When I was a kid, one of favorite merienda (snack) is the sweet bread called as hopia. My favorite back then is the hopia that is called as hopiang Hapon (Japanese hopia), which can be bought from the neighboring sari-sari store and is sold for 6 pesos per pack. Another hopia that my parents buy as snack when I am still a kid is hopiang baboy (pork hopia). I don’t like hopiang baboy as much as I like hopiang Hapon, which has a filling of sweet mongo. There is another hopia that is more special than the hopiang Hapon and that hopia is the one that is brought my dad as pasalubong whenever he visited my grandmother. That hopia usually comes in a red box and it is larger and thicker than the hopiang Hapon of the sari-sari stores. I can’t recall the name of the hopia though, but I know that that hopia is delicious. I believe that I still such hopia being sold in bakeries and sari-sari stores.
What is a hopia?
Hopia is a bean filled pastry. The bean used as filling is sweet mongo paste. It is usually circular in shape but other shapes (like the square shaped hopia) are available. The two variants of hopia are the hopia with sweet mongo fillings (hopiang mongo) and the hopia with candied winter melon and candied pork backfat (hopiang baboy).
Where to Buy the Best Hopia?
Most of the shops that I know that sells the best tasting hopia are located in Manila, particularly in Binondo Chinatown area. Hopia is one of the most sold food products in Binondo Chinatown and many people just go to this place to buy hopia. Here are the following shops that sell the best tasting hopia in Manila:
1. Eng Bee Tin is the leading Chinese food shop that sells hopia, siopao (that is colored purple), tikoy, moon cake and other Chinese delicacy. If you are looking for good tasting hopia, then I suggest that you try Eng Bee Tin’s hopia. Just go to Binondo Church in Manila and many branches of Eng Bee Tin can easily be spotted in the vicinity. Eng Bee Tin sells various flavors of hopia. I recommend the “pastillas ube” hopia, which is my favorite hopia. I suggest that you stay away from the “pandan” hopia.
2. Polland is the next best shop that sells hopia. Polland also sells other Chinese delicacies like Eng Bee Tin. Polland shop is located along Escolta, right after you crossed the Pasig River via Jones Bridge. Another Polland shop is also located near the Binondo Church. The hopia that I recommend is the Red Mongo Hopia, which I think is the best hopia in this shop.
3. Salazar Bakery is located in Binondo Chinatown and has branches in other places. As a bakery, this shop sells various kinds of bread. Actually, I have never bought anything from Salazar Bakery. However, my friend Anney recommends their hopiang baboy (pork hopia). If I ever get a chance, I will buy their hopiang baboy to know if it is really delicious.
So, those are the shops that sell the best tasting hopia in Manila. I am sure that there still many shops that I failed to mention and many of you might disagree. If you know of other shops that sell hopia, I suggest that you leave a comment about that shop so that if I will know where to buy my next hopia.