21 Nov2007

Your balikbayan relatives and friends are starting to get excited… They have been hitting the outlet malls and groceries and have started to throw things into open balikbayan boxes in their living rooms weeks before their scheduled departure for home. They are making lists of groceries they are going to cart home. In this modern technology age, internet orders are arriving at their doors as pabilins make their way to their maletas. Many are dreaming of landing on Philippine soil soon and hugging loved ones who they haven’t seen in months or perhaps even years. The airports will be a crush, the traffic a nightmare, the pollution thick and oppressive, the malls packed to the gills, the service personnel rant worthy, but who cares, it is the Christmas holidays and you are BACK HOME in the Philippines! So besides all the great meals at home, where are you most likely to take your Balikbayan guests to breakfast, lunch or dinner?? Please post your favorite restaurants or food destinations so that readers abroad can take note and hopefully have a better idea of where to go during their always too brief visit home… My list is incredibly deficient, since we eat out so rarely, so I am hoping readers will oblige and fill it out a bit. Particularly missing are good solidly pinoy restaurants, good for crowds, and located across the Metro Manila area and majore cities across the country…

Personally, we don’t eat out THAT much since we tend to cook a lot at home, but here are some of Marketman’s recommendations for visiting balikbayans, in random order:

1. Milky Way Cafe – Pasay Road, Makati. Pinoy classics done well. They have some slight twists to the dishes that are refreshing and delicious. Their fried catfish? served with bracing mustasa salad is to die for. They are in the same building as El Cirkulo (good Spanish food), and two Japanese restaurants Tsukiji (wicked expensive) and Azumaya (ramen) that we also like.

2. Balikbayan Handicrafts – Pasay Road, Makati. Cheesy name. Not an eating place, but nice selection of handicrafts and excellent staff. This is a properly run store. Reasonably priced. Take home more of those blasted abaca placemats and some nice acacia (farmed, daw) wooden bowls, at 1/3rd or 1/5th the price at Pottery Barn.

3. All of Margarita Fores’ outlets – Pepato, Cibo or Cafe Bola, across Manila. I love all of them.

4. At Serendra, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, definitely Mamou for a brilliant steak. Also try Abe’s, Gaudi’s and Chelsea Cafe (the latter erratic). For sweets in the same mall, hit Marta’s Cakes, Cupcakes by Sonja and Miss Desserts cheesecake wonders next door. Avoid Xocolat’s deconstructed tira misu…it is the dopey-est thing I have eaten this year. Their hot chocolate is good, however.

5. People’s Palace for Thai Food at Greenbelt 3?

6. The small new SALA restaurant at the Locsin Building at the corner of Ayala and Makati Avenues.

7. Antonio’s in Tagaytay for a superb all-around meal, but western fare.

8. Lolo Dad’s near Taft Avenue.

9. For totally over the top, Old Manila at the Peninsula. It’ll burn a hole in your pocket but it is fine dining in a much more tranquil atmosphere.

10. Galileo Enoteca in Mandaluyong and Pasong Tamo locations for hearty well priced Italian food.

11. Salcedo, Legaspi, Lung Center, FTI AANI Taguig and other weekend markets for kakanins and other pinoy specialties. Order from home bakers/cooks in The Little Brown Book for hundreds of great food delicacies you may have a taste for during the holidays.

12. Hit Ongpin Street in Chinatown for tablea, fruit, groceries, and great Chinese food, several restaurants will fit the bill; look up Ivan Man Dy for a tour of the area. Also look up Carlos Celdran for brilliant tours of Intramurous and other Manila locations.

13. Blue Kitchen, Rockwell and Shangrila Mall, Mandaluyong, the ultimate repository of Pinoy favorites like bottled tuyo, baked goods, etc.

