When you’re living on your own in Metro Manila, fast food eating is definitely going to be a regular thing. Sure, you can do your own cooking, but sometimes it’s not just as fun to cook when you don’t have anyone on hand to appreciate your kitchen-work. Or maybe you’re just tired from a hard day slaving away at the salt mines.
On the other hand, you can also just go out, as Metro Manila has a lot of other great dining options in terms of restaurants and food establishments. But making a habit out of dining out, while fun, can also seriously deplete a bachelor’s limited income stores.
Which brings us back to fast food.
Most fast food chains in Metro Manila already offer a regular home delivery service. Below are my recommendations for quick-service food delivered right at your doorstep with a short phone call.
Ladies and Gentlemen, my Fast Food Nine:
- McDonald’s. 8-6236 or 8-McDo
- Jollibee. 8-7000
- KFC. 887-8888
- Pizza Hut. 911-1111
- Shakeys. 7-7777
- Chowking. 702-8888
- Max’s. 7-9000
- Greenwich Pizza. 5-5555
- Wendy’s. 533-3333
My Take on The Fast Food Nine
McDonalds’. 8-6236, or 8-McDO. Ah, the ever-reliable McDonalds. I would have to say that this might very well be my default home delivery food option- whether breakfast, lunch or dinner. They even deliver 24/7 in key areas in the city. I usually go for their sandwiches with a lot of meat- a couple of double cheeseburgers, quarter pounders with cheese, or big macs. Then wash em all down with a large soda. Remember that the fries do tend to get soggy by the time they get to you, in the same way that the sundaes might melt just a little. Otherwise, McDonalds’ service is reliable more often than not- so your food gets to you well within the 30-minute window.
Jollibee. 8-7000. The country’s leading fast-food chain, without a doubt. They probably offer more in terms of variety, and their food is catered more towards the Filipino taste. On top of the usual burgers and fries, they do have an assortment of rice meals and desserts as well. We usually go for the two-piece burger steak meals, the hotdogs, and the chickenjoy- Jollibee’s fried chicken meal which comes in 1-, 2- or 6-piece meals. Fairly reliable delivery track record, though they don’t deliver 24/7 just yet.
KFC. 887.8888. When we have a craving for chicken, it has to be KFC. We usually order a 6-piece box or an 8-piece bucket, depending on how hungry we are- and it has to be Hot and Krispy (though a lot of people I know still prefer the Original Recipe). You can usually request for your chicken to come in all white meat or all dark meat, and you can also order for other things like HotShots- bite-sized chicken balls, wraps called Go-go’s, and even salads. Depending where you are, delivery might take a while- although most places might have a 30-minute delivery time, other areas might take a little longer (like 45 minutes). But hey, it’s KFC, so for me, it should be worth the wait.
Pizza Hut. 911-1111. If you’re in the mood for some greasy pan pizza, then you’ll probably want some Pizza Hut. I’d say Pizza Hut has two things going for itself: one, the delivery service is amazing- they almost always make it over to my place in less than 30 minutes, and two, the Palm Card- a loyalty card of sorts you could sign up for which entitles you to a free medium, large or family sized pizza (a pre-determined pizza-of-the-month) for every purchase of a pizza of the same size (plus a bottle of soda). Great value, particularly if you’re ordering for a family or a small party, excellent delivery track record, and you get the Pizza Hut taste you’ve been craving for.
Shakey’s. 7-7777. Ah, Shakey’s. You know you like Shakey’s for their thin-crust pizzas. Even better, since they’re competing head-on with Pizza Hut (see above), they have their own loyalty program in the form of the Pizza-natic Card. Same concept: you get a free large or family sized pizza (I think you only get a Pepperoni pizza this time- not bad) for every purchase of a pizza of the same size (plus a bottle of soda). On top of that, you might want to consider getting yourself some Mojo Potatoes (though they aren’t what they used to be), or maybe even some chicken to go with your thin-crust pizza. I actually prefer these guys over Pizza Hut: you still get the same great value and delivery track record, with a better (maybe slightly) healthier variety of food- but hey, it’s fast food, so it can’t be THAT healthy.
Chowking. 702-8888. Just about the only Chinese fast food chain in the Philippines, Chowking offers you a fairly wide variety of dimsum, noodle dishes, rice dishes and vegetable dishes- and quite possibly, the most convenient halo-halo (12 kinds of sweet treats with shaved ice and topped with ice cream) you can have delivered right to your doorstep. What to get? We almost always get some siopao (Chinese meat buns), and some spicy noodles, a lot of dimsum, some congee (Chinese rice porridge), and a couple of halo-halo’s for dessert. Depending on what you order, the food might take quite some time to prepare, but the store often informs you ahead of time if they need a little bit more time. But if you’re craving for quick-service Chinese food, then you don’t really have much of a choice, do you?
Max’s Restaurant. 7-9000. Technically not a fast-food restaurant, but Max’s home delivery track record is good enough to put them in the game. Plus, they’re just about the only restaurant serving Filipino food that you can easily get with a quick phonecall. While their claim to fame is their signature fried chicken, they also have a lot of good Pinoy food- pinakbet, kare-kare, pancit canton, lumpiang ubod (fresh or fried), and even crispy pata. Delivery time, depending on your location, might take longer; partially due to the fact that some of your food items might take longer to prepare, and that they don’t have as many stores as, say, a Jollibee or a McDonalds’.
Greenwich Pizza. 5-5555. More pizza for you, and they also have their own loyalty program, but for me, they haven’t quite mastered the art of getting your food to you in less than 30 minutes. So when you crave for a pizza, the tendency is still to get the more efficient Shakey’s or Pizza Hut. Still, they do have a selection of pizza and fast food pasta (my way of saying don’t expect much) you might want to check out. And just like any other quick-service restaurant, they also have a few rice meals on their menu, as well as chicken.
Lastly, we have Wendy’s. 533-3333. Wendy’s used to be my favorite back in my earlier days of radio- in fact, I think Wendy’s was one of the first restaurants to offer a 24-hour home delivery service AND a single number for delivery. Since then, they’ve been steadily losing ground to Jollibee, McDonald’s and just about every other quick service restaurant I’ve mentioned here. What I do like from Wendy’s is the Wendy’s classic- which you can easily upgrade to a double or a triple classic, depending on exactly just how much meat you want to gorge on in one sandwich. The sugar-free iced tea is a plus, but I’d really love to see some nutritional information rather than just taking their word for it.
So there you have it. My guide to fast food eating in Metro Manila. Hope it helps. Cheers!