippines. If you’re a fruit foodie, I highly recommend visiting Davao around August or September, where many of these fruits are in season.

Next Time You Visit Philippines

Beyond vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the Philippines, I highly recommend looking for these accidentally vegan-street foods mentioned above. You don’t have to miss out as a vegan in the Philippines, and these vegan Filipino foods are common throughout the Philippines, so you can look out for them wherever you go.

Plus, each region and culture in the Philippines have specialized desserts that are usually made with coconut milk.

If you don’t know basic Tagalog phrases, read the vegan phrases in Tagalog post next.

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