Most Authentic Menu and Oldest Restaurants in Manila Philippines

Filipino Fiesta Dishes by sabaw1 - photobucket.com
Filipino Fiesta Dishes by sabaw1 - photobucket.com

Filipinos are known as food lovers, as well as cooking enthusiasts. Some would claim, Filipinos are natural gastronomic adventurers. Almost all of their most memorable moments in life were marked with delicious foods in favorite restaurants. Even simple occasions such as paydays and above-average school grades could result to an impromptu dine-out or assorted take-out food bags.

Filipinos food lovers also have strong sense of loyalty. More often than not, a restaurant that was most favorited by Filipinos will have a greater chance to exist for many decades.As was the case of lasting existence of several restaurants listed here.

What triggers this loyalty sense? Delicious foods, of course. An authentic ambiance, a charming and hospitable service, and reasonable prices.

These 4 magic ingredients are found present in the oldest eating establishments in Manila. Do not forget that the 5th magic factor is a good and sound management.

And when asked about their secret to success -- one owner replied with one word: Consistency.

The taste of food must be consistently similar from day one of serving it to customers. The tongue has a very long memory when it comes to delicious foods. Cost cutting measures must never touch the original ingredients from original recipes, unless these are found detrimental to public health.

Every payday, my late grandfather used to bring home hot beef noodles and giant siopaos from Ma Mon Luk. And I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that this restaurant still exists!

Check out if some of the restaurants favorited by our parents and grandparents still serve their original dishes during their golden days.

Find the Oldest Restaurants that Still Serve Delicious Foods from Original Recipes

show route and directions
A markerNew Toho Food Center -
422 Tomas Pinpin Street, Binondo, Manila
[get directions]

Built in 1888, the New Toho Food Center (former Toho Antigua Panciteria). Open to serve: 8:30 am - 9:00 pm (Mon-Sat); until 2 pm (Sun) Tel: 242-0294

B markerAmbos Mundos Restaurant -
750 Florentino Torres Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila
[get directions]

The Ambos Mundos was built in 1888 but still serves delightful Filipino and Spanish dishes. Open daily: 8:00 am to 9:00 pm. Tel: 734-1160

C markerMa Mon Luk Restaurant -
Quezon Blvd, Manila, Philippines
[get directions]

The Ma Mon Luk Restaurant was built in 1920. It still has several branches open to serve daily: from 7:00 am to 10 pm.

D markerRamon Lee's Panciteria -
540 Ronquillo Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila
[get directions]

Since 1929, Ramon Lee's Panciteria has been serving its famous pancit canton. Open 10am - 10pm (Monday-Saturday) & 9am - 10pm (Sunday). Tel: 733-0

E markerAristocrat Restaurant -
432 San Andres Street corner Roxas Boulevard, Malate, Manila
[get directions]

The Aristocrat Restaurant was built in 1936 and titled as the "Philippines' Most Popular Restaurant". Open daily. Tel: 524-7671.

F markerBoy Ching Woo Restaurant -
103 BCW Building, J.Rodriguez, Caloocan City, Philippines
[get directions]

Since 1939, the Boy Ching Woo Restaurant (dubbed as Caloocan's oldest Chinese Restaurant) serves daily: from 9 am to 9 pm. Tel: 287-1430.

G markerOngpin Mañosa Restaurant Co. -
926 Ongpin Street, Binondo, Manila
[get directions]

Built in 1940, the Ongpin Mañosa Restaurant Co. has the Mañosa Noodles, Seafoods & Chops in Banawe. Both open: 10am - 9pm (Monday-Saturday) &

H markerMax's Restaurant -
Roxas Boulevard, Baclaran, Parañaque, Manila
[get directions]

Popularly known as "The House That Fried Chicken Built", the Max's Restaurant was built in 1945. Open daily: 9 am to 10 pm. Tel: 832-1991.

I markerLittle Quiapo Restaurant -
90 Malakas St. Brgy. Piñahan, Quezon City
[get directions]

The Little Quiapo was built in 1949 as a cool soda oasis. Its menu of ice cream has expanded to more dishes. Open daily: 10 am to 9 pm. Tel: 922-4131

J markerSavory Restaurant -
201 Escolta Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila
[get directions]

Built in 1950, the Savory Restaurant serves delicious fried chicken among other Filipino dishes. Open daily: 9 am - 12 mn. Tel: 243-0336.

