20 Best Filipino Restaurants in Metro Manila Philippines: Must-Try Local Dishes

20 Best Filipino Restaurants in Metro Manila Philippines: Must-Try Local Dishes

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Sarsa Kitchen's dishes and exterior of Guevarra's by Chef Laudico

Photos by Sarsa Kitchen + Bar (left) and Guevarra's by Chef Laudico (right)

Whether it's your first time or repeated visit to the Philippines, we highly recommend tasting the many flavors of Filipino food at every opportunity! Scattered all over Metro Manila in the Philippines are the best hotels in Manila and local-favorite restaurants that offer top-of-the-line dishes of different Philippine cuisines within their walls.

You don’t have to travel far! Just within Metro Manila (not to be confused with the capital City of Manila which is one of the 17 cities that comprises it) are a plethora of restaurants that showcase traditional and contemporary Filipino fare. For the best Filipino cuisine experience, we listed down 20 of the best Filipino restaurants that you should try during your Manila tours and where to find them in Manila: 



20. Mesa Filipino Moderne

Filipino dishes served at Mesa

Photo by Mesa Filipino Moderne

We start off this countdown with a restaurant whose name directly translates to “table” in the vernacular. Mesa, the brainchild of power couple Sharon Cuneta, a local showbiz icon, and politician Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, offers Filipino staples like sinigang (a sour soup that uses meat or seafood), laing (dried taro leaves cooked in coconut milk), and lechon (roasted pig) presented in a stylized fashion while retaining its comforting characteristics that Filipino foods are known for.

Interior of one of Mesa's branches

Photo by Mesa Filipino Moderne

Indulge yourself in Mesa’s table-side serving of Crispchon (crispy lechon), something you have to try to fully grasp the wonderful flavor for yourself. Sisig (chopped pork seasoned with onions and chili) in a pouch is also a must-try along with Laing-Two Ways. For dessert, do not miss out on trying Mesa’s crispy leche flan. a fun take of caramel custard.

Mesa is one of the most frequented restaurants in Pasig malls, Ayala Malls Feliz, and SM City East Ortigas, you wouldn’t have any trouble finding several other branches of this homey, native-inspired restaurant in and outside the metro.

19. Sarsa Kitchen + Bar

Sarsa Kitchen + Bar's bilao meals

Photo by Sarsa Kitchen + Bar

Here in the Philippines, dining with family involves sharing meals with everyone seated at the table, and at Sarsa, this is the experience in store for you. Created by a multi-awarded chef, JP Anglo, Sarsa offers the best of dishes from Negros, an island province in the Visayas, with a contemporary flair. Most of Sarsa’s menu items are meant for sharing for a group of 3-5 people, and having 2 or more viands is suggested.

Sarsa Kirchen + Bar's Makati City branch

Photo by Sarsa Kitchen + Bar

Among its many savory Pinoy foods is its take on the humble tortang talong (eggplant omelet) elevated with kesong puti (white cheese made from the milk of a carabao, cow, or goat) and crispy sardines, a dish highly recommended by foodies.

If you're feeling a tiny bit adventurous, try flame-grilled chicken intestine or isaw without having to stand in a smoke-filled street corner—trust us, it’s going to blow your mind!

18. Pamana Restaurant

Pamana Restaurant's bagnet and other favorites

Photo by Pamana Restaurant

Pamana Restaurant offers a collection of heirloom recipes dating as far back as 100 years. Their dishes are cooked through techniques handed down through generations, making for authentic Filipino flavors in every meal.

Treat yourself to Pamana’s super crispy bagnet (deep-fried pork belly) or try it with a completely different flavor profile through pakbet bagnet, a savory dish made with vegetables stewed in shrimp paste topped with sinful bagnet. Don’t miss out on binakol (a healthy chicken soup dish) and pancit Ivatan (a noodle dish topped with egg and dried pork adobo) too! 

Interior of Pamana Restaurant's Makati City branch

Photo by Pamana Restaurant

For sure, you’ve been asked to try the quintessential Filipino dish called adobo (pork or chicken stew that combines vinegar, soy sauce, and spices), but there are 101 ways to cook it. And at this restaurant in Makati, adobo flakes is a crowd favorite. 

