The Ultimate Food Crawl Guide For Binondo First-Timers
Did you know that the world's oldest Chinatown is found in the Philippines? The busy and vibrant Chinatown of Binondo was founded in 1954, and is a historic district in Manila where locals and foreigners alike flock for a taste of Filipino-Chinese culture.
If you’re a Binondo first-timer, fret not. We’ve made a list of 9 restaurants you shouldn’t miss out on. The best part about going on a food crawl in this district? You can walk all day from one restaurant to another!
The first three restaurants can be found along Benavidez street.
1. Masuki Mami House
Built in 1930, Masuki Mami House (formerly known as Ma Kong Mami House) is one of the oldest restaurants in Chinatown. The popular family-owned restaurant serves traditional mami, its recipe passed down from one generation to the next. We recommend the special beef wonton chicken asado (P265).
2. Wai Ying Fast Food
Down for a dimsum party? This crowd-favorite is a must-visit! Wai Ying serves dumplings like hakaw (P100), sharks’ fin (P85), and their must-try century egg siomai (P90). They also have roasted duck and other popular Chinese dishes. It’s all that and dimsum!
3. Lan Zhou La Mien
The Chinese have noodles during celebrations—the long hand-pulled noodles signify the blessing of long life. If you love all things noodles, then Lan Zhou La Mien is the place for you. Two of their best-sellers are the spareribs lamien (P160) and the beef chaw lamien (P220).
The next four restaurants are found along Yuchengco street.
4. Dong Bei Dumplings
Dong Bei is a tiny restaurant famous for their authentic, freshly-made kuchay dumplings (P180)—you literally watch them make dumplings in front of you. While we weren’t too crazy about their xiao long bao (P200), their kuchay-stuffed pancakes (P200) and sugar pancakes (P100) are definitely a must-try.
5. Holland Hopia
Ho-land is a haven for hopia, tikoy, and other sweets. Established in the 1960s, this place is a one-stop shop for Chinese delicacies. Their hopia sells at P50 while their tikoy starts at P70.
One cannot leave Chinatown without trying Sincerity’s famous fried chicken (P325)! The juicy dish is so delicious, you won’t need to dip it in sauce to enjoy the culinary experience. Aside from the chicken that makes them so popular, they also have other best-sellers on the menu: fried oyster cake (P200), machang (P60), and creamy grass jelly (P40).
7. Awi's Cafe
Awi’s cafe is homey restaurant that fuses Filipino and Chinese culture. We highly recommend the salt and pepper spareribs (P230) and the pata bihon (P200). They also serve radish cake and milk tea, both priced at P98.
The last two restaurants are located at Dasmariñas and Quintin Paredes.
8. Ying Ying
Another Binondo must-visit, Ying Ying is a tea house that serves authentic Chinese cuisine. Make sure to order the yang chow rice (P180) and the fried wonton balls (P135).
9. New Po Heng
531 Quintin Paredes?
Up for a challenge? Try to find this hidden gem located at Quintin Paredes. New Po Heng is a tiny restaurant discreetly tucked inside an old building—but it’s definitely worth the search. They serve fresh lumpia at only P60.
Photos and video by Pat Buenaobra