14. Via Mare for merienda…

15. Mickey’s Deli on Jupiter Street Makati, Terry’s Deli on Pasong Tamo, Makati and at the basement of Podium Mall in Mandaluyong

16. Tiendesitas food hall on C5, near the corner of Ortigas Avenue, Pasig.

For Balikbayans who are smart enough not to cart a whole lot of stuff back that you could have purchased here instead, travel light and make a quick raid on the following stores for “PX” goods, just as good as buying it in the U.S. — S&R Stores in four locations for tons of chocolates and other foodstuff and gift items, Metro Grocery at Market!Market! for unusual de latas and other imported food items, Landmark grocery and even large SM supermarkets!

I will keep adding to this list as I think about our other personal favorites…but please, Manila-based readers, add your comments so that foreign-based Marketmanila readers have a lengthy list of places to eat at or purchase food from this holiday season… Let the comments begin! Thank you very much!



  1. Silly Lolo says:

    Thank you,MM. You cannot imagine what a lifesaver this list would be for
    people like me who no longer have relatives to guide them around. The wifey and I do plan a trip as soon as her Dr. gives her an OK and we usually rent a condo for 60 days. So we have time to enjoy just about everything that attracts us. I will make use of this list and I know we will enjoy every minute of it! Thanks again,one and all.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 11:23 am


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  3. Em Dy says:

    Pan de Manila for pandesal, Max’s fried chicken for sentimental reasons, Jollibee to meet our panlaban to Ronald Mcdonald

    Nov 21, 2007 | 11:27 am

  4. marco says:

    Rufo’s along Kalayaan for their tapsilog.
    Yup! Abe’s at Serendra is good (Kapangpangan dishes?).
    Conti’s (also at Serendra, but their branch in BF Paranaque is nearer) is also worth a try.
    For dessert, maybe a halo halo from Razon’s at Market!Market!

    Nov 21, 2007 | 11:30 am

  5. ratacutie says:

    1. People’s Palace (Greenbelt 3) – the best Thai food here in Manila (in my opinion)
    2. Sugi (Greenbelt 2) – Japanese food
    3. The President’s(Ongpin in Binondo)- the best Chinese food ever ever ever!!
    4. Cyma (Greenbelt 2)- Greek…love their salad, lamb and mussels! Opa!
    5. La Grotta (Herrera St. [?] in Makati) – great Italian food at super reasonable prices
    6. La Cocina de Tita Moning (near Malacanang)- quite expensive but the lengua, paella and pudding are exquisite!
    7. Cantinetta (Pasong Tamo Extension) – Italian, love their seafood pizza
    8. Antonio’s (not Breakfast or Grill..in Tagaytay) – expensive but yummy
    9. Recipe’s (Greenbelt 3) – Filipino food at super reasonable prices.
    10. Classic Confections (West Capitol Drive in Pasig)- she supplied the dessert buffet at our wedding…there was a constant line! Banana Cream Pie, Cheesecake and Nono’s Chocolate Oblivion are the best!
    11. Casa Armas (the original)/Adriatico Arms (Manila) – Spanish food…paella and iberian chicken are the best as well
    12. Bizu (Greenbelt 2) for dessert

    Nov 21, 2007 | 11:44 am

  6. lee says:

    Sentro in Greenbelt

    Nov 21, 2007 | 11:47 am

  7. tnm says:

    Cannot believe it. I just got my plane tickets to go home for the holidays today and thought hmm…maybe marketman has some suggestions regarding restaurants around the metro that I can try and here is the very thing I need. Thank you MM, you are a jewel.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 11:51 am

  8. bagito says:

    We usu stay in a condotel in Makati when we go home to the PI. One of our favorites is Cafe Bola in Greenbelt. It’s sooo reasonably priced and the food is great! Their shakes are great (no milk since I can’t have any), esp. the caimito (star apple) shake tho’ it’s a seasonal item. I’m hoping it will be available in February bec we went once in the rainy season (Sept) but it wasn’t available. Their chico shake is to die for, too!

