10 Restaurants In Metro Manila That Get Unbelievably Long Lines

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If there’s one thing we’ve done all our lives, it’s lining up. We’ve all lost count of the times we had to fall in line in school because the teacher said so. Falling in line’s also part of the daily commute (long ass MRT lines, we’re looking at you), getting IDs and whatnot from the government, and even as simple as getting on an escalator.

Waiting’s generally no fun but then again, there are certain things that are worth waiting for. Like really, really good food for example. Sure, sometimes it’s just the hype and the long queue eventually disappears. These 10 restos on our list, however, prove they’re worth the hype because they consistently get long lines day in and day out.

So if you’re up for channeling your inner man or woman who can’t be moved, try any of these 10 places! For some of them, waiting time can take hours. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

1. CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice

Have you ever seen a CoCo branch that didn’t have a long ass line heading up to the counter? No? We haven’t either. But believe it or not, there was actually a time when you can enjoy your favorite CoCo drink without all the hassle. “I miss the days when Coco Tea wasn’t so popular. It meant I could enjoy my forever favorite order, Salty Cream Milk Tea, minus the 45 min. waiting time,” Cindy S. says in her looloo review. “But I’m also glad that they’re mainstream now and happy for their success despite the many milk tea chains in the metro.”

Photo by Roegan T.

And successful CoCo really is! If the consistent lines at every branch isn’t enough to convince you, the great reviews it’s been getting just might. Reich T. gave CoCo a five star review and she had this to say: “I have outgrown Panda Milk Tea and Passion Fruit Tea Burst is my new favorite drink. Why? This is the perfect beverage to beat the third-world heat. And every sip brings a smile on my face.”

But don’t count the best selling Panda Milk Tea out just yet! In her looloo review, Mae A. says “Now I get the long line and buzz for this drink. It was good! The real winner here were the pearls. A bounty of pearls upon sip after sip. I could still taste the tea here but it was more creamy and milky for me. But for that price, damn, it was one ‘sulit’ drink.”

And ICYMI, the looloo crew did a milk tea Blind Taste Test not too long ago and CoCo was part of it. Can you guess how well it did? You can check out the results here!

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice can be found at these locations.

2. Din Tai Fung

If there’s one thing that can help you win the waiting game, it’s a restaurant’s efficient queueing system. Thankfully, Din Tai Fung has one! “First off, the line is quite long,” DK R. says in her looloo review. “But their queueing system is very efficient so you need not worry too much about it. There are different lines for different number of customers.”

Photo from Anna D.’s looloo review of Din Tai Fung

What that means is that if you’re flying solo, you won’t be in the same queue as those coming in larger groups. Such a smart and organized thing to do, right? And very customer-friendly too! Not being in the same line as everyone else means you’ll get to enjoy your basket of the famous Xiao Long Bao a lot sooner than you think!

Din Tai Fung can be found at these locations.

3. Frankie’s New York Buffalo Wings

In her looloo review, Josette P. has this to say about Frankie’s Crossroads Building branch in BGC: “This branch is hectic. Line starts after 6 pm but on Fridays they start even earlier. Long lines everywhere. But it’s easy to find a table if you’re just a small group of 2 or 3, but for larger ones, be sure to be early!”

If you think you’ll only find the long lines of hungry people at this branch, think again. Patrick U. says in his own review for the SM Aura branch that “For a food court option, this one is off the charts! From the moment we entered the line until we finished our food, the line was consistently long. I can’t even say it’s because it’s trendy; it’s pretty darn good.”

And pretty darn good it is! In the looloo app, none of Frankie’s branches have ratings below 4 stars. It seems, too, like foodies just can’t stop talking about how good these sinful chicken wings are no matter what flavor they come in.

“Frankie’s, hands down, is the absolute bestest, yummiest, tastiest fried chicken wings ever,” Christina R. raves in her looloo review. “The wings are crispy and crunchy. Even when we bring them home as we usually get them to go, they’re still crispy. We always get the garlic parmesan, honey mustard, and the cheese.”

