Binondo is one of the best foodie destinations in Manila. Featuring hole-in-the-wall restaurants and unassuming food stalls, it’s a great destination for families and friends who want to taste authentic Chinese dishes.
I’d already been on a Binondo food trip twice and both times were great. This is something that I probably won’t get tired of, as it’s relatively cheap and there are always new dining options to find. My latest visit fell on a weekend, and admittedly, I was caught off-guard with the long queues everywhere! Nonetheless, it was a happy (tummy) experience.
Here’s our updated guide on the best restaurants and food spots for those doing a DIY food trip in Binondo.
- About Binondo
- Top-Rated Restaurants in Binondo
- Best Snacks and Pasalubong
- Other restaurants to try
- How to get to Binondo
- Tips for Your Binondo Food Trip
- Book a Binondo food tour
- What to read next:
Binondo is known as “the oldest Chinatown in the world.” Its name is derived from the word “binundok”, which means low-lying hills.
It was established in the 1500s by the Spaniards as a settlement for the Catholic Chinese. It then grew as the center of trade in Manila. Today, it’s a cultural and foodie attraction with lots of restaurants serving affordable, delicious Filipino and Chinese delicacies such as dumplings, noodles, and rice meals.
Binondo is one of the spots in Manila for a food trip. Other places worth visiting include Maginhawa in Quezon City, Kapitolyo in Ortigas, and Poblacion in Makati.
Top-Rated Restaurants in Binondo
Whether it’s your first time in Binondo or here on a recurring visit, here are the tried-and-tested restaurants that you shouldn’t miss.
Wai Ying Fastfood
One of the most beloved restaurants in Binondo serving authentic Cantonese cuisines, from dumplings to rice meals. They have generous servings and their rice dishes can be good for sharing!
- What to order: Dimsum, dumplings, roasted duck rice, lemon chicken rice, soy/asado chicken rice, congee
- Open hours: 7AM to 2AM
Lan Zhou La Mien
Lan Zhou La Mien is famous for their hand-pulled noodle soups. You can even witness a live demonstration of how they make the noodles.
- What to order: Beef lamien
- Open hours: 8AM to 9PM
Ying Ying Tea House
One of the top-rated restaurants in Binondo, Ying Ying Tea House offers affordable and delicious Chinese dishes such as congee, rice meals, dumplings, and noodles.
- What to order: Dimsum (pork siomai, hakaw), chicken feet, yang chow fried rice, spare ribs tausi, and more
- Open hours: 7AM to 2AM
Sincerity Cafe and Restaurant
Sincerity’s pride is their fried chicken, but you can also order other Chinese food such as pancit, lumpiang shanghai, and more.
- What to order: Fried chicken, oyster cake, kikiam
- Open hours: 9AM to 9PM
Known as “The Fireman’s Coffee Shop,” this café donates their revenue to the Binondo Paco Fire Search and Rescue Brigade.
- What to order: Soup #5, kiampong dumplings (such as lava pao)
- Open hours: 7AM to 10PM
Best Snacks and Pasalubong
Dong Bei Dumplings
This store is known for their pork and kuchay dumplings. You can order them steamed or fried for take-out or buy frozen packs for pasalubong.
- Open hours: 9AM to 8PM
New Po Heng Lumpia House
Found along Carvajal Street, this nondescript food stall serves one of the best fresh lumpias (spring rolls) in Binondo, served with their own version of special sweet-spicy sauce.
- Open hours: 7AM to 7PM
Shanghai Fried Siopai
Located along Ongpin Street, this food stall serves cheap and delicious fried siopao that you can eat or take home as pasalubong.
- Open hours: 8AM to 10PM
Eng Bee Tin
A visit to Binondo won’t be complete without buying food pasalubong from Eng Bee Tin. It’s most famous for its hopia and tikoy. I also recommend buying a box of pineapple cake, which is super addicting.
There is more than one branch of Eng Bee Tin in Binondo. Its flagship store, which is located in Ongpin Street, is a 2-storey building where can buy goods and dine in at their in-house restaurant (Great Buddha Cafe).
