Our list of best restaurants in the Metro is a mix of fine dining, casual to food concept, and signature coffee shops.
Dining out and other social activities are an integral part of our lives. But as soon as the pandemic forced our country into a lockdown, it has not only put our social lives on pause but also forced the local dining industry, not just Filipino food, to make some major changes to ensure that their diners will have an enjoyable yet safe dining experience.
From homegrown eateries to international franchises, the best restaurants in Metro Manila have fully shifted into an on-call Filipino food delivery operation or started offering meal kits to recreate the dining experience at home. Others went ahead and converted their restaurant space by dedicating a portion to an alfresco or outdoor dining area. Some have installed safety protocols like glass panels, disinfection stations, and even limit the number of diners to reduce the risk of exposure.
And because of the mobility limitations in compliance with health protocols, the next best thing to do to satiate the travel bug is to dine at a restaurant that you have never been to and is loved by critics, influencers, and even the locals. If you are looking to dine out for a special or important occasion, or simply planning to order and eat fancy at home, here’s a list of the best restaurants in and out of Metro Manila to check out!
Dine-in: 2021 List of the Best Restaurants around Metro Manila
The Purple Owl
Purple Oven offers outdoor dine-in and catering services amongst lush greens, clear skies, and the fresh, cool Tagaytay air. (Image from Purple Oven / Instagram)
If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the megacity and enjoy a romantic dinner, this restaurant is definitely for you. The Purple Owl is pretty famous for its picturesque outdoor dining setups that you can’t resist sharing on your social media when you are there! This restaurant is also known for its family recipes that are tried and tested by locals and tourists alike. Moreover, they offer event planning services, so you can plan a small, intimate party that can also be equally special.
The Purple Owl serves both Asian and Western cuisine. It may not be entirely fine dining, but it is casual. The restaurant serves traditional Filipino dishes as well. Better view the restaurant’s menu to know what hearty meals they have in store for you.
The Purple Owl is located in Lavender Lane, Villa Pura Subdivision in Barangay San Jose, where there are a lot of nearby luxury houses and lots and Tagaytay lots for sale.
Wouldn’t it be great to dine at any of these outdoor dining pods under the night sky in Cavite? (Image from Mon’s Restaurant / Instagram)
Mon’s Restaurant is located inside Camp Benjamin, a popular resort in Barangay Taywanak, Alfonso, Cavite. You can also find many luxury homes in the Philippines and luxury homes for sale in this area as well. Known for its twist on Filipino dishes that are freshly sourced from the resort’s own WIN farm, Mon’s Restaurant is popular for its outdoor dining and event catering services as well. Who doesn’t want to dine out under the stars, especially with the restaurant’s signature hot chocolate, which is touted as the best in Cavite? They are open for food delivery as well.
Lime and Basil Restaurant
Lime and Basil may look like your average rustic restaurant in the countryside, but their impressive menu is more than that. (Image from Lime and Basil Thai Restaurant / Instagram)
Drive to Tagaytay to visit Lime and Basil Thai Restaurant and enjoy authentic Thai cuisine at its alfresco dining area. Try out their Pad Thai and Tom Yum soup for that hot twist you are craving as you enjoy the cool breeze of the countryside air. Going to this restaurant can be quite a bit of adventure though, but you will be rewarded with its nature-inspired aesthetics and good food. From the Tagaytay Rotonda, follow the direction of the Taal Vista Lodge and stay along this road until you have reached the yellow “Thank You Come Again” arc sign, turn right and go straight for 300 meters until you spot a big wooden door.
Schedule a spa day for yourself and your significant other, and dine in while you take in the majestic views of the Taal volcano. (Image from Qi Wellness Living / Facebook.)
The Teahouse is a Chinese restaurant hidden inside Qi Wellness Living, a rejuvenating spa getaway that overlooks Taal Lake. Whether you book a spa appointment or not, you can definitely enjoy a nice Chinese cuisine meal plus breathtaking views. Located along Aguinaldo Highway, this restaurant would be too irresistible to pass up. The views also are too irresistible to just dream about owning a luxury house and lot for sale for life here, if you know what we mean.
