One of my favourite things to do every Sunday is going to the Sunday Market in Legazpi Village in Makati. Luckily, I live nearby so it’s just a short walk away from my condominium unit. The market is usually opened every week and offers a myriad of international and local food options, local produce, and handicrafts that can consist of furniture, antiques, health tonics, and cosmetics among others.
The market is popular among locals and expats alike since these kinds of weekend markets aren’t exactly very common in Manila. There is another market in Salcedo Village (another nearby village in Makati) that’s opened every Saturday, although I rarely go since it’s quite far if you don’t have a car. These markets are fairly new and have grown in popularity over the years. I’m glad Manila already has one because I really miss the weekend markets back in Europe.
I’m not a shopaholic but I am a foodie, and Legazpi Market is a foodie paradise. A wide array of authentic international food at a reasonable price makes it worth going to despite the crowds and the tropical heat and humidity. It opens at 7:00am and closes at 1:00pm, so it’s best to go early to avoid the crowds and the heat. The only problem with going very early is that some kiosks aren’t exactly opened yet; most open at around 8. It becomes crowded at around 9:00, which is also when it starts getting really hot. The crowd slightly dies down during noontime, although it becomes a lot hotter; despite that, I do still go during lunchtime because the food is worth it.
I’ve been here multiple times already, so I will just be writing about the highlights of the market. I keep forgetting to take note of the names of the stalls, but don’t worry because the market is quite small so it’s impossible to miss any of these. The kiosks aren’t permanent though, so there might be some new additions or some missing kiosks when you yourself will be visiting.
First is the authentic Indonesian stall called Warung Warung which sells set meals at very reasonable prices. I love how the sets allow you to sample many different kinds of Indonesian delicacies without having to spend too much. I’ve read that this is actually owned by a Filipino who has lived in Indonesia for many years so she learned how to cook Indonesian food and brought it to Manila when she came back. I saw a lot of Indonesians falling in line in her stall, so that obviously proves how good and authentic the food truly is. I usually order Set A, which is my favourite. It consists of nasi goreng, sate ayam, telur belado, terong belado, and bakwan.
I also tried Set B once, and it’s also good (everything is good) but I prefer Set A because of that egg thing. This consists of nasi goreng, sate ayam, tahu telur, tearing belied, and jagung perkedel.
Another favourite stall of my is this place called Caesar’s Thai Kitchen which serves fresh pad thai cooked right in front of you. Unlike the other food stalls, the pad thai they sell is not pre-cooked so it’s very fresh when you buy it. What I like about this place as well is how they only specialise in pad thai so you can be assured that they have mastered the craft of making it. Since I’ve never tried authentic pad thai in Thailand, I can’t exactly be the best judge of this, but I really like it. In fact it’s the best pad thai I’ve ever tried here in Manila.
They serve three variants: vegetarian, chicken, and shrimp, and the shrimp is the most expensive one. You can also customise the spiciness level by mild, medium, and spicy. I chose the shrimp variant (since I prefer seafood over meat) and I chose the spicy level, since I know that Thai and Indian cuisine in the Philippines are made much milder to cater to the local taste (Filipinos generally aren’t big fans of spiciness). I really wasn’t disappointed by the spice level as I had to stop twice in between to catch my breath. They really didn’t scrimp on the peppers which I love. I had a hard time eating the shrimp with chopsticks though.
Spicy shrimp pad thai
One of my favourite Filipino street foods is called turon, which is either a banana or a jackfruit wrapped in lumpia wrapper, fried, and caramelised. There’s this stall (with no name) which serves very delicious and cheap turon which I always buy each Sunday.
There’s also this churro stall which serves one of the best and most affordable churros in Manila. The ones in the mall are either too expensive, too huge (American style churros), or just average in taste. This stall offers perfectly cooked churros, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, and served with a generous amount of chocolate dip for a very affordable price.
Merry Moo, which currently has no kiosk in any mall in Makati (based on my knowledge) has a stall here in Legazpi Market, so this is my chance to eat their ice cream. Their ice cream is very delicious and creamy, and not too sweet; it’s also home made with fresh local ingredients. It’s not gelato, yet it’s still more delicious than some of the overpriced “gelato” places here in Manila. My favourite flavour is salted caramel.
I also got to try my first pierogi in Legazpi Market. They are dumplings from Poland that are stuffed with anything that can be sweet or savoury. The ones on the left are chicken while the one on the right is apple caramel. They were good, but not crave-worth.
There is also another Thai place that sells pretty good and affordable Thai food as well. I tried their pad mee which was also pretty ok, although the pad thai from the other stall was better. They also sell tom yum goong and catfish salad which I plan on trying some other time.
I also found this stall owned by a European expat who bakes her own, vegan, gluten free pastries, and they don’t even have flour which makes it pretty cool. I tried the “cream cheese” carrot cake which was surprisingly really delicious despite the healthiness! The “cream cheese” isn’t really cheese but some vegan thing, I forgot what it was, but it does taste like the real thing. The only problem is that the things she sells are really expensive so I don’t plan on buying again unless I’m craving for it.
I did not manage to take photos of two other things I’ve tried in the market. First is the Greek yoghurt place right next to the churro stall; the yoghurt is local, although I’m not sure if it’s organic, but anyway I love Greek yoghurt and I find it really delicious. Another is the chicken couscous from the Moroccan place which I also kind of liked; I plan on trying the others as well some other time since I also really like North African and Arabic cuisines.
There are so many other cuisines here that I haven’t tried. There’s Spanish, Mediterranean, Persian, Arabic, and many more. There is also a place that sells French breads which I also haven’t tried; it’s a shame they stopped selling their croissants.
Overall, I really love Legazpi Market and it’s something I never miss every Sunday. It’s the best place to try authentic food from all around the world, all at an authentic price.