The 10 Best Manila Restaurants In 2014


So many restaurants in Manila, so little time!

Whether you’re searching for the best restaurant in the metro or you’re just looking for new places to try, this list of the 10 Best Manila Restaurants in 2014 might be a good place to start. Here you’ll find a good mix of classic spots and a few that you might not have even heard of before.

They may serve different cuisines and have different price ranges but one thing puts them all together – they’re all highly rated by the looloo community!

10. IppudoSM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong
Number of Reviews in 2014: 170
Average Rating for 2014: 4.40 / 5.00

Famous among frequent Hong Kong travelers for its Hakata-style ramen from Japan, rumors swirled that Ippudo was coming to the Philippines. After a prolonged period of hype and anticipation, the same group that brought us Yabu (also on this list) finally opened Ippudo in 2014 and topped looloo’s Trending List for weeks!

Pork Buns from Ippudo Manila

Pork Bun from Marc David M.’s looloo review for Ippudo

While they may be known for their Akamaru, Shiromaru, and Karaka-Men bowls, Ippudo also has its reviewers raving about other items on their menu. When you’re ready to wait in line or when you get a chance to time your visit perfectly (which according to some is right when the mall opens or at around 3 PM), don’t forget to try their “fall of the cob” crunchy corn and their “awesome” pork buns.

9. Ramen NagiSM Aura, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Number of Reviews in 2014: 417
Average Rating for 2014: 4.37 / 5.00

It looks like being the most reviewed restaurant and being rated top 2 best ramen restaurant wasn’t enough for Ramen Nagi. Clocking in at number 9, they’re also one of the best-rated restaurants in Manila! (Lucky for us, they now have branches all over the metro!)

Black King from Ramen Nagi

Black King from Joys D.’s looloo review for Ramen Nagi

Here, diners don’t mind waiting in line and being seated beside people they don’t know. Who cares about eating with strangers anyway when you’re slurping on a warm ramen bowl you’ve fully customized yourself! If filling out their quiz-like form is too much work though, just go with any of their Kings (Red, Black, or Green). For a classic taste of Ramen Nagi, go for the no-brainer choice, their creamy Original Butao King!

8. Izakaya KikufujiChino Roces Ave., Little Tokyo, Makati
Number of Reviews in 2014: 89
Average Rating for 2014: 4.49 / 5.00

A testament to just how good the food is at Izakaya Kikufuji is how some reviewers have mentioned the less than stellar service and difficult parking (especially during peak hours) yet still ended up showering the place with 4 and even 5 star ratings.

5 Kinds of Sashimi from Izakaya Kikufuji

5 Kinds of Sashimi from Jill R.’s looloo review for Izakaya Kikufuji

The highest rated and most popular restaurant in Little Tokyo, Izakaya Kikufuji has been around serving authentic Japanese food for years. From their famous Spicy Tuna to their fresh bowls of Chirashi to their much raved about Chicken Teriyaki and Gyu Kushi – if it means having excellent food, you may as well be ready to forgive the service and take a cab to get here!

7. The Snack ShackV. Luna Extension, Maginhawa, Quezon City
Number of Reviews in 2014: 110
Average Rating for 2014: 4.47 / 5.00

The lone burger place on this list, Snack Shack may have just a small, humble spot in Maginhawa but their crazy affordable burgers (₱70 for a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, anyone?) is what gets their customers to come in droves.

Snack Shack Burger

Burger from Karlos C.’s looloo review for Snack Shack

But price alone couldn’t have gotten this place a 4.47 rating with over 100 reviews in just one year. Some have called this the “best budget burger in town” while others swear it’s worth the wait (that can sometimes take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour!). If you hate waiting, the Snack Shack team allows you to call or text your orders for pick up. Cheap, delicious, and convenient? Sold!

6. Silantro Fil-Mex CantinaEast Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig
Number of Reviews in 2014: 204
Average Rating for 2014: 4.42 / 5.00

Now with almost 400 reviews and a 4.42 average rating to boot, Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina continues to be a blockbuster hit in the Kapitolyo area.

Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina Quesadilla

Quesadilla from Adrian L.’s looloo review for Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina

Serving Mexican food fare in huge portions and with most costing under ₱200 per dish, it’s become a frequent choice not just for foodies but also for friends looking to pig hang out after a long day at work. And if there’s one dish you absolutely must try at Silantro? It’s their Beef Nachos. When more than half of their reviews for 2014 mention their nachos and with some even saying it’s “the best nachos” they’ve ever had, you know you have to try it for yourself.

5. ManamGreenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Makati
Number of Reviews in 2014: 110
Average Rating for 2014: 4.51 / 5.00

Manam has been happily collecting 5-star reviews from its customers ever since they opened. They aren’t your typical Filipino restaurant, after all. Ever heard of Watermelon Beef Sinigang? Ube Sago Shake? How about Sizzling Kaldereta?

