Chinatown Chow Down


During the time of Spanish rule, the district of Binondo in the city of Manila was created as a settlement for Chinese immigrants. Strategically placed, it was near enough from Intramuros (where the Spanish resided) to allow for close monitoring, but far enough to allow for the flourishing of a community. Thus, the world’s first Chinatown in 1594 was born. (For context, William Shakespeare was 30 years old at the time.) Today, Binondo is a thriving hub that reflects the merging of culture, history, and culinary delights between Filipinos and Chinese. Below are the food gems scattered around Binondo, each one a good enough reason to visit one of Manila’s most historic areas.

Updated a year ago

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Wai Ying Fastfood

Manila, Philippines • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

Expect hefty servings of meaty Dumplings and Dim Sum at this two-story restaurant. With prices that won’t break the bank, prime yourself to load up on dishes and baskets oozing with flavor, from Hakaw and Siu Mai to noodles. Remember to pace yourself and leave as much room as possible for more of what some say are the best Dumplings in Manila.


810 Benavidez Street, Binondo, Manila, Philippines

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Dong Bei Dumplings

Manila, Philippines • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

This unassuming restaurant has made an indelible mark in Binondo with its affordable but amazing Kuchay Dumplings (a mix of pork and chives). These small pillows of goodness are made from scratch on a simple workstation, and explode with flavor at first bite. Priced at just over USD2 for a serving of 14 pieces, it’s an absolute steal. Other items on the menu include Xiao Long Bao and the always filling Pancake Stuffed with Kuchay.


642 Yuchengco Street, Binondo, Manila, Philippines

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Lan Zhou La Mien

Manila, Philippines • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

Lan Zhou La Mien is famed for their La Mien Noodles, which are made by twisting and pulling dough until it stretches out into long strands of noodles. Sometimes referred to as “birthday noodles” or “longevity noodles” because of their length, these are served in a broth with vegetables and meat chunks. Request for refills of the broth in case you need more than one serving!


818 Benavidez Street, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines

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President Tea House

Manila, Philippines • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

For straight-up, classic Chinese food such as Sweet and Sour Pork and Jumbo Dim Sum, there’s no place you’d rather be. This decades-old restaurant has amassed loyal customers (including the country’s former First Lady Imelda Marcos) looking for good Cantonese fare. You can find this adjacent to the President Palace Restaurant, known for serving family-sized Chinese lauriat meals. The teahouse offers the same food in smaller servings; the amount of flavor, however, remains unchanged.


809 Salazar Street, Binondo, Manila, Philippines

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Estero Fast Food

Manila, Philippines • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

Estero Food Alley serves dishes that reflect the fusion of Chinese and Filipino culture. This is where you go for out-of-the-ordinary delicacies like Frogs Legs and Soup No. 5 (Filipino soup with bull’s testes). Their chicken items—whether garlic, buttered, or sweet & sour—are also worth a try.

Ongpin Street, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines

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King Chef Seafood Restaurant

Manila, Philippines • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

For a change of scenery, King Chef Seafood Restaurant is located inside Lucky Chinatown mall in the heart of Binondo. The restaurant, with its casual yet elegant ambience, operates with the philosophy of serving food that can please the King—hence, the name—and a constant stream of customers attests to the quality. With Dim Sum at half price twice a day (3:00PM-5:00PM and 9:00PM-12:00AM), there’s always time to drop by.


Second Floor, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Reina Regente Street, Binondo, Manila, Philippines

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Sincerity Cafe and Restaurant

Manila, Philippines • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

Unbeknownst to some, Fried Chicken is a part of Chinese cuisine—and no one in Binondo does it better than Sincerity. For USD3, you get tasty, tender chicken smothered in crispy, incredibly tasty breading that you will never get enough of. Other prized dishes include the Kikiam and Fried Oyster Cake.


497 Yuchengco Street, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines

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Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli

Manila, Philippines • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

For the Hopia uninitiated, this is where you go to get your mind blown. A famous stop for takeaway treats, Eng Bee Tin comes with a rainbow of Hopia flavor varieties: Ube (purple yam), Ube Langka (purple yam and jackfruit), Custard, Pineapple, Mung Bean, even Mochaccino. Tikoy, Mooncakes and other sweet delicacies are available.


628 Ongpin Street, Binondo, Manila, Philippines

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Ho-land Hopia and Bakery

Manila, Philippines • Recommendation • 29 May 2018

Cap off your food binge with something sweet at Ho-Land Hopia and Bakery. Find go-to Chinese bites like Tikoy (or Nian Gao, a sweet rice-based sticky treat), and Machang (glutinous rice stuffed with filling). Ho-Land also carries Hopia (a bean-filled pastry) with a variety of flavors such as mung bean, wintermelon, and pork. This bakery does not offer tables or chairs for customers, so grab whatever tickles your fancy and enjoy them on the go or at home.


551 Yuchengco Street, Binondo, Manila, Philippines

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