Binondo

Binondo, otherwise known as Manila’s 400-year-old Chinatown, is said to be the oldest Chinatown in the entire world. This colorful and charmingly chaotic district is a cultural haven, well known for its rich history, cultural heritage, and delectable Chinese cuisine. A visit to Binondo is essential if one seeks to discover old Manila and its thriving hub of Chinese commerce.

Tourists from all corners of the metro flock to Binondo every January/February to celebrate the Chinese New Year and partake in traditional Chinese festivities. Despite being vibrant and hectic all year round, Binondo transforms into a much livelier place once this period approaches.

Seas of bright red lanterns glow warmly above the countless visitors navigating its streets. Here they can bear witness to peddlers displaying colorful fireworks, fruits, moon cakes, and other merchandise on densely packed streets, crowds cheering on fire-breathers and dragon dancers frolicking around the district, and devotees offering fruits to Buddha in temples filled with the scents of tea and incense.

On regular days, Binondo is slightly more peaceful, allowing visitors to soak in its old world charm without fear of being swept away by excited crowds. Two of the district’s main attractions are its unique culinary delights and cultural heritage sites. Many of these sites – including churches, temples, and markets – have existed for hundreds of years, serving as gateways to Manila Chinatown’s past under the Spanish rule.

Among Binondo’s most popular cultural attractions is the Binondo Church, or the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz, one of the oldest places of worship in the Philippines. Originally founded by Dominican priests in 1596, it is named after Filipino-Chinese saint San Lorenzo Ruiz. Another well-known site is the Seng Guan Temple on Narra Street, a prominent Buddhist edifice where one can spot monks walking among its various meditation rooms and majestic golden shrines.

Binondo is also a favorite for adventurous foodies thanks to the district’s prominent Hokkien cuisine offerings. Authentic Chinese tikoy, rice cakes, dumplings, lumpia, hakaw, and mami are just some of the delicacies worth trying in Binondo, with many prominent restaurants housed along Ongpin Street, Yuchengco Street, and the wet market alley Carvajal Street. Some local favorites include Eng Bee Tin, Dong Bei Dumpling, President Tea House, Quick Snack, and the New Po-Heng Lumpia House.

One popular way to explore Binondo’s culture and history is through guided day tours like Old Manila Walks’ “The Big Binondo Food Wok”, which takes participants around several heritage sites and traditional Chinatown restaurants while explaining each area’s history and cultural significance.

Binondo has also become a favorite shooting spot for photographers thanks to its timeless charm, so having a camera to capture the scenery will also come in handy when inspiration suddenly strikes.

Top Rated Restaurants in Binondo Browse All

  1. Wai Ying Tea House
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    232 Reviews View
  2. Dong Bei Dumpling
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    101 Reviews View
  3. Masuki Mami House
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    43 Reviews View
  4. Uno Seafood Wharf
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    28 Reviews View
  5. Lan Zhou La Mien
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    50 Reviews View
  6. Ying Ying Tea House
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    71 Reviews View
  7. Tasty Dumplings
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    34 Reviews View
  8. Tasty Dumplings
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    35 Reviews View
  9. Shanghai Fried Siopao
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    23 Reviews View
  10. Sincerity Cafe and Restaurant
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    51 Reviews View

Top Rated Places in Binondo Browse All

  1. Wai Ying Tea House
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    232 Reviews View
  2. Dong Bei Dumpling
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    101 Reviews View
  3. Masuki Mami House
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    43 Reviews View
  4. Fort Santiago
    4.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    19 Reviews View
  5. Uno Seafood Wharf
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    28 Reviews View
  6. Lan Zhou La Mien
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    50 Reviews View
  7. Ying Ying Tea House
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    71 Reviews View
  8. Tasty Dumplings
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    34 Reviews View
  9. Tasty Dumplings
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    35 Reviews View
  10. Shanghai Fried Siopao
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    23 Reviews View

Popular Areas in Binondo

  1. Lucky Chinatown Mall

    Lucky Chinatown Mall

    79 Places
    View