Food Trip Philippines: 5 Suggestions on What to Eat in Manila

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We are going on a Food Trip in the Philippines specifically in the outskirts of the capital- Manila!

If you are a fan of my posts (semi famous in The Philippines now because of my blog – wink) you would know that 2 things I enjoy while on travel are to meet new people and to eat dishes that are unique to the place.

These 2 activities brings me a bit closer to the culture of the place.

That even for a short amount of time I get to experience the identity of the place I visit through the people and their food.

Between the months of August and September I had the opportunity to visit Manila twice.

A Tourist in the Capital of the Philippines

The first was in August wherein Hotel Benilde invited me to stay in their hotel. Travel and food bloggers have the coolest gig right? 

While the most recent one was to explore Manila together with another awesome travel blogger The Great Wander.

Related Post: The Lies About Solo Traveling

In all honesty I never had interest in visiting Manila. Traffic is bad, city is crowded and it needs more tidying up.

If not for my projects I would not have definitely gone. I guess my blog projects in Manila is one way of telling me to go explore Manila.

Well yes Manila definitely needs some tidying up – do not hate me I speak only the truth but don’t worry this is to head somewhere good (wink) – but beyond the ‘hate’ Manila is definitely a cultural food hub.

The 5 food suggestions below are not in any way ‘the best’ that Manila can offer. These are restaurants or food stalls that I saw while exploring Manila.

Thus imagine if I exerted effort in researching for the best restaurants and places in Manila.

But that is too common and Erik the Hungry Traveller never does the ordinary (smirk). 

Food trip in the Philippines: Destination # 1

The Streets of Binondo

Binondo is a district in Manila and is popularly known as the city’s Chinatown. Moreover, it is the oldest Chinatown in the world.

Being that it’s the oldest it has with it some great history which you can see throughout its buildings and its residents.

During my exploration in Chinatown I noticed that the streets were teaming with street food, fruits and dim sum sold just along the road.

This is truly a food haven especially if you love Chinese food. If you’re like me who has a sweet tooth make sure to visit Eng Bee Tin and get yourself some moon cakes and other sweet bean desserts.

Food Trip Philippines
Food Trip in the Philippines: Destination # 2

Wai Ying Restaurant

We are already in Chinatown so might as well pitch in this awesome hole in the wall restaurant found at the heart of Binondo.

Food Trip Philippines

Now I wanted to head to this restaurant during my August trip. But being that I am so great with navigation.

I was not able to locate the said restaurant.

Good that I was given the opportunity to go back. Learning from my past mistakes I brought along some company.

The place is not at all fancy both on the outside and the inside but boy oh boy the food is good.

Wai Ying is famous for their dumplings and other Dim sum short orders. We went on a dim sum food coma after.

Food Trip Philippines
Dumpling Noodles

Safe to say that if you want some authentic Chinese food without drilling holes in your pockets then try this restaurant.

Location: Buenavidez Street Binondo Manila

Store Hours: Everyday 7 AM - 2 AM
Food Trip in the Philippines: Destination # 3

8065 Bagnet

Hailing from Cebu which is south of Manila we do not have bagnet (or so I thought). Thus I made it my mission to taste this Luzon dish.

For those who are not familiar bagnet is made from pork belly which is deep fried to give it its crispy taste.

Upon getting my order in 8065 Bagnet only then did I realize that Bagnet is not so uncommon to me as I previously thought.

We from the South call our Bagnet pork liempo or close enough to be lechon kawali.

Now I am not here to compare both dish, I am here to talk about 8065 Bagnet. Again, another hole in the wall resto that is friendly to the pockets of Filipinos.

It’s a chique artistic diner found in the university rich area of Manila, thus expect to see students flocking the place.

Food Trip Philippines

I ordered their best seller. The taste for me was okay, nothing to die for. There may be better food places in the metro but then again for my short trip this was the best I could find.

Location:  Leon Guinto St, Malate, Manila, 1004 Metro Manila

Store Hours: Monday to Saturday - 11 AM - 11 PM, Sunday - 5 PM - 10 PM
Food Trip in the Philippines: Destination # 4  

Blocleaf Café

Now this is my earliest food trip adventure. Blocleaf is located just a few blocks away from the popular Manila bay. Right beside Hop Inn hotel.

