Best Manila Restaurants for Authentic Filipino Food

12 Best Restaurants in Metro Manila to Discover Incredible Filipino Cuisine

This is your introduction to the delicious dishes of Filipino cuisine!

There are truly timeless Metro Manila restaurants that are responsible for expanding and elevating Filipino cuisine. It serves as an inspiration for new and bold restaurateurs to try their own. This reciprocation from generations is why the gastronomic landscape of the Philippine capital is always worth exploring. 

Being a foodie in Manila is pretty easy too, since there is a wide range of restaurants that cater quality dishes for every budget. Sure, the roster of top restaurants in Manila changes once in a while. But as an intrepid Manileño foodie myself, believe me when I say you will always have someplace good to eat. Discover Manila’s exciting and diverse flavour profile by dining in these restaurants.

Also read: 13 Airbnb Homes & Vacation Rentals in Manila for a Well-Deserved Staycation

Where to stay

Image credit: Seda BGC, Taguig

Ready to embark on a culinary adventure in Metro Manila? Before you satisfy your cravings for good eats, start your trip right by booking a stay at Seda BGC! Winner of the Travel Excellence Awards 2023 – Business Star, Seda BGC offers a comfortable and blissful stay right in the heart of Bonifacio Global City, one of the country’s newest financial hubs where you’ll find a melting pot of colourful cultures and gastronomic delights!

Boasting an urban lifestyle concept, Seda BGC combines style, technology, and function to offer unrivalled comfort when travelling to Manila. Expect spacious rooms with plenty of warm colours, including suites and serviced residences, and tip-top service. What’s more, the property is located just a short distance from Bonifacio High Street, where you can enjoy a plethora of shopping, dining, and entertainment options!

Best restaurants in Manila for affordable eats

1. Papa Ken Chicken

Let’s start with something simple: fried chicken! Papa Ken Chicken is a humble joint found along Dimasalang Road. For some, it’s probably just fried chicken — but cooks would know how good fried chicken is difficult to pull off. Fortunately, Papa Ken produces delicious chicken wings with perfect consistency. 

These chicken wings are always juicy and crunchy and the same goes for their mojos. Papa Ken Chicken has a wide range of flavours for their chicken wings, from Korean-style to garlic parmesan. But their Spicy Pinoy BBQ wings capture the Filipino palate quite well, which makes these easy to enjoy. It makes for lovely comfort food, but do be mindful of the spice level!

Address: 1656, 1008 Dimasalang Rd, Sampaloc, Manila, 1008 Metro Manila

2. Jamicos Restaurant

filipino restaurants manila

Image credit (L-R): Judy Ann’s Crispy Pata Official Facebook Page; Reginaldo Santos via Google Maps

The City of Malabon has some of the most glorious Filipino food in Manila that locals might have never even heard of. Let it be known today that Malabon is a treasure trove for delectable food! And the existence of Jamicos Restaurant proves that the above statement is true.

When dining in Jamicos, never forget to order their special, Judy Ann’s Crispy Pata. Crispy pata (deep-fried pork thigh) is a very popular delicacy in the Philippines but this dish from Jamicos Restaurant adds a little extra to the traditional recipe. Apart from the usual salt and pepper, the pork thigh is lightly glazed with honey, creating an irresistible flavour to the juicy meat and crispy skin.

Address: 201 Gen. Luna St, Malabon, Metro Manila

3. Kanto Freestyle Breakfast

A good breakfast always makes a foodie happy, even when waking up late. Good thing Kanto Freestyle Breakfast hosts an incredible menu filled with all kinds of breakfast, 24/7! Whether it’s sweet pancakes with fresh fruit in the morning, or savoury tapsilog in a rice bowl for a midnight snack, Kanto Freestyle is a welcome choice that won’t go wrong when it comes to Filipino restaurants in Manila. 

This establishment is also a growing franchise, so finding one nearby shouldn’t be too hard. Talk about convenience!

