Everything You Need To Eat When You Go To Binondo

Here are the must-eats in the world’s oldest Chinatown.
PHOTO: (LEFT) Instagram/raneljames, (RIGHT) Instagram/janellanoreen

It’s hard to call yourself a foodie in Manila if you haven’t been to Binondo. Known as one of the oldest Chinatowns in the world, Binondo is home to a treasure trove of all things Chinese food, whether it’s dumplings, noodles, or fried rice. There are dozens of restaurants to be found here, so a visit to this part of the city can be quite confusing even if it’s your third or fourth time to Binondo. We’ve rounded up a list of 10 essential restaurants that you have to try at least once.

  1. Dong Bei Dumplings

    If you look up hole in the wall in a dictionary, you’d probably find a picture of Dong Bei Dumplings. This cozy, and we do mean cozy, restaurant has a dumpling workstation, a kitchen, and a dining area all in an itty-bitty space. It’s not meant for those who get easily claustrophobic, but the delicious dumplings more than make up for it. They offer pork, shrimp and all sorts of vegetarian varieties, as well as fried pancakes that come stuffed with meat and veggies.

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  2. Sincerity Café and Restaurant

    Fried chicken may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to Chinese food, but trust us when we say there’s something special about Sincerity’s version of this classic dish. The chicken is coated in a spicy, peppery, and overall flavorful batter that really brings out the meat’s natural juices. Also not to be missed is their version of the fried oyster cake, which comes with generous amounts of the seafood.

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  3. Wai Ying Fastfood

    Wai Ying’s interiors may not be the fanciest, but they more than make up for it with their wide array of delicious dim sum. You have your classics like hakaw, pork siomai, and asado siopao, as well as more experimental dishes like curry beef siomai, and noodles like the roast duck mami. You can even take some of their bestselling dim sum home, as they also sell them frozen.

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  4. Masuki

    Masuki may have started out as the younger brother of popular mami restaurant Ma Mon Luk, but it’s easily made a name for itself in the Chinese noodle scene. Their version of mami comes with their very own homemade broth and all kinds of protein, from chicken, beef and pork asado. Plus, their servings are big enough to split with a friend.

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  5. Ongpin Mañosa

    Ongpin Mañosa is one of the OG restaurants in Binondo, being around since the 1940s. This old school carinderia is best known for its maki, a thick soup made with strips of pork and tons of leeks, as well as machang, a rice ball stuffed with generous amounts of pork and shiitake mushrooms.

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  6. Ying Ying Tea House

    Ying Ying Tea House is arguably the best place to get Cantonese-style Chinese food without flying to Hong Kong. They have a pretty extensive menu as they offer everything from dim sum like radish cake, chicken feet, and taro puffs, to congee and mami, and everything in between. Plus, everything is quite affordable with most of the dishes coming in at under P200.

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  7. ZCT Delicious Restaurant

    With the word delicious in its name, you can be sure you’re getting the best and most affordable Chinese dishes at this restaurant. They’re best known for their Lechon Kawali, or crispy fried pork belly that’s served with a really flavorful sauce. Check out as well their pancit chami, a fried noodle dish that comes with tons of meat and vegetables.

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  8. New Po Heng Lumpia House

    This lumpia may be hard to find, being tucked away in a building, but it’s worth the search. New Po Heng Lumpia House’s version is stuffed with all kinds of goodies like vegetables, tofu, ground peanuts, seaweed, and fried noodles. It’s big enough to share with three people, but with a roll this good, why would you want to?

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  9. Salazar Bakery

    This bakery on Ongpin Street has been around since 1947, serving up traditional Chinese pastries like moon cakes and chicken and meat pies. Their flaky, buttery hopia is what most people come for, and it comes in a wide array of flavors from the classic mongo and ube. Watch out for when they bring out their specialty tikoy during Chinese New Year though, they have varieties that come with peanuts and sesame seeds.

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  10. Shanghai Fried Siopao

    Trust us when we say you’ve never had siopao like this before. This fluffy bun, which comes stuffed with either pork asado or bola-bola, is first steamed and then pan-fried, giving you a crispy, golden brown bottom. This unique play on textures is why this tiny food stall has tons of fans, with many willing to line up for an hour just to get their hands on these buns.

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