Being the capital of the Philippines, Manila’s food scene is emerging as the hub for food lovers from around the world with over 22,000 restaurants. With this many options, it’s hard to decide where to eat in Manila. In this food guide, we’ve broken down some of the best restaurants in Manila!
One thing I love about being a travelling foodie is learning about a destination’s culture through its food. Besides being a city with rich heritage, Manila has a unique food culture that awes the foodies.
When you visit the Philippines, you’ll quickly realize that Filipinos love to eat! It’s just part of the culture, which is why Manila has a plethora of restaurants that offer diverse world cuisines.
Big chains have noticed this too: some of the most popular international chain restaurants have opened in Manila like Shake Shack, In-N-Out (pop-up), Tim Horton’s and Ippudo. I was actually surprised to find out Toronto is quite behind than Manila with these big franchises.
Fun fact: I was born and raised in Manila. But every time I visit, I am baffled how much (and fast) things change, especially with the restaurants in Manila.
Also Read: Best Restaurants in Singapore
With such a diverse food scene, I ate my way around the Philippine capital hitting up some of the best restaurants in Manila in a wide range of cuisines, pricing and types from casual and fine dining, fast food and take-out places to hidden gems and childhood favourites!
Follow on Instagram @TravellinFoodie for more food inspirations
Things To Know About Manila and its Food Scene
The food in the Philippines is strongly influenced by the cultures that inhabited its islands including Spanish, American and Chinese. Spanish food is rampant in Manila, and some of the most popular Filipino dishes are adapted from Spanish cuisine.
The majority of the Filipino-Chinese community in Manila is of Fujianese descent so you will see restaurants serving authentic Fujianese cuisine, which is uncommon to find in other countries.
With this boom in Manila’s food culture comes a price, and I noticed that restaurant pricing can be similar to North American restaurant prices.
The currency in the Philippines is the Philippine Peso (PHP or P). To make your conversions easier, on average, 1 USD is PHP50, and 1 CAD is PHP40.
The nightlife in Manila is quite impressive. You can typically see people hanging out late at night with a pint of beer in hand, eating delicious bites and having lots of laughs.
Coupled with the nightlife is the entertainment culture in Manila. Filipinos love to sing and dance, and this is evident in the food scene as well.
Restaurants or food plazas tend to have live entertainment either with singers, dancers or both. Similarly, some of the best Filipino restaurants in Manila have traditional roaming musicians who will serenade at the table.
Because of how much traffic there is in Manila, you have to strategize how you’re getting to places. A typical 15-minute drive in North America can end up being 1 hour in Manila. There was one time where a 1.5-hour drive became 4.5 hours.
Unless you’re doing street food or food court, sit-down restaurants typically accept major credit cards (Visa and Mastercard).
A lot of restaurants in Manila allow BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage).
In Manila, Waze is the most popular navigation app, beating Google Maps. For rideshares, Grab is the most popular app, and there is no Uber anymore (Grab bought them out).
Travelling Foodie Tip: Get up to PHP50 off your Grab ride by registering here, or using code GRAB0WIXTZVJ
If you’re looking for WiFi/SIM Card when travelling in Manila, check out the best prices here.
Best Restaurants in Manila
Note: This list of best restaurants in Manila is arranged in alphabetical order. The Must-Try Food in restaurants mean they were both tasted and enjoyed. Menu prices indicated are prices at the time of dining and is subject to change.
The Japanese food scene in Manila is strong with lots of restaurants coming from Japan. One of which is Tendon Akimitsu for some delicious tempura offerings.
Akimitsu Tendon was started as a single restaurant in Asakusa, Tokyo by chef Akimitsu Tanihara, who has mastered the art of making two Japanese dishes, called tempura and tendon.
It has a long history of making a special rice bowl authentic Japanese dish called Donburi.
Chef Akimitsu Tanihara won the gold medal at the prestigious Japan Donburi Awards for five years in a row (2014-2018) as well as gold in the highest award in the world of tempura cuisine called the “King Of Tempura Bowl” in 2014.
