Tips and Guides

Top 5 Places Where You Can Buy Affordable Dinnerware

The shops to hit if you’re looking for basic whites, everyday sets, or pretty-or-quirky little something

Photography: Kathleen Valle

Unless you’re planning to eat-out all the time, dinnerware is necessary and deserves a slice off your budget pie. Got a modest slice to work on? Consider these five stops. While some or most of them might not be news to you, we share some of our picks to get you started if you’re not quite sure where and how to begin:

Landmark Department Store
  • Ayala Center, Makati City
  • Tel. (02) 819-1520; 819-0701
  • Sun-Thurs (10am-8:30pm); Fri and Sat (10am-9:30pm)

The home section of Landmark Department Store (both Makati and Trinoma branches) has long been a favorite of food stylists for good reason. It boasts a selection of inexpensive and decent quality plates, bowls, mugs, and the like that though much more edited and considerably more expensive than the offerings of that controversial “Now it’s open; Now it’s not” warehouse chain, the good thing is that it has the comforts of a mall (aircon, helpful staff, clean stock). 

Picks: We like the glazed ceramic bowls and plates with colored interiors (starts at P30); Home Gallery everyday plates with simple designs at P120 each.

Dapitan Arcade
  • 39 Dapitan corner Kanlaon St., Quezon City
  • Tel. (02) 411-0252
  • Mon-Sun; 8am-7pm

While Dapitan Arcade is more popular for its Christmas décor, all sorts of woven baskets, and sundry handicrafts, there are some stalls that solely offer white dinnerware, ubiquitous mason jar mugs with colorful lids (Here they sell for P40 each, around P15 cheaper than in department stores).

While you’re at it, do survey the whole arcade and its surrounding stalls for surprise finds. A stall selling mostly kitschy figurines could be hiding a gorgeous, overrun plates or Pantone mugs. 

Pick: White plate at P40 each. Good if you want to stock up on these basics for those big family lunches at home, or if you don’t want to deal with the indecision of choosing between patterned dinner sets. 

SM Home

The staple dinnerware brands like Luminarc and Omega are of course available at the department store that has got it all for you. Here, the brands seem to have a wider range of designs, many of which can be bought per piece—great if you don’t have the budget for or don’t want to commit to a set and would rather mix than match. Comb the shelves for prints and designs that showcase your style.

Picks: Felina printed mugs (P59.75 each); Lav glasses (P79.75 each); Melawares floral dinner plate (P82.75) 

The Metro Department Store
  • 4/L Market! Market!
  • Fort Bonifacio, Global City
  • Sun-Thurs (10am-9pm); Fri-Sat (10am-10pm)

While The Metro Department Store has the usual offering of branded and unbranded, plain and printed dinnerware sold by set or individually, they seem to have a wider selection of Melawares. Shelves are stacked high with unbreakable bowls, cups, and dessert plates (start at P32.75). If you prefer melamine over breakables for one reason or another (got a rowdy toddler?), consider stopping by this store. 

Picks: Claytan 7pc. couple set (P1,399.75); simple dinner plates with colored rims  

Japan Home Centre

Check out for store locations.

Although Japan home or surplus stores usually have small items and don’t offer sets, it is precisely for this fact that they are fun to visit. Even chain shops like Japan Home Center don’t have similar offerings in all of their branches, so hold on to that pretty printed little bowl that might not be available in another branch. This is the place to hit if you’ve got a budget of only a hundred pesos (or less) and could only afford to buy one or few pieces at a time. 

Picks: Bowls for P66 or P88 for two 

Bonus Stop: Earth Japan Surplus

There has been a sporadic sighting of Japan surplus stores in Metro Manila and nearby areas in the past few years. One of the more reliable and organized shops is Earth Japan Surplus in Marikina City. You’ll find orphaned cups and saucers for as low as P15 and dinner plates at P35. Shop here if you’re going for the eclectic look, or just need a little something to spice up your usual set. 

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