Watermelon Sinigang from Manam

Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon from Hazel C.’s looloo review for Manam

Although the Watermelon Sinigang looks like it’s now a new favorite for a lot of their customers, the Filipino food purists will be happy to know that the Manam team didn’t just think of offering only these delicious twists to the classic Pinoy dishes. The original versions of Sinigang, Bulalo (made with USDA beef belly no less!), Pinakbet, and many others are also available, handy to have for days when you’re looking for some good ‘ol Filipino comfort food.

4. YabuGlorietta 5, Ayala Center, Makati
Number of Reviews in 2014: 88
Average Rating for 2014: 4.63 / 5.00

The katsu place that started it all.

Yabu may now have a total of nine branches in the metro but don’t expect the long lines to go away any time soon. A great example of a restaurant brand that provides consistently good food and excellent service, it’s not surprising that they’ve built an army of loyal patrons who keep coming back despite the multitude of restaurant options opening in the city.

Special Katsudon Set from Yabu

Special Katsudon Set from Chichi T.’s looloo review for Yabu

Tried and tested looloo reviewer favorites are their Hire and Rosu Katsu, Menchi Katsu for the cheese lover, and Katsu Curry if you’re looking for something different. If you’re dining in hungry and think you’ll still have stomach space left after the filling katsu set, you can’t miss their Chicken Salad and Superior Potato and Egg Salad for appetizers.

3. SpiralSofitel Philippine Plaza, CCP Complex, Pasay
Number of Reviews in 2014: 93
Average Rating for 2014: 4.62 / 5.00

Rated as looloo’s best buffet on our mid-year report in 2014, it looks like Spiral still holds that crown.

Spiral Buffet

Photo from Celina T.’s looloo review for Spiral

The hefty price of almost ₱3,000 per head doesn’t seem to faze its customers. Then again, why would it when you’re guaranteed access to their 21 dining ateliers ranging from Japanese to French to what chocolate lovers might consider heaven – their Chocolaterie! And let’s not forget about the famous Cheese Room. The only thing that stops you from trying everything here, is your appetite. Get your money’s worth and make sure you come starving!

2. Ramen YushokenMolito Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa
Number of Reviews in 2014: 191
Average Rating for 2014: 4.55 / 5.00

Rated as THE best ramen restaurant in Manila, Ramen Yushoken obviously has to be high up on this list.

Shoyu from Ramen Yushoken

Shoyu Ramen from Erick B.’s looloo review for Ramen Yushoken

Over the years, Yushoken has earned the reputation for consistently serving awesome tantanmen, the “best gyoza,” and of course, the “best Shoyu” bowl. If you still haven’t tried them, for the love of ramen, head to Alabang and tell us (better yet, write a looloo review!) if Yushoken really is one of the best!

**If you’ve missed the latest Manila ramen news, there’s a hot new ramen joint in town that’s raking in crazy five-star reviews. Brought in by the same team behind Ramen Yushoken, Mendokoro Ramenba in Makati will definitely make 2015 an interesting year for Manila’s best ramen list.

1. Bamba BistroAguirre Ave., BF Homes, Parañaque
Number of Reviews in 2014: 82
Average Rating for 2014: 4.68 / 5.00

All the love for ramen wasn’t enough to beat the stellar reviews that this quaint, homey place in BF Homes received in 2014.

Bamba Bistro

Mom’s Canneloni, Sliders, and Queen Elizabeth from Ruth S.’s looloo review for Bamba Bistro

Read their glowing reviews and you’ll find out just why so many diners have fallen in love with Bamba Bistro. Now a famous foodie haunt in the Parañaque area, it looks like they’re attracting patrons from all over the metro.

Some of their popular favorites include the lamb adobo, duck ravioli, Bamba burger, and for dessert lovers, their famous Pizookie. Based on all the five star reviews they’ve gotten, 2014’s best restaurant in Manila sure knows how to serve comfort food you’ll keep coming back for.

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About Author

Peanut Dela Cruz

A picky eater living vicariously through other people’s looloo reviews, she is either thinking of food or eating. Her hobbies include finding new places to eat and occasionally responding to spam text messages.


  1. Tim ho wan = not so good and quite frankly is terrible. And the ramen places are way below Japanese standards. On a scale of 1-5 they would rate 2 stars at best in Nippon. Are these restaurants paying looloo to make the top 10 list??

    • Lou, these restaurants did NOT pay looloo to be on the list. This list was created based on the average rating that these restaurants received from looloo reviewers in 2014.

      “They may serve different cuisines and have different price ranges but one thing puts them all together – they’re all highly rated by the looloo community!”

      • MNLFoodcritic on

        Thus I would suggest you change the misleading title to

        “The 10 Best Manila Restaurants In 2014 – based on Looloo reviewers”

        • Kinda agree here. E.g. Katsu Sora is miles ahead of Yabu when it comes to food quality and value for money. For me, at least. Bottomline, preference is subjective, and it takes a lot more than just a popularity vote to determine what restaurant is the best. Better make that title more accurate.

          • So you would prefer one person’s take rather than hundreds of reviewers saying what’s good or not? Logic not found.

            Also, who would be interested in an article that says “10 Best Manila Restaurants in 2014 Based On Ratings And Reviews Of Looloo App Users”?