CREDIT - chinabusinessphilippines.com
CREDIT - chinabusinessphilippines.com

NEW TOHO FOOD CENTER

The Cantonese word 'toho' means 'everything is good'. The New Toho Food Center was formerly named as the Toho Antigua Panciteria, where the Philippines' national hero Dr. Jose P Rizal was known to dine on their famous dishes: Pancit Canton and Lumpia Shanghai.

In 1888, the original Toho Antigua Panciteria in Binondo was built and operated by five Chinese friends. One of the owners, Tai Tang, was left behind. His family helped ran the restaurant from then on until these days.

Specialty dishes were mainly Chinese but some Filipino dishes may be served upon request. Bestseller on the menu are Lumpia Shanghai, Ampalaya, Pork Asado, and Pancit Canton -- both dry and with sauce.


New Toho Food Center Info

Cuisine
Chinese
Specialties
Toho Chicken & Rice / Soup
Business Hours
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Payment Methods
Cash & Credit Cards
Price Range / Person
Php 201 & Up
New Toho Food Center - CREDIT - www.spot.ph
New Toho Food Center - CREDIT - www.spot.ph
Specialty Foods Served in the ToHo Panciteria Antigua - teambee5.blogspot.com
Specialty Foods Served in the ToHo Panciteria Antigua - teambee5.blogspot.com
CREDIT - girlpuyat07.multiply.com
CREDIT - girlpuyat07.multiply.com

AMBOS MUNDOS RESTAURANT

The Spanish phrase ‘ambos mundos’ means ‘both worlds’. The Ambos Mundos Restaurant was aptly named because the dishes served here are mainly a combination of the Filipino and Spanish cuisine.

A Spanish immigrant named Gaudinez built the Ambos Mundos Restaurant in 1888, along the Palanca Street in Recto, Manila. Tagged as the ‘Philippines’ Oldest’, this restaurant serves the famous Paella Ambos and the popular afternoon snack Asado Roll.

A member of the Ambos Mundos’ Gaudinez family married a Chinese girl named Leung, whose family built the Wah Sun Restaurant (formerly Sun Wah) in 1955.

Both these old-world restaurants: Ambos Mundos and Wah Sun, are located in Florentino Torres Street near Recto Avenue, face-to-face to each other.

Ambos Mundos Info

Cuisine
Spanish / Filipino
Specialties
Paella Ambos / Asado Roll
Business Hours
8:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Payment Methods
Cash & Credit Cards
Price Range / Person
Php 299 & Up
CREDIT - www.tableforthreeplease.com
CREDIT - www.tableforthreeplease.com
Ambos Paella - CREDIT - girlpuyat07.multiply.com
Ambos Paella - CREDIT - girlpuyat07.multiply.com
CREDIT - www.foodtrippings.com
CREDIT - www.foodtrippings.com

MA MON LUK RESTAURANT

In 1920, a Cantonese school teacher immigrant to the Philippines named Ma Mon Luk built a restaurant by the same name. He started as a vendor who popularized a noodle dish called ‘gupit’ (Filipino word for ‘cut’). Ma used scissors to cut noodles and chicken before serving to customers.

He built the first Ma Mon Luk Restaurant in Quiapo, Manila, a few meters away from the historical Quiapo Church. The ambience is still simple and very Chinese. What made the Ma Mon Luk restaurants distinctive was always the aroma of ‘something cooking’ wafting around. It was like an appetizer.

Some Filipino balikbayans admit to look for Ma Mon Luk for a bout of nostalgic foodies.