Travelling Foodie Tip: Visit the location at Ayala Malls The 30th where it is a 2-in-1 joint restaurant with Ramen Nagi.
A delight to watch is how they make the delicious Ebi Tempura Maki! It’s Tempura-Ception!
If you are looking for more variety outside just tempura, they also serve other sashimi and maki.
Tendon Akimitsu is one of the best places to eat tempura in Manila!
Must-Try Food at Akimitsu Tendon: Hokkaido Tempura and Ebi Tempura Maki
Website / Address: 31 Meralco Ave, San Antonio, Pasig, 1605 Metro Manila, Philippines
Also Read: Best Restaurants in Tokyo
Barcino is one of the best restaurants in Manila for authentic Spanish cuisine with tapas, paella and tradicionales. In fact, the founders originated from Barcelona who wanted to bring the authentic Spanish taste to the Philippines.
Did you know? Barcino is Latin for Barcelona, the capital of the Catalan community in Spain.
On some nights a week, Barcino also invites locals bands to play music while people enjoy the delicacy of Spanish cuisine.
They also give a tribute to Spanish wine with a vast collection in which you can have the staff suggest a wine pairing with your dish.
Apart from their main branch in SM Aura, they have many branches in Makati, Alabang and other food districts in Manila.
Must-Try Food at Barcino: Paella de Rabo de Toro (Oxtail Paella), Pulpo Braseado con Crema de Patata, Gambas Al Ajillo
Website / Address: G/F One, Eastwood Ave, Eastwood City, Quezon City, 1800 Metro Manila, Philippines
Coral Garden Restaurant
Serving guests since 1978, Coral Garden is a gem among locals looking for authentic Chinese and Fujianese dishes.
Did you know? Coral Garden is owned and run by two ladies who were high school classmates and became best friends.
They serve unique dishes not commonly found in other Chinese restaurants (like Stir-Fried Pork Kidney), making it one of the must-try Chinese restaurants in Manila.
Must-Try Food at Coral Garden Restaurant: Crispy Bean Curd with House Special Black Sauce, Coral Supreme, Stir-Fry Pork Liver or Kidney, Oyster Cake
Website / Address: Banawe St, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Also Read: Where To Eat in Tampa Bay, Florida
One of the best Filipino restaurants in Manila, Crisostomo offers traditional Filipino and Spanish dishes as well as other Asian cuisines with innovations by Chef Florabel Co-Yatco!
Did you know? The restaurant’s name is based on a character in popular Filipino novel Noli Me Tangere named Crisostomo Ibarra.
The restaurant has several branches in Manila, each with a different ambiance designed for a relaxed and casual atmosphere.
Crisostomo serves lunch, brunch and dinner so you can visit them any time of the day.
Must-Try Food at Crisostomo: Calamares ni Tales, Tarsilo Squid Al Jillo, Lengua Laruja, Sizzling Linares (Pork Sisig)
Website / Address: 2/F Veranda, Eastwood Mall, Orchard Rd, Bagumbayan, Quezon City, 1110 Metro Manila, Philippines
Eastwood Cafe + Bar
Located inside Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, Eastwood Cafe + Bar is a hidden gem in Eastwood City that’s one of the best places to eat International cuisine in Manila.
The restaurant has a bar that serves popular local and international alcohol brands.
They also have a breakfast buffet that has mix of both continental and Filipino breakfast dishes.
Check out the must-try food for Eastwood Cafe + Bar.
Website / Address: 17 Orchard Road, Eastwood City, Bagumbayan, Quezon City, 1110 Metro Manila, Philippines
Fresh At Solaire
Fresh International buffet at Solaire Resort & Casino serves one of the most renowned buffets in Manila, bringing world cuisines made by chefs from all over the world.
There’s a multitude of stations varying by cuisines like Japanese, Filipino and Chinese as well as other stations like Cheese & Charcuterie, Desserts, Carving Stations, and the most important one, the fresh seafood and meat grilling station.
