We Filipinos are no strangers to fast food. Various fast-food chains in the Philippines and restaurants can be found almost everywhere in the country, drawing us in with delicious and fast meals that are clean and cheap. Some of these fast-food chains have been operating in the country for a long time. They have already been part of the Filipino culture and way of life. Read on and see if your favorite fast-food chains in the Philippines are included on the list.
To start our list of the fast-food restaurants in the Philippines is a tie between Bonchon and Greenwich Pizza!
Images: Bonchon Chicken Philippines Facebook page
Before Bonchon came to the country in 2010, most Filipinos did not know what Korean Fried Chicken or ‘KFC’ was. But once Bonchon introduced it, Filipinos immediately fell in love with this new style of fried chicken. It is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Its unique yet delicious soy-garlic and spicy flavors became a hit for the Filipino palate. This fast-food restaurant, Bonchon, has spread like wildfire in just eight years. It has 177 stores nationwide serving other Korean fares like bulgogi (stir-fried beef) and chapchae (Korean noodles).
Images: Greenwich Barkada Facebook page
If you’re a lasagna fan, you’re probably a fan of Greenwich Pizza. This fast-food restaurant in the Philippines has come a long way. In its early days, it served only Hawaiian and pepperoni pizza in its first store. They are known for their wide variety of pizza and pasta offerings and meal combos that give you a taste of everything on one plate. The pizza and pasta chain started way back in 1971 in a small shop in Greenhills Shopping Center but has since expanded all over the country, becoming the largest pizza chain in the Philippines.
Pizza Hut is the fast-food restaurant in the Philippines that made it to our seventh spot. The pizza chain came into the country in 1984. Before that, it had been operating in the United States since 1958. Pizza Hut became famous in the fast-food chain industry not only for its delicious meals but for its innovation as well. Aside from their favorite “Pan Pizza,” in which a pizza is baked in a pan to give it a crispy edge, they also became known for their “Stuffed Crust Pizza,” which makes the light pizza crust more fun by stuffing it with various kinds of meats and cheeses.
The sixth fast food restaurant in the Philippines on our list is Mang Inasal. When the crispy fried chicken was the favorite order in fast food chains in the Philippines, Mang Inasal changed the game in the early 2000s and decided to introduce chicken inasal (barbecue) to the public. What started as a small, fast food restaurant in a carpark in Iloilo in 2003 is now a fast-food giant with over 500 stores nationwide.
Aside from making the Iloilo favorite, chicken inasal, famous all over the country, Mang Inasal also popularized the “unlimited rice” concept. It allowed hungry Pinoys to have rounds and rounds of rice without paying more.
Two fast-food restaurants in the Philippines reached the number five spot: Goldilocks and Chowking.
Goldilocks started as a small bakeshop in Pasong Tamo in 1966, and it has now grown to be one of the most popular fast-food chains in the Philippines. Aside from their delectable cakes, they are also known for their selection of Filipino dishes, including fresh lumpia (spring rolls), pork barbecue, and dinuguan (pork blood stew). Today, Goldilocks has over 500 fast food stores all over the country and in parts of Asia, the United States, and Canada.
Chinese food also became part of our fast-food favorites thanks to Chowking. Opened in 1985, it became the first fast-food restaurant in the Philippines to serve Chinese fares to the masses. Chowking now has hundreds of stores in the country and continues to be one of the most prominent Chinese-style fast-food restaurants in the Philippines. Some of the meals popularized by Chowking include their “lauriat” where you can have a bit of everything on one plate, and “chao fan” or stir-fried rice with bits of pork or beef.
On our fourth spot of the best fast-food restaurants in the Philippines is Wendy’s, an American hamburger chain that started its operations in 1969 in the United States and reached the Philippines in 1982. This fast-food restaurant became famous for its square-shaped beef patties hanging over the buns’ edge and its signature dessert, Frosty. Even though Wendy’s is renowned for its Western menu of burgers and salads, they made sure to touch the Filipino palate by serving various rice meals with viands like lumpiang shanghai and longganisa (sausage).
“Because Jollibee offers affordable and delicious meals. What makes them different is that they do not lessen the quantity of their food.”- M
Images: Jollibee Facebook page
On the third spot is a homegrown fast-food chain in the Philippines where many love to dine in Jollibee. It is the biggest and probably the most beloved fast-food chain in the Philippines, with over 750 stores in the country and 80 abroad. Jollibee became part of the Filipino culture through its family-friendly stores, heartbreaking commercials, and signature fried chicken, Chickenjoy. Aside from running our well-beloved Jollibee, Jollibee Foods Corporation or JFC, the company behind the brand, also has significant shares in other well-known fast-food chains, including Red Ribbon Bakeshop, Burger King Philippines, Chowking, Mang Inasal, and Greenwich Pizza.
On the number two spot on our list is KFC. KFC or Kentucky Fried Chicken is an American fast-food chain that became famous for its distinctly flavorful fried chicken. The first KFC restaurant was opened in 1950 by Colonel Harland Sanders. In 1966, KFC reached the Philippines and is now one of the most prominent fast-food restaurants in the Philippines. Aside from its chicken, we can also thank KFC for their bucket meals as they are the ones who popularized selling chicken by the bucket.
McDonald’s is the fast-food restaurant in the Philippines that topped our list. McDonald’s has been in operations since 1940 in the United States, but the chain only set foot in the Philippines in 1981. Although it is an American company, it has made its way into the hearts of the Filipinos with its affordable meals, tear-jerking commercials, and the very memorable slogan “Love Ko ‘To” (I love it).
Today, McDonald’s has become so familiar with Filipinos that we even lovingly call it by a nickname: Mcdo. And with products like Coke McFloat, Shake Shake Fries, and McFlurry, it looks like we’re going to continue loving Mcdo for a very long time.
This article was initially published in Yoorekka on July 08, 2018.
Did your favorite fast food chain make the list? Let us know in the comments section!
Patricia came from the field of business and accounting but is now pursuing her dreams of being a writer. She is a self-confessed introvert and is passionate about reading, travelling, writing, movies, coffee and God. When she's not writing, she loves discovering new coffee shops/cafe and doing TV-series marathons.
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