Ugbo Street Food in Tondo Manila
Food and Drink,  Philippines

Ugbo Street Food Market: A Taste of Tondo, Manila

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Are you planning a foodie adventure with your barkada? Then check out this practical guide to Ugbo Street Food Market in Tondo, Manila.

Ugbo Street Food is a night market home to a variety of food stalls and laid-back eateries, offering everything from Filipino street food to filling rice meals, seafood bilao, desserts, and trendy items. It opens daily from late afternoon to midnight.

This night market is extremely popular in social media, which is part of the reason why it also went viral quickly. During the pandemic, it offered a place for alfresco dining especially among family and friends. It also filled a gap on the handful of night markets found in Metro Manila. Today, locals and even foreign tourists visit Ugbo Street Food to sample its variety of affordable and tasty food.

What to expect in Ugbo Street Food

Ugbo Street Food is a 300-meter stretch of road filled with food hawkers and eateries. Prepare to roll up your sleeves because eating here is a hands-on experience.

I went here with my friend Andrew (content creator for Smash That Screen). We visited on a weekday night and we were actually surprised that even then there was a large crowd and number of food stalls open.

Ugbo Street Food in Tondo Manila

To tell you the truth, I didn’t have much expectation but the foods that we tried were actually good — and affordable too. In fact, the prices here are much more affordable compared to other popular food markets like Greenfield Weekend Market or Mercato Centrale. A P1000 can go a long way for a single person to sample some of the best offerings in Ugbo.

The variety of food is decent, so whether you’re craving for traditional Filipino street food or something novel, you’ll likely find a food stall in Ugbo to try. We enjoyed exploring the flavors of Tondo, though I skipped a lot of desserts because I find Filipino desserts too sweet for my taste.

In general, Ugbo Street Food is one of the best foodie hotspots in Manila. It is located in a rough neighborhood so level your expectations — it is not squeaky clean, you may encounter beggars asking for money and food, and so on. But its location makes it feel more authentic and some would day a part of its charm.

If you’re looking for more food trip, check out our similar guides in Binondo, Poblacion, and BGC Taguig.

What to eat in Ugbo

Here are some of the must-tries and popular food items at Ugbo Street Food night market:

Ugbo - yang chow
Yang chow rice.
  • Yang chow fried rice. Pa-Wok Manila offers freshly cooked yang chow fried rice, with the toppings of your choosing — including lumpiang shanghai, siomai, shrimps, broccoli, and mushroom.
Ugbo - skewers
Ugbo street food - skewers
Seafood skewers.
  • Ihaw-ihaw (grilled food). You can find a lot of grilled items, from traditional ihaw like isaw to skewered pork barbecue, spam, bacon, and more. You can also find traditional shabu-shabu skewers like squid balls and crab claws, fried and covered in sauces.
Ugbo - grilled cheesy scallops
Cheesy grilled scallops.
  • Fresh seafood. You can find roadside restaurants offering unlimited seafood or seafood in a bilao. Cheesy grilled scallops is also a crowd-favorite option in Ugbo.
  • Souffle pancake. Fluffy Chan offers Japanese-style pancake covered in sauce of your choice — including original, tiramisu, strawberry, matcha, oreo, and pearl milk tea.
  • Shawarma. Is a Filipino food market complete without a shawarma stall? Filipino-style shawarmas are delicious and filling, whether served in a pita or with rice.
  • Asian street food. Stalls also sell takoyaki, tteokbokki (Korean spicy rice cake), corndog filled with hotdog or cheese, and other Asian-inspired street food.
Ugbo - tanghulu
  • Tanghulu. A popular candied fruit snack that originated in China. Fruits such as strawberries, grapes, oranges, etc. are coated in a thin sugar shell. Only for the sweet tooth!
Aling Consuelo's halo-halo
  • Halo-halo. Head to Aling Consuelo’s Halo-Halo for a cup of this beloved Filipino dessert. Aling Consuelo’s opened way back in 1960, making it an institution in the Tondo food scene.
Ugbo - magic ice cream
Magic ice cream balls.
  • Magic ice cream. Also called “Dragon’s Breath,” these cereal balls are dipped in liquid nitrogen before serving. When you eat them, you’ll breathe out “smoke” from the cold, in both your mouth and nose (hence the name). However, news outlets do not recommend consuming this dessert because it can lead to ice burns and internal damages.
  • Various desserts like cheesecake on a stick, mini donuts, crepes, and ice cream overload.
Ugbo - fruit shakes
Fresh fruit shakes.
  • Fresh juices and fruit shakes, such as mango, watermelon, avocado, and mixed fruits.

Aside from the food stalls, you’ll also find restaurants selling Filipino meals like binalot (rice meal wrapped in a banana leaf), silog (fried rice with egg and choice of ulam), bulalo, tumbungan and lechonan, sizzling plates, and more. There are also restaurants offering sulit packages like unlimited seafood, grilled meats, and samgyupsal.

If unsure where to go, check out multiple branches of House of DG along Ugbo Street. They are casual eateries owned by siblings, each offering a different specialty.

How to Get to Ugbo

There are different ways to get to Ugbo Street Food market depending on where you’re coming from.

Here is an easy way to commute:

  • Ride the LRT and get off at Tayuman Station.
  • From there, ride a jeep to Pritil and get off at Dandan Street (landmark is Ambie’s).
  • Then ride a jeep to Velasquez and tell the driver to let you off at Ugbo Street.

Unfamiliar with the streets of Manila? Open your Grab app and book a car as easy as 1-2-3. From LRT Tayuman to Ugbo Street, a Grab car ride only costs around P150-180 (rate varies), so it’s cheap especially if you’re in a group.

If you are bringing a car, you can park at Deca Mall, which is literally a short walk away from Ugbo Street. Deca Mall offers free, open parking (latest time you can enter the parking is 9PM but you can leave your car until midnight).

Pro Tips for your Ugbo Food Trip

Here are important tips to make the most of your Ugbo food crawl experience:

  • Bring cash. Most vendors accept cash only, while some also have an option for GCash. If you’re coming early (say, before 6PM) make sure to bring change as vendors likely won’t break big bills yet.
  • Be aware of your belongings at all time. This is still Tondo, after all.
  • Visit on a weekend. Ugbo Street Food gets many visitors daily, but especially on weekends. So if you want a lesser crowded visit, go on a weekday instead.
  • Expect traffic. Manila is one of the most congested areas in the city, so take into account traffic delays when planning your trip.
  • Looking for other activities before your food trip at night? Check out nearby attractions in Tondo, such as Divisoria (a local shopping area known for their affordable prices), Binondo (another foodie destination in Manila), Intramuros, National Museum of the Philippines, and more.

Eyes wide, stomach empty, expectations high — step onto Ugbo Street and discover an authentic street food experience in the Philippines.

Have you been to Ugbo Street Food market in Tondo, Philippines? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments section below!

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