Locations: For the full list of branches, click here.

4. Mang Inasal

Mang Inasal is one of the most affordable choices when it comes to the best restaurants in Manila. This fast food chain harnesses the complex flavours of chicken inasal (char-grilled chicken), Negrense-style. This classic Bacolod recipe is a combination of sour but light flavours infused with the chicken. The optional use of chicken oil contains the acidic flavours, while the rice helps to balance it out.

Since the servings at Mang Inasal can be big, the fast food chain also offers the option for unlimited rice servings. It’s a very delicious combination that will fill any hungry stomach and more.

Locations: For the full list of branches, click here.

Also read: 10 Inasal Places in Manila Recommended by Bacolodnons

5. ToHo Antigua Panciteria

instagrammable restaurants in manila

Image credit: Ernesto Timbol

A good portion of everyday Filipino dishes borrow from Cantonese cuisine. From party favourites like pancit canton, camaron rebosado, and lumpiang shanghai, to variations of pork asado and chopsuey, these dishes are nearly intangible to Filipino food.

For locals and visitors of Binondo — aka the oldest Chinatown in the world — ToHo Antigua Panciteria (or New ToHo Food Center) is an institution of Cantonese food. It might be the oldest among Manila restaurants, but its dishes get better over time. While the majority of their food is authentic Cantonese, their selection of Filipino food is top-notch. Their lumpiang shanghai tastes amazing and their chopsuey is consistently delicious. It’s like attending a party with Filipinos!

Address: 422 Tomas Pinpin St, Binondo, Manila, 1006 Metro Manila

Also read: 10 Restaurants in Binondo for Your Next Food Crawl

Filipino restaurants in Manila for a considerable budget

6. Manam

Manam means “to come home” in Kapampangan, who are just some of the most excellent cooks in the Philippines. So, leave it to these folks to show creativity with no holds barred when it comes to Filipino food.

Palabok is a rice noodle dish in the Philippines which is famously served as a mid-afternoon snack. There are gourmet variants of this delicious dish but the most eye-catching of them all is easily Manam’s. Their Crispy Palabok deconstructs the dish and applies a bit of science to create this unique culinary concoction.

Once the creamy, shrimp-based sauce trickles down the mountain of rice noodles, a play between textures and flavours unfolds. The smooth cream from the sauce and crispy textures from fried toppings creates an exciting balance into the dish. Preparing this dish is also quite the performance, which is why it is also one of the most Instagrammable restaurants in Manila.

Locations: For the full list of branches, click here.

Also read: 22 Best Cafes in Manila for Coffee, Brunch, and Dessert

7. Kanin Club

Kanin Club has a pretty simple objective: to create dishes that go well with rice. However, they do have unconventional but delicious solutions behind every dish. This restaurant is the proprietor of the Crispy Dinuguan (stewed pork blood with deep-fried pork). Dinuguan, traditionally, has nothing crispy in it, but Kanin Club somehow turned it into their best-seller. 

Another successful experiment they did is the Sinangag na Sinigang, which is deconstructed pork and vegetable sour stew that’s stir-fried with rice. There may be inconsistencies with the textures of their food but the flavours don’t miss. That’s why Kanin Club’s meals are fascinating and worth adding to this list of best Manila restaurants.

Locations: For the full list of branches, click here.

8. Sentro 1771

Sentro 1771 still stands today as one of the best Manila restaurants even after a decade. Sometimes, their cooking almost seems like components going under a microscope: meticulous and precise. But this kind of preparation contributes to their longevity as one of the best restaurants in Manila.

The most prized dish at Sentro 1771 is their unique take on sinigang. Colourful but rustic in flavour, the Corned Beef Sinigang is a no-frills comfort Filipino food. The corned beef they use is always brined in salt and spices for a few days before it’s cooked in their own sinigang broth. This makes every bite of the beef packed with solid but refined sour and salty flavours.