          • “So you would prefer one person’s take rather than hundreds of reviewers saying what’s good or not? Logic not found.”
            – I validate what the majority say by trying it out myself, and then decide if I agree with the majority or not.

            Also, who would be interested in an article that says “10 Best Manila Restaurants in 2014 Based On Ratings And Reviews Of Looloo App Users”?
            – There are people who prefer calling things as they are. If the verdicts are indeed based on Looloo app reviewers, I think it’s fair to state precisely that to avoid giving people the wrong impression.

          • But everything here is based on Looloo app reviews. So wtf are you talking about? If this is the list of best places based on the app, then so be it. Leave it there.

            You can’t just say “it takes a lot more than just a popularity vote to determine what restaurant is the best.” IT’S FREAKIN BASED ON LOOLOO APP REVIEWS AND IT THEY OWN IT SO LEAVE IT THERE!

          • “If this is the list of best places based on the app,”
            Let me complete that sentence: “then the article should be up front about it being merely based on the app.” For one thing, to avoid it becoming click-bait.

            Have a nice day.

        • How about you write your own article instead? You’re a food critic. Not an article critic. Part of the intro says that it’s based on ratings.

    • Kuya’s at Bayani Road, Fort Bonifacio (near the Philippine Army Golf Course) has a signature dish called “Twice Cooked Pork Adobo.” Another delicious dish is “Adobong Kangkong and Galunggong.”

  2. I didnt know anyone served Sinigang sa Pakwan. Sinc my wife’s family do cook this on special occasions, it has become my favorite. I guess the trick is at least 1 kilo of tomatoes, if ever you plan to make this.

  3. TGM _ERICK on

    I once ate at Manam I did not appreciate the beef-watermelon siingang for the soup was too sour for my taste diluting te prestine taste of both watermelon and beef stock.There was hardly watermelon and beef taste. The only appetizing thing is it’s red color. Their fruit shakes are delicious as well as their squid relleno.

    With Tim Ho Wan, i like their filled buns almost similar to siupao but i did not like the radish cake,, nothing extraordinary about it for you can buy that at Ongpin grocery or food stores.much cheaper and of the same taste.
    I think a quarter pound hamburger here in our locality includes the weight of the bun plus the trimmings. Hehehe!

  4. Let us remember that reviews are subjective. Some restos will pay the writers for good reviews in order to increase the hype or awareness. They even pay for space in print at times. This is how advertising is being done.

  5. During my time in the ad agency, we pay people to actively just to be active in the net in order to attain the required level of hits on websites. Its all business….

  6. nipponsucker on

    Dafuq with pork buns on a japanese resto? and does japanese resto only exist here in manila? Hundreds years ago settlements of the chinese doesnt have a spot of the restaurants here in manila that is fairly good?

  7. FOR ME:
    Kikufuji for sashimi and sushi
    Wildflour for salads
    Tuan tuan for pork buns (Than Tim ho wan)
    Tambai for yakitori
    La Nuova for pasta
    Gino’s bricks for pizza

    vegetarian kitchen for vegetarian
    The Goose station for french fine dining
    Uno for fresh breads
    The butcher shop and pub- for steaks (not so pricey)
    Balducci- ravioli spinach (off the menu)

  8. i don’t think her “best” are not the best at all. i may agree only to 40% on her list. are there no restos other than japanese worth mentioning? try the word “recommended” rather than “best”!.

    • I think it’s for free since it’s based on hundreds of reviews and ratings from different users. Not sure if you’re familiar with looloo. It’s an app for reviewing places.

      Think about it. If this was paid, they would’ve done Top 20 or even Top 30 to get more money. Use your common sense.

  9. Ashley Penabella on

    — ‘Ippudo’ is tasty but not as tasty as ‘Hanamaruken Ramen’ or ‘Ramen Yushoken’. Another letdown is the portions of their ramen bowls.

    — ‘Izakaya Kikufuji’ is the standard when it comes to authentic Japanese food. Authentic and well cooked/grilled dishes throughout the years. Great job.

    — ‘Ramen Yushoken’ is a very good ramen joint but I still have ‘Hanamaruken Ramen’ in Trinoma as my #1 ramen place.

    — ‘Spiral’ is still the gold medalist for me when it comes to buffets. No other buffet comes close.

    — ‘Yabu’ serves deliciously consistent katsus. Thumbs up everytime.

    Our barkada hasn’t tried ‘Bamba Bistro” yet so we’re looking forward to dining there. Thanks for posting the top choices of the looloo community Peanut. 🙂

  10. Magtanggol Dungo on

    That Yushoken is not good. I tried it and was not satisfied. I gave it a second chance, still not good. And they refused to give me extra noodles. Any Ramen joint worth it’s salt will offer Kaedama… Crazy. Also, three Ramen joints in Manilas “best” food? C’mon, Ramen is junk food. That’s the McDonalds/KFC of Japan. Got to eat more Peanut. You are not a foddie, just a follower of trends.

    • Unfortunately for you, the list is not based on the author’s favorites. It’s based on hundreds of people’s reviews on their app. It clearly says that it’s rated by the looloo community. No wonder why this generation is the worst. You’re one of the worst.

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