You’ll find multiple choices at the fresh seafood and meat station including lobsters, fish, chicken, beef and others. And you get to choose how it’s cooked whether you want it grilled or steamed, with garlic butter or other sauces.
Perhaps the main reason why this is one of the best buffets in Manila is there’s all-you-can-eat lobster! Plus, unlimited wine and beer are also included in the buffet, making Fresh one of the best place to eat with friends and family and have a great time.
Must-Try Food at Fresh at Solaire: Dinner Buffet (PHP1999) – inclusive of unlimited drinks
Website / Address: 1 Aseana Ave, Entertainment, Parañaque, 1701 Metro Manila, Philippines
Also Read: Where To Eat in Calgary, Alberta
Gallery by Chele
Started as Gallery VASK in 2013, the restaurant changed its name to Gallery by Chele in 2018 but still remains one of the best restaurants in Manila and the Philippines offering regional as well as Southeast Asian cuisines using modern techniques.
It was my first time seeing such an innovative take on Filipino cuisine, making it a must-try if you’re looking for where to eat tasting menu in Manila.
They use local ingredients to cook the flavors of the Philippines and, at the same time, believe in coming up with new blends and twists in cooking.
Specializing in changing tasting menus and unique cocktails, Gallery by Chele is a crossover of food science and deliciousness and one of the best places to eat in Manila.
Must-Try Food at Gallery by Chele: Nine-Course Tasting Menu, Perfume Cocktail, Verde Cocktail, Puto Bumbong Cocktail
Website / Address: 5/F Clipp Center, 11th Avenue, corner 39th St, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines
Also Read: Alo Restaurant, Best Tasting Menu in Canada
Gloria Maris Shark’s Fin Restaurant Greenhills
Ask locals for best Chinese restaurants in Manila and Gloria Maris is sure to be on top of best places to eat.
A fine-dining Chinese restaurant, Gloria Maris Shark’s Fin Restaurant in Greenhills is dedicated to the innovation of Chinese dining experience through dim sum and hot pot along with traditional Chinese family-style dishes.
The food is cooked with the best quality local ingredients and the chefs are hired from Hong Kong to serve authentic Chinese cuisine to its guests, making it one of the best restaurants in Manila for Chinese food.
With its private rooms and banquet halls, Gloria Maris is a popular spot in the Chinese community for big functions like weddings, parties, birthday celebrations, business meets.
Must-Try Food in Gloria Maris: Roasted Peking Duck Served 2 Ways, Crispy Fried Pigeon, Live Sua He, Steamed Sea Bass with Soy Sauce, Mango Sago
Website / Address: Corner Missouri St, Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines
House of Zhou
Located in Solaire Resort, House of Zhou is popular for its imperial food, drawing inspiration from the famous Honk Kong concept of tea restaurants called Cha Chaan Teng.
The restaurant offers authentic Cantonese and Chinese cuisine from a wide variety of dishes, including noodles, hot pot, sandwiches, and steaks.
Must-Try Food at House of Zhou: Sichuan-style Poached Beef in Hot Chili Oil, Sauteed Beef with Shimeji Mushrooms in Black Pepper Sauce, Tiger Prawns with Superior Stock and Butter, Salt and Pepper Soft Shell Crab
Website / Address: Tambo Entertainment City, 1 Aseana Ave, Parañaque, 1701 Metro Manila, Philippines
Ilustrado started serving guests in 1989 and quickly became one of the best restaurants in Manila for Filipino and Spanish food, frequented by both locals and tourists.
If you’re looking for places to eat in Manila while experiencing a rich Filipino culture, you should visit the Ilustrado Restaurant located in the historic Walled City of Intramuros, which brings you back to the time of Spanish colonialization.
The Ilustrado Restaurant in Intramuros offers traditional Filipino dishes, along with Asian flavors blended with heritage Spanish and global cuisines by Chef Bernice Pimentel.
They even have the live Filipino musicians that serenade the tables, individually.
How about a fire show with your dessert? Every time I see something on the menu that says flambeed tableside, I always want to try it!
