10 Filipino Food Chains Locals Love

Jollibee mascot
Jollibee mascot | © David Quitoriano / Flickr
Katrina Escalona

Because of Filipinos’ love for food, the country is filled with countless food chains brought in from different parts of the globe. But the country also has a good selection of homegrown favorites. Here are 10 Filipino food chains locals love to patronize.

Jollibee

Often referred to as “the McDonald’s of the Philippines”, this fast food giant has over 1000 branches all over the country, and hundreds more overseas. Through its four decades in the business, Jollibee has managed to create a place of comfort for Filipinos, so its food has become closely associated with milestones and good times with family and friends. This is also why the company is rapidly expanding in countries abroad where many Filipinos work and live — because it is able to give Filipinos the familiarity of home they so miss.

Jollibee fast food chain

Yellow Cab

Yellow Cab sign

Pancake House

Another comfort-food go-to is nostalgic Pancake House. Around for nearly half a century now, this restaurant holds a lot of good memories for Filipinos, with its bright interiors and fluffy, whipped butter-topped pancakes. For a full meal of their most popular menu items, order the House Specials Set, which includes their famous spaghetti, pan chicken, and hard-shell taco.

Pancake House window

Baliwag Lechon Manok

A popular quick meal fix in the Philippines is roasted chicken. Stalls and kiosks of rotisseries are a common sight in malls and even roadside. Locals will buy a roast, take it home (where there is always cooked white rice, ready to go with any meat), and they’ve got an easy meal for the family. While Baliwag is especially known for their lechon manok (roasted chicken), other favorites are their liempo (grilled pork belly), crispy pata (deep-fried pig trotter), and pork BBQ (grilled pork skewers).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BP_1uiBhZkP/?taken-by=baliwag_lechon

Nathaniel’s

Nathaniel’s is both a snack stop and a popular take-out joint for anyone attending a potluck get-together. Customers are known to order boxes of siopao and siomai (the two products that pioneered the business) at a time, but its their luscious buko pandan salad that became their claim to fame. Cold and creamy, this refreshing dessert is always a hit at Filipino parties.

Nathaniel’s branch in Tarlac City

Chowking

Considering the country’s long trade history with China (the Philippines’ Chinatown in Binondo is actually the oldest in the world), it is no surprise Filipinos have taken a liking to Chinese food and flavors. Another massive fast food joint in the country is Chowking. They serve Chinese dishes like dimsum, fried rice, and noodle soup – albeit with a Filipino taste – but they also make a tasty halo-halo, which is one of their most favored menu items among locals.

Chowking mantao and lomi

Mang Inasal

Chicken inasal, an especially tasty and juicy grilled chicken, is another well-loved local dish. Mang Inasal took this and Filipinos’ absurd love for rice, gave the public what it didn’t realize it wanted, and became an instant hit. Aside from perfecting the inasal taste, this food chain began a gimmick that was impossible for locals to resist— unlimited rice. Thus began the brand’s inevitable road to success.

Mang Inasal chicken

Red Ribbon Bakeshop

One of the most successful local bakeshops in the country, Red Ribbon has grown tremendously since its beginnings in 1979. Now with over 400 branches in the Philppines and the US, Red Ribbon and its fluffy and moist cakes are growing increasingly accessible to more and more Filipinos. Must-tries include their Black Forest cake, Choco Mocha crunch cake, and melt-in-your-mouth varieties of mamon.

Selection of Red Ribbon cakes

Goldilocks

Another sweet-tooth treat, Goldilocks has been delighting Filipinos both in the country and abroad for over 50 years. Filipinos who have migrated abroad will almost always put in a pasalubong request to visiting family members to bring over some of their classic polvoron or fluffy mamon — a request to which Filipinos will gladly oblige because they know nothing quite measures up to Goldilocks.

Goldilocks’ Special Polvoron

Zark’s Burgers

Zark’s Burgers began with a man’s mission to bring affordable, quality hamburgers to Filipinos. And this he did, starting with a small hole-in-the-wall in 2009. Zark’s burgers hit all the marks in taste, portion size, and price, and it quickly expanded. Its resistance to any pretence and focus on improving its products and growing its menu is one of the main reasons locals continue to love the chain.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bcj8rOyl1gr/?taken-by=zarksburgers

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

X
Edit article