Relish Cafe at Madison Galeries
More than just a cafe, Relish also offers the best cross-continental food that are favorites by locals in the South. (Image from Relish Cafe / Booky.ph)
Relish Cafe is a cozy modern bistro restaurant located inside Madison Galeries in Alabang that serves delicious cross-continental food inspired by family favorites. Try their Gourmet Pesto Dip, Relish Roasted Chicken, Slow Roasted Belly, and their delicious desserts and quick bites over tea or coffee. The interiors are pretty charming as well, and you would certainly want to plan a romantic lunch or dinner. If you are unsure of dining out as of the moment, you can definitely order, courtesy of their weekend home delivery pop-up, Relish at Home!
Relish Cafe is located on Don Jesus Blvd, Alabang, Muntinlupa. Alabang is also popular for investors and retirees who are looking for a luxury house and lot for sale.
Kessaku: International cuisine at its finest
Kessaku is a great introduction to the world of high-end Japanese food. (Image from Kessaku / Booky.ph)
Let’s take a break from our Filipino food and try some fresh and affordable seafood from this Japanese cuisine restaurant. This restaurant serves some of the best in Manila’s dining scene includes private dining experience for anyone. Kessaku is a casual restaurant that serves authentic, top-quality Japanese cuisine. From sushi boats to tempura, wagyu cubes, and more, Kessaku never disappoints thanks to their no-frills menu of Japanese “masterpieces.” Located on the ground floor of the Commercenter Building in Filinvest, Alabang, definitely head to this restaurant if you are craving Japanese food.
Melo’s Steakhouse Westgate Alabang
More than just a lover’s hotspot, Melo’s is a steak lover’s paradise. (Image from Melo’s / Eatigo)
This wouldn’t be the best restaurant list if we wouldn’t be adding Melo’s Steakhouse as one of them. Melo’s Steakhouse by Carmelo Santiago is a popular steak restaurant in the metro. It is also the first in the Philippines that offers certified Angus Beef and one of the few and top restaurants in the Metro that offer authentic Wagyu beef. Steak lovers and fine-dining enthusiasts love this restaurant also because of the property’s cozy and romantic atmosphere.
Melo’s Steakhouse is located along Zapote Road, Alabang, which is also a popular location for people looking for a luxury house and lot in Sucat.
Nell’s Kitchen offers modern Filipino cuisine reimagined. (Image from Neil’s Kitchen / Booky.ph)
Neil’s Kitchen is a modern Filipino restaurant located in Westgate Filinvest that serves dishes with a Pinoy twist. Operated by Chef Neil Ramon and his partners, their signature dishes include Sinigang and Bagoong paella, and Crab Fat Palabok. Also, while you are here, find time to browse the catalog at My Father’s Bookstore, a curated Christian bookstore by celebrities Ardy Roberto and Miriam Quiambao-Roberto.
Travel to quirky Japan and eat their wonderful cuisine too at Mr. Roboto. (Image from Mr. Roboto / Booky.ph)
Mr. Roboto is a modern Japanese restaurant located on the ground floor of ATC Corporate Center in the South. A brainchild of young entrepreneurs Dani Ramos and David Mendoza, the restaurant’s menu is heavily inspired by the owner’s love for travel and food. Enjoy Mr. Roboto’s take on the traditional Japanese classics coupled with the playful plating you wouldn’t hesitate to share on your social media feed.
Bistro Charlemagne offers the best of both Europe and Asia, thanks to their impressive menu selection. (Image from Bistro Charlemagne / The Philippine Star)
Bistro Charlemagne offers a Eurasian (European and Asian) dining experience to its customers. Owned by chef Charlemagne Lim, the restaurant has a unique take on several Filipino favorites like Crispy Dinuguan Fried Rice and Sisig Fries. With most of the best restaurants in the Metro located at Solenad 3, Nuvali, Manila Bay, and Ayala Malls Feliz, you can also take order party trays for special occasions at home.
Breakfast at Antonio’s
This wouldn’t be a “best restaurants in the Metro” list without adding Breakfast at Antonio’s. (Image from Breakfast at Antonio’s / Booky.ph)
Love breakfast? How about dining at an all-breakfast restaurant? Breakfast at Antonio’s takes breakfast seriously, and their menu speaks for itself. From comforting breakfast favorites and European brunch fares to their classic deli favorites and sweet treats, you will not mind spending the best part of your day at the restaurant’s casual, relaxed ambiance. You can also order from your nearby Airbnb or luxury house and lot in Tagaytay, or schedule a pick-up!