What a show it was to see the Mango Jubilee prepared. First time seeing a three ladle fire show.
Must-Try Food at Ilustrado Restaurant: Paella Ilustrado, Lengua Con Setas, Bagnet with Classic KBL Sauce, Australian Lamb Ribs, Mango Jubilee, Tsokolate Ilustrado, Dalandan Mango Daiquiri
Website / Address: 744 Calle Real del Palacio (Gen. Luna), Intramuros, Manila 1002, Philippines
Activities while you’re in Intramuros:
1. Intramuros Bike Tour & Filipino Food with Live Performance (check best price) – a small 5-hour group tour visiting all the must-see spots in Intramuros with a Filipino buffet and live music/cultural show after.
2. Intramuros Bamboo Bicycle Tour (check best price) – choose from express tour, Intramuros experience, sunset tour, half-day cultural experience.
Japan Fudo Street
Located in Ayala Malls Vertis North, Japan Fudo Street is famous for serving authentic Japanese cuisine offering a wide variety of items like takoyaki, sushi, tempura, yakitori, etc.
The dining experience is quite different too. It is like a street food hall and restaurant combined. The interior takes you to streets in Tokyo lined with food vendors for a pick-me-up.
You’ll find street food stalls lined up and a communal dining area but may still choose to opt for a full-service sit-down dining experience.
A unique thing about this restaurant is that it also offers Japanese grocery items that guests can take home to cook.
If you are looking to satisfy your Japanese food fix in one spot, then Japan Fudo Street is one of the best restaurants in Manila for it.
Must-Try Food in Japan Fudo Street: Takoyaki, Mix Seafood Roll, Chawanmushi, Agedashi Tofu, Beef Heart
Website / Address: Ayala Malls Vertis North, North Avenue Brgy, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Kamayan is part of DADS World Buffet which specializes in authentic Filipino cuisine. The kitchen theatre of Kamayan is a site of attraction as you watch chefs cook these delicious Filipino dishes.
Travelling Foodie Tip: DADS World Buffet is three buffets in one: Dads, Kamayan and Saisaki. However, if you’re sure you only want to do one of the three buffets, you can do so at a cheaper price. Similarly, there are still some Kamayan-only restaurants.
Did you know? Kamayan means “with hands”, which describes a traditional Filipino way of eating by hands over a family-style feast on banana leaves.
Look at this mountain of Crispy Pata! I’ve had lobster mountains and fried chicken mountains, now I can add fried pork mountain to my collection.
I always visit DADS World Buffet (or sometimes just Kamayan Buffet) whenever I’m in Manila because of their Lechon and Filipino dishes. It is one of the best restaurants in Manila to get your fix since it is a buffet!
Must-Try Food at Kamayan: As part of Weekday Lunch Buffet (PHP738), Lechon de Leche, Bagnet, Crispy Pata, Sisig Cones, Sizzling Sisig, Crispy Kangkong, Crispy Baby Crabs, Grilled Squid (Inihaw na Pusit), Bibingka, Puto Bumbong
Website / Address: SM Megamall, Epifanio de los Santos Ave, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines
Established in 1981, Kipp’s Chicken is one of the best restaurants in Manila for fried chicken, a hidden gem located in the food court of SM Megamall and SM Southmall.
This locally owned fast food restaurant has been a fan favourite among locals who frequent those malls since childhood. I make it a point to eat here whenever I visit Manila.
Other menu items include spaghetti and macaroni salad.
Must-Try Food at Kipp’s Chicken: You just have to try their beloved fried chicken made from a family recipe. Have that with their home-style gravy and Spanish rice, and you have yourself a winner!
Website / Address: SM Megamall, EDSA corner J. Vargas Ave., Brgy. Wack-Wack, Mandaluyong City, Ortigas
Also Read: Where To Eat in Jacksonville, Florida
La Creperie is one of the best places to eat crepes in Manila. Aside from their popular gourmet crepes and crepe cakes, they offer traditional French food, including popular dishes like Coq Au Vin (chicken in red wine) and Blanquette de Boeuf (beef stew simmered for hours).
