I probably say this on every blog I write about the Philippines, but just to get it out of the way: yes, I know the Philippines is hardly famous for fine dining, BUT I think the street food scene in the Philippines is frankly ace, and hell I’m the street food guy, so why argue?
Every year we do an extreme Philippines tour which takes us to the Cutud Lenten Rites festival (where people get nailed to a cross) before exploring Baguio, Sagada, Currimao, and La Union. Of these I’d have Sagada of the way-out-there mountain province as my standout favorite.
Why do I like Sagada so much? There’s a few reasons, but it’s mainly that being on top of the mountains, and the cool breezes it brings (it actually gets cold here), gives it a different and refreshing vibe to the rest of the Philippines.
And what should you do when you travel to Sagada? The main thing is to see the hanging coffins, as well as hike if you feel so inclined (I do not). If you’re not planning to go all the way out to Banaue, then the rice terraces here are still pretty impressive.
And as for the street food scene? Well firstly, there’s not a whole street food scene really, as because of the high number of tourists that visit, there’s a decent restaurant scene. My favourite is probably Yogurt House, which despite the name has far more than merely yogurt on the menu. Who doesn’t like an 8 dollar steak?
All of the main restaurants are on the main street in Sagada, I won’t give you the address, as there literally is one street.
Street-food- and local-wine-wise there’s cool little market between the hanging coffins entrance and the main street that sells Sagada Wine. It’s not French wine, and is not very strong, but with blueberry, rice and even coffee variations there’s a bad wine to fit every palate.
The market also offers a sampling of the unluckiest animal in the Philippines: the duck. Not content with eating the fertilized embryo of the duck before it hatches, they also kill the “lucky” survivors one day after birth and BBQ them. You eat the one-day-old duck whole, head and everything. And that was my experience of Sagada Street Food!
The Street Food Guy says: visit Sagada and eat one-day-old duck.