For a country made up of a whopping 7,000+ islands, it’s no surprise that seafood is a dietary staple for the Philippines – and though there’s a wide variety of options to enjoy the local fruits de mer, one of our favourite ways is still to get it straight from the source, by heading to one of the local ‘dampa’ markets (wet markets). There are a number of ‘dampa’ within metro Manila, and we like the market at Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City, which offers a faff-free dining experience that locals love.
How it works is simple – you walk up to one of the many seafood stalls selling the freshest catch from lobsters and shrimp to oysters and scallops, pick what you want (make sure to haggle), and then with plastic bag in hand you choose a restaurant, where your finds of the day will be cooked according to your preference. For dependable but delicious flavours, we like Aling Tonya’s where you can have your crustaceans steamed in the shell in classic ‘halabos’ style, fried and garlicky fish of the day, sizzling ‘adobo’-style squid, and cheesy baked oyster ‘tihong’. Choose indoor seating (with air-con) or outside with Manila Bay views, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to eat!
Aling Tonya’s / Diosdado Macapagal Blvd / Pasay City / +63 2 556 1781 / all day daily