La Creperie also serves Filipino breakfast that includes pasta and other traditional dishes.
If you’re looking for a show, the Crepe Suzette is flambeed tableside.
I love crepe cakes! And the 20-layer hand-crafted Mille crepe cake at La Creperie hits the spot! You must try their homemade Salted Butter Caramel.
If you’re looking for where to eat French food and desserts in Manila, La Creperie is the restaurant for it.
Must-Try Desserts at La Creperie: Salted Butter Caramel Mille Crepe Cake, Matcha Mille Crepe Cake, Apple Crisp A La Mode Crepe, Mango Hazelnut Au Chocolat Crepe
Website / Address: Ground Floor, Ayala Malls Vertis Triangle Exchange, North, North Ave, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Even before I flew to Manila and also when I arrived, Locavore Kitchen & Drinks came highly recommended by friends, family and followers so I had to check the place out.
Did you know? Locavore means a person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food.
Known for introducing new modern Filipino food to authentic cuisine, Locavore strives for a sustainable dining concept with a menu using ingredients from local farmers and local drinks all over the Philippines.
Chef Mikel Zaguirre combines classic Filipino dishes with twists using his French cooking background, making Locavore to be one of the best restaurants in Manila for both locals and tourists.
As a sisig lover, I am a big fan of their oyster sisig, which is quite uncommon to find and my first time having. It’s so good you’ll want to try both versions.
Must-Try Food at Locavore Kitchen & Drinks: Luglog, Fried Oyster Sisig, Lechon Oyster Sisig, Baked Scallops with Aligue Butter, Sugpo Con Mayonesa, Green Curry Bicol Express, Turon, Torta Mangga
Website / Address: 1880 Eastwood Ave, Bagumbayan, Quezon City, 1800 Metro Manila, Philippines
Lucky Rainbow Seafood Restaurant
One of the most popular Chinese food is dim sum. Located at Z-Square Mall, Lucky Rainbow Seafood Restaurant is one of the best places to eat dim sum in Manila.
The restaurant itself specializes in seafood and Chinese cuisine, but dim sum at Lucky Rainbow is widely acknowledged for its fresh and flavorful taste and the many varieties it comes in.
Travelling Foodie Tip: Go during their happy hour where select dim sum choices are 40% off. Mon-Sat (10am-2:30pm and 5:00pm-10:30pm)
My most favorite dim sum there was the Yan Suy Dumplings which are like Har Gow (shrimp dumplings) but with coriander inside to add an extra dimension of flavour.
This value dim sum restaurant serves up some delicious dim sum ranging from PHP78-160 (CAD1.97-4.05). And with the 40% off the price during happy hour, you got yourself an awesome treat!
Must-Try Food at Lucky Rainbow: Yansuy Dumplings, Pan-Fried Radish Cake, Xiao Long Bao, Ham Soy Cok, Shrimp Rice Roll
Website / Address: Unit 201-204 Z-Square Mall, Del Monte Ave, Lungsod Quezon, Kalakhang Maynila, Philippines
Also Read: Where To Eat in Toronto
Lugang Café is a Taiwanese restaurant that belongs to the famous Bellagio Group of Restaurants that originated in Shanghai in 2001. The Manila location is very special because it is the first branch of Lugang Café outside China.
Did you know? Lugang Cafe was listed in Philippine Tatler’s 100 Best Restaurant Awards.
Lugang Café has fourteen world-class Chinese chefs who are dedicated to providing their guests with real Taiwanese dishes, undoubtedly making it one of the best restaurants in Manila serving authentic Taiwanese cuisine.
One of their most popular items is the Peanut Smoothie. Though I’m typically not big on peanut butter, I can say that I’m nuts for their smoothie!