With that many superlatives, need we say more?

Frankie’s New York Buffalo Wings can be found at these locations.

4. Izakaya Kikufuji

“This is the one Japanese restaurants I’ve been wanting to try for ages, the elusive one with the never ending line,” Julie J. says of Izakaya Kikufuji in her looloo review. “Not bothering to make reservations was a BAD idea.”

Photo from Denise Dominique A.’s looloo review of Izakaya Kikufuji

We can tell you that it really is a very, very bad idea not to make any reservations when you plan on dining here (there are days when they don’t accept reservations so do call the resto first!). Waiting time can be from 30 minutes up to more than an hour. Definitely not for the easily hangry! And don’t make the mistake of assuming that this only happens during peak hours. “We arrived at 9:30 pm,” Mark L. narrates in his review. “There was still a line.”

Still, the food you get from Izakaya Kikufuji is worth the long wait. In her looloo review, Mars G. says that the Special California Maki made her “forgive and forget the waiting time at Kikufuji.” She also adds that the taste of this sushi roll was like a “party in her mouth” and describes it as “unforgettable.” We don’t know about you, but unforgettable sure does sound good.

Izakaya Kikufuji can be found at Little Tokyo, 2277 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati.

5. Manam

Given the hordes of diners who come to Manam, it’s no surprise that the restaurant has a seating policy that its staff strictly enforces. We’re about to tell you how it goes so pay attention and remember it so you can avoid any headache and flaring tempers when you dine at Manam!

Photo from Mary Love S.’ looloo review of Manam

The queueing system is very simple. You just need to have your name listed and you’ll be told what place you are in the order of waitlisted diners. Now, problems will arise if it’s your turn and your companions are nowhere in sight. The rule here is that once it’s your turn, at least half of your group should be present. For example, if you’re a group of six, at least three of you have to be there when your name is called.

Here’s another handy tip from Karla Francesca G. when dining at Manam: in her looloo review, she recommends that you come before 6 pm. “Anytime later,” she says. “And you’ll end up waiting in a queue.”

Manam can be found at these locations.

6. Marugame Udon

We think Claire M.’s short but concise description in her looloo review of the queue Marugame Udon gets sums it up perfectly: “The line is blockbuster unbelievably long all the time.”

Organized and straightforward as the queueing system may be, it can still be rather intimidating, especially for those trying Marugame Udon for the first time. So to help you out, we’ll give you a brief guide to the ordering system at this resto!

Marugame Udon has a cafeteria-like ordering system in place. First, you line up and once it’s your turn, you get to place your udon or donburi order directly to the staff who will prepare it right in front of you. The waiting time for your bowl is generally very short but there are some items on the menu that will take a longer time. If that’s the case, you’ll be provided with a number and your bowl of yummy goodness will be delivered straight to your table instead.

Photo from Cindy S.’ looloo review of Marugame Udon

After placing your udon or donburi order, you will then be greeted by an array of side dishes displayed right on the counter. It’s self-service so you have to get your tempura or onigiri yourself. Once you’re done with that, head straight to the counter where you can grab some drinks and pay for your meal.

The whole process seems easy and pretty fast, right? Queueing up shouldn’t be a problem… ideally. What usually causes the delay are the people who hold up the line. It can be because they’re undecided on what to order or they simply aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. To avoid being those people, pick what you’re ordering early on. If you really can’t decide, keep your questions for the staff at the minimum.

And please, don’t be too engrossed in a conversation or the screen of your phone to notice when there’s space to move forward!

Marugame Udon can be found at these locations.

7. Mendokoro Ramenba / Ramen Yushoken

Mendokoro Ramenba and its sister restaurant Ramen Yushoken have been repeatedly hailed as the best ramen places in Metro Manila by countless foodies. And when you’re called the best of the best, you’re bound to get crazy long lines regardless of the time of day.

