It’s no surprise that, as the Philippines’ capital, the Manila food scene is growing in popularity among foodies. The gastronomy of the Philippines is heavily influenced by the various civilizations that inhabited the island, such as Spanish, American, and Chinese.
Aside from its great heritage, Manila boasts a unique gastronomic culture that delights foodies.
Spanish cuisine is prominent in Manila, and some of the most popular Filipino dishes are derived from it.
From simple indigenous eateries to fine dining establishments, Manila offers it all, which is why every traveler eagerly anticipates a cuisine journey to the city. After all, why not?
Here are the best foods to try in Metro Manila!
Dumplings and Fried Pancakes
Restaurant: Dong Bei Dumpling
Location: 642 Yuchengo Street, Binondo, Manila
You can never call yourself a true foodie unless you’ve explored Binondo. Dumplings are a Binondo staple, and Dong Bei Dumplings serve up some of the best.
Pork Dumplings, priced at Php 200 for 14 pieces, are a must-try if you’re coming with a group of friends. Also, try their Fried Pancakes, which are prepared and cooked at breakneck speed. This shop should be on your list of places to visit if you are on a tight budget.
Hokkaido Tempura and Ebi Tempura Maki
Restaurant: Tendon Akimitsu
Location: Bago Bantay, Quezon City, Metro Manila
The Japanese culinary industry in Manila is thriving, with a slew of Japanese restaurants. Tendon Akimitsu is one among them, with some delectable tempura selections.
Chef Akimitsu Tanihara has received gold in the prestigious Japan Donburi Awards for the past five years (2014-2018) and gold in the highest prize in tempura cuisine, the “King Of Tempura Bowl” in 2014.
Paella de Rabo de Toro (Oxtail Paella), Pulpo Braseado con Crema de Patata, Gambas Al Ajillo
Location: G/F One, Eastwood Ave, Eastwood City, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Barcino is one of Manila’s most excellent restaurants for Spanish tapas, paella, and tradicionales.
In reality, the company’s founders are from Barcelona, and they wanted to bring a true sense of Spain to the Philippines.
Barcino also invites local bands to play music on certain evenings of the week as guests experience the tastiness of Spanish cuisine.
Kiampong and Lechon Kawali
Restaurant: Cafe Mezzanine
Location: 650 Ongpin corner Nueva Streets Binondo, Manila
Kiampong, a bowl of fried rice developed by the Filipino-Chinese of Binondo, is served at a popular table in Cafe Mezzanine. It’s typically cooked with sticky rice, mushrooms, and soy sauce, which gives it a distinct earthy flavor. You could also try the lechon kawali or goyong (Chinese sausage), which is delicious when served with adobo fried rice.
A part of the revenue is being used to support the volunteer firefighters. It’s satisfying to eat a delicious dinner while also contributing to a good cause!
Salted Butter Caramel Mille Crepe Cake, Matcha Mille Crepe Cake, Apple Crisp A La Mode Crepe, Mango Hazelnut Au Chocolate Crepe
Restaurant: La Creperie
Location: Ground Floor, Ayala Malls Vertis Triangle Exchange, North, North Ave, Quezon City, Metro Manila
La Creperie is one of Manila’s most incredible creperie restaurants. They provide traditional French meals, such as Coq Au Vin (chicken in red wine) and Blanquette de Boeuf, in addition to their famed gourmet crepes and crepe cakes (beef stew simmered for hours).
Crepe cakes, such as La Creperie’s 20-layer hand-crafted Mille crepe cake, are amazing! You must try their Salted Butter Caramel, which is made by hand. La Creperie is the restaurant to go to in Manila to taste French dishes and sweets.
House Crispy Sisig
Location: 3/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall Expansion Bldg. D, EDSA cor. J, Doña Julia Vargas Ave, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila
If you ask locals where to eat Filipino food in Manila, Manam is unquestionably one of the top restaurants in the city. Manam serves a variety of Asian cuisines, including vegetarian alternatives and Filipino food with a twist.
Manam’s sisig is the greatest! Crispy through the meal (which is unusual) and flavorful with a bit of sauce! It’s no surprise that it’s their most popular meal!
Super Chashu Ramen (or Shoyu Ramen), Tatanmen Ramen
Restaurant: Mendokoro Ramenba
Location: 6th Street Icon Plaza RCBC Building, Taguig, 1630 Metro Manila
Mendokoro Ramenba serves a variety of ramen with unique flavors and is recognized for its rich, creamy broth, surpassing Japan’s ramen. Their noodles are also prepared in-house.
With its unique blend of chile oil and milky broth, Tantanmen ramen is the most popular. Choose the regular Shoyu ramen with a thick, rich broth if you want more traditional ramen.
The off-menu Super Chashu Ramen includes a regular Shoyu ramen base with additional frills and meat, including a torched piece of fatty slab for heavier eaters.
According to some, they got the best ramen in the Philippines!
Kare Kare Short Ribs, Baby Squid in Olive Oil
Location: 116 Eastwood Ave, Bagumbayan, Quezon City, 1110 Metro Manila
Mesa Filipino Moderne, which has over 17 locations throughout the Philippines and serves 123 different meals, has been named one of the top Filipino restaurants in Manila for three years in a row. Mesa is the first and only restaurant in Manila to provide diners on-the-spot grilling directly at their table, making for an exciting dining experience.
Apart from Adobo, Kare Kare, a stew with a thick and creamy peanut sauce, is another iconic Filipino food that most people are familiar with. The baby squid in olive oil is delicious and a must-try. So far, Mesa’s version of this meal is the greatest.