17. Ilustrado

Ilustrado's adobong bagnet

Photo by Ilustrado

Next on this list is one of the known Intramuros restaurants, Ilustrado. As you enter its gates, you’ll be transported to the era of opulent Manila beaming with Filipino-Spanish aesthetics and sophistication.  Walk through its cobblestone path and treat yourself to a hefty serving of any of their modern classics.

Ilustrado's interior

Photo by Ilustrado

Be one of the “enlightened’ ones when you get to try their signature dishes highly influenced by Spanish flavors like the callos madrilena and seafood paella, both oozing with savory goodness only Ilustrado can capture. You should definitely grab the opportunity to try their seasonal degustation menu to get a feel of their whole menu!

But one thing you should definitely have a taste of is their original specialty dessert: Sampaguita ice cream, a vanilla ice cream base infused with flavors of the Philippines ’ national flower. Give it a try and you won't be disappointed.


16. Barbara's Heritage Restaurant

Barbara's Heritage Restaurant's sinigang na hipon

Photo by Barbara's Heritage Restaurant

Another Filipino restaurant in Manila worth noting is Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant, nestled right within the walls of Intramuros. Old-world charm awaits you at Barbara’s with its quaint interiors and Spanish-era-inspired décor.

You’re sure to enjoy the place with your eyes before your taste buds get to try what they have to offer. Often a venue for weddings, baptisms, and other events, Barbara’s is a staple must-visit when you’re within the walls of Intramuros.

Cultural show at Barbara's Heritage Restaurant

Barbara’s Heritage buffet is a well-curated array of local delicacies such as the classic adobo, kare-kare (a dish made with beef and pork in thick peanut sauce), and gambas de Barbara’s (a shrimp dish good as an appetizer or as a main dish). 

Plus, one unique thing about this place is you get to enjoy a cultural show to cap off the night showcasing ethnic Filipino dances.

15. Café Adriatico

Cafe Adriatico's adobo rice

Photo by Cafe Adriatico

We can’t list down the best Filipino restaurants in Manila without including Café Adriatico, a beloved landmark for over 40 years at the Remedios Circle in Manila. Now with multiple branches in different cities, Café Adriatico remains the icon that arguably started the café culture in the metro.

Cafe Adriatico's Malate City branch

Photo by Cafe Adriatico

Ironically enough, it wasn’t coffee that put the café in the history books but its thick, velvety, tsokolate eh (a rich chocolate drink) prepared with classic tools and served in a signature Rizal demitasse, and created from locally sourced cacao beans. It’s a perfect cap off to a delectable array of comfort food ranging from pasta dishes, classic and modern viands, and especially the all-time favorite, beef salpicao, all made or influenced by its founder, Larry J. Cruz. Café Adriatico is part of LJC Restaurants which also owns other famous Filipino restaurants in the Philippines.

14. Romulo Café

Romulo Cafe's chicken relleno

Photo by Romulo Café

Romulo Café is the namesake of Carlos P. Romulo, a prominent Filipino journalist and diplomat who won a Pulitzer Prize for Peace in 1941. This beloved restaurant has multiple branches all over the metro, making it easy for you to taste the home-cooked goodness of true-blue Filipino dishes passed down across generations.

Romulo Cafe's Makati City branch

Photo by Romulo Café

Famous for making traditional and innovative dishes with utmost care for technique and precision, it’s no surprise that Romulo Café’s chicken relleno (baked deboned chicken with stuffing), beef kaldereta (tomato sauce-based beef stew), and chicken inasal sisig (chicken version of sisig) have stood the test of time. The presentation and elevation of familiar Filipino fare while retaining the comfort that each bite brings are trademarks of Café Romulo.

13. Kanin Club

Kanin Club's various rice dishes

Photo by Kanin Club

As you walk through the doors of any Kanin Club branch, you will immediately feel the cozy warmth of province-life through its wooden interiors, capiz decors, Pinoy-themed paintings, and long sharing tables. And when you think about the provinces in the Philippines, you’ll know there will be good food! That’s just the case at Kanin Club!

Kanin Club's Laguna branch

Photo by Kanin Club

Expect the best of Filipino dishes like crispy pork binagoongan (crisp-fried pork in shrimp paste), adobo, crispy dinuguan (a combination of crispy pork and blood stew), kaldereta, and more! "Kanin" means rice in Filipino, and this resto offers a variety of flavored rice good for sharing, or for you alone. You can also opt to order all-you-can-eat rice to partner with the powerhouse of Filipino side dishes.