    Another good place we went w/ the in-laws is Lasa at the Podium. Oh, not to forget Sentro 1771 at Greenbelt. Na-excite tuloy akong umuwi! :)

    Nov 21, 2007 | 11:57 am

  9. susan says:

    Sentro in Greenbelt 3 serves good Filipino food. We also love Abe, Antonio’s, Cibo, Pepato and People’s Palace!

    Nov 21, 2007 | 11:57 am

  10. ratacutie says:

    Here are more places that my husband and I frequent (it’s not so obvious naman that we LOVE eating? hehehe). This list came from him:

    1. Jade palace (Pasig) – somewhere near C5. I’m not so good with directions
    2. Aveneto (Glorietta, Eastwood, BF Pque, Fairview) – pizza place. their olive oil special pasta (with seafood) is the best!!! Cheap lang.
    3. Mongkok (Rockwell, Glorietta, Shangri-la Mall) – dimsum
    4. Ted’s (this is purely my husband’s favorite. I prefer the authentic La Paz batchoy) – I think almost all SM Malls have this. There’s one in Filinvest too.
    5. Chicken Bacolod (Greenbelt 1)
    6. Burgoo (Rockwell)
    7. Omakase (Alabang) – sushis galore!
    8. The dessert place in baguio (quoted from my husband)- this is called Everything Nice or something like that…near John Hay
    9. David’s tea house (Greenbelt 1, but they have other branches)
    10. Shantung (in Visayas QC? Is there a Visayas West? Something like that…hehe sorry, parang di ako taga UP) – not good to dine in, not so nice ambiance but you can take out the food. My family has been eating in this resto (they had a branch in Binondo way way back but it burned down) since I was a baby. Their egg and meat soup, crispy fried chicken and shrimp balls are our favorites.
    11. Razon’s (Greenbelt 1) – halo-halo and sisig

    Nov 21, 2007 | 12:00 pm

  11. Duday says:

    Seaside Market “Dampa” along Macapagal Blvd for fresh seafoods
    Spiral Buffet in Sofitel formely Westin along Roxas Blvd
    Aristocrat for BBQ chicken and java rice

    Nov 21, 2007 | 12:01 pm

  12. jong says:

    Cafe Juanita in Bo. Kapitolyo, Pasig – good place to bring balikbayans as well

    Nov 21, 2007 | 12:07 pm

  13. Duday says:

    For a reasonable Gelato and Italian foodie try Amici de Don Bosco located along Pasay Road cor Pasong Tamo

    Nov 21, 2007 | 12:17 pm

  14. miclimptrp says:

    Trelli’s for the BEST sisig and Kapampangan dishes :D

    Nov 21, 2007 | 12:23 pm

  15. wysgal says:

    Take me to Pancake House and I’ll be a happy camper! =)

    Nov 21, 2007 | 12:34 pm

  16. chad says:

    Emerald Restaurant in Roxas if your balikbayans have a hankering for the best siopao.

    Banchetto in F.Ortigas Ave. is open air, festive and is only open Saturday 2AM until 1PM of the same day! Perfect for those the balikbayans who haven’t synched yet with the local sleeping time. I’ve been meaning to go here soon.

    For native items shopping, I hear Tiendesitas in C5 is a great place.

    some of you will go into greenhilss for sure, but I couldn’t think of any must-go-to dining places there. Anyone?

    Nov 21, 2007 | 12:35 pm

  17. ms. foodie says:

    For great seafoods-Dampa in Paranaque or in Macapagal Ave.
    For reasonably priced Chinese Resto – Hongkong Chef-Macapagal
    Ultimate Buffet – Spiral Cafe in Sofitel

    Filipino food – Cabalen or Kamayan

    Nov 21, 2007 | 12:37 pm

  18. Ley says:

    When in Cebu, i suggest a trip to Kaw-oy (not sure of the spelling though), an island barangay in Mactan. Its approximately 40 minutes by pumpboat from Vistamar in Mactan. Kaw-oy has a cluster of restaurants in nipa huts on stilts . They offer live lapu-lapu, crabs, seashells, and other bounty of the sea placed in fish cage. Although a little pricey, the experience and food are all worth it, especially for balikbayans. A word of caution: you tell the restaurant people you are locals because they charge a higher rate for foreigners and balikbayans.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 12:53 pm

  19. OziChris says:

    “Kamay Kainan” @ Market Market is good for all you can eat buffet Pinoy menu with a nice family atmosphere!

