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[Travel stories] Top places to eat in Manila

Travel location: Manila, Philippines
When I went: October 2014

There were tons of restaurants, either it be fast-food, casual or fine dining restaurants in Manila offering local or international cuisine.

Here are my recommendations of restaurants to visit in Manila (in no particular order): 

Gilligan’s (Robinson’s Galleria, Quezon City (QC). The Gilligan’s chain provided an economical option to casual Filipino eats with many combo deals and beverage options. It was a fun vibe and a great spot with a group of friends.

Gilligan's (1) Gilligan's (3)



Giligan's Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sa Kanto (Ground Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Centre, Mandaluyong City). This was located on the ground floor of a quiet mall/office building near our hotel.  This was my favourite casual Filipino restaurant we ate at because I enjoyed every dish including oxtail kare kare with eggplant and bamboo shoots, and crispy bagnet. The bagnet was the crispiest I had during the trip.

Other highlights including the ipon (baby fish in soup), fried pla pla fish and pork sisig.

Sa Kanto (2) Sa Kanto (3)

Sa Kanto;s kare kare stew

Sa Kanto’s kare kare stew

Sa Kanto

Ipon soup

Sa Kanto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gulliver’s Steak House in Manila– (7842 Makati Avenue , 10th Floor, Great Eastern Hotel, Makati, Luzon 1200, Philippines).  This restaurant’s flagship restaurant is in San Fransico. It was a traditional “old-school” steak house located in a hotel; perfect for a special occasion. Their prime rib is phenomenal and tender, which is what they are known for. The French onion soup was also a stand out.

Gulliver's (2) Gulliver's (3)

Gulliver's (

Gulliver’s steak house

Gulliver's Prime Ribs Of Beef Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Café Jaunita (#19 West Capitol Drive, Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City, Philippines). The dishes were pricier than the other restaurants that I had visited but the crispy bagnet (pork belly) and house-made corn beef made it worthwhile. Plus, the Filipino restaurant had a cool and eclectic décor. Time Magazine had listed the restaurant as one of the top places to visit.

Cafe Juanita (3) Cafe Juanita (4) Cafe Juanita (5) Cafe Juanita (6)


Cafe Juanita

Cafe Juanita’s kare kare

Cafe Juanita Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Café Mary Grace– I went to the location at the Greenbelt mall. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming with mouth-watering displays of desserts.  For tourists, the prices were amazing. For less than $1 Canadian, I got a brownie and a lemon square. I recommend the ensaymada (bun with cheese), lemon meringue pie, lemon square, apple pie and their signature hot chocolate. I didn’t have a chance to try the Sans rival which was recommend by a friend of mine, which is a traditional cake that has layers of buttercream, meringue and cashews.

Mary Grace (4)

Mary Grace (1)

Cafe Mary Grace

Cafe Mary Grace

Cafe Mary Grace

Cafe Mary Grace

Mary Grace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I also highly recommend the Food court at Robinson’s Galleria, Quezon City, as the selection was grand. The mall was not as big as some of the other mega malls, but I enjoyed that the restaurants were more centralized in one area.

Food court

Food court

If you are visiting the Philippines, check out my other travel stories.

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