Mercato Centrale, weekend food destination: 13 delicious things to eat

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Mercato Centrale, weekend food destination: 13 delicious things to eat

Manman Dejeto

Mercato Centrale has moved to another location. Photographer Manman Dejeto scours the new spot for delicious finds and revisits some of the original vendors. Take a look

MANILA, Philippines – It’s always a bustling, busy scene, filled to the brim with hungry diners, and alive with the delicious smells from different vendors’ cooking. Mercato Centrale, the popular weekend market, has moved to another location but continues to cook up food options for late night diners. 

HUNGRY. A congregation of hungry diners at Mercato Centrale. All photos by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

Held every Friday and Saturday from 6pm to 3am, it’s like the best kind of wish for a happy weekend, with its dizzying buffet of choices to plague any food enthusiast with the best kind of indecision. 

Photographer Manman Dejeto visited Mercato Centrale in its new location at the corner of 7th Avenue and 25th Street, in search of a number of delicious treats. Here’s a sampling of what he found. If we missed your favorite, send us a photo and we’ll add it right to the list. 


Come for a Mexican food fix. Owner Sergio Perez hails from Mexico City and runs the stall himself. Ask for the special when you arrive. 

Lengua burrito, P150

Soft and juicy lengua, fresh salsa, onions, cilantro, and sour cream. The uncooked rice is pan roasted before cooking, and tomatoes are added in.

Street tacos, P100 for 2

Choose between lengua, chicken, or beef. 

Big Bob’s Burger

Big Bob’s Special, P180

This is a 1/3 lb, 100% pure beef patty, stuffed with mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Ask for the Big Bob’s Special, and you get bacon with your burger. Includes lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles and a dressing of cream cheese (yum!), mustard, and ketchup.

Aunty May’s Home Kitchen

Their best seller is the Angus Beef Salpicao (rice meal, P150) and Aunty’s is one of the pioneer sellers of Mercato. The crunchy garlic chips toppings add beautiful texture to the dish. 

JD’s Takoyaki 

Rich seafood taste in every ball, P70 for 4. There’s cabbage, shrimp and kani inside. Drizzled with hot, sweet sauce, mayo and powedered nori (seaweed). 

Don Churro

Come for delectable classic churros, what else? With chocolate 6pcs/3pcs (P150, P100); 3 pieces, no chocolate (P50).

Manila Q 

Bagwang (P170-with fried rice and egg, P150, plain rice, P130- no rice). According to the sellers: Bagwang is “bagnet made even better – because it’s made with that part of the pork that we have discovered to be best for marination…and its NOT the belly.”

Indeed. Super crunchy pork strips, with the right amount of fat and tastes like bacon – but it’s not bacon. They use the pork neck or nape or batok. 


Come for all-time Pinoy street food favorites like grilled isaw and more. Best sellers: Chinese BBQ, tenga ng baboy, asadong tumbong, bacon wrapped quail eggs.

Everything’s priced at P35 each.


Savory rice meals! Good sulit buy is their Patikim Special which has 3 viands and rice, for P180.

In the photo: Cubana with banana chips, Lechon Kawali and Korean beef stew.

Edgy’s Drinks, P35 per 500ml bottle, 3 for P100

Come for fresh squeezed juice. It’s all natural, no preservatives added. They’re just frozen after bottling.

They have melon, strawberry iced tea, buko pandan, dalandan, wintermelon tea, mango and pineapple.


Come for delicious pork products. The pork is cooked in a pugon for 6-8 hours thus producing the very tender meat. They make everything from scratch, from the rub to the sauce.

Best-sellers: Pork Rib (P150 with rice, P140 as a sandwich), pulled pork (P130 with rice, P120 as a sandwich). 

Bakmi Nyonya (Indonesian Cuisine) 

Best-Seller: Bakmi Ayam, P130, fresh egg noodles with chicken and mushroom.

Have the noodles two ways: You can eat it dry (meaning as is, tossed) and sip the chicken broth that is served together with the noodles. Or you can pour all the chicken broth/soup into the noodle. Either way it is perfect. 

Owner Lucy is from Indonesia. She married a Filipino and the couple has stayed in the Philippines for 10 years already. 

What’s your favorite food pick? Have a photo of your own to share? Let us know in the comments below. –

Mercato Centrale has moved to the corner of 7th Avenue and 25th street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Visit Friday and Saturday from 6pm to 3am. 

More weekend destinations:










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