Where to eat in Binondo for Chinese New Year

By Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jan 28 2014 07:15 AM | Updated as of Feb 01 2014 01:40 AM

A sign welcomes visitors to Binondo. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA – Expect to see Binondo packed with visitors who will welcome the Year of the Wooden Horse on January 31.

Located in Manila, the world’s oldest Chinatown is not only home to cheap goods, it is also a bustling food haven that is worth braving the traffic for.

Before joining in the Chinese New Year festivities, go on a food trip by visiting these seven food streets in Binondo. Each street offers delicious yet affordable dishes (and delicacies that you can bring home).

This list is arranged alphabetically:

Benavidez Street

For most people, a visit to Binondo is not complete without eating at Masuki, which has been serving mami or noodle soup since the 1930s.

The place offers mami with different toppings such as asado, beef, chicken and wonton, as well as the Chinese restaurant staples siopao and siomai. And just like most dining spots here in Binondo, the items at Masuki are reasonably priced.

F. Torres Street

And speaking of old, another iconic restaurant in the Philippines’ own Chinatown is located along F. Torres Street. Unlike most places in Binondo which specialize in Chinese food, Ambos Mundos serves Spanish dishes such as paella and lengua. Dine here if you want to try something different in Binondo, or if you want to have a taste of history.

Ongpin Street

Ongpin Street. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

For first-timers, Ongpin Street is usually the starting point of their Binondo adventure, and with good reason. Some of Binondo’s busiest restaurants and stores can be found here, serving anything from traditional Chinese fare to fast food and other dishes.

The Eng Bee Tin store here (it has several other branches scattered around Binondo) attracts a steady crowd even on ordinary days, with the place known for different variants of hopia, tikoy and other Chinese delicacies. Sharing the same space is Chuan Kee, which is a good place for a quick bite.

Eng Bee Tin sells different variants of hopia, from mongo to mochaccino. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

Those who want something a bit fancier may opt for President Grand Palace Restaurant, which is already an institution in Binondo for serving Chinese classics. Unlike most dining spots in the area, President Grand Palace is a bit more upscale, with rates comparable to Metro Manila restaurant prices.

A plate of scallops at President Grand Palace. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

Quintin Paredes Street

The Binondo Church is located at the corner of Ongpin and Quintin Paredes. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

This street is hard to miss as it is where the Binondo Church and the newly built Ramada Manila Central Hotel are located. Those who will be staying at Ramada may consider having New Po Heng Lumpia house as their first stop, with the place selling tasty Chinese lumpia packed with meat and vegetables. Aside from lumpia, New Po Heng also offers several noodle dishes.

Salazar Street

Binondo's Salazar Street. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

One of the quieter streets in Binondo, Salazar Street features small stalls selling Chinese charms and other items. A notable food destination here is Shin Tai Shang, a store that sells pineapple cakes, curry puffs and other Taiwanese candies.

T. Alonzo Street

This street is known for Salido Restaurant, which has been serving pancit or stir-fried noodles, pugon-roasted pork and coffee brewed in a siphon. For those who want a hot bowl of noodles, visit Ling Nam Noodle Parlor which is also located along T. Alonzo.

Yuchengco Street

Dong Bei Dumplings is located along Yuchengco Street. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

Dumpling lovers are in for a treat at Yuchengco Street, the home of the popular Dong Bei Dumplings. Don’t be fooled by its humble interiors – the place makes one of the (if not the) best dumplings in town. And the best part is that they are incredibly cheap – P100 can get you either 14 dumplings with pork and kuchay or 10 pieces of pork and shrimp dumplings. The soupy xiao long bao, meanwhile, costs only P90 for six pieces.

Dong Bei's xiao long bao cost only P90 per order. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

Another well-known restaurant, Sincerity, is also located along Yuchengco Street. Sincerity prides itself in its home-style fried chicken which has been attracting long lines, especially during lunch time.

For those who want to bring home hopia that doesn’t come from Eng Bee Tin, try Ho Land Bakery, which sells a variety of Chinese pastries.