Sometimes, we find gastronomic success in the most unfamiliar places.
If you’ve never been to Malate because everything seems too unfamiliar and shady, then we’re giving you 16 awesome restaurants in Malate (you probably didn’t know existed or have already long forgotten) that should take away all your qualms. Because yes, there is gastronomic success to be found in these inconspicuous places too!
Update: Check out the Top 10 Most Loved Restaurants in Manila this month!
Cafe Adriatico – Remedios Circle
Cafe Adriatico is a 36-year old Filipino-Spanish bistro located in the heart of Manila. It is a pioneer and the iconic flagship restaurant of the LJC group of restaurants. Despite being old, one cannot discount the old charm it continually brings to its loyal patrons, including stars and politicians.
Recommended dishes: Baby Squid Pasta, Beef Spareribs Ninja, Lola Ising’s Adobo Rice, and Salpicao Rice
Bistro Remedios – Adriatico St.
Bistro Remedios, formerly known as ‘Ang Bistro sa Remedios’, opened in 1984 in a mid-1920’s ilustrado home. It is a sister restaurant of LJC group’s pioneer bistro, Cafe Adriatico. Bistro Remedios serves authentic Kapampangan cuisine and specialties like sisig, crispy tadyang, camaru (mole crickets), lechon kawali and sinigang sa bayabas.
Recommended dishes: Home Style Binacol Soup, Gising Gising, Knockout Knuckles, Liempo, and Lechon Kawali sa Gata
Purple Yam – J. Nakpil St.
Purple Yam is a Brooklyn-based Filipino restaurant, it is one of the many pioneers and advocates in globalizing Filipino cuisine and ingredients and is a big supporter of small local producers. Purple Yam Malate, set in a 1950s ancestral home, was born out of chef Amy Besa’s love for the Philippines and her goal of leaving a legacy by passing on her knowledge to passionate culinary students.
Makchang Korean Restaurant – Ma. Orosa St.
Mak Chang is a small Korean restaurant specializing in grilled meats. Unlike Korean Garden, Mak Chang’s menu is much smaller, just 8 meat selections on their menu, and each customer is required to order at least 2 dishes of any kind. Specialties include the Galbisal and Beef Galbi and Samkgupsal that all come with unlimited side dishes.
Fun fact: Makchang is open until 4am.
1782 Adriatico St. cor Pedro Gil, Malate, Manila
(02) 8354-6294 | (0905) 316-9443
Mr. Poon – Luis Maria Guerrero St.
Mr. Poon is one of Manila’s most classic Chinese restaurants, which became popular for being the ‘house of steamed fish since 1974’. They open as early as 6:30am to cater to early breakfast goers.
Recommended dishes: Steamed Fish, Braised Beef Noodles, and Pata Tim
Holy Grill – Taft Ave.
Hailing themselves as a place “where the hungry are fed”, Holy Grill offers a variety of pork, chicken, beef, and seafood barbeque. At student-friendly prices, both your stomach and wallet will win on this one!
Recommended dishes: Solo Ribeye Steak, Cumin Ribs, Sam’s Sisig Nachos, and Chicken Cornflake
Get up to ₱500 off your bill!
8065 Bagnet – Leon Guinto
8065 Bagnet remains a constant in Manila’s Taft area for their mouth-watering, no-frills bagnet as well as their innovative bagnet dishes that veer away from the traditional but are equally lip-smacking.
Some notable dishes they offer: Original Bgnet, Bagnet Sisig, Spicy Gata Bagnet, and Kare-Kare Bagnet
The Aristocrat Restaurant – Roxas Blvd.
When doors opened for this 75+-year-old restaurant, it was merely a small business venture for husband and wife Alex and Engracia Reyes. With their spread aptly described as “Food fit for Royalty”, Aristocrat has always been and will always be a family favorite serving familiar Filipino dishes for them to enjoy.
Recommended dishes: Aristocrat Classics (Chicken Barbeque, Pork Barbeque, and Pork Spareribs Barbeque) and the Torta delos Reyes
Insider tip: This branch is open 24/7
Doon Thai and Asian Fusion Cuisine – Dolores St.
A hidden gem in Malate, Doon Thai and Asian Fusion cuisine serves up authentic Thai cuisine at student-friendly prices perfect for those on a tight budget.
Notable dishes they offer: Pad See Ew, Chicken Pandan, Tom Yum Goong, Thai Spring Rolls, Sticky Rice with Mango
Vatel Restaurant Manila – Arellano Ave.
Specializing in French-Mediterranean cuisine, Vatel Restaurant will take you around the world with every bite of their sophisticated, flavorsome dishes.
Notable dishes they offer: Pork Tenderloin wrapped in Bacon and Marsala Sauce, Braised “Diavolo” Pork Baby Back Ribs, Curry Thai Mussel, Cerveza Negra and Chocolate Ice Cream
Fun Fact: It's a rooftop restaurant that allows the students from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management.
Nihonbashi Tei – Adriatico St.
Nihonbashi Tei is a humble izakaya offering an extensive list of authentic Japanese specialties at fairly affordable prices. And much like Little Tokyo restaurants, it’s authenticity is guaranteed because this place is a favorite among Japanese locals.
Insider tip: If you're on a budget, they have sets you can avail of from 11 AM to 5 PM.
The Minokaua – Adriatico St.
The perfect spot for both food and music lovers, Minokaua serves up a variety of Spanish and Filipino classics you can munch on while enjoying the local artists’ performances.
Recommended dishes: The One and Only Chicken Skin, Lunar Eclipse, and the Minokaua Sisig
Get up to ₱500 off your bill!
Chomp Chomp – Bellagio Residence
Chomp Chomp offers Asian fusion street food. If you’re craving for a hot bowl of Singaporean Laksa, shrimp fried rice, and other Singaporean delights at a very affordable price, Chomp Chomp is the place to beat.
Notable dishes they offer: Singapore Laksa, Tempura Soba, Char Kuey Teow, Squid Sambal, Chicken Chops
24 Chicken – CTC Bldg.
If you’re in the mood for wings, then you’ll definitely enjoy what 24 Chicken has to offer: 8 different flavors of Korean Fried Chicken.
Notable flavors they offer: Jack Daniels, Yangnyeom and Lemon Glazed
Topside Diner – Leon Guinto St.
Serving up unlimited buffalo wings to pasta and even bangus, Topside Diner is a sure winner to those who are looking for freshly prepared, budget-friendly meals.
Notable dishes offer: Garlic Parma, Buffalo Wings, and Pork Chop
Fantastic Chef – multiple branches
Fantastic Chef is fantastic for those who are hungry and can’t get enough of the KBBQ craze. A restaurant that specializes in unlimited Korean BBQ, at Fantastic Chef, you can get full and get drunk on good food, good drinks, and of course, good experiences.
Notable meats they offer: Jowls Meat, Thin Pork Belly, Seasoned Chicken BBQ
Don’t forget to add these restaurants up to your ‘Favorites’ list on the Booky app, use the Navigate feature to avoid getting lost if you’re not familiar with Manila.If you’re not already enjoying the offline convenience of Booky, it’s free to download on iPhone and Android.