10 Best Restaurants For Chinatown Binondo Food Tour Package

It was during the celebration of the Chinese New Year on January 31, 2014 when I and Lawrence Chan – one the most dedicated tour guides in Manila I have ever known personally held our pilot walking food trip in Binondo and the nearby Sta Cruz. Our goal is very simple - to bring more people to get a glimpse of Binondo’s history which was established in 15th century making it the oldest if not one of Chinatown outside China in the world.

As a matter of fact the mark up price we included in the rate, is little compared to our other “rakets” or other sources of income.  We just love to eat authentic Chinese dishes and we want more people to experience the same. Binondo is a haven of hundreds of Chinese restaurants most of them established centuries if not decades ago. Eating there is like tasting  a recipe that stood the test of time.



I have long been planning to collaborate with him by organizing a Binondo Chinatown food tour package for a cheaper price compared to another leading tour operator in this area. I cannot think of anyone else better than him knowing the fact that he is half – Chinese, can speak Mandarin language and the most important is he used to live in the streets of Binondo. And my decision was right all along, when he started conducting tours, he talks very spontaneous like he is just sharing his childhood memories to the rest of the participants.
Now on our 6th month, our enthusiasm and appetite for eating to different old restaurants has not dwindled, not a bit I tell you. We have brought a lot of people from different walks of life from as small as a group of 2 mostly a couple to a family reunion of 16 to a company outing of 40 plus. We don’t want to sound hypocrite since out of that small markup price, profit is also our main driving force behind this, we really would love to bring a bigger crowd as much as possible because that would mean a bigger pay. But we realized the more participants outside the attention capacity that can be carried out by a tour guide, the less they get to appreciate what the food tour is.  Eating in Binondo is not just filling the participants’ stomach but it is appreciating the rich heritage of the Chinese community.

With that I would love to share 10 best restaurants that I think are the gems of Binondo Chinatown. Please be reminded that none of them have not sponsored  this post nor they give us special discounted rates whenever we bring people to eat in their restaurants. We pay the same rate like the rest of the customers that dine to them.
     

1. New Eastern Garden Restaurant
Address: Ongpin Street, Sta Cruz

New Eastern Garden Restaurant was established in 1950 so this is already 64 years old. They are known for their very affordable lumpia. You can even see how they prepare it – a guarantee that what you will eat is fresh.  The small regular is only P38 and the jumbo special is only P55.





2. Ling Nam Wanton Parlor and Noodle Factory
Address: Alonzo St, Santa Cruz

Wanton beef, lugaw and congee are their must – trys. The prices are very affordable.   Wanton soup is P135  and wanton asado for P155. 








3. Sincerity Café
Address: Yuchengco St. Binondo

Sincerity Café  is about 60+ years old as well. We love their halo – halo special there for only P80 and the serving size is quite bigger compared to the rest I see elsewhere.  Cha Misua and oyster cake are the other must- trys here. Their wintermelon tea is the best, from the kundol fruit.  







4. Maki Place
Address:  Benavidez St. Binondo 

Raddish cake and pork maki are the must try here.  Of all the old – restaurants here in Binondo that I featured this is the only one that has a FREE wifi connection. I don’t know with the rest but getting online for even just a few minutes in between breaks is already a big help to me as I work online. 







5. Ambus Mundos
Address: Florentino St. Recto Avenue

Ambus Mundos was founded in 1888 so that means it is 126 years old. One very interesting sight that will greet everyone in the entrance door is a black chubby pig.  Don’t worry it does not stink and it is groomed well. It is believed to bring good luck by the owners. Must try is their pork asado, yang chow rice and nido soup.  






6. Antigua Toho / New Toho Antigua Center
Address: T. Pinpin St, Sta Cruz

We used to hear a lot that Jose Rizal used to dine in here and also Fernando Poe Sr! We’ll let you do the math of how old is this! Must try are their lechon kawali, fried kikiam and pancit canton. 

7. Dong Bei
Address: 642 Yuchengco St, Manila

I can eat dumplings and chao long baos all day! That’s how I love this place – my personal favorite. Though the place is relatively small, I have seen this place lined up by people for hours on different occasions and it is proud to be reviewed by Tripadvisor, the proof is its badge posted in the main door. 






8. Bee Tin Grocery
Address: 733-735 Ongpin St, Binondo, Manila, 1006

If you want to see a lot  of exotic and never – heard of medications, remedies and a lot more about Chinese products get inside here. 





9.  La Resurreccion Chocolate
Address: Ongpin St. Binondo

La Resurreccion Chocolate is the oldest chocolate factory in the Philippines so you know what I mean. You are buying a product from a national – title holder. I love cocoa products because back in my home we have a few cacao trees in our backyard. 





10. Holand hopia
Address: 551 Nueva Street Binondo




There’s a lot of bakeries and breadshops in Binondo. If you want to buy hopia, my personal favorite is at Chinese Holand delicacies or more known as Holand bakery. Their hopias come in different flavors like everybody else but the flavor does not give you that feeling of after a few bites you don’t want to have more.  The flavor is not too sweet and not too plain.  

I also want to add three more to the list that will make a meaningful Binondo walking tour: the Sta Cruz / Binondo Church, Santo Cristo de Longos shrine and temples within the place. Please never join a trip to Binondo without a camera. You will regret not capturing a single moment as the place is full of picture perfect shots from a wide array of fruits in the streets, to people walking by and of course the food for Instagram.

There are a few challenges though that we need to brave. Most of these restaurants are small in capacity so a larger group is not really advisable. The participants should expect that the walking tour is good for 4 hours and it can extend to 5 or 6 hours. We don’t however charge any extra for that. They should be prepared walking and wear light clothes plus flat footwear.

So there you go I hope I have given you an idea of the best places to dine in Binondo and I hope you join our weekend walking Binondo food tour. You are very much welcome. Just send me an email for your questions.

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