Around the world, it is a universal understanding that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. In the Philippines, though, a good breakfast means a good day.
What’s cool about Filipino breakfast is how many creations are inspired by other Hispanic cultures due to colonization and trading. If you have tried many types of breakfast dishes in South America, then there’s a good chance you will recognize some of these dishes.
Filipinos are also considered morning people and like to get through most of their chores as early as possible, so their typical breakfast dishes are packed with a lot of protein and nutrients to provide that energy!
I have tried all different kinds of Filipino breakfast dishes and made a list of some of my favorites.
If you are visiting the Philippines for the first time, keep reading to learn about the most popular Filipino breakfast foods and see what sounds delicious!
Below are 15 Filipino breakfast dishes you need to try if you ever get the chance!
One of the most common dishes in the Philippines is the champorado.
Translated to “chocolate rice porridge,” the champorado is a sweet-flavored breakfast dish with a simple mix of rice, sugar, milk, and tablea chocolate.
The appearance looked like a cluttered bowl of chocolate rice crispies, but the taste was oddly surprising!
The tablea chocolate carried an earthy, bittersweet flavor that blends well with the milk and creates a creamy consistency.
Champorado can also be served with rabbitfish (danggit) or tuyo (dried salted fish) to give the dish a contrasting, salty taste and offers extra energy in the early morning.
If you ever visit the Philippines during the Christmas season, trying a piping hot Bibingka should be the first item on your list.
These sweet rice cakes are made with rice, eggs, butter, cheese, sugar, and coconut milk to create a sugary treat that goes great with your morning coffee.
What makes the bibingka so special is how the locals prepare it. The baking method starts with using banana leaves as baking sheets and cooking the bibingka inside a traditional clay pot that enhances the overall flavor.
If you can’t wait until Christmas, check out the local street markets and vendors for a taste!
3. Arroz Caldo
Arroz Caldo is another Filipino breakfast dish that fills your belly with a hot bowl of porridge.
Not only does this serving act as a good breakfast choice, but it’s the perfect comfort food for those stuck in bed all day.
Arroz Caldo is easily customizable as the traditional bowl consists of rice porridge, sliced boiled eggs, and additional toppings like scallions, chicken, pork slices, or some calamansi that add a sour taste.
The best time to eat Arroz Caldo is during cold or sick days. The heat of the rice porridge will warm your body back to perfect health!
Many Filipinos consider Tapsilog as one of the most popular breakfast dishes.
I didn’t understand the hype until I had a plate, but it instantly became one of my favorite breakfast meals.
There are many variations of ‘Silog’ meals, but most locals will tell you Tapsilog is the original.
The dish consists of garlic fried rice, a fried egg, and tapa, which are thin slices of beef sirloin cured with various spices and lime juice.
You won’t have a real Filipino experience without trying an iconic breakfast choice, so I recommend keeping an eye out for Tapsilog when exploring the area.
Lugaw is another breakfast dish consisting of porridge and is often confused with Arroz Caldo.
What separates Lugaw from the Caldo is the amount of ginger and garlic mixed in every bowl.
Another noticeable difference is the consistency of the porridge and how it looks.
The only similarity between Lugaw and Arroz Caldo is the two enjoyed outside of breakfast.
The warm aroma of onion and garlic is too tempting to ignore, and just one taste of the chicken and eggs simmering inside the bowl will have you hooked. This breakfast dish warms the soul and keeps your body healthy.
Like Tapsilog, Tocino is another Filipino breakfast dish categorized in the ‘Silog’ family.
It contains fried rice, eggs, and sweetened pork belly cut into tiny slices and often fried to a delicate, crunchy state.
Personally, it was my favorite of the ‘Silog’ dishes as the taste reminded me of bacon for breakfast.
There are some restaurants that would offer a vinegar dipping sauce to go along with the meal, which compliments the cooked pork belly.
Pampanga is the city known for having some of the best-tasting Tocino, but just about any restaurant can create a succulent meal such as this.
7. Corned Beef (Cornsilog)
Following up with another famous Filipino breakfast dish from the ‘Silog’ family is Cornsilog.
This plate consists of traditional fried rice and egg with added corned beef. Cornsilog is one of the few dishes on this list that uses canned goods since corned beef sells in cans.