    Nov 21, 2007 | 12:56 pm

  20. redge says:

    MM, thank you so much for this post. This is very helpful! Me and my husband have been away for 2 years now and are planning to come home early next year.
    I’m taking notes now!
    Thanks again! =)

    Nov 21, 2007 | 12:59 pm

  21. RL says:

    For the BEST siomai, i suggest Wai Ying (sister company of President’s)at benavidez st., binondo. Hap Chan for their steam fish fillet…

    Nov 21, 2007 | 1:31 pm

  22. gvc33 says:

    Mannangs at basement of SM Megamall has really good Filipino food!

    Nov 21, 2007 | 1:39 pm

  23. sometime_lurker says:

    Silly Lolo, if you’re going for buffets, try to reserve early at Circles (buffet) Shangrila Makati. The other buffets have become very commercialized, imo.

    That steak house (name escapes me, sorry!) in front of ABS CBN. Tiny place, but for the carnivore! You can order uncooked goods (sausages, corned beef et al) in bulk! I think they have a spot in Makati, haven’t been there though.

    Masas, Greenbelt 1? 3? – Kare kare.

    Heaven And Eggs, Glorietta. – Danggit, steaks, and everything on the menu. Very. Reasonably. Priced.

    Auntie Ineng’s (all over makati) for BBQs.

    Thanks for the list, everyone!

    Nov 21, 2007 | 2:20 pm

  24. Lani says:

    My recommendations are:

    1) Razon’s halo-halo (Greenhills, Trinoma, Araneta Center, and Market!Market!)
    2) Mangan (Glorietta and SM North Edsa)
    3) Causeway for dimsum (Congressional Ave. QC)
    4) Cabalen
    5) Somethin’ Fishy (Libis, QC)
    6) JT Manukan for authentic Bacolod inasal (Libis and near ABS-CBN I forgot the place)
    7) Dampa (seaside market) Macapagal Ave., Baclaran area, and also at Farmer’s Market)
    8) Malabon for Dolor’s kakanin and Nanay’s pancit Malabon

    Nov 21, 2007 | 2:23 pm

  25. Katrina says:

    For Pinoy food: Chiming in on Sentro, Abe, Cafe Juanita and Pancake House (try the Adobong Sulipan). I also suggest Antonio’s Grill for the ginger shake and different turon flavors — not just banana, but langka, ube, and tikoy in your choice of combinations (I like ube-tikoy). Filo’s has some good creative Pinoy dishes like the Tres Marias rice and laing lumpia. Haven’t tried Laudico’s Bistro Filipino, but have read many good reviews. For THE BEST empanadas, SanLo’s Famous Empanadas at the gas station near the EDSA Dasma gate. Red Ribbon and Conti’s empanaditas are good, cheaper (though smaller) alternatives.

    For the Pinoy sweet tooth: Apart from the many excellent home bakers, Dulcinea still has the best churros and puff pastry (NOT cakes); Sugarhouse is still reliable; Aristocrat Bakeshop’s famous Torta de los Reyes and Toffee Sans Rival; Conti’s has some good cakes at affordable prices (better value for money than Red Ribbon, I think); Sentro’s Coffee Pie, among others; Sebastian’s ice cream (YUMMMMM!!!) at Podium & Alabang Town Center; Fruits in Ice Cream and their sister company, Pinoy Sorbetes at Power Plant; Ice Monster (love the avocado or strawberry); Razon’s halo-halo; Kulinary & Cascada’s Pinoy-inspired desserts; I could go on, but I have to stop!