Photo from Earl M.’s looloo review of Mendokoro Ramenba

“We arrived here around 6 pm and there was a bit of a crowd waiting outside,” Mikka M. recalls in her looloo review of Ramen Yushoken. “When we asked to be listed, we were 14th in line.”

So if you’re planning on eating at these two restaurants anytime soon, make sure you bring an infinite amount of patience with you (eating a snack beforehand can help too). Why? Because waiting for your turn can take hours. Yes, you read that right. Hours. Plural. And we’re not exaggerating either! We have proof thanks to Jah P.’s looloo review of Mendokoro Ramenba.

“We went there at around 11AM on a Saturday and was able to eat at 2PM,” she narrates. “What a line!” But despite getting admittedly a bit grumpy because of the long wait, she still calls Mendokoro “another ramen place to die for!”

Mendokoro Ramenba can be found at these locations while Ramen Yushoken can be found at these locations.

8. Ooma

So far, we’ve listed quite a few ways to deal with crazy lines in restaurants like having an efficient queueing system, arriving early, and not being the reason why the line is being held up. We have another tip for you: placing your orders in advance. It sure did help Pia L. when she ate in Ooma!

“Advance ordered a bunch of random makis while we were waiting outside — it took us over an hour and a half just to be seated,” she shares in her looloo review. “They didn’t accept reservations and I could understand why — this restaurant is ALWAYS packed!”

Photo from Bernisse C.’s looloo review of Ooma

Advance ordering sure has its perks. It gives you something to do while waiting and, once you’re seated, there’s a higher chance that your waiting time for your food will be cut short! After such a long wait, being able to eat right away sure is the perfect reward.

Ooma can be found at these locations.

9. Samgyupsalamat

If there’s one trend that reigned supreme this year, it’s Korean barbecue. Unlimited Korean barbecue to be exact. Countless Korean barbecue restos have popped up all over the metro, much to the delight of every meat-loving foodie out there. And one of the more popular names among the bunch is, without a doubt, Samgyupsalamat. It’s become so popular that it’s actually very odd to find a branch without a queue waiting outside!

“I remember the first time we attempted to try Samgyupsalamat at their Banawe branch,” Jomarie A. narrates in her looloo review. “Got there earlier (around 5pm) to queue, and we were the 22nd on the line. At around 7:30pm, we were still the 20th.”

Photo from Chesicon V.’s looloo review of Samgyupsalamat

Sounds really intense, right! Samgyupsalamat’s queues really aren’t for the impatient or for the very hungry. But still, there are many out there who are willing to brave the lines just for eat-all-you-can meat. We have looloo reviewers who have waited up to three long hours just to eat here.

The question is, is it worth the wait? BerryFaithy C.’s five-star review is a resounding yes. “Food was great! Flavor of the meat was made more delicious because they use charcoal for grilling,” she says. “No wonder why people are willing to line up for this.”

Samgyupsalamat can be found at these locations.

10. Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina

Capping off our list of 10 restaurants with long ass lines is a place where you can get value for money Mexican food. But like many good things in life, Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina’s nachos, quesadillas, and other super yummy menu items come with some waiting time because of the long queue this restaurant always gets.

“If it’s your first time eating at Silantro, I’d go for the tacos and nachos. It’s a classic and you won’t be disappointed,” Tesh R. recommends in her looloo review. “Go there before rush hour, meaning an hour or two before the lunch and dinner rush. Even on weekdays they get full easily and there is always a waiting line. But don’t be discouraged. A culinary haven awaits.”

Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina can be found at these locations.

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About Author

Bella Javier

Bella is a lover of all things sweet, a multi-time winner of the timeless children’s party and icebreaker game, Name That Tune, and a self-proclaimed queen of wishful thinking. A wanderer whose hunger lasts 24/7 and a proud owner of an oldies playlist mixed with songs she can sing fluently but does not understand, she’ll choose neither Edward or Jacob when asked that same old question.