Ma Mon Luk Info

Cuisine
Chinese
Specialties
Seafood, Noodles, Siopao, and Dimsum
Business Hours
8:30 AM to 10:00 PM
Payment Methods
Cash
Price Range / Person
Php 199 & Up
Ma Mon Luk's Specialty Dishes - CREDIT - mayniladdailyphoto.blogspot.com
Ma Mon Luk's Specialty Dishes - CREDIT - mayniladdailyphoto.blogspot.com
Ma Mon Luk's Special Mami - CREDIT - www.foodtrippings.com
Ma Mon Luk's Special Mami - CREDIT - www.foodtrippings.com
Ma Mon Luk's Special Siopao - CREDIT - www.foodtrippings.com
Ma Mon Luk's Special Siopao - CREDIT - www.foodtrippings.com

Mami & Siopao by Ma Mon Luk Restaurant

Ramon Lee's Panciteria - CREDIT - paulding.blogspot.com
Ramon Lee's Panciteria - CREDIT - paulding.blogspot.com

RAMON LEE’S PANCITERIA

Ramon Lee’s Panciteria is among the few eateries that survived the two world wars and remained popular to Fiipinos who regularly went to Sta. Cruz and Quiapo Districts of Manila.

Built in 1929, the famous panciteria had consistently built a reputation of serving simple but sumptious dishes like the Special Pancit Canton. It was still sought after by Filipino food lovers because the foods had lived up to their slogan plastered on the neon sign: “Since 1929. First among the best. Tender, juicy, tasty.”

Ramon Lee's Panciteria Info

Cuisine
Chinese
Specialies
Fried Chicken, Noodles
Business Hours
10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Payment Methods
Cash
Price Range / Person
Php 200 - Up
Ramon Lee's Specialty Dishes - CREDIT - girlpuyat07.multiply.com
Ramon Lee's Specialty Dishes - CREDIT - girlpuyat07.multiply.com
Ramon Lee's Pancit Canton - CREDIT - www.spot.ph
Ramon Lee's Pancit Canton - CREDIT - www.spot.ph
Ramon Lee's Lumpia Shanghai - CREDIT - girlpuyat07.multiply.com
Ramon Lee's Lumpia Shanghai - CREDIT - girlpuyat07.multiply.com
Ramon Lee's Original Comida China - CREDIT - paulding.blogspot.com
Ramon Lee's Original Comida China - CREDIT - paulding.blogspot.com
Aristocrat Restaurant - CREDIT - traveleronfoot.wordpress.com
Aristocrat Restaurant - CREDIT - traveleronfoot.wordpress.com

ARISTOCRAT RESTAURANT

The Aristocrat Restaurant has a humble beginning. In 1936, a Filipina with a pioneering spirit started serving Filipino dishes through a simple snack mobile. Through dedicated hardwork, Engracia Cruz-Reyes and Justice Alex A. Reyes had slowly built the first Aristocrat Restaurant into a world-renowned food enterprise.

The Aristocrat has earned its reputation as “The Philippines’ Most Popular Restaurant” through its food specialties like chicken barbecue, chicken honey, crispy pata, dinuguan, kare-kare, lumpia, pancit canton, and rice.

Today, the Aristocrat manufactures sausages, cured meats, bagoong, achara, and other Filipino native foods for local and export markets.

Aristocrat Restaurant Info

Cuisine
Filipino
Specialties
Chicken Barbecue, Kare-Kare, Chicken Honey, Crispy Pata, Pancit Canton, Dinuguan, and Lumpia
Business Hours
10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Payment Methods
Cash & Credit Cards
Price Range / Person
Php 201 - Up
Delivery
Minimum of Php 700.00. Delivers in 45 minutes.
Aristocrat Specialty Dishes - CREDIT - www.aristocrat.com.ph
Aristocrat Specialty Dishes - CREDIT - www.aristocrat.com.ph
Aristocrat Menu - CREDIT - www.aristocrat.com.ph
Aristocrat Menu - CREDIT - www.aristocrat.com.ph

Aristocrat's 70th Anniversary Commercial

Boy Ching Woo - CREDIT - penwork.wordpress.com
Boy Ching Woo - CREDIT - penwork.wordpress.com

BOY CHING WOO RESTAURANT

Known as the ‘oldest Chinese restaurant in Caloocan City’, the Boy Ching Woo Restaurant was built in 1939. It has ordinary offerings in the menu but the taste of the foods is quite exceptional.

The two most famous dishes are the buttered chicken (deliberately spelled wrongly on the menubook as ‘battered’) and the lechon con tokwa. The secret must be in the method of cooking for the chicken and the vinegar dip for the lechon. Whatever the secret ingredients are, they surely tickle the Filipino palate.

