10 Empanadas You Should Try When In Manila

Who doesn’t love empanadas? Originating from Latin America, these delightful pockets of flavor are typically filled with savory or sweet ingredients and baked or fried until they turn a crispy golden brown. Each region and cultural tradition may have its own unique take on empanadas, resulting in a delicious array of flavors and fillings to explore. Argentine-style empanadas are a popular choice, usually filled with ground beef, onions, and spices, while Chilean-style empanadas often include a mix of ground meat, onions, raisins, and olives.

The Philippines also has its own version of empanadas known as “empanada de Ilocos.” This version is typically made with a filling of ground meat, grated green papaya, onions, and egg, all enclosed in a crispy orange-colored dough made with rice flour and served with vinegar or a spicy vinegar dipping sauce, which complements the savory and slightly sweet filling.

You can find Empanada de Ilocos just about anywhere in Metro Manila! Here are our top 10 favorite spots to get them:

1. Farinas Ilocos Empanada

Farinas Ilocos Empanada is a well-known food stall chain that started in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte and now has locations all over the country.

Farinas Ilocos Empanada received awards for its empanadas in 2012, including the Best Ilocos Empanada Award from the Philippine Daily Inquirer due to their commitment to using fresh, high-quality ingredients in their empanadas and their innovation over time.

Farinas Ilocos Empanada offers Chicken Empanada, Bagnet Empanada, and Vigan Longganisa Empanada. Aside from empanadas, they also serve other Filipino dishes like pinakbet, dinengdeng, and pancit.

farinas ilocos empanada

Photo: Farinas Ilocos Empanada Facebook

2. Mama Empanada

All of Mama Empanada’s treats are made from family recipes that date back to 1979. They offer freshly prepared empanadas in boxes of eight or twelve, from which you can select classic chicken, spicy Sriracha chicken, sirloin beef tacos, Italian sausage, or herbed tuna.


Photo: Mama Empanada Facebook

3. La Casa Empanada

One of the popular Manila empanada shops is La Casa Empanadas which is located at Maginhawa Street in Quezon City.

La Casa Empanadas are cooked to order and made from fresh ingredients daily, ensuring that they are always crispy and delicious. The good thing about La Casa Empanadas is that customers can have their empanadas baked or deep-fried.

Besides empanadas, La Casa additionally serves other Filipino snacks, like quail eggs, fish balls, and squid balls. The shop is a great place to grab a quick bite to eat or have a meal with friends with its cozy and casual atmosphere. 

la casa

Photo: La Casa Empanada Facebook

4. Empanada Nation

The empanadas at Empanada Nation come in a wide range of flavors, including tuna and cheese, corned beef and mushroom, and the standard beef, chicken, and cheese. Empanada Nation also serves pancit and lumpia, as well as a wide variety of sweet treats like leche flan and ube halaya.

Empanada Nation makes sure that their dishes always taste good and are made with high-quality ingredients. Go and visit their several branches located in different parts of Metro Manila, including Makati, Quezon City, and Mandaluyong.

empanada nation

Photo: Empanada Nation Facebook

5. Mom and Tina’s Bakery

Mom and Tina’s Bakery is a well-known cafe that serves a wide range of freshly baked bread, pastries, cakes, and other treats. Aside from that, they also offer sandwiches and empanadas. Their empanadas, which come in chicken, beef, and vegetable fillings, are popular on the menu. They are filled generously with savory ingredients and have a flaky crust.

Mom and Tina’s Bakery is proud of its high-quality ingredients and the freshness with which it prepares its food daily. They have a comfortable and cozy atmosphere too, making it an incredible spot for relaxed eating, gatherings, or even extraordinary events.


Photo: Mom and Tina’s Bakery Facebook

6. Casa Daza 

Casa Daza is owned by celebrity chef Sandy Daza, who is known for his aptitude for Filipino food. Casa Daza empanadas have a thin, crispy crust, are filled with savory meat, and come with a dipping sauce that is both sweet and spicy.

They also serve Filipino dishes such as adobo, kare-kare, and sinigang. Aside from that, they offer international dishes like pasta, pizza, and sandwiches. Casa Daza is great for casual dining and special occasions because of its warm and sophisticated atmosphere.

casa daza

Photo: Casa Daza Facebook

7. Lola’s Ilocos Empanada

Lola’s Ilocos Empanada is located at 704 H. Ventura Street, Sampaloc, Manila and is known for making authentic Ilocano empanadas. Its empanadas have savory fillings like ground pork, bean sprouts, and grated green papaya, all encased in a crispy orange crust. The dishes at Lola’s Ilocos Empanada are made with high-quality ingredients, ensuring that they are always fresh and delicious. Additionally, they provide catering and delivery services for parties and events. 

lolas ilocos

Photo: Lola’s Ilocos Empanada Facebook

8. Mommy Mikee’s Kitchen

Mommy Mikee’s Kitchen is owned by Mikee Andrei, a fashion stylist and designer with a passion for cooking. In the midst of her hectic schedule, she would prepare delectable dishes that were influenced by her time spent in Bohol. Her empanadas have been popular with her customers, including beauty queens, and have been given away as gifts.

mommy mikees

9. Conti’s Bakeshop and Restaurant

Conti’s Bakeshop and Restaurant is a restaurant chain that serves a variety of dishes, including its signature beef lasagna and chicken, as well as its well-known cakes, but they’re also known for its beef and chicken empanadas too!

The beef empanada has a flaky crust filled with beef, potatoes, and carrots, while the chicken empanada has a mixture of chicken, potatoes, and peas. Both are great for a meal or snack on the go and are savory and delicious. 


Photo: Conti’s Bakeshop and Restaurant

10. OverDough’s

As an empanada lover, I recently had the pleasure of trying out Overdoughs Empanada, and I must say, it was an incredible experience! The mini flaky empanadas were bursting with flavor and perfectly balanced crispy exterior and savory filling.


Photo: Overdoughs Facebook Page

I had the opportunity to try out all four fillings, which were equally delicious. The Cheesy Chicken was my personal favorite with its creamy and cheesy chicken filling. The Ham & Cheese was a close second with its gooey cheese and savory ham combo.

The Beef Mushroom empanada was also a standout with its tender beef and earthy mushroom filling. But what surprised me the most was the Japanese Chicken Curry filling, which had a unique and delicious flavor that I hadn’t tasted in an empanada before.

Apart from their delectable flavors, what really impressed me about Overdoughs is their advocacy for hiring deaf employees and promoting inclusion. It’s heartwarming to see a business that values diversity and is actively working towards creating equal opportunities for everyone.

Don’t be a flake – get empanadas today!

Where do you love getting your fix of Ilocos Empanadas? Share them with us in the comments!

Do you have a story for the WhenInManila.com Team? Email us at story.wheninmanila@gmail.com or send us a direct message on WhenInManila.com Facebook Page. Interact with the team and join the WhenInManila.com Community at WIM Squad! We also share our stories on Viber, join us!