Locations: For the full list of branches, click here.

Also read: 20 Legendary Filipino Snacks and Merienda You Should Try in the Philippines

9. Illustrado Restaurant

The always beautiful Intramuros district hosts the exquisite flavours of Illustrado. Since the Philippines was a Spanish colony for centuries, more than a few Spanish dishes have made their way to the Filipino palate. For a grand example, book a reservation in this restaurant.

Their Lengua con Setas, for example, has a velvety but tender texture that is just delicious to consume. For multiple, sophisticated flavours in one bite, try out their Signature Paella. Finally, finish the meal with a serving of their famously fragrant Sampaguita Ice Cream. 

Address: 744 General Luna St, Intramuros, Manila, 1002 Metro Manila

Also read: 13 Notable Sites in the Philippines Every History Buff Must Visit

10. Aling Tonya’s Seafood Palutuan

Whenever in the Philippines, try dining in a dampa. In Metro Manila, a dampa is a collective of seafood market stalls and restaurants offering fresh seafood from these stalls. Each restaurant has its own dish recommendations based on what diners bought from the market. It is an interesting method to enjoy seafood in the Philippines.

For a must-try dampa in Manila, try Aling Tonya’s Seafood Palutuan in Pasay. The simplicity behind their seafood dishes speaks volumes when it comes to the best restaurants in Manila. Their Adobong Pusit has hints of sweetness, tanginess, and saltiness packed inside the squid, and all of these flavours pop out in every bite. It is a very popular place to visit among locals and foreigners alike, and it’s easy to see why.

Address: Bldg 2 L05 Dampa Seaside, Macapagal Boulevard, 1604 Pasay City

Restaurants for fine dining around Manila

11. Toyo Eatery

Looking for romantic restaurants in Manila? The name might not sound like it, but Toyo Eatery in Makati knows how to set the mood. And what else, but with food?

Toyo’s creativity knows no bounds when it comes to cooking excellent Filipino meals. The post-modern look of the restaurant can come off as too minimalist. But it’s their food that sets the ambience. Their tasting menu has so much artistry behind it that it is both a visual and gastronomic treat. Looking to impress someone? Let Toyo’s food do the work.

Address: 2316, The Alley at Karrivin, Karrivin Plaza, 1231 Chino Roces Ave Ext, Makati, Metro Manila

12. Oscar’s

Not only does Oscar’s serve incredibly good food, but it also possesses an extensive view of the Manila skyline. Situated at the top of the Eugenio Lopez Center in Antipolo, this food establishment is easily one of the most romantic restaurants in Manila. 

Some of their specialities take liberties in fusing Filipino food with all kinds of cuisines. The Curry Pancit Canton is one such dish that might not sound like it works, but it tastes incredible. Refined versions of everyday dishes such as laing and sisig rolls are easy to eat, but the flavours are so exquisite that splurging on it might be guilt-free.

Address: Eugenio Lopez Center, Sumulong Hwy, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal

Also read: 10 Exciting Things to Do and Places to Visit in Manila at Night

There are still so many Manila restaurants that elevate Filipino cuisine. Really, any pick has a high potential to be the next breakout restaurant in Manila. But the quality contained in this list is a huge step forward in discovering the city’s taste and flavours.

So, which of these best restaurants in Manila are you trying out first? Or if you want to recommend your own picks, head over to our Facebook page and tell us all about ’em!

About Author

Aldous Vince Cabildo
Aldous Vince Cabildo

Ever since growing up, Aldous learned how to look at things from an historical perspective. So whenever the opportunity to travel arises, he makes sure to go to places that contain local stories and memories. From there, he takes in the lessons from the past and picks out what to learn, or should it interest him, what to unlearn. At any chance he gets, he also makes sure to try out local cuisine. When not charting his next destination, Aldous likes to explore worlds found in video games, hip-hop, film, and professional wrestling. He is a proud resident of Tondo.