Manila Restaurants and Food

Enjoy tasty pan-Asian cuisine at Cafe Juanita

Enjoy tasty pan-Asian cuisine at Cafe Juanita

Filipinos love to eat and tend to have an internationalised palate, so finding food in the Philippines is never a problem. Foreign influence on traditional Filipino cuisine is quite evident in modern dishes.

There are plenty of restaurants offering a wide array of cuisines in all quarters of the city, but trust our below recommendations for some of the best. Meals are priced from US$5 to about US$30 (for higher-end restaurants).

Recommended Manila restaurants

La Cocina de Tita Moning
Enjoy delicious food inside a typical Spanish-era mansion in this beautiful restaurant very near Intramuros. They specialize in Spanish Filipino Heirloom recipes with set menus that includes cocktails and tour of the ancestral house. An a la carte menu is aso available. Open: by reservation for lunch and dinner (daily); 315 San Rafael Street, San Miguel District, tel: +63 2 734 2146, mobile: +63 917 531 5203, tel/fax: +63 2 734 2141, email: talktous@lacocinadetitamoning.com, website: www.lacocinadetitamoning.com. $$

Café Juanita
Delectable Asian dishes are the specialty of this decades-old café. The Vietnamese spring rolls and prawns pickled garlic sauce is a must try. Open: 11:00-14:00, 17:30-22:00 (daily); 2 United Street corner West Capitol Drive, Barrio Kapitolyo, Pasig, tel: +63 632 0357, email: cafejuanita@yahoo.com. $$

Abe Restaurant
In the mood for tasty Filipino delicacies? Dine here to taste the fantastic local culinary skills. Specials include Abe’s chicken supreme and Lamb adobo with popped garlic. Open: 11:00-15:00, 17:00 to midnight (daily); Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, tel: +63 2 856 0526. $$

Prince Albert Rotisserie
Try the eat all you can continental buffet if you’re really famished. Their specialties are pan-fried veal loin and a slice of duck liver marinated in medoc wine. Open: 12:00-15:00, 19:00-22:00 (Monday-Friday), 19:00-23:00 (Saturday); Intercontinental Hotel at 1 Ayala Avenue, Makati, tel: +63 2 793 7000 loc. 6776, 6777, email: cay.cariaso@ihg.com. $$$

Café Ysabel
Try the menu prepared by one of Philippines’ top chefs – Gene Gonzales – who runs the kitchen. Sample his crispy pork binagoongan, US braised beef belly and the pasta vegetalie aglio. Superb local and international recipes are served in the restaurant, but the experience does not end there. The café is remarkably designed to provide a luxurious atmosphere. Open: 07:30 to midnight (daily); 455 P. Guevarra Street, San Juan, Metro Manila, tel: +63 2 726 9326, fax: +63 2 725 5089, email: cafeysabel@mydestiny.net, website: www.cafeysabel.com. $$$$

Crispy pata is a Filipino favourite

Crispy pata is a Filipino favourite

Heaven ‘n’ Eggs Rock & Roll
If you have a big appetite, this is the restaurant to satisfy your cravings for both American and Filipino cuisines. Big sandwiches, pasta, and pancakes are served at affordable prices. Open: 07:00-02:00 (daily); Fuente Circle, Eastwood City, Quezon City, tel: +63 2 912 1172. $$

M (or Museum Café)
An idyllic setting for a romantic date or a tranquil get together with friends, this restaurant right beside the posh Ayala Museum offers delicious local food with beautiful scenery of the city below from the glass window panes. Try the guava lychee shake or the cappuccino for a soothing feel. Open: 08:00 to midnight (daily); Glass Wing, Ayala Museum, Makati Avenue, Makati, tel: +63 2 757 3000. $$

The Red Crab Seafood Club
If you are craving for seafood, you’ll appreciate the top chefs who know sea agro very well. Butter ginger crab and crab casino are some of the dishes to try. Open: 11:00-23:00 (Monday-Friday), 11:00 to midnight (Saturday, Sunday); Shop 210 Level 2 Greenbelt 3 Ayala Center, Makati, tel: +63 2 757 4129, email: tsc.gb3@gmail.com. $$

Kamayan sa Nayong Pilipino
This restaurant serves Filipino seafood and noodles you would not find anywhere else in the world. Nayong Pilipino Park, MIA Avenue, Pasay, tel/fax: +63 2 851 0921. $

Price guide (US$)
$ – dishes under $3; quart of beer $1; whiskey shot $1.50; cocktails $2
$$ – dishes $3-10; quart of beer $1.50; whiskey shot $2; cocktails $2.50
$$$ – dishes $10-20; quart of beer $2; whiskey shot $2.50; cocktails $3
$$$$ – dishes over $20; quart of beer $3; whiskey shot $4; cocktails $5

Le Souffle
If you are in the mood for French classics, opt for the Citi Salad with your choice of vinaigrette, Pan Fried Goose Liver Salad, and Salmon Carpaccio. Open: 11:00 to midnight (daily); Amorsolo West Building, Residential Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati, Amorsolo Tower, 23 Amorsolo Drive, Makati City, tel: +63 2 890 6543, fax: +63 2 897 7516. $$$

