Travel Guide: Restaurants in the Philippines
Welcome to the Philippines, a country known for its beautiful beaches, warm hospitality, and mouth-watering cuisine! In this travel guide, we will explore some of the best restaurants the Philippines has to offer. From fine dining establishments to humble street food vendors, this guide will help you navigate your culinary journey throughout the country.
1. Introduction to Filipino Cuisine
Filipino cuisine is a unique blend of indigenous, Spanish, Chinese, and American influences, creating a diverse and flavorful experience. The base of Filipino dishes often consists of rice, while the dishes themselves are characterized by their bold flavors and generous use of seasonings. Some of the most popular Filipino dishes include adobo, sinigang, lechon, and halo-halo.
2. Fine Dining Restaurants
a. Gallery VASK (Manila)
Gallery VASK, located in Bonifacio Global City, Manila, is known for its innovative and modern approach to traditional Filipino cuisine. Chef Chele Gonzalez, a world-renowned chef, has curated a menu that showcases the best of the Philippines’ ingredients and culinary heritage. With a focus on sustainability and local sourcing, Gallery VASK is a must-visit for those looking to experience the true essence of Filipino flavors.
b. Antonio’s (Tagaytay)
Nestled in the picturesque city of Tagaytay, Antonio’s is a fine dining gem that offers a serene and romantic ambiance. With its elegant setting and stunning views of the Taal Volcano, this restaurant is perfect for special occasions. Known for its exquisite fusion of Filipino and European cuisine, Antonio’s is a culinary destination that should not be missed.
3. Mid-range Restaurants
a. Abe (Multiple Locations)
Abe is a popular chain of restaurants that specializes in Capampangan cuisine, one of the Philippines’ most well-known regional culinary styles. With multiple branches across the country, Abe serves traditional Filipino dishes with a focus on heirloom recipes. Must-try dishes include their sinigang sa bayabas (sour soup with guava) and kare-kare (oxtail stew in peanut sauce).
b. Manam (Multiple Locations)
Manam is a modern Filipino restaurant with branches in several key cities across the country. Their menu offers a mix of classic Filipino dishes and innovative twists on traditional recipes. Some of their bestsellers include crispy sisig, house crispy pancit palabok, and their unique watermelon sinigang. Manam’s comfortable and stylish interiors make it an excellent place to enjoy a delicious meal with friends or family.
4. Budget-friendly Options
a. Mang Inasal (Multiple Locations)
Mang Inasal is a popular fast-food chain that specializes in grilled chicken, or “inasal.” With branches all over the country, this restaurant offers a taste of Filipino comfort food at an affordable price. Their signature dish, the “Pecho” (chicken breast and wing), is marinated in a special blend of spices and grilled to perfection. Pair it with a side of unlimited rice, and you’ve got a satisfying meal that won’t break the bank.
b. Jollibee (Multiple Locations)
No trip to the Philippines would be complete without a visit to Jollibee, the country’s most beloved fast-food chain. Known for its signature Chickenjoy (fried chicken) and Jolly Spaghetti, Jollibee offers a variety of Filipino favorites at budget-friendly prices. Other must-try items on their menu include the Yumburger, Palabok Fiesta, and their sweet and creamy Peach Mango Pie. With locations all over the Philippines, you’re never too far from a Jollibee!
5. Street Food and Night Markets
a. Mercato Centrale (Manila)
Mercato Centrale is a popular night market located in Bonifacio Global City, Manila. With a wide array of food stalls offering everything from traditional Filipino dishes to international cuisine, this bustling market is a food lover’s paradise. Don’t miss out on the freshly grilled seafood, savory barbecue, and scrumptious desserts. Mercato Centrale operates during the evenings from Thursday to Sunday, providing a lively and enjoyable atmosphere for your dining experience.
b. Larsian (Cebu)
Located in Cebu City, Larsian is a legendary street food market known for its delicious and affordable barbecue offerings. Dive into the authentic Filipino street food experience as you choose from a variety of skewered meats, seafood, and even exotic delicacies like chicken intestines and pig ears. Be sure to try the local favorite “puso” (hanging rice) to complete your meal. Open daily, Larsian is an essential stop on any foodie’s itinerary.
6. Vegetarian and Vegan Options
a. Corner Tree Cafe (Makati)
Corner Tree Cafe is a cozy vegetarian restaurant located in the heart of Makati City. Offering a diverse menu of vegetarian and vegan dishes, this charming eatery is perfect for those looking for healthy and delicious plant-based meals. With options like tofu sisig, vegetable curry, and vegan chocolate cake, Corner Tree Cafe proves that Filipino cuisine can be both flavorful and veggie-friendly.
b. Green Bar (Multiple Locations)
Green Bar is a vegan café with multiple locations in the Philippines, serving a variety of plant-based dishes inspired by international cuisine. From their hearty breakfast burritos to their famous doughnuts, Green Bar offers a satisfying and guilt-free dining experience. The café also provides a selection of vegan Filipino dishes like adobo and sisig, allowing you to enjoy local flavors without compromising your dietary preferences.
The Philippines is a culinary haven that offers a wide range of dining experiences for every budget and palate. Whether you’re seeking high-end gastronomic delights or craving simple street food, this guide will help you navigate the best of what the country has to offer. Don’t be afraid to explore and try new dishes as you embark on your culinary adventure in the Philippines.