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Manila is a chaotic metropolis, filled with skyscrapers and fast-paced city life. For many, it’s the starting or ending point of your trip in the Philippines, so you’ll definitely be wanting to eat some good food to begin or finish the holiday with a bang. From Spanish tapas through to traditional Filipino java rice and roasted pork, here are our picks of the top restaurants in Manila:

1. Las Flores

best restaurants in the Philippines
Photo by Las flores

There are several tapas-style restaurants in Manila that draw on the country’s Spanish colonial period, which lasted from the 16th century to the 19th century. Of all the tapas restaurants in Manila, Las Flores is our favorite pick. The menu is inspired by the food of Catalonia and the Basque country, with several different types of paella, steaks, and tapas. Don’t forget to order a jug of sangria to go with your meal.

2. El Chupacabra

top restaurants in Manila
Photo by El Chupacabra

If you want to get your fix of Mexican food, El Chupacabra is a great place to head to. It serves up a delicious range of tacos, including spicy shrimp tacos and pulled pork tacos. The restaurant is a cool, open-air taco stand that draws in a hipster crowd. Don’t be put off by the lines, it’s worth the wait.

3.The Pancake House

restaurants in Manila

The Pancake House is an all-day breakfast joint that has an extensive menu of sweet and savory pancakes. Whether you are looking for basic pancakes with ice cream, or something more unique, such as the chicken and syrup combo, there’s really something for everyone. They also serve waffles and cinnamon toast if you wanted something other than pancakes.

4. Cafe Llang-Llang

best restaurants in Manila
Photo by The Manila Hotel

Cafe Llang-Llang has an enormous food buffet, with choices of foods from all around the world, from Indian to Chinese to American. There is something for everyone, so if you’re traveling with a fussy eater, this is the place for you. 

5. Barbara’s Restaurant

best restaurants in the Philippines
Photo by Barbara’s

Barbara’s is a traditional Filipino restaurant that was founded in the 1970s and is named after Barbara, its founder. It serves up dishes such as roasted pork and seafood platters. There’s also a buffet option if you’re really hungry, with tons of Filipino dishes including meats cooked in sweet and sour sauces. The restaurant itself is kitted out with traditional Filipino decor and is set in the courtyard of a restored colonial building. Be sure to order a glass of fresh coconut water and starter of fried plantain.

6. The Aristocrat

top restaurants in Manila
Photo by The Aristocrat

The Aristocrat is another great, traditional Filipino restaurant. It has a delicious menu filled with dumplings, barbeque chicken, sweet and sour meats and java rice, which is when the rice is cooked with turmeric, creating a bright yellow color. It can get busy on Friday and Saturday nights.

7. Yabu

best restaurants in Manila
Photo by Yabu House of Katsu

Yabu restaurant is the king of Japanese katsu in Manila. The menu is more or less katsu-based, with tons of deep fried options. The top picks include the seafood katsu or deep fried ice cream balls for dessert.

8. Gumbo

top restaurants in Manila
Photo by Mayzy Miraflor

On the menu at Gumbo, is, of course, New Orleans-style gumbo. The food has an authentic taste of Cajun and Creole cooking and the gumbo is to die for. There are also pasta and pizza dishes for those looking for something more mainstream. Our top picks are the cajun chicken, seafood jambalaya and seafood gumbo.

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