Founded in the late 16th century, Binondo in Manila is considered one of the world’s oldest Chinatowns. This gives the area its own unique character and rich history that you can experience through the wonderful food and delicious snacks served by a multitude of restaurants and shops. It’s also highly accessible, so you can book a hotel near St. Luke’s Extension Clinic (which is near the U.S. embassy), and still comfortably commute to Binondo. So, if ever you find yourself in the area and are looking to go on a food trip, you can’t go wrong with Manila’s Chinatown. Here are just five places that you should definitely visit.
Dong Bei Dumplings
When it comes to food, few are as quintessentially Chinese as dumplings. And if you’re down for some, you can find the best ones at Dong Bei Dumplings along Yuchengco Street. With the owner of Dong Bei being from the Chinese mainland, you also can’t get any more authentic than this. Here, you’ll be served dumplings that are 100% fresh and even rolled right in front of you—further adding to the authentic experience. While you’re there, go ahead and give their kuchay pork dumplings a try, which you can dip in a tasty mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic sauce.
New Po Heng Lumpia House
If you’re up for something healthy, then you have to pass by the New Po Heng Lumpia House, which is along Quintin Paredes Street. Though this little canteen also serves delicious misua guisado, their fresh Chinese-style lumpia is scrumptious, tasty, and highly satisfying. Each roll is filled with tofu, various vegetables, cilantro, ground peanuts, and even seaweed. What’s more, they also serve their lumpia with some sweet and spicy sauce that definitely adds more flavor to each bite.
Ho-land Hopia and Bakery
If you somehow still haven’t found anything you particularly liked, you’ll definitely find it at Ho-land. This bakery along Nueva Street is the place to be if you’re looking for Filipino-Chinese treats in Binondo. But what Ho-land specializes in is their traditional Hopia, which is a bean-filled pastry brought over by Fujianese immigrants from mainland China. When you’re there, make sure to get some of their mongo hopia, which is filled with delicious mung bean paste.
Don’t let the name fool you, this place is a full-fledged Chinese restaurant that serves authentic yet affordable dishes. Located at the corner of Ongpin Street and Nueva Street, they serve flavorful kiampong, which is fried sticky rice that’s spiced up with some mushrooms and soy sauce. They also serve beef wanton, tofu-based dishes, and seafood lomi—which is made from fresh egg noodles and soaked in very small amounts of lye water for added texture. But as a heads up: make sure to time your arrival just right if you want to eat your lunch here. The place can get fully packed during peak meal hours.
Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli
If you’re in more of a hurry, you can also shop for quick bites at Eng Bee Tin. Right next to Café Mezzanine, this place also sells a variety of Chinese-Filipino treats and delicacies. We recommend you try their own take on the classic hopia: the Golden Pork Floss Hopia. This is basically the same hopia you can find elsewhere, but is sprinkled with strands of flavorful mahu or dried pork wool. The result is some extra fluffiness and an added meaty taste.
These are just our top choices for the places you can visit around Binondo. But there are many other establishments you can find and visit if you’re still up for more. And if you’ll be staying long, why not come back an extra day and do some of your own exploring? You won’t run out of great places to eat while you’re in Manila’s Chinatown.
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