12. Abé

Abe's purple sinigang

Photo by Abé Restaurant

Another LJC Restaurants on the list and one of the best Filipino restaurants out there is Abé, a restaurant built as a tribute to LJC’s father, a well-traveled artist-writer and lover of food. The ambiance at Abé is that of a Filipino salo-salo or get-together, servings are for sharing, and the food dishes are exemplary.

Abe's SM Megamall branch

Photo by Abé Restaurant

Abé prides itself on its mostly-Kapampangan (from Pampanga, a province in northern Luzon island) menu and quirky innovations. One of the many ingenious dishes is their take of the sinigang (sour soup dish), regarded as the best vegetable soup in the world, by adding ube (purple yam) toning down the sourness while adding richness to the broth. If you chance upon Abé’s, you should definitely try their purple sinigang and let it surprise you!

11. Victorino’s Restaurant

Dishes served at Victorino’s Restaurant

Photo by Victorino’s Restaurant

Victorino’s Restaurant is a haven for when you’re looking for a taste of the northern side of the Philippines without having to travel for hours on end. Situated right in the heart of Quezon City, this Filipino-Ilocano restaurant is a quaint homey space owned and run by Ilocos Sur-born siblings DV Savellano and Queenie Paras. They offer the best of Ilocano dishes such as poqui-poqui, an eggplant dish with onions and tomatoes, and the savory yet light beef broth with egg called lomo-lomo.

Apart from the many Ilocano dishes that Victorino’s has to offer, world-renowned Chef Heny Sison elevates the restaurant’s dessert offerings, including artisan mango jam and cashew butter, among many others. Make sure to grab a slice of her cake creations, too, to end a wonderful meal.  

10. Lampara

Dishes served at Lampara

Photo by Lampara

Hidden among the many restaurants in Makati City is a small and yet somehow spacious bistro serving neo-Filipino food creations. Found on the 2nd floor of an unassuming building along the streets of Poblacion is Lampara. As you walk inside its dark wooden floors, you will immediately feel a retro vibe from its mismatched chairs, interesting trinkets, high ceilings, and cozy sofas.

Lampara is owned by three youngbloods, RJ Ramos, Prince Tan, and Alphonse Sotero. Their love for Filipino food and know-how of modern cooking techniques are evident in Lampara’s menu. Their version of the lauded lumpia (spring roll) comes in assorted crunchy rice cups filled with longganisa (flavored sausage), taba ng talangka (crab fat), and ubod (heart of palm spring).

Lampara's interior

Photo by Lampara

Sink your teeth to a rich, velvety soft veal steak cooked for two days! There are a number of savory options but be careful to leave some room for beautiful and sultry Filipino desserts like Yema & Tsokolate (chocolate nougat sitting on toasted condensed milk) or the high-end version of palitaw (sticky rice delicacy).

Check out Lampara’s top-shelf bar and cocktail menu, perfect for when you’re looking for some relaxing time and just watching the world go by. 

9. MilkyWay Café

Mikyway Cafe's lumpia cake

Photo by MilkyWay Café

Speaking of quaint restaurants in Makati, there’s another one worthy to be on this list. Quietly watching the bustling streets of Makati through the years is the MilkyWay Café situated along Arnaiz Avenue. It has been around since the ‘60s and still has a hold on patrons old and new. It’s no surprise really, since MilkyWay Café has this endearing warmth to it that invites you back even if you haven’t finished your meal yet.

Don’t let the name fool you though, as MilkyWay Café offers savory meals and sandwiches alongside its cold and sweet concoctions. Dishes like bistek Tagalog (thinly sliced beef braised in soy sauce and calamansi), crispy hito (catfish), and kare-kare are just some of the all-time favorites by its frequenters. Halo-halo (shaved ice with sweetened beans and fruits drizzled with milk) should always be part of your order as well as it’s one of the best true-blue Pinoy desserts.

Chef J. Gamboa has been hands-on at the front and back house of MilkyWay making sure the quality remains true to what the café is known and loved for. You can also order a MilkyWay Café pancit sotanghon lumpia cake (a combination of pancit and lumpia in a cake-like shape) that’s good for 10-12 persons.

