Shopping the markets of Manila is a multi-cultural experience. The stalls in the Filipino capital overflow with produce from all across South-East Asia, and the lively atmosphere makes it a perfect place to mingle whether you’re in the market for souvenirs or not.
Find the best places to watch everyday Filipino market life unfold, and get to know Manila a little bit better by picking a favourite from our list of markets below:
When: Saturday’s 4 PM to 12 Midnight
The Greenfield weekend market’s compact size and quirky stalls make it the perfect location for an evening of bargain-hunting. The market is a vintage collector’s paradise, with stalls selling classic vinyl records, vintage books and antique accessories.
Get a head-start on the in-crowd by arriving for 4pm to have the market to yourself. Food stalls like K Fry’s Takanjong offer bite-sized snacks to keep you going as you shop, but the market isn’t kitted out to supply a sit-down meal – a word of warning for those planning who normally shop on an empty stomach!
When: Sunday’s 6 AM to 2 PM
With over 300 stalls, the Sidcor Sunday Market is a mecca for those looking to sample a little bit of everything. Barter for fresh flowers and seeds and shop for fresh fruit, vegetables and meat/poultry from all the Filipino provinces.
In addition to housing a farmers market heaving with fresh produce, Sidcor also offers up charming local clothing, handicrafts and ceramics. With prices that undercut many supermarkets and stores, it’s the perfect place to stock up on everyday essentials (and, the not so essentials, like fresh flowers) if you’re staying in Manila for a little longer than a few days
When: Saturday’s 7 am to 2 pm
Not to be confused with Sidcor, the Salcedo Saturday Market has an easy charm and a more relaxed atmosphere than some of Manila’s more crowded markets. Nestled in the heart of Makati City, the market offers a global take on Manila’s vibrant food scene. Traditional local delicacies rub shoulders with vendors selling food from all across the world, and the market offers up the best selection of vegetarian/vegan friendly products we’ve seen in the capital.
What’s more, the market is also child and pet-friendly, making it the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing day out with all members of the famiy – as well as an on-site wellness centre for those who want to work up an appetite before diving in.
When: Sunday’s 7 AM to 2 PM
Legazpi Market’s cosy atmosphere is down to its size, or lack thereof – it’s considerably more compact than all the other options listed above. What it does lacks in size it makes up for in substance, thanks to a diverse selection of wet goods and tasty snacks. We recommend partnering up to share a selection of Evet Kofte’s meatballs and Hainanese chicken and rice washed down with Adam’s ice cream.
Though each market has its own specific tips and shortcuts, we’d always recommend rocking up early so as not to miss out on bagging a bargain (or seven). A friendly greeting to a concessionaire goes a long way to driving a bargain, so don’t be shy to start up conversation with stall holders and salespeople. And, with tables in short supply across all locations, be generous with your space and don’t be afraid to ask for some yourself.
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