Must-Try at Lugang Cafe: Xiao Long Bao, Spare Ribs with Plum Sauce, Stewed Tofu with Crab Meat, Oyster Omelette (Oajian), Peanut Smoothie
Website / Address: 2nd floor, The Block, SM City North Edsa, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Ask locals where to eat in Manila for Filipino food, and Manam easily comes out very popular as one of the best restaurants in Manila. Aside from Filipino food with a twist, Manam also serves many Asian cuisines with vegetarian options.
Did you know? The name Manam is derived from Malinamnam (delicious). I agree!
A great concept Manam has on their menu is it has 3 portion sizes for non-dessert items (small/medium/large). I highly recommend getting more items of Small so you can try more.
Travelling Foodie Tip: The SM Megamall location is Manam Cafe where they have cafe dishes not found at non-Cafe locations like the Three Cheese Ensaymada and Bibingka De Leche here!
Ask me for my favorite Filipino dish and you’ll hear me say Sisig. And the one at Manam was the best I’ve had!
Perfectly crispy throughout the dish (which is quite rare) and flavourful with a bit of sauce! No wonder it’s their bestselling dish!
Must-Try Food at Manam: House Crispy Sisig, Crispy Pancit Palabok (PHP200), Crispy Beef Tadyang (PHP355), Three Cheese Ensaymada (PHP200), Bibingka De Leche (PHP240) and Ube + Sago (PHP110). 😋
Website / Address: 3/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall Expansion Bldg. D, EDSA cor. J, Doña Julia Vargas Ave, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines
Mendokoro Ramenba is a traditional Japanese restaurant that specializes in authentic ramen, rated among one of the best places to eat in Manila for Japanese ramen lovers.
Even when I asked my friends in the Philippines for the best ramen in Manila, the consensus was Mendokoro Ramenba. This is surprising considering some of Japan’s top ramen joints like Ippudo and Ramen Nagi have opened in Manila, whereas Mendokoro is locally owned.
Mendokoro has an ordering system, wherein you order at the cashier and wait for your turn to sit at the ramen bar. The table is one long bar table seating that circles the kitchen so you get to dine facing the chefs at work.
Mendokoro offers a range of Ramen with twists in taste and is known for having a rich creamy broth beating those from Japan. Their noodles are made in-house as well.
I tried a couple of ramens and loved the Tantanmen ramen the most with its unique blend of chili oil and milky soup. Note though that Aji Tamago (marinated soft boiled egg) is not included in all their ramen.
Travelling Foodie Tip: They have some off-menu items like the Super Chashu Ramen and Ebi Tonkotsu Ramen. Be sure to ask what’s available for that day.
If you are looking for the more traditional ramen, go with the regular Shoyu ramen with a thick, rich broth. For heavy eaters, the off-menu Super Chashu Ramen has the regular Shoyu ramen as base with extra frills and meat including a torched slab of fatty pork.
Must-Try Food at Mendokoro Ramenba: Super Chashu Ramen (or Shoyu Ramen), Tatanmen Ramen
Website / Address: 26th Street Icon Plaza RCBC Building, Taguig, 1630 Metro Manila, Philippines
Also Read: Where To Eat in Seattle, Washington
With over 17 stores in the Philippines and serving 123 different dishes, Mesa Filipino Moderne has been awarded as one of the best Filipino restaurants in Manila for three consecutive years.
Did you know? Mesa was established in 2009 by Mega Star Sharon Cuneta and her husband Senator Kiko Pangilinan.
Mesa is the first and the only restaurant in Manila that provides on spot grilling, right on the table, which comes out as an exciting experience for guests.
Aside from Adobo, the other popular Filipino dish most people know about is Kare Kare which is a stew with a rich and creamy peanut sauce.
Kare Kare is typically made with oxtail or beef stew meat, but at Mesa they use beef short ribs which I enjoyed more than beef stew because the meat was just so tender.
It is the only restaurant in the Philippines that serves Crispchon (“Crispy Lechon”), which is crispy roasted pig’s skin served two ways: (1) wrapped in pandan crepes ala Peking Duck with yan suy, cucumber and leek, and (2) tossed in chili garlic
The baby squid in olive oil is so good and a definite must-try. So far they Mesa serves the best version of this dish.