8. The Aristocrat Restaurant

The Aristocrat Restaurant's mechado

Photo by The Aristocrat Restaurant

Another iconic restaurant in Manila began along the stretch of Roxas Boulevard and has since sprouted up in multiple cities nearby for good and tasty reasons.

Aristocrat began in 1928 when a certain Lola Asiang, the eventual Mother of Filipino Cooking, realized she’s cooking way too often for a lot of her family that she might as well make a business out of it. Fast forward to some 90 years later and the Aristocrat Restaurant has become a staple go-to place for great Filipino comfort food.

Interior of  The Aristocrat Restaurant's Quezon Memorial branch

Photo by The Aristocrat Restaurant

Best known for its affordable yet mouthwatering barbecue offerings and Pinoy classic entrees such as mechado (a braised beef dish), kalderetang baka, bistek Tagalog, and more!

Aristocrat also has an in-house bakeshop with a bunch of decadent cakes and pastries perfect for any occasion. Most Aristocrat branches have spaces available for booking when you need it.

7.  Locavore Kitchen x Drinks

Locavore Kitchen x Drinks' sizzling sinigang

Photo by Locavore Kitchen x Drinks

If you’re after a more contemporary take of the classics, then head on over to Locavore Kitchen x Drinks. It is one of the top go-to restaurants in Kapitolyo, Pasig, although it also has multiple locations in the metro.

Locavore comes from the words “local” and “vore,” defined as a person who makes an effort to eat locally grown, locally made, and locally produced food. At the helm of this trendy establishment is celebrity Chef Mikel “Kel” Zaguirre cooking up hit after hit of local food elevated to new heights.

Just some of the hits are their lechon oyster sisig and sizzling sinigang, which tastes as good as it looks. Some more quirky fusion concepts that came out of Locavore’s kitchen are Pho Lalo, where Chef Kel married the flavors of Vietnamese pho and the Philippines ’ very own bulalo (a soup dish consisting of beef shanks and bone marrow).

Plus, in reference to the Korean craze, Locavore’s chef has also concocted the Kimchinigang, integrating the flavors of kimchi and sinigang into one savory dish you shouldn’t miss.

6. Manam Café

Manam Cafe's sisig

Photo by Manam Café

Chill casual vibes, great Filipino food selections, and a delightful dining experience are in store for you at Manam Café, a spin-off of Manam restaurant. This laidback bistro is a go-to place if you’re looking for light Pinoy comfort food bites with a fun twist.

Manam Café serves well-known Filipino staples like arroz caldo and batchoy, both served packed with mouthwatering morsels of slow-cooked meat and delicious bone broth. One of the favorites on their menu is M’s Crispy pancit palabok, served having the noodles towering on a plate while the savory shrimp sauce is poured table-side.

For dessert, taste the sour, tangy goodness of their calamansi tart. Also worth mentioning is Manam Café’s fruity cold drink options. 

5. Café Juanita

Café Juanita's kare-kare

Photo by Café Juanita

Bright lights and colorful design engulf Café Juanita, and for two decades, they have not dimmed a bit. When you find yourself mesmerized and captured by the lights of any Café Juanita branch, and it draws you to walk inside, expect to be enamored by their take of classic Filipino food.

Like many Filipino restaurants on this list, the servings at Café Juanita are best shared. Order Filipino staples like bistek Tagalog, chicken pandan (chicken wrapped in pandan leaves), and their popular nutty beef stew kare-kare that’s so good you don’t have to add the bagoong (shrimp paste) for more flavor (but you can if you want to, of course!) The only downside here is there’s almost always a waiting line, which means the food is worth waiting for.

4. Toyo Eatery

Toyo Eatery's bilao dishes

Photo by Toyo Eatery

Next on our list is included in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2019, Toyo Eatery. Toyo directly translates to the liquid condiment that is soy sauce. In the vernacular, however, “toyo” connotes crazy, a word you can use to describe the team at Toyo, their food, and their passion.

Book a table at Toyo Eatery and try out their multi-course menu ranging from three to eleven dishes of imaginative food items that use ingredients that are simple on their own, but together, create a whole new dining experience. 

One of the many dishes you can try at Toyo is Chef Navarra’s version of the humble lugaw or rice porridge, a luscious combination of crab roe, squash, and coconut vinegar. It can’t get any toyo than that.

