While the Philippines has an abundance of islands waiting to be explored, there are places that aren’t so far that are definitely worth the visit. Case in point, the world’s oldest chinatown – Binondo. Whether you’re visiting for the first-time or are revisiting, here’s a quick guide on where to go in Chinatown Manila:
Once you are in Manila, look for LRT Line 1. It doesn’t really matter what station you find as long as you buy a ticket going to Carriedo. From there, walk until you reach the old BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands) building.
Across BPI sits Sta. Cruz Church, which is the usual jump-off point for tourists. The church was named after the Holy Cross found by Governor Alfonso Fajardo de la Tenza in January 9 of 1724. Here, you can see the “miraculous” statue of Nuestra Senora del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar), the church’s patron saint.
From there, there are several restaurants and shops that you can go to. But if you’re at a complete lost as to where to head off to first, then here’s a quick guide on where to go in Chinatown Manila for good food:
Dong Bei Dumplings offer authentic, tasty, and affordable northern style dumplings. What is even more interesting is that the servers “make” your orders right in front of you. The Kuchay (leek) pork dumplings and the Chinese pancake are their bestsellers. Both dishes sell for about P120. Kuchay dumplings are best dip in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic sauce.
Where to go: Go to Binondo Church and look for Dong Bei Dumplings at the end of Yuchengco Street.
Behold, the best hopia shop in Chinatown. For P250, you can buy a box of their bestseller Golden Pork Floss Hopia. What makes Eng Bee Tin’s hopia special is its wrapper – made of pork floss (Mahu) a dried meat wool that has a fluffy texture.
Where to go: Go to the corner of Ongpin and Yuchengco Street. It is hard to miss because this place is always crowded.
Above Eng Bee Tin, is Café Mezzanine which is more popularly known as The Fireman’s Cafe. Why? Because all the restaurants revenues are donated to Binondo Paco Fire Search and Rescue Brigade. Some of their bestsellers include lechon kawali, machang, adobo tofu and pata tim.
Where to go: Above Eng Bee Tin.
When you go to Chinatown, this place is almost always packed during meal times – which is no surprise though. They have a delicious fried chicken platter that’s become the menu’s bestseller.Sprinkled with oriental spice, Sincerity’s chicken sells for P160 (half) and P320 (whole). Apart from this, their fried oyster cake, shrimp omelet and adobo frog have become restaurant staples, as well.
Where to go: Sincerity is located at 497 E.T. Yunchengco Street.
Commonly known as DEC, Diao Eng Chay sells everything from hopia, imported snacks, frozen chinese food and more. Their take-out meals include dumplings, siomai, chicken pies, and lumpia. Their lumpia is made of shredded bean curd, cabbage, carrots, green beans, and shrimp. On the other hand, the chicken pie filled with cream and mushroom costs P40.
Where to go: 845-847 Salazar St.
Choose from a variety of dimsums. One of its best sellers is the Wai Ying siomai. Other siomai pushcarts you see all over the metro are no match against it. This place is also perfect for “barkada” food hopping.
Where to go: Wai Ying Dimsum is located at Benavidez Street. It is right across Manila Chinatown Hotel.
If you feel like heading over for a food trip and need a place to stay at because you’re too tired to go home, then book a place in Chinatown with Traveloka.
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