Quinta Market was the City of Manila's central market, catering originally to the wealthy families who lived at the time in Quiapo. By the early 20th century, the market had become one of the most important markets in the city, generating substantial revenue while also providing for residents of all social classes.
The Spanish colonial government built Quinta Market in 1851, the same year as the Tondo, Divisoria Market was established. It was pioneered by philanthropist Francisco Carriedo. The Market’s establishment coincided with the growth of urban industry and trade, and the creation of new public markets to complement existing trading venues in the center of the city.
Quinta Market is strongly associated as a commercial hub with the tastes of the Filipino cuisine and Manila food culture. The market was seen as a pleasant place to dine in its heyday, and shoppers would patronize the many carinderias (food stalls) inside, known for their pancit, menudo, puto and dinuguan.
The market is also known for its halo-halo, and it is believed that the dessert was invented here in the 1920s or 1930s as an innovation on the Japanese mitsumame. In 2014, the Manila Bulletin identified Pastora Special Palabok as having the best pancit palabok in Manila, while Edna's Eatery, known for its nilagang baka, was featured on the Unang Hirit morning show of the GMA Network.
There are also several shops and stalls in the area around Quinta Market that sell everything from furniture to clothing. Next to the market is the shopping area called "Ilalim ng Tulay" ("under the bridge"), so-called under the Quezon Bridge because of its location.
Renowned for its very low prices, the shops here are mainly selling wood products, furniture and handicrafts from all over the country as well as tourist souvenirs.