Food Trip Philippines

The café can fit a max of 6 to 9 people and was fortunate enough to have it all to myself during my visit.

For coffee lover’s out there this is the place to go. Their coffee is super strong which compliments their light sandwich offerings.

Food Trip Philippines

And oh they also sell pastries and cake which I did not buy essentially because it was 9 in the morning. I did not want to pig out during that time☺ .  

Food Trip Philippines
Location: 1850 M. H. Del Pilar St, Malate, Manila, 1004 Metro Manila

Store Hours: Every day 8 AM - 9 PM
Food Trip in the Philippines: Destination # 5  
Street Food!

We started in the streets we end up there as well. I am always adventurous with food.

I’m a picky eater in terms of cleanliness. However, I don’t mind eating anything as long as the preparation and the place looks clean.

Manila is a hub of street food. In my Manila trips I explored the sidewalks. I found vendors selling fish balls, tempura, battered quail eggs and Halo Halo.

You name it Manila has it

The one meal that I definitely enjoyed eating though was the Beef Pares.

It’s a simple beef brisket mixed with innards of the cow. Which you’d not recognize unless you ask the seller what it is.

The broth is sticky because of the beef fat and it comes with rice. You can find this interesting dish all over Manila.

I got a taste of this dish while exploring the streets of Pasay.

Beef Pares w/ Rice

So there you have it the 5 unique and simple food dining experience in Manila.

If by any chance you get to visit Manila make sure to explore the not so common dining hubs.

I assure you that is where you can taste the yummiest and affordable Filipino meals.

Till the next food trip Philippines edition. Got to get me some grub now, talking about food made me very hungry.

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Erik the Hungry Traveller

Erik James aka Erik the Hungry Traveller is a Human Resource Ninja and at the same time a travel & food blogger. He uses his passion for the arts particularly with painting and photography to add more fun and color to his social media pages. He loves extreme adventures and does not back out on any food challenge. His passion for food and travelling started during his childhood years where he would accompany his parents to business trips around the Philippines. He currently focuses on writing blogs on solo travelling and trying out restaurants that are not your usual run of the mill places. To counter his extreme love for travelling and FOOD he also enjoys swimming and mix martial arts so that he can stay “relatively” fit and healthy. Instagram : Facebook: Email: [email protected]

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20 Responses

  1. Definitely have to agree with Wai Ying! That was some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever had! Thanks for sharing this experience with me! 🙂

  2. Avatar Agness says:

    Hi Erik, just thinking about the food in Manila. I really should try all these in my next travel.

  3. Avatar Robert B. says:

    I have only been to the Philippines once and it was many years ago, I believe 11 or so years ago now. I have wanted to go back since but medical issues kept me from making travels, especially alone. Now that I have my health and life back in order, I am planning my trip. Just wanted to say thank you for the food recommendations. I am a foodie and part of the reason I love traveling is for the different kinds of food!

  4. Avatar Andrew says:

    The food trip looks really cool.
    I’ve done similar tour when I was in Philippines 2 years ago!

  5. All the dishes that you mentioned here are non-vegetarian. How easy is to find vegetarian or vegan food? Could you list out some vegan dishes, if you know any?

  6. Avatar Val says:

    Even if I stayed in the Philippines for 1 month I managed to be in Manila only for one day unfortunately! So I am keeping notes for my next trip there , even if as vegetarian I wouldnt choose those dishes the places look cool! Halo Halo is also always an option hehe!

  7. We still have not visited the Philippines. But my taste buds are now tempted. The street food options look great. But dim sum offers so many different choices. Pork belly deep fried sounds a bit odd to me. But I will take your word for it that bagnets are great.

  8. I was thinking of heading here in November and I hear the food there is amazing. Definitely adding these to my list of places to try!

  9. Avatar BitbitPH says:

    I love Cebu. I miss Bantayan Island. I’ll be going back next year to the Philippines

  10. The Phlippines is blessed with such a beautiful land and amazingly warm people. I always love coming back to the Philippines every year.

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