Intro to Philippine Cheap Eats

Filipinos love their food and a great thing about Manila is that almost everything is a Cheap Eat!  Meals typically range from PhP25 (US$0.68) in small canteens and foodcourts, to PhP500 (US$11.57) in upscale establishments.  While this is generally cheap compared to most Western cities, it is worth noting that food prices are increased noticably during recent years.  

Take your pesos when you go out!  

Take cash, as credit cards are not normally accepted at the cheaper places.  Manyv restaurants offer 'bottomless' glasses of iced tea, and in the American style will routinely offer cold drinking water if you ask.  Be aware that tax and service charges can add about 23 per cent to the nominal cost of a meal, so budget accordingly. 

Hygiene Standards 

Food hygiene has improved tremendously in the Philippines between 1993 and 2008.  Food is now routinely served 'hot' (as in temperature, not texture) due to many complaints from Westerners about lukewarm, undercooked food, but you may still experience occasional problems in smaller locations.  Be insistent that the food should be hot not lukewarm! 

Lots of Variety

The variety of available food has also expanded.  Many hotel buffets offer a wide choice, as do shopping mall foodcourts.  The Philipines is an underrated foodies' paradise, particularly if you can stomach the occasional native food such as chicken adobo or more intricate dishes.  The presentation of food can also differ: you may occasionally be treated to a main course served on a banana leaf, for instance.