    One last thing: MM, I agree about the Xocolat Serendra tiramisu. HOWEVER, their chocolate martinis and other choco-holic drinks are yummy! And they have a fantastic promo till the end of the year: all-you-can-drink chocolate martinis for P300. on weekdays, 6-9pm. Best to go early with a group so you can try different flavors, because the catch is each person can only order one flavor all night. NO, I have nothing to do with Xocolat; I just love to spread the chocolate love! ;-)

    Nov 21, 2007 | 2:28 pm

  26. Carl says:

    For your Thai food fix, try Thai Pad located at Marvin Plaza (Herrera cor. Pasong Tamo, Makati). The owners are the proprietors of Sukhothai fame. Sing sarap, pero di sing mahal. :)

    For seafood lovers, try Dampa at the back of Metrowalk, Ortigas, not that crowded compared sa Macapagal.

    For native things, “Il de Tul” (Ilalim Ng Tulay, Quiapo) is the place to be. Hindi presyong turista, may tawad pa. Ingat lang sa pamimili. :)

    Nov 21, 2007 | 2:33 pm

  27. goodtimer says:

    You know how we rant and rave to balikbayan relatives the cheap indulgence we have in Manila. Here are some of my favorites..
    1. Mary Grace oh-so-sinful ensaimadas at her homey shop in Serendra (siblings and friends in California couldn’t get enough of Muhlach ensaimada..i always tell them wait till you try Mary Grace)
    2. chinese food: Causeway Dimsum at Timog has the cheapest Steamed Live Lapu-Lapu (P300 for a half kilo fish!) and Crabs (around P700 for a kilo, steamed or deep fried salt n pepper). They have the widest array of dimsum-in-a-cart. Luk Foo beside Puregold outlets also have good inexpensive cantonese food.
    3. Japanese: Sushi Katsu off Tomas Morato (behind Petron stn): the freshest sushi, cheap maki, artfully presented, Japanese-food-on-a-budget cooked personally by the Japanese owner. I love their hot pot and home-made ube ice cream.
    4. Filipino: Recipes at Greenbelt and Trinoma
    5. Italian: Amici Don Bosco -so many pizza combinations!, Cantinetta: more expensive but really good, and they have a newly opened branch in Baguio too (in John Hay beside Starbucks), La Grotta -nice date-place with good pasta; Galileo Enotica- good deli and ambience
    6. Dampa: Libis and Sucat, for towering tempura and eat till you’re stuffed buttered deep-fried crabs; Sucat dampa has fried “itlugan” tanigue and very fresh adobong pusit.
    7. Chateau Verde in UP -weekend buffet with oyster rockefeller, salad bar, grilled steaks.. at P350!
    8. Chocolate Kiss cafe at UP alumni center- for reliving your college days, this is the most decent cafe in the campus to have your coffee and snack. Their sans rival is a bestseller!
    9. Better than USA counterpart resto chain (for the kids): Jollibee, Pancake House, Teriyaki Boy..
    10. the tiangges! lechon, bbq, paella and goodies in Salcedo Saturday Market, organic produce in Lung Center Sidcor Sunday Market, food stalls in Christmas bazaars.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 2:46 pm

  28. camille cruz-reyes says:

    Mamou for its pork dish with black beans, red rice and cinnamon plantains! Comfort food at its finest… and for sure you will need a slice of THE BEST pecan pie in town to finish up your meal!!!

    Nov 21, 2007 | 2:51 pm

  29. Mila says:

    A balikbayan is sure to be stuffed to the gills coming home after a long sojourn abroad, and won’t need to budget meals in their travel. Add my vote to the Dampa seafood market along Macapagal Avenue/reclaimed area, Cafe Juanita for a really ambience laden meal, and taking them to the many farmer’s markets (Salcedo, Lung Center, and Farmer’s market in Cubao).

