Photo courtesy of the Jollibee Facebook page

Outside of Filipino fast-food chain Jollibee’s Plano location, a statue of a red-and-yellow striped bee in a chef’s hat gestures enthusiastically at the restaurant’s entrance, promising to fulfill the company’s mission of “bringing the joy of eating to everyone.”

When the restaurant opened in Plano in August 2020, the drive-thru line snaked around the building. Customers — many of whom grew up with the restaurant in the Philippines — eagerly anticipated the chance to sink their teeth once again into ChickenJoy and Jolly Spaghetti.

If you haven’t heard of Jollibee, where have you been? Well chances are you haven’t ventured much outside because of the pandemic, in which case I don’t blame you.

This fast-food chain is the largest in the Philippines, with more than 1,400 locations nationwide. They also have over 270 international branches, 51 of which are in the United States.

Read more about Jollibee’s importance in the Philippines, plus what makes their flavor combinations so special.

Loyal customers rave about the company’s fried chicken, spaghetti and pies — all served with classic Filipino sweet and savory flavor combinations that you won’t find at any other fast-food chain.

Here are the five menu items you must try!

Jollibee Aloha Yumburger | Courtesy of Jollibee

The Aloha Yumburger

The Aloha Yumburger is the new and improved version of the Yumburger, the restaurant’s basic hamburger. While the original Yumburger has one zesty beef patty with the restaurant’s signature dressing — a thick, creamy mayonnaise — the Aloha Yumburger is packed with two patties, bacon, lettuce, honey mustard aloha dressing and a big slice of pineapple. It’s basically the burger equivalent of pineapples on pizza: not for everyone, but a definite hit for those with a sweet tooth.

Photo courtesy of Jollibee Brunei on Facebook

The ChickenJoy

The ChickenJoy is a cult classic, revered by customers for being perfectly crispy on the outside and perfectly juicy on the inside. ChickenJoy is hand-breaded, prepared with a special marinade and served with a silky, savory gravy that is finger-licking good. You can get it spicy, or order a bucket of half spicy and half regular fried chicken. Get french fries, mashed potatoes and gravy — yes, it is the same delicious gravy served with the chicken — or adobo rice on the side. Or you could order your ChickenJoy with a side of yummy Jolly Spaghetti or Palabok Fiesta (see below).

Photo courtesy of the Jollibee Facebook page

Jollibee’s Jolly Spaghetti

Jolly Spaghetti takes spaghetti and meatballs to another level. This Jollibee’s classic features spaghetti noodles topped with cheese, savory ham, ground meat, sliced hot dogs and a sweet sauce made from banana ketchup. Jolly Spaghetti is a party classic in the Philippines, and for good reason. The meat medley on top is delectable, and who wouldn’t be jolly while eating banana ketchup?

Photo courtesy of the Jollibee Canada Facebook page

The Palabok Fiesta

Also known as “Fiesta Noodles,” Palabok Fiesta is a traditional Filipino noodle dish covered in garlic sauce, sauteed pork, shrimp, egg and Palabok sauce. This is one of the more savory dishes on the menu, although it does come with lemon juice on the side, which you can drizzle over the dish to add some tang. You can order Palabok Fiesta without pork or shrimp. However for those with dietary restraints, please keep in mind that the Palabok Sauce still contains both ingredients.

Photo courtesy of Alagang Jollibee on Facebook

Jollibee’s Peach Mango Pie

Jollibee’s peach mango pie is the ultimate summer dessert, featuring an ooey gooey peach-mango filling — made from real Philippine mangoes — encased within a flaky, buttery crust. It’s basically the McDonald’s apple pie, but bursting with tropical flavor. Yes, please!

1016 Preston Rd, Plano, TX 75093 | 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily | available for drive-thru or order pick up

Vaibhavi Hemasundar

Vaibhavi Hemasundar is an undergraduate at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She loves singing, film photography, and devouring book after book.