Red
A haven for people who crave tasty steaks and luscious desserts. Try Chilean seabass  with yoghurt & passionfruit cheesecake with raspberry. Open: Breakfast: 07:00–10:30 (Monday-Friday), Lunch: 11:30–02:30 (Monday-Friday), Dinner: 18:00-22:30 (Monday-Sunday); Shangri-La Hotel Makati at Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue, Makati City, tel: +63 2 813 8888, +63 2 840 0884, website: www.shangri-la.com. $$

Via Mare
Can’t get enough of oysters? Try their new specialties, linguini with oysters, oyster coquille, and oyster shish kebabs. Open: 11:00-21:00 (Monday-Thursday), 11:00-22:00 (Friday), 10:00-22:00 (Saturday), 10:00-21:00 (Sunday); Shop Number GD108, Level 1 Shangri-La Plaza Mall, EDSA Wack Wack, Mandaluyong, tel: +63 2 632 0350, fax: +63 2 632 1409, website: www.shangrila-plaza.com. $$$

Crustasia's Thai Shrimp House
They cook delightful fresh crabs and lobsters in a way you have never tasted before. Some of the favorites are tenderloin beef strips in red curry and chicken and chorizo in yellow curry. Open: 11:00-21:00 (Monday-Thursday), 11:00-22:00 (Friday), 10:00-22:00 (Saturday), 10:00-21:00 (Sunday); Shop Number 639, The Ledge 6F, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, tel: +63 2 910 4096, website: www.shangrila-plaza.com. $$$ 

People’s Palace
Thai food is a big favorite in Manila, and this is the restaurant to eat it in. Some of the dishes to try include red curry of prawn and roast pumpkin, green chicken curry, and som tam spicy green papaya salad. Open: 11:00 to midnight (Monday-Thursday, Sunday), 11:00-02:00 (Friday, Saturday); G/F Greenbelt 3-Garden Side, Esperanza St., Ayala Center, Makati, tel: +63 2 729 2888, email: reservations@peoplespalacethai.com. $$

Patio Guernica serves true Iberian classics

Patio Guernica serves true Iberian classics

Patio Guernica
The restaurant that mastered famous Spanish cuisines like ensaladas, pescados, rabo de toro, paellas and lenguas, and other casa specialties. Savor your meal with the live classic music on the background. Open: 10:00-23:00 (daily); Bellagio Square, 1658 Jorge Bocabo Street, Malate, tel: +63 2 804 0837, website: www.patio-guernica.com. $$

Chateau 1771
The restaurant has earned the “no borders cuisine” for successfully bringing European flavours to Filipino tastebuds. Try the apple pizza, melted Swiss raclette, and lemon chicken to experience the flairs of sought in the restaurant. Open: 11:00-23:00 (daily); Greenbelt 5, Makati City, tel: +63 2 729 9760, email: marketing@chateaugroup.com, website: www.chateaugroup.com. $$

Spiral
Have your meal the Japanese way. Try the raw oyster, salmon sashimi, or the green tea soba with half-poached egg, and veggie tempura topping. Open: 24 hours (daily); Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Roxas Boulevard, CCP Complex, Pasay, tel: +63 2 551 5555, fax: +63 2 551 5610, email: H6308@sofitel.com, website: www.sofitelmanila.com. $$

Insider’s Tip: Filipinos are experts in serving up authentic Spanish cuisine as a result of the coloniser’s extended stay in the country.

Casa Armas
This famous restaurant specializes on Spanish dishes uniquely prepared to bring out the strongest flavors. Meal prices start at Php 500 or US$15. Specialties include the Tabla Casa Armas especial, snipe bird adobo flakes, salpicao and paella negra. Open: 11:00 to midnight (Monday-Saturday), 18:00 to midnight (Sunday); 573 J. Nakpil Street corner J. Bacobo Street, tel: +63 2 523 5763. $$$

Zuni
This is the hub for those who are looking for a casual place to dine. Enjoy fillet mignon wrapped in bacon. Live bands draw crowds during weekends. Open: 11:00 to midnight (daily); Greenbelt 5, Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati, tel: +63 2 757 0361-2, fax: +63 2 757 0362, email: info@zuni.com.ph, website: www.zuni.com.ph. $$

Illustrado
Try roast duck Illustrado and lengua con setas at this Intramuros institution which screams colonial period decadence. Open: 11:30-15:00, 18:00-22:00 (daily); 744 General Luna Street, Intramurous, tel: +63 2 527 3674, email: reservations@ilustradorestaurant.com.ph, website: www.ilustradorestaurant.com.ph. $$$

Jollibee
This famous chain with branches all over Asia and the US is the Filipino version of McDonald’s, and is a great alternative if you are craving burgers and fries. You can find an outlet in almost every major road and mall. Tel: +63 2 898 7777, mobile: +63 917 800 7000, email: feedback@jollibee.com.ph, website: www.jollibee.com.ph. $

blog comments powered by Disqus

TRAVEL GUIDES