Cafe Voi La
Enjoy the vast views of the European countryside at Crosswinds while dining on all-day breakfast favorites at Cafe Voi La. (Image by Cafe Voi La / Zomato)
Wanted to try a different all-day breakfast cafe than your usual? Tucked away within the rows of luxury homes in Tagaytay for sale at the Crosswinds enclave is Cafe Voi La, an Asian-inspired getaway adorned by the many quaint trinkets owner Ica Sebastian, but also the cafe’s Asian fusion cuisine. Located inside the Crosswinds, enjoy the vast views of the European-inspired luxury homes and rows of pine trees while enjoying many of the cafe’s pancake varieties and all-day breakfast options. They also offer main dishes that are inspired by Asian cuisine.
This restaurant serves genuine Filipino cuisine along with another Asian international cuisine. The best part is that they’re outside of Metro Manila making this one of the best places to go to for traditional dishes.
Ruined Project is an industrial, biophilic-styled cafe that serves Coffee Project’s signature, best-tasting coffees, and beverages. (Image from Ruined Project / Yummy.ph)
An obvious wordplay from the famous Coffee Project coffee shop chain, Ruined Project is located inside the Crosswinds enclave. Contrary to the polished interiors of the Coffee Project chain, Ruined Project is like a warehouse full of rustic, mismatched dining sets, artfully displayed potted plants, all under the warm glow of incandescent lights and natural lighting from the cafe’s ceiling to floor windows. Enjoy specialty drinks and unique dishes that can satisfy even the pickiest customer.
Coffee Project Black
Now who doesn’t want to dine and chill at this coffee shop-slash-restaurant-slash bookstore? The interiors alone can provide an experience you shouldn’t miss. (Image from Coffee Project / Facebook)
Coffee Project Black is a collaboration with Fully Booked, a popular bookstore chain in the Philippines. The interiors of this hidden cafe, which is located at Evia Lifestyle Center, are a mix of Coffee Project and Fully Booked’s signature decor — the flowery, plant-filled cafe under the warm lights and the massive bookshelf drawn over by a mural. From the same group that also brought Cafe Voi La in Crosswinds, Coffee Project Black offers great coffee, desserts, pastries, and affordable meals.
Writing notes, letters, or simply hanging out will never be the same when you do it here at Dear Joe. (Image from Dear Joe Vista Mall / The Philippine Star)
Dear Joe is the first letter-writing cafe in the Philippines. With a very unique concept, they say that it is one of the best restaurants in the Metro. Located in Vista Mall Daang Hari, patrons will find this coffee shop cozy and amazing with its choice of decor, brick walls painted in eye-soothing green, and more. Dear Joe’s high-speed WiFi and a curated selection of great coffee and food make it the perfect place for quick meetings, or for doing work when you feel stuffy at home. Dear Joe is located within Vista Alabang, a 600-hectare luxury real estate development that is also home to award-winning luxury homes in Daang Hari: Portofino Heights, Portofino South, and Amore.
Dine-in (or take-out) grilled cuts and other smoked favorites here at Dumbo Smoke. (Image taken from Dumbo Smoke / Zomato)
Dumbo Smoke should be your next Instagram-worthy grilled meat restaurant. Aiming to bring the flavors of Brooklyn, New York closer to you, Dumbo Smoke, which is located at the second level Piazza of Vista Mall Sta. Rosa features the best-grilled beef, pork, and even chicken cuisine, plus amazing sides. Their grilled meat sets are quite affordable, and they deliver it too! If you are craving something smoky and grilled without the smoke (or the smell on your clothes), go for Dumbo Smoke!
Minimum Safety Guidelines When Dining Out in Restaurants
Before you head out to a restaurant, make sure you are aware of both the restaurant and the location’s travel restrictions and health policies.
Here are some tips to ensure that you have safe and enjoyable dining out experience in this pandemic:
If coming from a different city, make sure that you check the travel and public safety guidelines of the local government unit of the restaurant you intend to dine in. While most cities allow domestic travelers, it still pays to know ahead to avoid travel hassle at any checkpoints going to the restaurant.
Make a reservation. This way, you can also talk to the restaurant staff about travel and dine-in restrictions, especially if there are immediate policies that might reduce their opening hours. Also, the best restaurants in the Metro prefer accommodating guests to walk-ins, especially those that have a limit of the number of customers they can serve at one time.
Craving for something special? Definitely try out the best restaurants in the Metro on this list here!