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5 Best Filipino Restaurants in Metro Manila

best filipino restaurants in metro manila

By Angela Sibal of Foodicles

What is Filipino Cuisine?

Filipino cuisine is as diverse as its thousands of islands. Dishes vary from region to region with influences from almost everywhere in the world as a result of the country’s deep history of colonization. You can taste Spanish, Chinese, Indian, British, American, Malay, Portuguese, African, and on and on.

The country as a whole has signature dishes, such as adobo (chicken or pork marinated in a vinegar-soy base and then browned to finish) and lechon (roasted pig with cracker-like skin).

But, what else can you order if you aren’t hungry enough to eat a whole roasted pig?

Filipino food goes well beyond the meat. Local seafood is the star of many dishes, as well as vegetables rich in nutrients and antioxidants lesser known in western cuisine.

Basically summed up: Filipino cuisine is comfort food served family style, and over rice, of course.

If you plan on visiting Manila, here are five favourite and reliable restaurants that will help you taste the best of the country’s cuisine in a comfortable environment for locals and tourists alike and can safely be considered some of the best filipino restaurants in Metro Manila.




Best Filipino Restaurants in Metro Manila

Abe Restaurant

Abe Restaurant serves traditional Filipino cuisine with inspiration from Pampanga, a province north of the capital known for its love of food.

The owner, Larry J. Cruz, named the restaurant after his father, Abe Cruz. Abe was a respected writer, artist, and ambassador for UNESCO in the 1970s. The menu reflects his favourite dishes as well as old family recipes.

In Pampanga, “Abe” also means “friend”, “companion”, and “getting together” which perfectly emulates the restaurant’s slogan, “Where good friends dine.”

For a traditional Filipino meal experience, Abe Restaurant is the place to visit.

Highlights include a refreshing Kinilaw na Tanique, the Filipino version of ceviche, and Knockout Knuckles, also known as crispy pata – fried pork knuckles with tender meat under cracker-like skin.

Kinilaw na Tanigue. Ceviche

Kinilaw na Tanigue. Ceviche of tanigue belly (local white fish) washed in palm vinegar, coconut milk, and spice

 

Sinuteng Baby Squid

Sinuteng Baby Squid. Small squid sautéed in olive oil and seasonings

 

Chicharon Bulaklak

Chicharon Bulaklak. Homemade crisp fried pork intestines

 

Knockout Knuckles

Knockout Knuckles. Traditional fried crispy pata (pork knuckles) with blistered skin adding to the crunch of every bite

Where You’ll Find Abe Restaurant & Hours of Operation:

G/F Serendra
26th St
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
+63-2-856-0526
11am to 3pm, 5pm to 11pm

2/F Entertainment Section
SM Mall of Asia
Business Park I
Bay City
Manila Bay Reclamation Area
Pasay
+63-2-556-0608
10am to 12am

3/F Mega Fashion Hall
SM Megamall
Mandaluyong
+63-2-631-4719
10am to 10pm

3/F Trinoma Mall
EDSA cor North Avenue
Quezon City
+63-2-901-5692
11am to 12am

Alabang Town Center
Lifestyle Strip
Commerce Ave
Alabang, Muntinlupa
+63-2-623-0899
Sunday to Thursday, 11am to 10pm
Friday to Saturday, 11am to 11pm

 

Manam Comfort Food

Manam Comfort Food offers the best of both worlds – classics and twists. Classics are the traditional Filipino dishes, while twists are the playful, modern interpretations of those classics.

Dishes come with a choice of portion sizes – small, medium, or large. This is perfect for everyone from solo diners to couples to large groups.

Manam is the place to visit that offers something for everyone.

Highlights include the Seafood Bounty Kare Kare, the local peanut stew beautifully presented with fresh seafood, and contrasting versions of the classic and modern twist of Pancit Palabok.

Fresh Lumpiang Ubod

Fresh Lumpiang Ubod. Fresh spring roll filled with ubod (hearts of palm)

 

Seafood Bounty Kare-Kare

Seafood Bounty Kare-Kare. Crab, prawns, tanigue, squid, and mussels with house-made vegetable ukoy fritters

 

Pancit Palabok

Pancit Palabok. Thick and savory house-made sauce made from rich shrimp stock, tofu, tinapa, and annatto poured over noodles and topped with house-made chicharon, crispy garlic, spring onions, fresh shrimp, and seared squid

 

Crispy Pancit Palabok

Crispy Pancit Palabok. Towering glass noodles topped with house-made chicharon, crispy garlic, spring onions, fresh shrimp, baby squid, and crab floss, all covered with thick and savory house-made sauce

Where You’ll Find Manam Comfort Food & Hours of Operation:

G/F Net Park Bldg
4th Avenue, between 26th & 28th St.
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
+63-2-332-9390
Monday to Friday, 10am to 10pm
Saturday to Sunday, 11am to 10pm

G/F Greenbelt 2
Esperanza St
Ayala Center
Makati
+63-2-625-0515
11am to 11pm

SM Mall of Asia
Seaside Blvd
Pasay
+63-2-511-8401
10am to 10pm

1/F Ayala Fairview Terraces
Fairview
Quezon City
+63-2-625-4719
9am to 10pm

 

Milky Way Café

Milky Way Café opened in 2002 with its roots as a classic old school destination. It started in the 1950s as a dairy bar and soda fountain. It was then taken over by a local family who included native Filipino dishes and desserts to the menu.