- Open hours: 8AM to 8PM
Polland Hopia Factory and Cafe
Established in 1966, this store serves different kinds of hopia (mung bean cake), as well as mooncakes, tikoy, and other delicacies.
- Open hours: 7AM to 8PM
Lord Stow’s Bakery
This bakery is famous for their egg tarts, which are soft and creamy – perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
- Open hours: 8AM to 8PM
Other restaurants to try
Here are other worthwhile Binondo restaurants you can visit:
Chuan Kee Fast Food
Chuan Kee Fast Food is the oldest fastfood restaurant in Binondo. They are known for their kiampong, gokhong, maki, and lechon kawali, as well as other Chinoy favorites.
- What to order: Kiampong, pork maki mi
- Open hours: 6AM to 10PM
LGA Fast Food Estero
This canteen-style fastfood serves affordable meals, though they are mostly known for exotic dishes such as frog legs.
- What to order: Fried garlic frog legs
- Open hours: 9:30AM to 9PM
Established in the 1960s, it is one of the oldest restaurants in Binondo. Masuki serves comfort food, including their bestseller mami noodles.
- What to order: Beef mami
- Open hours: 7AM to 10:30PM
How to get to Binondo
The easiest way to commute to Binondo is by the LRT Station. Get off at either Carriedo Station (Sta. Cruz Church) or D. Jose Station (Binondo Church). From there, it’s a few minutes walk to Binondo.
If you’re bringing a car, here are the parking spaces available:
- Mall parking: For secure parking, head to Lucky Chinatown Mall (open from 10AM to 9PM). It’s only a short walk to the food spots in Binondo.
- Street parking: This is the cheapest option, as it only costs P50 for a whole day. However, it is difficult to find a free spot on weekends and holidays. An alternative would be the parking at Binondo Church.
- Pay parking: You can find pay parking along Yuchengco St. and Escolta St. This is what we recommend especially if you’re visiting on a weekend.
Tips for Your Binondo Food Trip
Here are some commonly asked questions about Binondo:
- Best time to visit: Binondo is a popular day tour in Manila, particularly during Chinese New Year where you can do a food crawl and see dragon dance performances at the same time. If you want to avoid the crowd, it’s best to go here on regular weekdays. If you’re going on weekends or holidays, prepare to wait in long queues especially in the popular restaurants.
- What to wear: Wear breathable, comfortable clothing and sturdy footwear, as you’ll probably do a lot of walking.
- What to bring: A bottle of water in case you get tired and thirsty; an eco-bag if you want to buy pasalubong.
- How much is the budget: It depends on how many restaurants and food stalls you plan to visit. In a small group, a safe budget is around P1500 per person.
Other things you can do in Binondo:
- Visit the Binondo Church, which is a heritage site built during the Spanish period.
- Drop by the Chinatown Museum to learn more about the history of Binondo.
- Take a stroll around Binondo and visit general merchandise stores, jewelry shops along Ongpin Street, and feng shui and crystal stores. If you’re up for some fun activities, have your fortune read in the area! I had a tarot reading in our visit and it was one of the best ones I’ve had. (I’m an avid fan of tarot reading.)
- Head to Manila Bay for the sunset.
Binondo Travel Tips:
- Binondo is generally safe. However, as with other city locations, it’s best to practice good common sense and keep an eye on your belongings at all times.
- Plan your itinerary and decide which food stops you want to visit ahead of time. Most likely, you’ll only visit around 5 restaurants / food stalls.
- A food trip in Binondo is best done with a partner or friends, so you can share food and split expenses.
- If you want the Binondo food trip experience but in a more convenient setting, you can go instead to Lucky Chinatown Mall where you can find Chinese restaurants such as King Chef, Shi Lin, and Sincerity, as well as pasalubong stores such as Eng Bee Tin. This tip is particularly useful for families with young kids in tow.
Book a Binondo food tour
For organized food trips in Binondo, it’s easiest to book via Klook.
Here’s a short video of our recent Binondo food trip:
Have you been to Binondo food crawl? What are your favorite restaurants and recommendations? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Katherine Cortes is a long-time backpacker and a freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).