Must-Try Food at Mesa Filipino Moderne: Kare Kare Short Ribs, Baby Squid in Olive Oil
Website / Address: 116 Eastwood Ave, Bagumbayan, Quezon City, 1110 Metro Manila, Philippines
Project Pork Crispy Pata
One of the most popular Filipino dishes is Crispy Pata, which is deep fried pork hock. So, where to eat the best crispy pata in Manila? That would be from Project Pork Crispy Pata.
Previously MahLuTong, Project Pork is not really a sit-down restaurant, but more of a take-out and delivery joint via Grab Food.
The Marikenyos’ know their crispy pata because this is the best crispy pata I’ve ever had! Project Pork’s herb-infused crispy pata has golden crispy skin with soft and juicy meat!
Travelling Foodie Tip: If you prefer more crispy skin, opt for the Crispy Ulo (head) which gives more skin than meat.
Project Pork’s Crispy Pata is prepared in small batches and made-to-order once you place the call/Grab order to ensure the quality of the meat.
Website / Address: 4, 1800 A. De Legaspi Street, Project 4, Quezon City, 1800 Metro Manila, Philippines
Sarsa Kitchen + Bar
I love learning and trying new Filipino cuisines. There are more than a hundred distinct ethno-linguistic groups lending itself to its own category in the Filipino cuisine.
Sarsa Kitchen + Bar by famous Negrense chef JP Anglo specializes in Negrenese/Ilonggo cuisine (from Negros Occidental), serving traditional Filipino and Negrense dishes using the local authentic ingredients.
Filipinos love putting sauce on their dish so Sarsa, which means sauce, specializes in sauce-based Negrenese food with a modern twist, promising new flavors by revisiting cooking methods used in different regions of the Philippines, keeping the heritage of Filipino cuisine alive.
Every six months, Chef JP Anglo introduces some new dishes into the menu that he develops over time. This tradition of Sarsa gives its guests something exciting to look for and for foodies to keep coming back.
One of Sarsa’s signature dish is the Sizzling Kansi. A popular dish in Negros Occidental, Kansi is a hybrid of Bulalo (beef bone marrow soup) and Sinigang (sour pork soup).
The modern twist here is instead of making it as a soup, it’s made as a sizzling dish with beef bone marrow and a batwan sauce. Batwan fruit is a sour fruit typically found in Southeast Asia.
So if you want to taste different Filipino food, Sarsa is one of the best restaurants in Manila to try!
Must-Try Food at Sarsa Kitchen + Bar: Sizzling Kansi, Twice-cooked Pork Belly, Banana Tsoknut Turon
Website / Address: Bldg B, SM Megamall, 202 EDSA Cor Dona Julia Vargas Ave Ortigas Center, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, 1550 Metro Manila, Philippines
Seafood in the Philippines is quite abundant and one thing I look forward to is this concept in the Philippines called “Dampa and Paluto” where you order fresh seafood from a wet market (Dampa) then bring the seafood to various stalls that will cook the seafood to your liking (Paluto).
Where to eat in Manila for seafood? The newest version of this is Seascape Village, where, instead of food stalls, they have different restaurants that will cook the seafood for you.
Seacape Village was my favourite seafood place in the recent trip that I actually went 5 times. It’s definitely one of the best places to eat seafood in Manila, and it has views of Manila Bay.
In regards to which restaurant to pick to cook your seafood, I highly recommend Asian Taste which was the only one we visited the entire times because it was that good.
Travelling Foodie Tip: If you enjoy music, they have live music at night so be sure to check their schedule.
We were lucky that after eating at Asian Taste, free live entertainment was happening. We stayed the entire time during the show because the singers were very good and entertaining. It felt like being in a concert.
There are also food vendors at Seascape Village, so we got some pretty good bubble waffle and ice cream from Ya Dang to enjoy while watching.
