Pancake house

Filipino Fast Food You Need to Try

Jacqueline Dagelet
Exchange to Ateneo de Manila University, The Philippines
Semester 2, 2017


In Manila, you can find a fast food restaurant in basically every block. They’re everywhere. But unlike Australian fast food, it’s not all about burgers and hot chips. In almost every fast food chain, you will find friend chicken and rice. You will see pasta dishes like spaghetti, carbonara and lasagne. The Philippines does fast food differently and if fast food is not your thing, I encourage you to at least have a look – because if you are going to Ateneo de Manila University, you will notice an abundance of fast food chains just right outside campus!


Aside from fast food being so easily accessible, it is also very cheap compared to the average cost of a fast food dish in Australia. Here’s a few places you must try when you arrive in Manila. Fortunately, if you’re undertaking your exchange with Ateneo de Manila University, these places are either on campus or just a few minutes walk away. On the Ateneo campus, you can find several food joints that serve food from cultures all over the globe. The Gonzaga Building canteen serves a range of dishes at a very low cost. The JSEC Canteen is a student-run cafeteria that changes food stalls every year based on competitions held the year before. Food here is a little bit more expensive, however, they are still very affordable. In either canteens, you would be able to purchase food and drink for less than $5AUD


Right across from Ateneo, you can find Pancake House. If you ever go here, I suggest you try their Filipino-style spaghetti. It is by far, my favourite dish from this restaurant although they are best known for their pancakes and tacos. I also suggest their Filipino-style carbonara. If you are on a budget, this is not too costly. You can purchase a full meal including your drink for less than $10AUD.

Pancake house


Further down from Pancake House, you will find a branch of the most beloved Filipino fast food chain, Jollibee. Now, if you’re going to the Philippines, eating a Jollibee meal has to be in your bucket list of things to do during your stay. The most iconic Jollibee dish is their fried chicken with rice and gravy, which, including a drink, only costs around $2.50AUD.

Jollibee Chickenjoy


A little bit past Jollibee, you will find McDonald’s. Although we have McDonald’s in Australia, you will notice that in addition to the usual McDonald’s menu items that are available in Australia, there are dishes specifically made for the Philippines. To match Jollibee’s popular chicken meals, McDonald’s also serves fried chicken with rice and gravy. I encourage you to try this as well. I guarantee you that you will find yourself wanting more after you’ve left the country.



Lastly, if you’re a fan of Starbucks, there is also one on the same street as the Ateneo de Manila University campus. But unlike the Starbucks in Australia, their Filipino counterparts also serve pasta and certain teas. I recommend you try their iced shaken black tea with ruby grapefruit in honey, as well as their mango float cake as these are not available in Australia. Many students come here to study, and so it can get pretty busy at certain times.


There’s a lot more food you must try, but these are just a few I highly suggest!