Toyo Eatery also somehow made a dish that includes all the 17 vegetables in a popular folk song, Bahay Kubo. It’s hard to give justice to Toyo’s crazy creations with just words; you definitely have to go and dine in at their industrial-themed, wood-cement-heavy aesthetic restaurant in Makati.

3. Sentro 1771

Sentro 1771's set meal with galunggong

Photo by Sentro 1771

For close to two decades, Sentro 1771 has been regarded as the first restaurant to introduce modern Filipino cuisine and raising our flavor profile to the next level without sacrificing the essence of each dish. 

Sentro has several signature dishes that feature simple everyday viands for the ordinary Pinoy but take them to the nth level. An example is the simple galunggong, a kind of fish, usually just pan fried, but at Sentro, it’s filleted, fried in garlic oil, and topped with roasted garlic bits. 

They’ve also elevated catfish or hito, into a fillet with ponzu sauce glaze. They also offer several Filipino favorites like sinigang na bangus sa miso (milkfish in tamarind-miso broth) and lechon kawali (crispy, deep-fried pork belly).

Just looking at the façade of the many branches of Sentro 1771 and you’ll immediately get a sense of subtle sophistication. Stepping inside will give you that warmth and inviting ambiance that makes for a great dining experience. You should definitely give this pioneer restaurant a try and sample elevated classic Filipino food. 

2. Provenciano

Provenciano's Kaldereta

Photo by Provenciano

Take a breath of fresh air and get a bite of sumptuous food at Provenciano, one of the well-known Filipino restaurants in Quezon City. True to its name which means someone who lives in rural areas, Provenciano serves up carefully curated authentic regional dishes found in the many regions of the Philippines.

Some of their offerings include sinaing na tulingan which is slow-cooked mackerel wrapped in banana leaves and boiled with kamias (bilimbi fruit) giving it that subtle sourness mixed with the clean fresh taste of the fish.

Provenciano's interior

Photo by Provenciano

If you’re craving chicken and soup, then you should have a taste of their sinampalukang manok, a chicken soup dish popular in the northern parts of Luzon.

You can also get a feel of dining in the province with their warm wooden interiors, communal tables, old-timey charms and trinkets, and the foliage surrounding the area. 

1. Guevarra’s by Chef Laudico

Guevarra’s by Chef Laudico's pakbet bagnet

Photo by Guevarra’s by Chef Laudico

Finally, the number one on the list is a quaint heritage house that has served food and bore witness to countless weddings, baptisms, and other events and celebrations since the 1920s. Guevarra’s by Chef Laudico is one of the most prominent restaurants in San Juan City and for good reasons.

The man behind the creations is a renowned celebrity chef with decades of training and accolade, Roland Laudico. A house turned into a restaurant, Guevarra’s has a charming façade and lovely interiors that make the dining experience all the better. 

Guevarra’s by Chef Laudico's exterior

Photo by Guevarra’s by Chef Laudico

Of course, Guevarra’s wouldn’t be on the list if not for its food! Treat your taste buds with the best of modern and traditional Filipino fare. Bite into the crispy, sinfully tasty bagnet or delve into the glistening goodness of their special Angus roast. Chef Laudico’s Bicol express (pork stew in coconut milk and cream) is also a must-try and lets you get transported to Albay—a province in Luzon where the dish originated—with a spoonful!

Their sweet offerings are also a must-try, especially their take of the simple suman (rice cake) served covered in coconut shavings topped with mango coulis. The sought-after Guevarra’s bibingka (rice cake cooked in clay pots) is only served during the holidays so be sure to check it out if you’re visiting during the Christmas season in the Philippines, which starts as early as September! They're famous for their weekend breakfast buffet that is best enjoyed with the family. 

Taste the Best Filipino Food at These Metro Manila Restaurants

Aerial view of buildings in Manila City

We can only list 20 of the most famous Filipino restaurants in Metro Manila, Philippines, but we’re certain that each of the 17 cities that make up the metro has more restaurants and hidden gems to offer — from fine dining to holes-in-the-wall types — that represent and serve the best of Filipino Food.

When you find yourself asking where to eat in Manila, refer back to this list and take your pick among traditional dishes from the many regions of the country or give contemporary and fusion servings a try without having to travel far. Add these restos on your list of places to discover and experiences to try in the urban jungle that is Metro Manila.



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