Manila Restaurants & Dining

Where to Eat in Manila

Being a cosmopolitan city it is possible to eat pretty much anything in Manila. Food is an integral part of the Filipino culture. Featuring a mixture of European and Asian food in particular Malay, Spanish and Chinese, there is definitely some good food to be had in the metropolis.

There are clusters of restaurants and bars in San Juan's Greenhills and Mandaluyong City's Ortigas Center. Makati is the undisputed culinary queen of Manila Metro, the stomping ground of the well-heeled set. Quezon City is also good for 'restobars' where you can enjoy a good meal and a few drinks.

The Philippines differs in many ways from its neighbours. Predominantly Catholic, it is not only its religion but also the characteristic dishes that separate the country from its neighbours. Typical Filipino food still retains the spice-and-rice basic qualities of other Asian fare, but you might have noticed that Filipino restaurants are few and far between on the international dining scene. In other words you might want to stick with international flavours or our recommended eateries.

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Aresi Restaurant and Bar

Aresi (meaning 'I like' in Greek) is one of the newer places where you can enjoy fine dining in Quezon City. Clients are greeted by a Mediterranean-inspired blue-and-gold setting. An indoor waterfall accentuates the mood of this unique dining experience. Some favorites are seared tuna sashimi, seafood Marseilles (a combination of shrimp, squid and fish) and salmon blanco in Dijon sauce. No less popular, pasta dishes come in various forms. To best complement the great food the fully stocked bar also has an extensive wine list.

  • Address: Il Terrazzo Mall, Tomas Morato Avenue, Corner of Scout Madrinan, Quezon City
  • Tel: +632 921 0269
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Price Range: Pricey
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The Aristocrat

As befits a restaurant that has been synonymous with Filipino food for a long while, the décor revolves around a native leitmotif, while the menu brings you the joys of Filipino cooking in such traditional fare as sinigang (sour soup) and crispy pata (deep-fried pig's knuckles). Honey-cured chicken barbecue, the house specialty, has been a favourite for generations of Filipinos. Drinks include beer, juices, soft drinks and mineral water.

  • Address: 432 San Andres Street Corner, Roxas Boulevard, Manila
  • Tel: +632 524 7671
  • Cuisine: Filipino
  • Price Range: Affordable
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Hok Chiu House

Favourites include bird's nest soup, steamed fish in sweet and sour sauce, beef in oyster sauce with young corn or broccoli, and various pork and chicken dishes, all served in buffet form. The buffet price includes soft drinks. Alcoholic beverages are charged separately.

  • Address: 557 Banawe Street, Quezon City
  • Tel: +63 2 732 2443
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Price Range: Pricey
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La Tienda

From tapas to the intriguing main courses such as civet de ciervo con puree de manzana y coulis de frambuesca (venison stew garnished with apple and raspberry), the menu at La Tienda showcases the latest gourmet cooking in northern Spain, home of owner/chef Javier Lecumberri. Do not worry if you cannot say the name of the dish - just point to it on the menu! A robust Rioja would perfectly complement a meal here, though there are all sorts of alternatives if you are not in the mood for wine.

  • Address: 43 Polaris Street Bel Air, Makati City
  • Tel: +63 2 895 1651
  • Cuisine: Spanish
  • Price Range: Affordable
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Mario's Kitchen Tiendesitas

This restaurant features a menu of international cuisine with the main focus on traditional Filipino dishes. Classically European meals such as fish & chips and paella are side-by-side on the menu with well-known Filipino dishes like adobo and lechon. On top of the good food, Mario's Kitchen is also known for its acoustic music nights.

  • Address: Ortigas Avenue corner, Pasig City
  • Tel: +63 2 631 4367
  • Cuisine: Filipino Fusion
  • Price Range: Affordable
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Pepe & Pilar

Pepe and Pilar were two characters in the reading primer of every child growing up in the postwar Philippines. Older, but not necessarily wiser baby boomers (along with teenagers) come to this restaurant to partake of Pinoy 'peyborits' (favorites) bearing such cryptic names as Kwek Kwek and Tocneneng. 'Minimalist tech' aptly describes the décor. With an all-glass facade and a second-floor balcony floor.

  • Address: 1804 Maria Orosa Street, Malate
  • Tel: +632 536 4025
  • Cuisine: Filipino
  • Price Range: Affordable
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Queens Crystal Garden Restaurant

Featuring a variety of Indian, Indonesian and Asian fusion dishes, the restaurant's exterior entices with glass walls that reveal an airy and open dining space. The interiors also transport guests to the exotic sub-continent with Hindu paintings and sculptures, piped-in Indian music and Indian aromas.

  • Address: 146 - B, Jupiter Street, Makati City
  • Tel: +63 2 8951316
  • Cuisine: Asian Fusion
  • Price Range: Pricey
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Sala serves modern European cuisine, which doesn't mean either nouvelle cuisine or fusion. As the owner puts it, the food consists of 'classic European dishes prepared for contemporary tastes'. Muted colours and subdued lighting combine to make a warm, eye-pleasing glow, highlighted by floral arrangements. A look at the menu yields such offerings as sesame crusted seared tuna with crispy Asian coleslaw, porcini mushroom risotto cake with brie and roast tomato, and beef tenderloin with horseradish mash and red pepper chutney. The wine selection is geared to discriminating wine drinkers.

  • Location: At the corner of Luzon and Benavidez Streets, Manila
  • Tel: +63 2 524 6770
  • Cuisine: European
  • Price Range: Pricey
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Sala Thai

This, the granddaddy of Manila's Thai restaurants, serves up authentic fare with reasonable prices, and specialises in standard Thai dishes, such as coconut curry and rice. House favorites include tôm yum kûng (prawns in spicy sour soup) and chicken pandan (fried chicken wrapped in pandan leaves).

  • Address: 866 J. Nakpil Street, Manila
  • Tel: +63 2 522 4694
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Price Range: Affordable
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Treehouse Restaurant

This beer garden and family restaurant has an honest-to-goodness tree-house which seats four to five people. Here you can feast on inihaw (grilled) specialties, washed down with lots of beer, and at the end be surprised at how little the whole thing costs. A great place for a party or dinner with the kids. Your only problem might be coming down from the tree-house if you have had a drink or five too many. But do not let that deter you… take a regular table in one of the bamboo-and-palm huts instead.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 11:00-24:00
  • Address: 29 Matalino Street, Quezon City
  • Tel: +632 921 7299
  • Cuisine: Filipino
  • Price Range: Affordable
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Ziggurat Cuisine

This Place serves the very best in Indian, Mediterranean, African and Middle Eastern cuisine. The architecture of the building is resonant of the pyramids of ancient Mesopotamia - the ziggurats. Get a little adventurous and try smoking a sheesha or hookah. The décor is enticing, with jeweled cushions and delicate drapes, hanging down from the ceiling, which create an enigmatic air.

  • Address: Durban Street corner Makati Avenue, Sunette Tower, Makati City
  • Tel: +63 2 897 5179
  • Cuisine: Global
  • Price Range: Luxurious
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