5 Restaurants in Manila You Should Try (Eat)

calendar_todaySeptember 16, 2021
account_circleJanine Daquio

The hospitality industry was shaken to the core when the coronavirus pandemic led to the closures of restaurant operations to adhere to the strict social distancing protocols.

While the new players in the hospitality industry had a glimmer of hope as 2020 looked like a lucky year, its expectation did not suffice. Who would have thought that everything normal will change in a blink of an eye?

The older veterans in the industry have been struggling, too. They have to downsize to cover employees they think they can pay. Meanwhile, the new restaurant owners who had hoped in the beginning pretty much have a sad story as the day moves forward. 

The city capital of the Philippines, Manila, where hotels are located has now become a place to quarantine people who came from abroad. The noise and the traffic were toned down. People are moving only for the essentials.

Certainly, food was never off the table as an essential. What’s more – eating is the safest way to bring comfort to everyone. While the restrictions are lifted, here are some of the food businesses that still operate and the restaurants that you can only try in Manila.

Ilustrado, Manila, Philippines

Established in 1989, this fine-dining restaurant serves Filipino-Spanish cuisine situated in Intramuros. This restaurant was transformed from an old house; it would have been a perfect place if you feel like walking through the history of the Philippines during the Spanish colonization.

For now, they are offering Meal Box Orders just in case you are craving their paella, croquettas, and more!

Champagne Room, Manila Hotel

If you are looking for a romantic restaurant, Champagne Room is the place to go. It has a luxurious setting from Wednesday to Thursday serving European dishes you’d surely adore. No wonder this place is always fully booked every Valentine’s Day.

Manila Restaurants -Champagne Room

Manila Restaurant – Champagne

White Moon Bar by Hotel H2O

Longing to have a lovely afternoon as you watch the sunset? Why not have it at White Moon Bar located at Manila Ocean Park! Compared to the first two restaurants mentioned, White Moon Bar just opened in the 2000s. However, the breathtaking view is the element that makes the visitors keep coming back. There’s nothing more rewarding to call it a day after watching the sunset. White Moon Bar also serves food from Makan Makan restaurant so if you are famished, don’t worry they got you covered. 

As of this writing, White Moon Bar will open an alfresco dining starting September 17 just so the social distancing will be observed. 

Nevertheless, you can still enjoy their food at the comforts of your home by ordering at White Moon Bar in Foodpanda.

Cafe Ilang-Ilang by Manila Hotel

Manila Hotel is known for this delicious buffet you cannot just simply resist. They are offering Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Korean, Mediterranean and of course Filipino cuisine.

They used to have an open kitchen but due to health protocols, dividers were created between the chefs and the diners. There is a new implementation called Order & Eat-All-You Can System where the diners’ requests will be plated for them instead of doing a self-service buffet.

Cafe Adriatico

Known as the landmark of Remedios Circle in Malate, Cafe Adriatico would surely be not amiss if you will roam around the area. Opened in 1980, Cafe Adriatico has contributed to the development of the food industry in the Philippines – bistro restaurants.

They are serving sumptuous Filipino-Spanish meals that would surely make you have a full tummy. To read more about the food that they offer, you may check my food review: Café Adriatico: Getting Old but Never Getting Behind. Please note that the price and menu may have been changed.

Janine Daquio
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