February 5, 2014 9 Comments

TOP 10 PLACES TO EAT & DRINK IN MANILA

Food tripping through Manila — what better way to explore the capital city of The Philippines than our favourite places to eat and drink! Besides trying the street food, here’s our top 10 places to eat and drink in Manila.

 

Food Trip: Top 10 places to eat & drink in Manila

 

1.

Wildflour / If it’s one place you shouldn’t miss it would have to be Wildflour Cafe + Bakery, my favourite! I visited several times to be able to get a taste of breakfast, lunch and dinner options and I was satisfied every time. It’s on 4th Avenue corner 26th Street in The Fort and boasts of a modern loft style interior with a menu attracting a lot of workers and expats working close by on weekdays. Try the Pistachio au lait, a creamy heartwarming cup of goodness, the kind that’s best enjoyed under the sheets while reading a good book. You also receive complimentary slices of a baguette, a perfect pair to the pasta on the menu.

Recommended: Pulled pork sliders, P-B-C (Peaunt butter-Banana-Chocolate) milkshake, homemade granola + fruit, strawberry/lemon house soda, pistachio au lait.

 

2.

Tutto Domani / This was our favourite ‘local’ cafe while we were staying in Makati. Good food, great coffee (they have the best iced coffee!) and fast wifi. It’s filled with an abundance eclectic mix of designer toy figurines, kitchen utensils, mismatched seating, books and magazines, a foosball table set and lovely handwritten notes on a wall. It’s quiet and perfect for brunch while you power through any emails or work to catch up on.

Recommended: Italiano di basic sandwich, Nutella crepe, iced cafe latte.

 

Food Trip: Top 10 places to eat & drink in Manila

 

3.

Early Bird Breakfast Club / High ceilings, quirky patterned walls, friendly staff and an all-round happy feel at this all-day breakfast restaurant. They do breakfast morning, noon and night, and they do it well with generous servings for a big appetite. Best for a feel good start to the day but I would definitely go back in the afternoon to try something a little more sweet on their menu, the nutella cheesecake has already been marked by my sweet toothe.

Recommended: Eggs Benedict and Viva Longganisa

 

4.

Rocket Room / A hip bar with exotic blends of house-made infused cocktails and wines. Their food menu is also appealing or you can order from Stella, a wood-fired bistro connected next door under the same restaurant group. Dinner and drinks at Rocket Room call for a perfect night with an intimate group of girlfriends — wood-fired pizza, pasta and red wine for a winning combination. The bruschette “du jour” with chefs daily selections is a great starter with a variety of toppings, I loved the combination of ricotta and pineapple on one and of course, classic tomato topping is always nice. Weekends get really crowded at night for the bar, best to set a date on a weeknight to enjoy dinner and a good conversation.

Recommended: truffle mushroom wood fired pizza, wood fired & grilled esquina corn, bruschette “du jour”.

 

Food Trip: Top 10 places to eat & drink in Manila

Food Trip: Top 10 places to eat & drink in Manila

 

5.

L.E.S Bagels /  Bagels! Plain, wheat, topped with sesame seeds… this place will fill your bagel cravings whilst in Manila. You’re invited with flowers in old bottles, checkered floors and an abundance of delicious fillings to choose from — or you can create your own. The L.E.S Addiction is their signature bagel, filled with salmon, cream cheese, tomato, capers and red onion. For their cream cheese bagels I personally found that they packed it on too much and it made it really heavy but, after scraping just over half of it off it was perfect! Also right beside it is a winery called Planet Grapes — never too early for a sneaky chilled glass of reisling in the Manila heat!

Recommended: L.E.S Addiction, Lox and Bacon Cheddar

 

6.

Niner Ichi Nana / A sophisticated craft cocktail bar that create the classic cocktails (and their own) really, really, really well. The perfect balance of all flavours. The space and menu is all super stylish; intricate patterned walls, dimmed lights, and a bar that has a top shelf accessible by a staircase. Their classic cocktails with a twist are illustrated in a book-style menu and the staff are helpful and ready at hand for recommendations.

Recommended: For guys, the old fashioned. For girls, order a bespoke drink – tell them what flavours you like and they’ll make one for you.

 

Food Trip: Top 10 places to eat & drink in Manila

Food Trip: Top 10 places to eat & drink in Manila

 

7.