Must-Try Food at Asian Taste at Seascape Village: Salted Egg Crab, Baked Scallops, Steamed Scallops with Garlic and Sotanghon, and Fried Squid with Salt and Pepper, Oyster Omellete
Must-Try Food at Ya Dang at Seascape Village: Bubble Waffle with Avocado Ice Cream
Website / Address: Atang Dela Rama, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines
Also Read: Best Restaurants in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Seven Corners Restaurant
Seven Corners is a buffet restaurant that offers local and international cuisines in an open themed kitchen concept.
This popular buffet at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria gets its name Seven Corners from the seven interactive stations where every plate goes to get the flavors of the world: Tandoori, Japanese, Western, Salad, Pizza Station, Dessert and Asian Noodle.
From traditional Japanese sushi to Indian dishes, along with all-you-can-eat US Ribeye and Beef Ribs as well as crabs, shrimps and mussels and other seafood, there is something for everyone at one of Manila’s best buffet restaurants.
Website / Address: Ortigas Ave, Corner Asian Development Bank Ave, Quezon City, 1100, Philippines
Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew
Preserving and promoting the Latin American food culture since its establishment, Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew promises its guest the traditional and twisted flavors of Latin American cuisine.
Inspired by Latin and Filipino cultures of family-style sharing, co-owner and chef Jerwyn Rabo also brings Latin and Filipino flavours together with his recipes. Tittos also serves several Latin American-inspired alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
And in line with the Latin American theme, the restaurant has fun and festive South American-inspired murals on the walls painted by six local artists, making the space one of the best restaurants to hang out with friends in Manila over drinks and bites.
Be sure to check out the desserts here. The fusion desserts here are very good and unique!
My favorite dessert on the trip was the Frozen Brazo de Mercedes, a refreshing take on the classic Filipino dessert.
Unlike the classic version which is a rolled cake made with a soft and fluffy meringue with a rich, decadent egg yolk-based custard in the middle, this Frozen version has three layers: frozen meringue, ice cream and frozen custard (with leche flan consistency)!
The sweetness level is just right since the classic version is usually very sweet! It was so good that my family was fighting for every bite.
Must-Try Food at Tittos Latin BBQ & Brew: Tapas de Chipa, Garlic Shrimp BBQ Pizzadilla, El Puerco a la Brasa, Costillitas, Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, Tittos’ Ube Churros, Frozen Brazo de Mercedes, Tittos’ Sangria
Website / Address: 16 E Capitol Dr, Pasig, 1603 Metro Manila, Philippines
Wonderbowl by Nagi
From the Ramen Nagi brand, Wonderbowl by Nagi is a modern izakaya and premium ramen concept incepted in 2013 and re-conceptualized in 2019.
Aside from ramen where they have ones not available in Ramen Nagi, the Izakaya menu features hot and cold plates of Yakitori and Kushiyaki, which are skewered grilled meats, and sushi in all forms like rolls, masu cups and as dons.
The drinks menu by Wonderbowl has beer, wine, Japanese whiskey, and specialty cocktails prepared to be paired with the food.
As with traditional Izakaya, dining at Wonderbowl by Nagi means ordering a bunch of dishes to share and enjoy with drinks, making it one of the best izakaya restaurants in Manila to hang out with friends and family, or co-workers since it is located near office buildings.
For the Izakaya Grilled items, I loved the saikoro steak skewers! These diced beef steak are juicy, tender and melts-in-your-mouth with a nice touch of char taste!
Must-Try Food at Wonderbowl by Nagi: Saikoro Steak Skewers, Shrimp and Spring Onion Kakiage, Creamy Uni and Ikura Dry Ramen, Supreme Sliced Ribeye Steak, Nanban Karaage, Wonder Coffee Mojito
Website / Address: G/F, Globe Tower, The Globe Tower, 32nd St, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila, Philippines
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Map of the Best Restaurants in Manila
Here’s a map of Manila’s best restaurants covered in this food guide.
Hope this list helps you decide where to eat in Manila! There are seriously so many places to eat, but this Manila food guide should narrow it down for you at least.
I frequent Manila quite often so please let me know what you find are the best restaurants in Manila that I should visit next time.