2016 Year-End Report: The 10 Best-Rated Filipino Restaurants In Manila

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When it comes to our own cuisine, many of us will agree that the best Filipino food is found right at home. It’s probably why our standards when it comes to Filipino restaurants are very high so it’s no small matter when a restaurant is named as one of the best by its diners!

So without further ado, here are the ten best-rated Filipino restaurants of 2016 according to reviews on looloo! Read on to find out if your favorites made it to the list!

Discover the best restaurants, hotels, and travel destinations all over the Philippines by downloading the looloo app! Available for both iOS and Android.

10. Wooden Spoon

Many of us were introduced to Sandy Daza through the numerous cooking shows he’s hosted through the years on TV. The son of the late Nora Daza (who has been called the “Julia Child of the Philippines”), Sandy Daza is also a restaurateur and the owner of the first entry on this list, Wooden Spoon.

Wooden Spoon, Manila

Photo from Russel F.’s looloo review for Wooden Spoon

Wooden Spoon opened its first restaurant along Katipunan Avenue back in 2012. This branch has since closed down but fortunately for all of us, Wooden Spoon also opened branches in Pasig and Makati!

A favorite dish among looloo users is the Stuffed Pechay. Made up of Chinese white cabbage stuffed with tinapa and minced meat before being simmered in a slightly spicy coconut sauce, this best selling dish is a “sure winner” according to Adrian L.’s looloo review while Jayne Marie W. calls it a “‘lick the plate ‘til all the sauce is gone’ kind of dish” in her review.

Wooden Spoon is located at LG/F Power Plant Mall, Amorsolo Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati, and at 67 West Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig.

9. Krazy Garlik

Whether it’s an acquired taste or it’s something that you really love, garlic is one of the staple ingredients in Filipino cuisine. It’s such a versatile ingredient that The Bistro Group even has a restaurant dedicated to it called Krazy Garlik!

Krazy Garlik, Manila

Photo from Norman Lester T.’s looloo review for Krazy Garlik

From crispy pata to gambas and even Asian dishes like beef rendang, you’ll get to taste how garlic either enhances or complements different kinds of flavors!

But if you’re looking for a flavor combination that you never thought was possible, how about garlic in your dessert? The Hola Crema Catalana is Krazy Garlik’s take on the creme brulee, which is topped with candied garlic cloves!

Krazy Garlik is located at 2/F Greenbelt 5, Legazpi Street, Ayala Center, Makati.

8. 8065 Bagnet

You don’t need to go all the way to Ilocos for crispy, mouthwatering bagnet! Coming in at number eight is 8065 Bagnet, a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that specializes in this Ilocano favorite. This is the place to go to if you want to have bagnet in a number of different ways!

8065 Bagnet, Manila

Photo from Inna A.’s looloo review for 8065 Bagnet

There’s Kare-Kareng Bagnet, Binagoongang Bagnet, as well as Bagnet Curry and Bagnet Sisig! And guess what? They all cost less than 200 bucks each!

That price is arguably already budget-friendly but believe it or not, it does get better than that. 8065 Bagnet also has budget meals that come with rice and soup, which are perfect especially for the students attending classes in schools near its Leon Guinto branch!

8065 Bagnet is located at 8065 Estrella Street. San Antonio Village, Makati, and at Leon Guinto Street, Malate, Manila.

7. Alab Restaurant

In the midst of all the twists and fusions other Filipino restaurants are offering, all it takes is one look at Alab’s menu to see that it doesn’t include itself as part of the trend. Instead, Alab, which counts actress Cherry Pie Picache as one of its owners, opts to stay true to traditional Filipino cuisine.

Alab Restaurant, Manila

Photo from Jayson J.’s looloo review for Alab Restaurant

If you’re one of the firm believers that no Filipino feast is ever complete without crispy pata, try Alab’s Lechon na Crispy Pata! Stuffed with lemongrass and leeks for the added flavor, it’s so good that Aileen L. says in her looloo review it gives you the “feeling that you want to eat it all and you just don’t want to share it with anyone.”

Another dish you shouldn’t miss, especially if you’re from Bicol or if you love Bicolano food, is the Tinumok! Made up of coconut noodles and chopped shrimp wrapped in taro leaves, these little packets of deliciousness are then stewed in coconut cream and flavored with bagoong alamang. Yum!

Alab Restaurant has branches in UP Town Center, Tomas Morato, and Venice Grand Canal Mall.

6. Neil’s Kitchen

We’ve known Filipino food all our lives that it might be easy to get bored over the same old things. Lucky for us, there are so many restaurants these days that put a fun spin to old classics! One of such restaurants is Neil’s Kitchen. Located in Westgate Center, Alabang, it’s quite a drive for those who live up north but trust us, it’s absolutely worth it.

Neil's Kitchen, Manila

Photo from Reich T.’s looloo review for Neil’s Kitchen

If you happen to love sinigang, there are a couple of dishes on the menu that will surely tickle your fancy. Ever imagined sinigang and paella together? It might seem like a mismatch but according to Dennis O.’s looloo review, the Sinigang Paella with Pork Belly is actually a “match made in heaven” with the charred taste of the pork belly going well with the sour sinigang flavor in the paella.

However, what looloo app users have constantly raved about are Neil’s Kitchen’s desserts. The crowd favorite Fried Suman, Mangga and Chocnut is “what dreams are made of,” according to Reich T.’s looloo review. “I think I died and went to rice cake heaven after the first bite,” she shares. “Gah! This is so friggin’ good.”

Other desserts on the menu that will bring the kid out of anyone with a sweet tooth are the Puto Bumbong with Buco Jelly and Toasted Coconut, Sweet Corn Maja BB Special, and Turon Napoleones.