The café serves traditional Filipino dishes that can be eaten at any time of the day – lunch, merienda, or dinner. In fact, merienda is a popular meal time in the Philippines to stop and have a mid-day snack, which usually ends up as a meal complete with dessert.

Highlights include Pork BBQ for sweet, savory bits of pork on a stick and Milky Way Halo Halo, the country’s signature dessert and frequently voted the best in town.

Pork BBQ

Pork BBQ. Skewered marinated pork, java rice (fried rice colored with annatto), and atchara (sweet pickled green papaya)

 

Crispy Daing na Bangus

Crispy Daing na Bangus. Marinated milkfish in vinegar and garlic, and then fried. The best part is the belly in the middle

 

Crispy Catfish

Crispy Catfish. Deep fried local catfish served with salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, and mustard leaves

 

Milky Way Halo Halo

Milky Way Halo Halo. The best since 1962. Leche flan, preserved fruits, ube, pinipig, and milk topped with shaved ice and ube ice cream

 

Where You’ll Find Milkyway Cafe & Hours of Operation:

Milkyway Building
2nd Floor
900 Arnaiz Avenue (formerly Pasay Road), corner Paseo de Roxas
Makati
+63-2-843-4124
Monday to Saturday, 11am to 10pm
Closed Sundays

 

Romulo Café

Romulo Café is named after Carlos P. Romulo, a journalist and diplomat who was the first Asian to serve as president of the UN General Assembly. He was a notable historical public figure during the American occupation.

The restaurant serves traditional quality comfort food. It is ideal for large groups and families.

Romulo Café has even expanded internationally with a location in London presenting Filipino cuisine to locals in smart, elegant setting to elevate comfort food.

Highlights include the appetizers such as Chicharon, freshly popped pig’s skin, and Crispy Crablets, tiny crabs fried and eaten whole.

Chicharon

Chicharon. Freshly popped chicharon (pig’s skin) with pinakurat vinegar (spicy vinegar)

 

Crispy Crablets

Crispy Crablets. Tiny crablets fried until golden brown and served with pinakurat vinegar

 

Paco Salad

Paco Salad. Fresh fiddleheads, cherry tomatoes, and onions tossed in a spicy vinaigrette

 

Eskabetcheng Lapu-Lapu

Eskabetcheng Lapu-Lapu. Deep fried lapu lapu (local snapper) with sweet-and-sour sauce

 

Where You’ll Find Romulo Cafe & Hours of Operation:

148 Jupiter St, corner Comet St
Bel Air
Makati
11am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm

32 Scout Tuazon St., corner Scout Lazcano, near Tomas Morato
Laging Handa
Diliman, Quezon City
11am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm

Azumi Boutique Hotel
2205 Market St
Alabang, Muntinlupa
6am to 10pm

 

Sarsa Kitchen + Bar

Sarsa Kitchen + Bar presents traditional Filipino and Negrense (from the Negros Island Region) dishes with a contemporary touch.

“Sarsa” means sauces and condiments, a staple for Filipino eating. All dishes include pairings with sauces to enhance the flavors of the dining experience.

For a casual atmosphere with quality Filipino food, Sarsa Kitchen + Bar is the perfect destination.

Highlights include Inasal, grilled chicken parts of your choice, and Pinakbet, local vegetables perfectly cooked in crab fat and homemade XO sauce.

PakPak Inasal

PakPak Inasal. Grilled chicken wings with a charred finish

 

Tokwa’t Baboy

Tokwa’t Baboy. Fried Tofu on top of braised pork belly

 

Pinakbet

Pinakbet. Local vegetables with taba ng talangka, crispy tofu, and XO sauce

 

Twice-Cooked Pork Belly

Twice-Cooked Pork Belly. With peanut sauce on the side and ginamos gata (local shrimp paste sauce) and chili garlic sauce

 

Where You’ll Find Sarsa Kitchen + Bar & Hours of Operation:

Forum South Global
Federacion Drive, corner 7th Avenue
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
+63-2-866-0912
+63-927-706-0773
11am to 11pm

109 Rada Street
Legaspi Village
Makati
+63-2-754-9943
+63-917-528-0115
10am to 11pm

2/F SM Mall of Asia Bay Side
Veranda
Pasay
+63-2-832-1362
+63-915-307-1426
10am to 10pm

3/F SM Megamall
Bldg A
Ortigas, Mandaluyong

UP Town Center
Katipunan Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City


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Foodicles profile imageABOUT THE AUTHOR

Angela Sibal, of Foodicles, is a Food & Luxury Travel Blogger who splits her time between Manila and San Francisco. She started traveling the world as a baby. Her first memories of travel were of luxury hotels and the high-end restaurants. Today, Angela continues to explore the world to eat and drink while enjoying the finer hotels and resorts in life. You can also follow her travels on Instagram and Snapchat.


 

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7 replies
  1. Morgan
    Morgan says:

    Mm, all of these dishes look absolutely delicious! It’s so much fun to explore new dining areas, especially if you’re in a new place. It sounds like you really enjoyed your experience! Very cool! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply
  2. Alanna
    Alanna says:

    Locals say that it is best to have Filipino food in pricier places than the street, as the cheapest varieties of its food is not that great. Looks like I’ll be spending just a bit more next time I’m in the Philippines!

    Reply
    • onemoderncouple
      onemoderncouple says:

      We’ve had some amazing food at restaurants… once we went to a place that served street food but was a restaurant on the side of the road with a roof, table and chairs and it was amazing, we usually go to places that are busy and where all the locals eat… those are generally the amazing places to eat.

      Reply

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