Boy Ching Woo Restaurant Info

Cuisine
Filipino / Chinese
Specialties
Lechon con Tokwa, Battered Chicken, and Pancit Shanghai
Business Hours
9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Payment Methods
Cash & Credit Cards
Price Range / Person
Php 199 - Up
Boy Ching Woo Restaurant - CREDIT - www.spot.ph
Boy Ching Woo Restaurant - CREDIT - www.spot.ph
Boy Ching Woo Specialty Snack - CREDIT - www.facebook.com
Boy Ching Woo Specialty Snack - CREDIT - www.facebook.com
Boy Ching Woo Specialty Dishes - CREDIT - www.facebook.com
Boy Ching Woo Specialty Dishes - CREDIT - www.facebook.com
Ongpin Manosa Restaurant Co. - CREDIT - penwork.wordpress.com
Ongpin Manosa Restaurant Co. - CREDIT - penwork.wordpress.com

ONGPIN MAÑOSA RESTAURANT CO.

Built in 1940, the Ongpin Mañosa Restaurant Co. has the most distinctive specialty dish that made customers to come back for more. It is called Mah Kih (‘maki’). This is a soup with brown color and gooey appearance. The toppings of tender pork chunks and chopped onion leeks gave some of the flavor but other seasonings are added to suit individual taste. Another specialty dish is the giant siomai. Each meatball-sized siomai piece literally melts in the mouth.

A branch in Banawe, Quezon City is called the Mañosa Noodles, Seafoods, and Chops.

Cuisine
Filipino / Chinese
Specialties
Mah Kih / Siomai
Business Hours
10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Payment Methods
Cash
Price Range / Person
Php 199 - Up
Ongpin Manosa Restaurant Co. - CREDIT - www.spot.ph
Ongpin Manosa Restaurant Co. - CREDIT - www.spot.ph
Max's Restaurant - CREDIT - penwork.wordpress.com
Max's Restaurant - CREDIT - penwork.wordpress.com

MAX’S RESTAURANT

Max Gimenez was a guy who got many GI friends during the aftermath of the WWII. The profitable food business started out as a simple hanging-out routine in the Gimenez Residence. The Americans loved the home-cooked foods by Ruby, Max’s niece, and soon they all insisted on paying for the drinks and the foods.

In 1945, Ruby opened a restaurant that serves mainly fried chicken and named it after her Uncle Max. The menu offerings expanded but Max’s Fried Chicken remains as the main specialty since the place is widely known as “The House That Fried Chicken Built.”

Max's Restaurant Info

Cuisine
Filipino / Asian
Specialties
Max's Fried Chicken, Ruby's Favorite Kare-Kare, Pancit Canton, Crispy Pata, Fresh Lumpiang Ubod Sinigang Baboy, Sinigang Hipon, Bicol Express, Tokwa Kininchay and Asparagus with Tofu, Adobo Flakes, Max's Tapa, Max's Tocino, Chicken Sisig and Hototay
Business Hours
9:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Payment Methods
Cash & Credit Cards
Price Range / Person
Php 250 - Up
Delivery
Central Delivery Number: 7-9000
Max's Restaurant - CREDIT - www.spot.ph
Max's Restaurant - CREDIT - www.spot.ph
Max's Vegetable Dish - CREDIT - gallery.clickthecity.com
Max's Vegetable Dish - CREDIT - gallery.clickthecity.com
Max's Shrimp Dish - CREDIT - gallery.clickthecity.com
Max's Shrimp Dish - CREDIT - gallery.clickthecity.com
Max's Restaurant Specialty Menu - CREDIT - food.clickthecity.com
Max's Restaurant Specialty Menu - CREDIT - food.clickthecity.com

Max's Chicken Restaurant Commercial

Little Quiapo's Halo-Halo with Ice Cream - CREDIT - taga-qc.blogspot.com
Little Quiapo's Halo-Halo with Ice Cream - CREDIT - taga-qc.blogspot.com

LITTLE QUIAPO RESTAURANT

Since 1949, the Little Quiapo Restaurant had steadily built quite a reputation as a place that serve tall glasses of cold refreshments such their famous Special Halo-Halo. When the restaurant expanded the menu, they included both Filipino and Chinese dishes. The old location was in España Avenue, but the new location in Quezon City had no problem luring the clientele to both the QC and Parañaque branches.