    If they’re willing to go on a short road trip, try Kusina Salud in Quezon and take part in the interesting Viaje del Sol tours (stop by Lucban for pancit habhab and longganisa). Maybe come back through Laguna for a myriad of buko pie tastings, a stop at UP Los Banos for quesong puti to go with some freshly baked pan de sal, cook up some chocolate eh/ah for that perfect merienda or breakfast.

    The last balikbayan I toured around had a hankering for fishballs and chicharon! We enjoyed a lot of good food that was bad for us :)

    Nov 21, 2007 | 3:39 pm

  30. mylene keane says:

    My brother from the UK, loved the small “Kalye ni Juan” at the Mall of Asia. It’s about alongside Hypermart fronting the Mall. They serve regular Filipino fare like Sizzling Sisig, Balut na Binalot, Dinulong Dip with Skyflakes, steamed vegetables served with your choice of bagoong, and other kinds of buro and aligi.

    It was like reminiscing the good old college days. The price is NOT expensive.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 4:10 pm

  31. chunky says:

    here is my list:
    1. for marikina-bound balikbayans, try krung-thai near the marikina public market
    2. banapple- for their heavenly banofee pie- nauna pa sila sa red ribbon- they supply the same pie to a high-end coffee franchise. the pasta selection is also sarap!
    3. what about mom & tina’s (across tiende), very homely and cozy atmosphere. both food and dessert are worth to visit.
    4. oh, if they miss the ny pizza, try s&r’s pizza, parang sa states ang lasa, promise!
    5. siyempre, for chinese food lovers, mann hann- the food is quality and the portion is good quantity.
    6. if they find the heat unbearable (for those coming from super-cold places), try oody’s shaved ice dessert with coco cream in 3 flavors.
    7. barbeque ba? ay naku, try three sisters sa tiendesitas food section, masarap na may sarili pa silang sauce.
    8. if they plan to go to tagaytay naman, sa sonia’s talagang masarap ang food- fresh pa! make sure to follow directions para walang ligaw-ligaw
    9. coffee? bag o’ beans sa tagaytay din.
    10. lastly, for good greek food, i have two recommendations- cyma at shangrila mall and manos’ helenic tavern sa tagaytay. mas authentic ang manos, but for pinoy palate, cyma okay na okay din.
    hope you all enjoy your stay in our still-beautiful country. there’s no place like home talaga!

    Nov 21, 2007 | 4:15 pm

  32. miclimptrp says:

    @ sometime_lurker
    – I think your refering to Melo’s Steakhouse :) the branch in Makati is Jupiter St, near Razon’s on the side near the Shell Buendia gas station. Their steaks are HEAVEN. You should also try Alfredo’s in Timog.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 4:37 pm

  33. chick says:

    let them try:

    * Dolor’s Kakanin (for their yummy sapin-sapin)
    * puto and kutchinta from Calasiao, Pangasinan
    * Amber’s pancit and the best pichi-pichi (either with niyog or cheese)
    * Via Mare- yummy merienda food!
    * Eng Bee Tin’s ube or monggo hopia
    * Tita Lynn’s flavored suman
    * Conti’s chicken pie and cakes (esp. Mango Bravo and Chocolate Overload)
    * Chocolate Kiss (Devils Food Cake, and the food as well)

    Yummeeeee… =)

    Nov 21, 2007 | 4:50 pm

  34. chick says:

    BTW, let them try Chef Tony’s popcorn also! Hehe..

    Of course, na-miss siguro nila local chocolates natin. Like Chocnut, Flat Tops, Cloud9 and Fibisco Choco Mallows. LOL :)

    Nov 21, 2007 | 4:54 pm

  35. ana5678 says:

    Rose & Grace and Kanin Club, both in Sta. Rosa! Honest-to goodness Filipino family fare…sumptuous food with generous servings at very affordable prices. Who can ask for anything more!

