22 Legendary Filipino Snacks and Merienda You Should Try

22 Legendary Filipino Snacks and Merienda You Should Try in the Philippines

We just really love potato chips. And sticky rice.

Nothing triggers a flood of childhood memories like hearing the crunch of a potato chip or the rustle of someone opening a bag of crackers. In the Philippines, our favourite Filipino snacks conjure so many of our favourite moments growing up. Not to mention the powerful nostalgia of when life was simple and uncomplicated. So, broaden your horizons, foreign friends, because we’re about to enter Filipino snack territory — the salty, the sweet, and the irresistibly sinful. 

Are these Pinoy snacks our guilty pleasures? To that, we say: There’s no such thing!

Traditional Filipino snacks and classic Pinoy merienda 

1. Taho

Taho | Image credit: Richard Ernest Yap via Canva Pro

What it is: Made with silken tofu, brown sugary syrup, and chewy sago or tapioca pearls, taho is a classic Filipino merienda that usually comes in small affordable cups and is sold by street vendors during the daytime. With its creamy texture and sweetness, it never fails to leave a smile on people’s faces or provide comfort on an otherwise gloomy day. Not only is taho a well-loved delicacy for many Filipinos, but it’s also a good source of protein and can double as a warm breakfast snack in the morning as well. 

2. Pan de sal

Best Filipino Snacks and Pinoy Merienda: Pan de Sal

Pan de sal

What it is: Translating to “salt bread” in Spanish, pan de sal is a classic Filipino bread roll made from flour, eggs, yeast, salt, and sugar. The bread has a soft and chewy texture and is dusted with breadcrumbs on top. Popular fillings for pan de sal include cheese, butter, ube, coco jam, and liver spread. But for many Filipinos, the best way to enjoy pan de sal is to dip it into their morning coffee. 

3. Bibingkang malagkit

Bibingkang malagkit

What it is: Bibingkang malagkit is one of the most delicious examples of kakanin, which refers to Filipino delicacies that combine glutinous rice and coconut milk. Here, the sweet rice of bibingka is covered in a coconut caramel sauce, giving it a decadent flavour. It’s not to be confused with bibingkang galapong, the golden charcoal-baked rice cake that Filipinos like to eat during holidays. 

4. Suman

Filipino Snacks: Suman

Suman

What it is: Sticky glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk, then wrapped securely in banana leaves and steamed. Many provinces in the Philippines have their own unique way of preparing and enjoying suman. Do as the locals do, and drizzle your suman with white sugar or slather the sticky rice in latik sauce — a sweet and thick sauce from coconut milk. 

5. Biko

Filipino Snacks: Biko

Biko | Image credit: Elmer nev valenzuela

What it is: A popular Filipino delicacy made with sticky rice, coconut milk, and brown sugar. Toasted coconut bits sprinkled on the surface make this a creamy, highly addictive treat for any time of the day. 

6. Kutsinta

Kutsinta

What it is: A steamed rice cake that is frequently enjoyed with grated coconut on top. It has a chewy, almost jelly-like texture. Since it’s one of the healthy Filipino snacks out there, you can eat several of these without feeling too guilty. 

7. Puto

Best Filipino Snacks and Pinoy Merienda: Puto

Puto

What it is: Just like kutsinta, this is a steamed rice cake that is extremely popular in the Philippines. Soft and fluffy, the classic white puto is traditionally made from rice flour. But it has a lot of varieties all over the country and can be served in many flavours, such as cheese or ube. Moreover, its light and subtle taste makes it a great snack to have alongside savoury meals at the dinner table. 

Popular Filipino junk foods for snacking

8. Leslie’s Cheesier Clover Chips

Filipino Snacks: Clover Chips

Leslie’s Cheesier Clover Chips | Image credit: Clover Chips Official Facebook Page

What it is: For an introduction to popular Filipino snacks, you won’t find a  better place to start than Clover Chips! Bursting with an intensely cheesy flavour, these potato chips are shaped like shells. Other flavours of Clover Chips include Ham and Cheese, Barbecue, and Chili and Cheese. 

Make sure to shake the bag to really distribute the cheesy powder all around the chips. One of the most satisfying experiences is getting to lick the cheese off your fingers afterwards! 

Where to buyShopee PhilippinesLazada Philippines

9. Marty’s Cracklin’ Vegetarian Chicharon

Filipino Snacks: Marty's Cracklin' Vegetarian Chicharon

Marty’s Cracklin’ Vegetarian Chicharon | Image credit: Oishi Official Website

What it is: For when you don’t want to feel bad about gobbling up an entire bag of chicharon (deep-fried pork rinds), Marty’s Cracklin’ Vegetarian Chicharon gives you the same incredibly satisfying crisp and crunch, but less of the sinful fat and sodium. It comes in flavours such as Salt and Vinegar, Plain Salted, and Chicken Inasal. 

Where to buyShopee Philippines

10. Golden Sweet Corn

Filipino Snacks: Golden Sweet Corn

Golden Sweet Corn | Image credit: Regent Foods Corporation Official Facebook Page

What it is: Few things can make Filipinos feel more nostalgic for their childhood than Golden Sweet Corn. These crunchy, bright golden balls of corn hit just the right spot between salty and sweet. 

Where to buyShopee PhilippinesLazada Philippines

11. Chiz Curls

Chiz Curls | Image credit: Lazada Philippines

What it is: These are golden, puffy, and curled corn chips packed with a delicious cheddar cheese flavour. Believe it or not, Chiz Curls have been a go-to childhood snack for many Filipinos since the 1970s! 