Hatch 22 / If you’re looking for comfort Filipino food with a twist, Hatch 22 should be your next stop. It’s a contemporary café and bakery that turns into a cocktail bar at night. They do the traditional Filipino breakfasts’ like beef tapsilog and longganisa in versions of their own, delicious and creatively put together for presentation. They also have a bakery connected to their café with a selection of bread baskets. Their fresh pressed juices are blended well and adding a fiber boost of chia seeds is an option for a little extra. Also be mindful that servings here are extremely generous (huge) but delicious, nonetheless.

Recommended: Tapsilog 2.0, NYOB (Not-Your-Ordinary-Benedicts), house fresh pressed juices.

 

8.

Aling Nene / We got introduced to this restaurant from my boyfriends cousin living in Manila and it’s definitely a top pick for simple and delicious local Filipino food. For something a lot less fancy but still delicious, Aling Nene is a great option. It’s super cheap (35PHP per BBQ stick – these pork BBQ’s are big!) and you’ll be able to experience a real Filipino vibe with the majority of diners being locals.

Recommended: Pork BBQ, kare-kare and chicharon

 

Food Trip: Top 10 places to eat & drink in Manila

 

9.

The Curator / Coffee by day, cocktails by night. This hidden specialty coffee shop and craft cocktail bar is tucked away behind a wine bar for an underground feel. Great for your early morning caffeine hit or handcrafted cocktails from 6pm. I told the bartender what my preferred palette was (fruity and sweet) and he whipped up a couple of cocktails that were exactly what I was looking for!

Recommended: ‘Blind date’ and ‘Bradford’ cocktails (if you have the same palette)

 

10.

Dampa Seafood Market / For another unique Filipino food experience that’s alot less fancy try the fresh seafood at Dampa Seafood Market. The process goes like this: select from a wide variety of fresh catch of the day at the wet market – there’s crabs, shrimps, lobsters, squid etc. and pay the vendor, bring your seafood selections to your choice of restaurant nearby and they will cook it for you in any style you like. There’s also recommendations on the menu if you’re unsure but make sure if you’re having crabs you get them cooked in the chilli butter — so yum!

Recommended: Chilli butter crabs and prawn tempura

Have you traveled to the capital city of The Philippines? I’d love to know your favourite and top places to eat and drink in Manila! Or if you’re planning a trip and found this helpful, please share!

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All Photos: Aubrey Daquinag for The Love Assembly

Posted in: Food + Drink, Travel
  • underscore

    When I read hatch22 and niner ichi nana, this blog lost its credibility.

    • TheLoveAssembly

      Hello ‘underscore’, thanks for your comment! I’d love to know why is that? Hatch22 and Niner Ichi Nana are two individually great places. Erwan Heussaff knows his cocktails and food really well.

    • jan

      That is the top 10 Mania restos list? I’m getting mixed reviews with both and from people who usually are happy with their food. One Hatch 22 diner even called it ‘Really terrible food’ and Erwan’s Hungry Hound has some misses too. But yes, he is attractive. LOL

  • http://www.bell-street.com/ Ali

    I live right around the corner from The Curator and we just discovered it last week! it’s my absolute new favourite place. I also love Corner Tree in Salcedo Village and El Chupacabra (the street taco place in Burgos). also the restaurant at the manor at camp john hay in Baguio is probably my favourite restaurant in all of the Philippines. pity it’s so far away!

    • TheLoveAssembly

      Hi Ali, thanks for your comment! I love how The Curator is tucked away from all the noise, a perfect little place to hang out for coffee or drinks! Corner Tree is also great, wasn’t really a fan of El Chupacabra though. I must try the restaurant at the manor at Camp John Hay next time I go to Baguio! Aubrey

  • wins

    Your post makes me want to try them all. Thank you for your suggestions.

    You can also try Iloilo’s hidden food delights. Find them here: http://promotraveltips.blogspot.com/. Thank you.

    • TheLoveAssembly

      Thanks for your comment and suggestion wins! I’ll make sure to put Iloilo on my list to visit next time! :) Ax

  • Alyson Faith

    I’m a wanderlust and dreamer too! No wonder I stumbled upon your blog :)

    Can I ask for your kind tips to help bring my blog to life?? missalysonfaith.blogspot.com
    Thank you heaps!!

    • TheLoveAssembly

      Hi Alyson, thanks for your comment! I’ve been asked this quite a bit and do have quite an extensive list of tips that I’m hoping to create into an ebook for dreamers like you! One tip is creating unique and quality content. :) Is an ebook something you would be interested in? Thanks! Ax