Despite knowing that, it doesn’t take away the superb quality of the meat!
I liked how well the corned beef and rice complemented each other, and adding sliced onions as a topping completes the whole meal. If you find corned beef on your breakfast menu, you should take a chance and try it!
8. Tortang Talong
The Tortang Talong is one of the more creative Filipino breakfast dishes on this list.
It is an eggplant that is cooked and pan-fried to the point that you can peel off the skin. After peeling, the eggplant is battered in beaten whole eggs and fried again to produce a tasty cooked omelet.
Taking a bite left a satisfying crunch that followed up with the combined savory taste of the egg and eggplant.
It is okay to eat it alone but having some banana ketchup on the side as a dipping sauce enhances the flavor and makes the eggplant more desirable.
Tosilog comes close to Tocino as another breakfast dish that takes advantage of pork.
Similarly, the pork is cut down into slices, cooked to a crispy form, and handed to you with a side of fried rice and eggs.
There are many ways to enjoy the taste of Tosilog. Adding sweet veggies on the side blends well with the saltiness of the pork.
Many locals would also recommend eating Tosilog with vinegar dipping sauce as it can bring out the taste.
I enjoyed the Tosilog on its own, but I appreciated the various ways to enjoy this dish!
10. Daing na Bangus
This Filipino breakfast dish turns the country’s national fish milkfish (Bangus) into a meal rich in taste and culture.
The cooking process of the milkfish is known as ‘daing’ and refers to the fish marinated in vinegar and salt and left to sundry. Doing so deepens the taste of cooked fish and allows you to savor all parts.
My only complaint is that it’s naturally served with the fish bones still inside, but the taste was incredible.
Topped with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and other veggies, Daing na Bangus starts your morning right with protein and other nutritious supplements to keep your body going.
Longganisa is another well-known breakfast dish popular in The Philippines.
The locals love it so much that they made an entire music video around the breakfast dish!
Also known as Filipino sausage, these bite-size meats complement the fried rice and eggs to perfection.
What’s interesting about longganisa is that depending on where you are in the Philippines, you will experience it differently.
For example, the locals in Vigan add more spice and garlic to their sausages and pan-fry until they cook.
You can find this dish in almost every restaurant, which is great because there’s no chance of missing out on this delicious breakfast dish.
So far, the Filipino breakfast dishes that fall into the ‘Silog’ family have been tame, but this one is by far the most interesting. It shows that Filipinos can make Silog out of anything.
As the name implies, Hotsilog makes red-hot hot dogs the main entree with fried rice and eggs.
It is a great meal for kids as it doesn’t take long to prepare and goes well with different toppings and dipping sauce.
There’s not much uniqueness to this dish. If you ever had a hot dog, expect the same taste, but more sweet and delicious!
It’s crazy to think how many kinds of bread exist in today’s world, and the Philippines are no different.
Breakfast doesn’t get any better than a basket full of pandesal. These are golden-brown bread rolls rolled in bread crumbs before baking and come out with delicate, fluffy interiors.
By themselves, they were delicious and sweet. Eating with cheese, ham, and butter made them fantastic in my mind.
Dipping pandesal into your coffee or hot chocolate is known as an enriching experience in itself.
Next time you are at a restaurant, order yourself an extra basket of bread rolls because they are that good.
Danggit is another popular Filipino breakfast dish composed of rice, eggs, and fried fish.
Danggit translates to Rabbitfish or Spinefoot and is very favored in Cebu City.
Like the Daing na Bangus, be wary of the fish bones hiding within this meal. The fish is small and crispy and goes well with vinegar dipping sauce, but very hard to detect the sharp, tiny bones.
If you are in the mood for some fish and don’t mind picking out the bones, the Danggit is the best choice. You will satisfy your taste buds with this delicious finger food.
15. Tortang Giniling
The final item on this list is the Tortang Giniling. This popular Filipino breakfast food is a ground beef omelette with many beef and veggies packed inside it.
It’s a traditional dish served for breakfast, but the preparation is different than most omelets.
Instead of cooking the egg batter and folding it around cheese, meat, or other preferred fillings, the Tortang Giniling comes out in a fritter style.
The beef and vegetables are sauteed first and mixed into a bowl of egg batter before frying.
This dish is the ideal breakfast platter and goes well with a hot cup of coffee!