Long overlooked in comparison to its neighbours, Manila’s markets are having something of a renaissance, springing up in parks, refurbished old buildings, and unclaimed open spaces all across the capital. With the natural creativity Filipinos bring to the table, these buzzing bazaars are sure to be crammed with goods that are worth whipping your wallet out for. Here’s a round-up of the best must-visit markets in Manila.
Greenfield Weekend Market
One of Manila’s “younger” markets, the Saturday spread at Greenfield District is well-loved for its combination of casual dining, bargain buys, and live entertainment. It starts in the afternoon, with sellers laying out everything from health and beauty products to traditional Filipino sweets and pet supplies – all in the shade of an open park.
This out-of-the-way flea market, actually named ‘HUB | Make Lab’, is the real deal. Set in the historic First United Building on Escolta Street – on one of Manila’s most prominent old thoroughfares – the fair brings the capital’s budding creatives, artists, collectors, and entrepreneurs together under one roof. This is the place to go to find handmade journals, wall art, or a vintage piece for your wardrobe. But as it only takes place one Saturday of the month, be sure to check the organisers’ Facebook page for exact dates and times. Tuesdays to Sundays 11am to 8pm
Well-rounded, easily accessible, and stocked with heaps of delicious food and tempting buys, this Sunday-morning market in Legazpi Village is the perfect weekend outing. Cruise the stalls to pick up a few cool things for your home, some healthy ingredients for your kitchen, or a handmade purse that catches your eye. Don’t forget to browse the food vendors, where you’ll find homegrown Filipino treats and international cuisine that will make your mouth water. Sundays, 7am to 2pm
More “down-to-earth” than Manila’s other weekend fairs, the Sunday market at Eton Centris in Quezon City is lined with more than 400 stalls. Clearly sectioned-off areas mean you can quickly find what you’re looking for, whether that’s plants and herbs, vegetables and meat, or fashion and clothing. There’s also a dining area where you can grab lunch from any number of friendly cooks. Sundays, 6am to 2pm
A little smaller than its nearby counterpart, the Legazpi Sunday Market, the Salcedo Saturday Market is nonetheless one of the best foodie and community hubs Manila has to offer. The leafy location adds to the appeal: right in the middle of the fashionable Makati district. Here, you’ll find arts and crafts, organic food, Filipino specialties, delicacies made from heirloom recipes, and a few indulgent options to boot. Saturdays, 7am to 2pm
BF Homes is a huge residential neighborhood, south of Manila’s main business and shopping districts. At the weekend, vendors set up their stalls in the shade of Elizalde Park to cater to the throngs of well-to-do residents in the area. Delicious meaty mains, such as whole-roasted pork loin, always draw a crowd, but there are plenty of lighter, healthy options too. A small selection of fresh produce and homemade cheeses rounds off the mix nicely. Saturdays, 7am to 2pm