For more than 50 years, Little Quiapo served the Special Halo-Halo in tall parfait glasses with spoons that had long handles. This may be old-fashioned but it could be the secret behind their success.

Little Quiapo Restaurant Info

Cuisine
Filipino
Specialties
Halo-Halo & Pancit Palabok
Business Hours
10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Payment Methods
Cash & Credit Cards
Price Range / Person
Php 201 - Up
Little Quiapo's Palabok - CREDIT - madaboutfood.multiply.com
Little Quiapo's Palabok - CREDIT - madaboutfood.multiply.com
Little Quiapo Restaurant - CREDIT - www.spot.ph
Little Quiapo Restaurant - CREDIT - www.spot.ph
Little Quiapo Restaurant - CREDIT - taga-qc.blogspot.com
Little Quiapo Restaurant - CREDIT - taga-qc.blogspot.com
Little Quiapo  Restaurant Interior - CREDIT - taga-qc.blogspot.com
Little Quiapo Restaurant Interior - CREDIT - taga-qc.blogspot.com
CREDIT - www.thethirstyblogger
CREDIT - www.thethirstyblogger

SAVORY RESTAURANT

The Savory Restaurant was built by the Ting brothers in 1950. It was originally named as Tops Café in Binondo. When Tops Café became Savory located in Quiapo, the main specialty dish was chicken that was flavored with anise and garlic. Savory also served Lomi, a Chinese noodle dish with thick sauce. This was very much a Chinese dish. Vicente, one of the Ting brothers, loved cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. When he hit the right recipe for their fried chicken, their restaurant business started growing like mushrooms.

Fifty years after, the Savory Restaurant was christened with a new name ‘Classic Savory Chicken’. More than twenty branches in different malls are about to be opened as future expansion.

Savory Restaurant Info

Cuisine
Filipino / Chinese
Specialties
The Savory Chicken
Business Hours
9:00 AM to 12:00 MN
Payment Methods
Cash & Credit Cards
Price Range / Person
Php 250 - Up
Savory's Chicken - CREDIT - mrsmartinezravesandrants.blogspot.com
Savory's Chicken - CREDIT - mrsmartinezravesandrants.blogspot.com
Savory's Specialty Dishes - CREDIT - www.facebook.com
Savory's Specialty Dishes - CREDIT - www.facebook.com
Savory Chicken Restaurant - CREDIT - www.spot.ph
Savory Chicken Restaurant - CREDIT - www.spot.ph

GMA7's Unang Hirit features theOriginal Savory Restaurant

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Comments 7 comments

quicksand profile image

quicksand 6 years ago

Your Majesty, the aroma of all this food is driving me crazy! :)


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 6 years ago Author

Thank you very much for the warm appreciation, Mr. Handsome Quicksand :D


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines

Wow! What a truly delightful and comprehensive tour of these restaurants. I am happy to note that I have eaten in almost all of them.

You have made me hungry and now I feel like visiting these restaurants especially the ones that I have not been to yet.

Thank you very much for sharing! Rated up and awesome!


queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 6 years ago Author

Hello, jill of alltrades! Haha! I'm envious! And a bit ashamed because I was born and raised in Manila but I was very surprised to learn about the rich history behind the restaurants that most of the young generation tend to ignore. I plan to go to Ambos Mundos this coming October for a family celebration. Hope it'll not be a busy night then. Thank you for the visit and the nice comment :D Mabuhay!


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

WOW. Chock-full of information. Very useful. Thank you for this.


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 5 years ago

Love your hub and the pictures. It is really true in all the things we do we do it in eating. Thanks.


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 4 years ago from The City of Generals

Delicious hub my queen. So, consistency has been the magic secret all through the years. I love to cook but I've never been so good with cooking. I'll be trying the tips, you've put up the details clearly, thank you. Would love to plan a trip for those oldest restaurants. Thanks again, voted up across the board except for funny. I'm proud of you young foodie queen. Keep up!

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