Where to buyShopee PhilippinesLazada Philippines

12. Vcut Spicy BBQ Potato Chips

Vcut Spicy BBQ Potato Chips | Image credit: Jack ‘n Jill Vcut Official Facebook Page

What it is: Once you open that bright orange bag of Vcut’s potato chips, the instant barbecue aroma is just so difficult to resist. Despite what the packaging says, these chips only have a mild level of spiciness, so you don’t necessarily need to be a lover of spicy food to enjoy them. 

Where to buyShopee PhilippinesLazada Philippines  

13. Piattos

Filipino Snacks: Piattos

Piattos | Image credit: Piattos Official Facebook Page

What it is: Any Pinoy merienda list that doesn’t include Piattos is committing a dangerous crime. Light and crispy, these life-affirming chips with a triangular shape are fantastic for any occasion — house parties, road trips, or just casually catching up with friends. Besides the cheesy original, some of its popular flavours include Nacho Pizza, Roast Beef, and Roadhouse Barbecue. 

Where to buyShopee PhilippinesLazada Philippines

14. Cheese Ring

Cheese Ring | Image credit: Regent Foods Corporation Official Website

What it is: More bite-sized snacks that are overloaded with cheese! Honestly, we’re low-key disappointed that Ariana Grande wasn’t actually singing about these cheese rings in “7 rings.” 

Where to buyShopee PhilippinesLazada Philippines

15. Tomi Sweet Corn Chips

Filipino Junk Food

Tomi Sweet Corn Chips | Image credit: Lazada Philippines

What it is: Let’s take a break from cheesy chips, shall we? Tomi Sweet Corn Chips is an old-school snack that reminds many Filipinos of their happy childhood days. Each bite is packed with a sweet and yummy corn flavour that can bring a smile to anyone’s face. We only wish that the bag was bigger! 

Where to buyShopee PhilippinesLazada Philippines

16. Boy Bawang Cornick Garlic

Filipino Snacks: Boy Bawang

Boy Bawang Cornick Garlic | Image credit: I Love Boy Bawang Official Facebook Page

What it is: Apparently, Boy Bawang comes in different flavours now, like Chili Cheese, Barbecue, Lechon Manok, and Adobo. But as many Filipinos will tell you, nothing comes close to beating the original garlic, which translates to “bawang in Filipino. Go for garlic or go home! 

Where to buyShopee PhilippinesLazada Philippines

17. Snacku

What it is: Surprisingly, Snacku is not the weaboo’s pronunciation of the word “snack.” (Or it could be. We don’t want to go down that road.) Snacku consists of stick-like rice crackers sprinkled in vegetable powder, resulting in a bright green colour. Do we care that Snacku isn’t made of real vegetables and isn’t actually as healthy as its packaging leads us to believe? Nope! 

Where to buyShopee PhilippinesLazada Philippines

Sweet Filipino snacks and candies that will brighten your day

18. JellYace

What it is: Assorted fruit-flavoured jellies that come in tiny plastic cups. If you don’t know the pleasure of peeling back the wrapper of the cup and accidentally getting the fruit juice squirted into your eyes, what kind of life are you living? 

Where to buyShopee Philippines  

19. Frutos

Frutos | Image credit: Frutos Official Facebook Page

What it is: Super addicting chewy candies that have different fruity flavours, sealed in twisty wrapper. The classic flavours of Frutos are grape, orange, lemon, and strawberry. 

Where to buyShopee PhilippinesLazada Philippines

20. Flat Tops and Curly Tops

Flat Tops and Curly Tops | Image credit: livininoblivion

What it is: Flat Tops and Curly Tops may appear to be the same candy, as they’re both milk chocolates with similar-looking packaging. But here’s where the difference lies: Curly Tops have a slightly grooved shape with a richer taste and a smoother mouthfeel, while Flat Tops taste sweeter than Curly Tops. When they’re partying in our mouths though, it’s genuinely hard to tell. 

Where to buy: Flat Tops: Shopee PhilippinesLazada Philippines; Curly Tops: Shopee PhilippinesLazada Philippines

21. King ChocNut Peanut Milk Chocolate

Filipino Snacks: ChocNut

King ChocNut Peanut Milk Chocolate | Image credit: Dernhelm5984

What it is: Milk chocolate candy with a roasted peanut flavour, a childhood staple for many Filipinos. King ChocNut Peanut Milk Chocolate is delicate and crumbly, melting in your mouth with a sweetness that combines nicely with the cocoa. 

Where to buyShopee PhilippinesLazada Philippines

BONUS: Lucky Me! Pancit Canton

Lucky Me! Pancit Canton | Image credit: Lucky Me! Official Facebook Page

What it is: No list of Pinoy snacks would be complete without the instant gratification that a pack of Lucky Me! Pancit Canton gives us! These fuss-free, extremely addictive stir-fried noodles capture the savoury flavours of Filipino pancit. A plate of this can send any Pinoy straight back into their happy childhood memories. Popular flavours of Lucky Me! Pancit Canton include Original, Kalamansi, Sweet & Spicy, and Extra Hot Chili. 

Where to buyShopee PhilippinesLazada Philippines

Also read: Philippine Souvenirs: 21 Trendy Gifts and Tokens to Take Home With You

These are just some of the best Filipino snacks and Pinoy merienda that we remember stuffing our faces with when we were younger. If you’re anything like us, you were probably halfway through this list before walking to the kitchen and whipping up a treat for yourself, too. 

To the Pinoys out there, how was this trip down memory lane? Did we miss out on anything? Let us know! 

About Author

Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany is a writer who covers travel, food, shopping, and pop culture. She has a soft spot for stories about Japan and Italy. While she waits patiently for her next adventure, she enjoys writing about the coolest places to stay around the world and where to find them.

CLICK TO SEE MORE ARTICLES BY Tiffany Conde