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Where can I eat cheap adobo and other authentic Philippine dishes in Manila?

Hi. I will be in Manila for a couple of days before heading off to a diving trip to Palawan and was wondering, what is the best local restaurant where I can eat authentic adobo on the cheap? I don't want the fancified adobo. I am looking for the home-cooked variety, the kind of adobo people eat everyday. Suggestions on where to I can enjoy other authentic Filipino dishes are also welcome.

I will be staying in a hotel in Makati. The name of my hotel is BSA Condotel, to be precise. Can I walk to a restaurant that serves cheap, authentic adobo? Please don't point me to touristy restaurants. - Jake NYC (Guest)

adobo cheap filipino food manila

Hi, Jake. I would recommend Binalot - it's a restaurant chain where most locals (especially office workers) get their adobo fix for less than $3.  Their version of adobo is stripped down to the basics and totally authentic, in my opinion. It's the adobo the way locals cook it at home, but made extra special because it is wrapped in a banana leaf together with hot rice.

Binalot is not a touristy restaurant at all and the locals line up for their stuff, so that's always a good sign. From what I remember, chicken adobo with rice costs $3.  It's quite an experience, eating on a banana leaf. They provide a fork so don't worry.

I ate at Binalot quite a few times during my stay in Manila and absolutely loved it.  I found them at the Greenbelt mall, not too far from wherever you're staying I think. They serve plenty of other Philippine dishes, too.

 


Sebastian F.
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Stay in hotels near restaurants that serve adobo for less than $50 per night.

The adobo in Binalot is one of those unpretentious dishes that you have to try while in Manila. Sebastian is right -- it is cheap (less than $3) and delicious.

This awesome adobo comes wrapped in banana leaves with rice, salted egg, and a few slices of tomato. Here is a picture of their chicken and pork adobo, which cost me P114 (roughly $2.50):

I should add that Binalot also serves other authentic dishes from the Philippines, all costing anywhere from $2.50 to $3. All dishes come with rice, salted egg, and tomatoes and are wrapped in banana leaves, which serves as your plate. You should definitely try their:

  • Tocino (pork belly bacon)
  • Longaniza (pork sausage)
  • Fried tilapia
  • Sinigang (a sour and savory tamarid pork stew)
  • Sisig (pig's head and liver chopped into very small pieces then boiled, broiled, and grilled and flavored with lemon and lots of chilli peppers, then served with rice and egg)

 

The Binalot closest to where you are staying is in Greenbelt 1 in Makati. You can walk to it from BSA Hotel. They're open everyday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

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