Manila is one of the country’s most beautiful spots when it comes to mixing the old and new. Case in point, classic Filipino dishes served with a twist against a backdrop of colonial buildings. Luckily for us, there are several restaurants scattered across the city that serve just that.
In fact, there are tons of restaurants in Manila that serve different kinds of cuisine that are all sure to leave you with a happy stomach. Here are our top recommendations:
1. Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant
Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant serves traditional Filipino, Spanish and European-inspired dishes. What started out as a small canteen by Barbara de los Reyes from Olongapo City, has now grown into a catering business, restaurant and canteen service.
The heart of her business lies within the walls of Intramuros, amongst the churches, colonial structures, stone walls and more.
Barbara’s self-titled restaurant has several bestsellers such as their Beef Caldereta, Seafood Amelie and of course, their Asado de Carajay – complete with fried bananas, one of the best ways to enjoy ox tongue.
As if that wasn’t good enough, guests are treated to a cultural performance with dancers dressed in colorful, traditional garb while playing or dancing to Filipino folk music.
Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on most days and the scrumptious lunch buffet will set you back at P549.
2. Purple Yam
Founded in 2007, Purple Yam Modern Filipino came to Manila from Brooklyn, New York. It serves Filipino dishes with a twist and apart from having set menus, can definitely create a whirlwind of flavor in your mouth with their customizable drinks.
A sample set menu could look include Cured Tna & Tanigue, Chicken Kinulob, Soft-Boiled Organic Duck Egg, Sliders and a Sorsogon Bar Crabcake.
You can even add bitters and flavors from all over the region with a drop from their mystifying bottles to your drinks for a truly custom-made experience. The Purple Yam is located at 603 Julio Nakpil St. cor. Bacobo, Malate and set menus start at P1,500.
3. My Kitchen by Chef Chris
My Kitchen by Chef Chris is the kitchen you’d wish was yours. It’s surprisingly casual dining and boasts of fabulous Italian food with an assortment of other delicious dishes. It’s located in The Oasis Paco Park Hotel besides the Paco Church and the Old Swiss Inn.
Try their scrumptious pizzas like the Pancetta e Chippoli or the Verena with its white truffle oil enhanced cheese sauce. If you’re not in the mood for pizza, we recommend you try their Cappellini Beatrice pasta with imported scallops and prawns, or their seafood Risotto Fruti de Mare.
My Kitchen by Chef Chris opens at 7a.m. and closes at 10.30 p.m., it will probably cost you P2,000 for two. You can call (02) 521 2371 for reservations.
4. Wai Ying
Wai Ying may be a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, but the food is worth the visit. Because it’s a small “fast food” restaurant, expect the atmosphere to be anything but relaxing – tables fill up quickly during meal times and you can often find people standing, waiting for a seat.
One thing you’d definitely notice though is the different plates of dimsum being served – from the classics such as siomai, hakaw and beef balls to servings of duck or pork asado.
Wai Ying has them all, served quickly and hot. They’re open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
5. Casa Roces
This Spanish-inspired restaurant is a favorite around Malacanang Palace, and more often than not, you’ll find a celebrity or politician dining there.
The former ancestral home of the Roces family serves coffee and sumptuous cakes on their first floor – they also offer other baked goods and memorabilia which guests can buy as souvenirs.
On the second floor is the bistro and a small gallery. At the bistro, try ordering their Paella Negra, their rendition of bistek and last but not the least, their Bulalo Ala Pobre. To balance the meal out, make sure you order their refreshing Sangria.
Casa Roces is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and may set you back P1,200 for two.
6. Blugre Coffee
Tracing its humble origins back to Davao, Blugre Coffee has come to Manila to tantalize your taste buds with their unique brew of Durian flavored coffee.
As if that wasn’t exotic enough, they also have mangosteen and rice-flavored coffee to help perk up your mornings.
Blugre Coffee opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 11 p.m. – perfect for people looking for a relaxing way to cap off their evening. A cup is priced at around P150.
7. Gregory Park: Serious Grub
If you’re craving, then you should seriously head over to Gregory Park: Serious Grub. This is the perfect place to pick-up a hearty Burrito, Chicharones and Chipotle Steak Tacos, Three Cheese Quesadillas in a cone and maybe cookies and milk for dessert.
Also, if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, then order their Rusla Burrito and the Vegan Chimichanga.
Gregory Park is open from 10 a.m to 10 p.m. on weekdays. and the burritos start at P180, a small price to pay for lipsmacking comfort food.
8. Champagne Room
Known for its seafood, lavish interiors and the atmosphere of exclusivity, The Champagne room serves delectable dishes such as the Bar de Mer Chilies (their rendition of oven-baked Chilean sea bass), Carre d’agneau Roti, Confit d’aubergine (rack of lamb on an eggplant confit rosemary-shallot sauce), and their Omelette Norvegienne (baked ice cream flambed orange brandy).
A meal for two can you set you back P2,000. The Champagne Room is open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.. You may call (02) 527 0011 for reservations.
9. Sky Deck View Bar
Located at The Bayleaf Intramuros, the Sky Deck View Bar boasts of an unobstructed 360-degree view of Manila. Other than that, their dishes are quite the looker, as well.
Beautifully presented, some of their best sellers include their Surf and Turf Salpicao, Kanji Beef Salad, Bayleaf Signature Bagnet and their Pan-fried Mahi Mahi.
Sky Deck View Bar is an intimate lounge with great drinks and live acoustic performances during the weekends.
Happy hour is at 5.30 p.m. daily, while the bar itself is open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
10. Amo Yamie Crib Coffee and Movie House
Amo Yamie Crib Coffee is the go-to place for comfort food, they have everything from juicy burgers, to waffle pizzas and pizza fries. Their best sellers though are their cakes: The 3 Maltesers, Oreo and Juliet and Once Upon Nutella.
If you want to veer away from the food though and kick back and relax, then why not watch a movie with your friends? Amo Yamie has an extensive library of videos that you can borrow from, or you can bring your own.
With its chill vibes, colorful interiors and friendly atmosphere, it’s no surprise why it’s become a second home to students, young professionals and more.