Metro Manila is home to multiple financial and business districts, with some of the biggest brands and largest corporations making it their headquarters. As such, you’re likely to make it your first stop, if not the primary destination, to do business. You’re also likely to get car rental services in Manila so that you can get around easier and in greater comfort.
The beauty of making the metro your temporary home is the access you’ll have to a dynamic and growing food scene. Metro Manila is home to big-name restaurants, along with hidden-gem cafés and hole-in-the-wall foodie spots that serve up some of the most remarkable local fares.
So when you’ve concluded your business, use your car rental to make a pit stop to any (or all) of these dining spots before you drive out of the city.
Drop by Abe Restaurant for an excellent Filipino meal experience. The word “abe” in Pampanga means “getting together,” “companion,” and “friend,” all of which encapsulate the slogan of the restaurant: “Where Good Friends Dine.” The place offers traditional Filipino food with inspiration from Pampanga, a province in Luzon famous for its love of food. When dining in, try their crispy pata, which is pork leg that’s boiled and deep fried tender.
Address: G/F Serendra, Bonifacio Global City (BGC), and in major malls like Alabang Town Center, Trinoma, SM Megamall, and SM Mall of Asia
Wai Ying Fast Food
If you are craving for Chinese food, go to Wai Ying Fast Food. It can be easy to miss this place, so keep your eye out for the eatery’s enticing display of chicken and roast duck.
When you order food here, you’ll notice that the menu features many Chinese favorites that are affordable and on par with the dishes served in fancier restaurants. Some of Wai Ying’s must-try dishes include roasted duck rice and hakaw (Chinese shrimp dumplings).
Address: 810 Benavidez Street, Binondo, Manila
Bistro Madrid serves up traditional Spanish cuisine with its no-frills dishes representing the European country’s capital and every region. One of the dishes try is the restaurant’s Gran paella. The dish’s perfectly seasoned Bahia rice and the symphony of vegetable, chorizo, and locally sourced seafood toppings will make you say “Delicioso!”
Address: Ground Floor Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Pasig City
Bijin Nabe by Tsukada Nojo
“Bijin nabe” translates to “beauty hotpot,” which gives you a good idea of what the restaurant specializes in. So when you’re craving for a good bowl of comforting broth, this is the place to visit. Try the highly prized Jidori chicken mixed with fresh vegetables, prawns, and chicken balls. The fork-tender chicken, fresh and mildly sweet vegetables, and intoxicating richness of the broth could transport you to Japan.
Address: Second Floor S Maison at the Conrad, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
Want a light snack for your tummy? Hummus Elijah may be the ideal food stop for you. While this Middle-Eastern joint may be a bit hard to spot (the building is right next to a pawn shop), the search is worth it. When you eat a classic Hummus Elijah, a dish named after the restaurant, you’ll enjoy eating homemade hummus with olive oil, tahini, and secret herbs and spices along with two pieces of warm and fluffy pita bread. This foodie spot is also vegan-friendly.
Address: 2/F Commercial Building, 7850 Makati Avenue, Makati City
Eat Fresh Hong Kong Style Street Food
Go to this humble food stop if you want your fill of Asian skewers. If you’re looking for a heavier meal, order the eatery’s tasty beef brisket clay pot rice served with a special clay pot sauce. As for drinks, you can order tasty black gulaman by the liter.
Address: 691 Jose Abad Santos Street, Little Baguio, San Juan City
PappaRam Malaysian Kitchen
When you visit this homey and open-air eatery, you’ll notice knick-knacks donated by regular customers, which is a testament to how much they like the food. Chef Ramzu Nasri, the brainchild of PappaRam, uses his home recipes and ships spices from Malaysia to cook up tasty dishes.
If you’re curious to find out what Malaysian food tastes like, try out PappaRam’s authentic beef rendang and nasi goreng USA. You can also warm up your taste buds with curry laksa power, a creamy and comforting broth made with spiced coconut milk.
Address: 45 J.P. Rizal Street, Kalumpang, Marikina City
Situated beside Marikina Public Market, Krung Thai serves Thai home-cooked meals that are easy on the pocket. A few of the Thai dishes you can order include the best-selling Krung Thai fried chicken, a treat that’s great with savory Thai bagoong rice, and tom yam goong, a sour and clear broth with perfectly cooked vegetables and shrimp.
Address: P. Burgos Street, Marikina City
With a rented private vehicle, you won’t have to think about the stress of commuting and instead, you’ll simply focus on the delectable dishes you’re going to enjoy.