If you’re looking to explore the city, especially its gastronomic offerings, here are Manila restaurants and cafes to check out – from heritage to trendy dining spots.
Image adapted from: @nicomagsalin via Instagram
If you’re looking for a place to take your SO on a date, check out 1919 Grand Cafe.
It’s a semi-fine dining spot with posh interiors housed in a 100-year-old bank building in the heart of Chinatown. Coming here almost doubles as a museum trip as you can admire the building’s original architecture, plus the framed, old photographs taken around the area.
Taro cloud roll.
Image credit: @whatsonthedinnertable via Instagram
For a coffee date, order their fluffy taro cloud roll (P180, ~USD3.31) and muscovado latte (P180, ~USD3.31) together. The sweetness of the coffee perfectly balances the mild flavor of the taro roll.
Besides coffee and pastries, you can also enjoy dishes from different cuisines here, including seared salmon with wasabi mayo, aglio e olio, and the Binondo staple, dumplings.
Address: 117 Juan Luna Street, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours: 7am-9pm, Daily
Contact: 0956 497 6223 | Facebook
For a luxurious K-BBQ feast with your besties, take them to Chung Dam Restaurant in Malate.
This Korean restaurant serves high-quality meat, from hanwoo (from P2,200, ~USD40.43) to Jeju Black pork (P1,250, ~USD22.97). Also known as Korean beef, hanwoo is known to have less fat but is packed with more flavor than regular beef. Meanwhile, Jeju Black pork is native to Jeju Island and has an almost steak-like taste.
Image credit: @foodlockerph via Instagram
You can also enjoy unlimited authentic banchan (side dishes) and a variety of greens with which you can make ssam (wrap), from lettuce to perilla leaf.
Besides samgyeopsal, this Manila restaurant also serves other Korean dishes such as doenjang jjigae (soybean paste stew) and naengmyeon (cold noodles).
Address: 2nd Floor, 590 Remedios Street, Malate, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours: 11am-6am, Daily
Contact: 0917 739 4771 | Facebook
Image credit: @latitudebeanbar via Instagram
Latitude Bean + Bar is a versatile hangout spot with modern yet cozy interiors for those who want a smooth transition from their coffee date to their night out.
If you go during the day, get their peanut sesame cold noodles (P220, ~USD4.04 and pink chai latte (P165, ~USD3.03) to treat your tastebuds to something different.
Pink chai latte.
Image credit: @latitudebeanbar via Instagram
They also serve alcoholic drinks from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 4.30pm onwards. Their selection of specialty drinks include Sweet Night (P380, ~USD6.98), a rum-based drink infused with ube (purple yam) liqueur and milk.
Address: 1851 Pilar Hidalgo Lim, Malate, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours: Mon 11am-7pm | Tue-Thu, Sun 11am-11pm | Fri-Sat 11am-12am
Contact: 0967 221 5545 | Facebook
Image credit: Ed Qua Hiansen via Google Maps
President Grand Palace in Binondo is an institution for Cantonese cuisine, and it’s been around since 1979.
The restaurant is the go-to spot for celebrations for Chinese-Filipino families as it serves set menus for big groups (from P6,380, ~USD117.24), which include dishes such as roast suckling pig and Peking duck.
Salt and pepper shrimp with aligue (crab fat).
Image credit: Jasmine Laurente via Google Maps
But don’t worry if you’re not celebrating with a big group as they have menu items in smaller serving sizes too.
The restaurant is known for its delectable seafood dishes, including salt and pepper shrimp with aligue (crab fat) and salted egg.
Address: 746-750 Ongpin Street, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours: 8am-10pm, Daily
Contact: 0916 391 3520 | Facebook
An art installation at The Den.
Image credit: @jellyfishkisses via Instagram
The Den is a coffee spot tucked inside HUB Make Lab, serving specialty drinks.
To fuel you before you explore Escolta Street and the rest of Binondo, get their Berg’s Coffee, which has coconut milk and muscovado syrup. They also have craft sodas such as chai spiced soda for a flavorful kick to your usual fizzy drink.
Image credit: @3rdvvaveconvert via Instagram
If you’re looking for a light snack to go with your drink, get one of their sandwiches – their Creamy Egg & Cheese Sandwich comes highly recommended.
Besides being a cafe, The Den is also a space for art exhibitions. And since you’re already there, make sure to shop for art, slow fashion, and thrifted pieces, and also admire art installations within HUB Make Lab.
Address: HUB Make Lab, First United Building, 413 Escolta Street, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours: 1oam-6pm, Daily
Contact: 0995 071 3919 |website
Image credit: Mark Dennis Ong via Google Maps
If you’re craving Filipino dishes that taste just like how your lola made them, check out Bistro Remedios. This heritage dining spot has been around for 3 decades and has that nostalgic, 1990s Filipino restaurant interior.
Kare-kare (oxtail peanut stew).
Image credit: Bistro Remedios via Facebook
Here, you can get well-loved, classic Filipino dishes such as sinigang na baboy (sour pork soup) (P545, ~USD10.01) and kare-kare (oxtail peanut stew) (P780, ~USD14.33). You can enjoy this with flavorful bamboo rice (P425, ~USD7.81).
And true to the “dining at your lola‘s” vibe, you’re sure to walk out of this Manila restaurant stuffed with hearty portions of food.
Address: 1911 M. Adriatico Street, Malate, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours: 11am-3pm, 6pm-11pm, Daily
Contact: 0917 552 2678 | Facebook
Image credit: Isabelle via Google Maps
Those who miss Thai cuisine from their Bangkok trip should head to Doon Thai and Asian Fusion Cuisine.
For starters, they serve your favorite Thai milk tea (P135, ~USD2.48). Or if you want to try a different drink, get their tangy, fresh tamarind juice (P135, ~USD2.48) instead.
Image credit: @eats.adie via Instagram
And trust Doon to serve authentic-tasting Thai mains, including tom yum soup (P395, ~USD7.26), pad Thai (from P325, ~USD5.97), and green curry (from P350, ~USD6.43).
You can enjoy your favorite Thai dishes in the restaurant’s industrial-style interior or at one of their outdoor seats.
Address: 936 Dolores Street, Malate, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-8pm (Closed on Sundays)
Contact: 0917 327 8424 | Facebook
Image credit: @ahuv.coffee via Instagram
Old meets new at Papakape‘s Manila location. It’s located inside the historic walled city of Intramuros and housed in a Spanish-era water tank – Aljibe de la Fuerza.
Black gulaman (grass jelly) Americano
Image credit: @papakape via Instagram
They serve innovative yet affordable coffee offerings such as black gulaman (grass jelly) Americano and kape gingerccino (P100, ~USD1.84v), the latter of which is – as its name implies – a ginger-infused cappuccino.
Foreign music celebs Carly Rae Jepsen and NCT’s Ten have been spotted getting their coffee fix at this Manila cafe!
Address: Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours: 9am-8pm, Daily
With this list of Manila restaurants and cafes, you should be covered for any occasion, from a casual date with friends to a huge family gathering. These dining spots also offer a variety of cuisines so that you can select one that will satisfy your cravings.
For more date night options, browse our list of romantic restaurants in Metro Manila. Or if you’re looking for delectable plant-based dishes, check out these vegetarian and vegan Metro Manila restaurants.
Cover image adapted from: Chung Dam via Facebook, @latitudebeanbar via Instagram, @eats.adie via Instagram, @nicomagsalin via Instagram
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