Neil’s Kitchen is located at Westgate Center, Alabang-Zapote Road corner Filinvest Avenue, Alabang, Muntinlupa.

5. Cafe Mary Grace

Whenever you’re craving for cheese rolls or ensaymada, chances are the first place you’ll make a beeline to is Cafe Mary Grace. What first began as a bazaar stall, the brand became so successful that by 2002, Mary Grace opened its first kiosk! Four years after that, the local foodie scene happily welcomed its first Cafe Mary Grace.

Cafe Mary Grace, Manila

Photo from Jackie S.’s looloo review for Cafe Mary Grace

There’s no doubt that we’ll always love Mary Grace for its famous ensaymada, cheese roll, and cakes that are best paired with any of the wide varieties of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate you’ll find on the menu. But as a full-fledged restaurant, Cafe Mary Grace has more to offer, especially for those looking for a homey ambiance and delicious Filipino food.

Cafe Mary Grace’s breakfast offerings include sirloin beef tapa, chicken inasal, and fried boneless bangus, and they all have eggs on the side! For sandwich lovers out there, there’s the Vigan Longganisa & Kesong Puti sandwich that is served with homemade potato chips!

Cafe Mary Grace has branches all over the metro.

4. Balay Dako

Yes, we know Balay Dako isn’t found in Metro Manila but with all the good reviews it’s been getting, we just had to include it in the list!

And if there’s another thing that all the praise Balay Dako has been getting should tell you, it’s that it’s worth braving the traffic to Tagaytay for.

Balay Dako, Tagaytay

Photo from Clarissa P.’s looloo review for Balay Dako

In Negrense, Balay Dako means “big house” and once you reach the place, you’ll realize that it literally is a big house. A big house with a spectacular view of the Taal volcano that has been converted into a restaurant serving comforting Filipino food that will make you feel warm despite the cool weather.

While you can dine in and order Balay Dako’s a la carte dishes any day, what has foodies driving all the way to Tagaytay for on Saturday, Sunday, and holiday mornings is its weekend breakfast buffet. And just like any buffet, Balay Dako’s has a number of stations that mainly serve (but are not limited to) Filipino food.

There’s an omelette station, for instance, as well as different stations for fried rice, bread, Filipino breakfast staples, and even kakanin and puto bumbong!

Balay Dako is located along the Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway, Tagaytay, Cavite.

3. Sarsa Kitchen + Bar

Landing a podium finish in this rundown of 2016’s best-rated Filipino restaurants is Sarsa Kitchen + Bar. Whether you’ve learned about it through word of mouth, food reviews and articles, or that segment aired on a food channel featuring Erwan Heussaff, Sarsa has made a name for itself among those who love modern Filipino cuisine.

Yet another restaurant that has its own take on classic Filipino favorites (including street food!), you can find dishes like Lechon Kawali with Batwan Tsokolate and Pinakurat, Crispy Dilis with Chili Pineapple Glaze, and Sarsa Batchoy with Egg, Bone Marrow, and Bacon-cut Liempo on the menu.

And if you’re still wondering what the dish Mr. Heussaff has deemed as the best thing he’s ever eaten is, it’s called the Sizzling Kansi which is served with a Batwan gravy.

Sarsa Kitchen + Bar has branches in Bonifacio Global City, SM Mall of Asia, UP Town Center, and SM Megamall.

2. Locavore

If you want to know what Locavore is all about, all you have to do is look at the dictionary. Or if going through a dictionary is too old school for you, you can search for the meaning of the word online.

Yup, we’re not kidding. Locavore is an actual word which refers to a person who eats locally grown and produced food. This straightforward definition is the driving force behind Locavore the restaurant.

Locavore, Manila

Photo from Unisse C.’s looloo review for Locavore

Coming in at second place, Locavore’s creative take on Filipino dishes is made using ingredients that are sourced only locally! The Sizzling Sinigang, which is made up of beef short ribs, sauteed French beans, sampaloc gravy, and garlic confit, is a must try dish and a favorite of looloo app users.

Looking to have a night out with drinks and friends? Popular pulutan dishes that you shouldn’t miss include the Kinilaw Platter (you get to choose three different kinds!), Fried Oyster Sisig, and its alternative, the Lechon Oyster Sisig.

Locavore is located at 10 Brixton St., Kapitolyo, Pasig and at Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Taguig.

1. Manam

Seafood Bounty Kare-Kare. Caramelized Patis Wings. Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon. We don’t blame you if you’ve raised an eyebrow in disbelief or surprise while reading the names of these dishes. But we can promise you that these seemingly weird food combinations (watermelon and sinigang in one dish!) work so deliciously well together.

In fact, looloo app users have deemed the restaurant that serves all these and more the best-rated Filipino restaurant of 2016.

Manam, Manila

Photo from Sandro V.’s looloo review for Manam

Manam’s menu may seem like a lot to take in at first but it’s actually pretty simple to understand. The menu is divided into two categories, the Classic and the Twists.

If you want your sinigang just the way you’ve known it all your life, then order the classic version, Sinigang na Baboy sa Sampaloc. But if you want to put a twist on it, then the Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon is the way to go.

What we love most about Manam is it’s perfect for anyone, whether you’re on a solo flight or if you’re with your whole family or barkada. Each dish comes in three different sizes, small (good for one), medium (good for three), and large (good for six).

Manam has branches in Greenbelt 2, Bonifacio Global City, SM Mall of Asia, and Ayala Fairview Terraces.

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About Author

Bella Javier

Bella is a lover of all things sweet, a multi-time winner of the timeless children’s party and icebreaker game, Name That Tune, and a self-proclaimed queen of wishful thinking. A wanderer whose hunger lasts 24/7 and a proud owner of an oldies playlist mixed with songs she can sing fluently but does not understand, she’ll choose neither Edward or Jacob when asked that same old question.