I will admit, I have never brought my girl to Filipino food yet but as this is so close to my heart I want to put this list up. Even with the many food and beverage services in the Metro, Filipino food has never lost its place and is continually evolving to fit the different tastes of Manila people.
When it comes to Filipino food, there are some restaurants that have made their mark to become staples in the industry. One such restaurant is Barrio Fiesta. Known for their crispy pata, Barrio Fiesta prides itself in celebrating traditional Filipino food in the country for years. Kare-kare is also a popular order when eating in this establishment’s many locations.
Another staple in the Filipino food industry is Kamayan. First opened in August of 1977, Kamayan took Filipino food from the local karinderia and turned it into an upscale dining experience while still preserving the tradition of using hands instead of utensils. Serving Filipino food buffet-style, this restaurant is known for their lechon de leche, seafood platter, kalderetang baka, and kuhol sa gata among other popular Filipino dishes.
With the advent of good Filipino food came its natural pairing with Filipino beer. Establishments like Dencio’s Bar and Grill and Gerry’s Grill merged the concept of classic Filipino cooking with the beloved local beer. Dencio’s Bar and Grill has become a popular drinking spot to enjoy local beer buckets together with famous beer companions like sisig, inihaw na liempo, and tokwa’t baboy.
Gerry’s Grill has also gone this direction by serving up grilled Filipino food to go with local beer selections. Its menu choices include grilled bangus, tuna belly, blue marlin, squid, chicken, and pork barbecue.
Some Filipino restaurants have chosen to serve specialty food, and a famous Filipino specialty is grilled chicken, or inihaw na manok. Places like Bacolod Chicken Inasal and JT’s Manukan are known for some of the best grilled chicken recipes served with rice and atsara. They also serve other grilled parts of the chicken like the liver, heart, and intestines.
While these establishments have chosen to go simple, other restaurants have taken Filipino cuisine to a whole new level by adding a touch of class and turning it into a fine dining experience. One very popular fine dining restaurant found in Brgy. Kapitolyo is Café Juanita. It is a famous spot for romantic dates over delicious Filipino dishes as its surroundings lend a warmth and old-age glow to this quaint restaurant. Some of the restaurant favorites are kare-kare, pork ribs adobo, and fried lapu-lapu with tamarind sauce.
Abe is another Filipino restaurant that has taken local cuisine up a notch in terms of presentation. Adding exquisite detail to loved Filipino dishes, Abe has menu selections like lamb adobo with popped garlic and fried catfish all to be enjoyed in a rather lavish setting. One can only expect to pay a little more in this restaurant compared with other Filipino restaurants.
Filipinos have always been about tradition and get-togethers and this tradition is never more evident than in the taste and textures of Filipino food. More and more food and beverage services in Manila have come to embrace this tradition in food that the industry has come up with so many ways to enjoy a truly Filipino dining experience.