    Nov 21, 2007 | 5:29 pm

  36. cakestar says:

    i’m a regular lurker in this site but it’s my first time to leave a comment. let me share my experience about this topic. actually, my cousin from calif is currently in pinas. before island hopping, the restos he tried were:
    1) Bangus Restaurant (Trinoma or Greenhills) – chicharong balat ng bangus
    2) Little Asia (Greenhills) – tilapia fillet with honey mustard; chicken adobo with gata
    3) Thai at Silk (Serendra)
    4) Mahogany Market in Tagaytay – bulalo and tawilis, my cousin wanted the “palengke” ambiance so we took him there but Rose & Grace has better bulalo quality
    5) Kanin Club (Sta Rosa, Laguna) – turon and sticky rice, kapeng barako, we were too full to try other items
    6) M Cafe (Ayala Museum) – jackfruit “langka” sans rival
    7) Banana Leaf and Curry House – just for the experience of eating on banana leaf
    8) Bed Space (Greenbelt) – enjoyed drinks and music while sitting on the bed

    and for drinks, san miguel beer (of course), eight o’clock pomelo with vodka or gin (haha!).

    when my cousin gets back to manila from his scuba, i’ll take him to pepato. i hope they have the cerveza negra ice cream….i remember the last time my cousin was here, i let him try chocnut ice cream at uva and he liked it though they could have added more chocnut.

    our baon during road trip to batangas….nova multi grain snack, boy bawang, rosquillos, otap, flat tops, turrones de mani, storck, royal tru orange, absolute (water). :-)

    Nov 21, 2007 | 5:34 pm

  37. asunta says:

    1. Of course they have to go back to eat goto and tapsilog at GoodAh!!!
    2. Mamonluk
    3. Casa Armas
    4. Thuk Thai at George Park in front of UA&P

    Nov 21, 2007 | 5:46 pm

  38. k says:

    JT’s Manukan in New Manila for chicken inasal :)

    Nov 21, 2007 | 5:51 pm

  39. UmmJakob says:

    I’m so happy you came up with this topic, MM. I’m a big foodie and I can’t wait to hit everyone’s recommendations when my family and I go for our hols next year.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 5:52 pm

  40. siopao says:

    The outdoor foodcourt of Market! Market! is a good place to take either balikbayans or foreign visitors since you can take them on a food tour of the Philippines right there… there, you have a Razon’s from Guagua, Buddy’s from Lucban, Roli’s from Bacolod etc. etc. etc.

    For a good modern filipino meal, go to Sentro at Greenbelt 3 and order the sinigang na corned beef and the catfish.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 6:03 pm

  41. lee says:

    I would bring my guests to the following:
    1. The original PalaPala behind the Capitolyo for the experience of buying seafood and having it cooked in the hole-in-the-wall tulahan along the road.
    2. Saning’s for a very lethal soup experience.
    3. Sian Tian for pleasant vegan stuff.
    4. Bob’s or Bar 21 just to be safe and sure.
    5. Kuppa for gelato, tea, and coffee.
    6. Calea and Bascon for a prelude to a diabetic existence.
    7. Logro Cinco for batchoy with the working class.
    8. The overly hyped Manokan for the Bacolod Inasal experience. (My friendly neighborhood sugbahan still has the best chicken inasal)
    9. Bigby’s at SM. I dunno, I gravitate towards this place when I have a little money for good food.
    10. Chicken House for pork spareribs. yes chicken for pork.
    11. Nameless talabahan beside CENECO

    Kung magtalang kamo sa Bacolod kadamo na restaurants along Lacson Street.

    The old restos along Lacson: Inaka, Bar 21, L’Sea, Chicken House, Chicken Deli, Bob’s Northdrive, Cafe Bob’s (not really that old), Saltimboca.

    The new restos along Lacson: Mushu, Felice, Trattoria Uma, Gerry’s Grill. and the ones at Sorrento; Pepe’s, Krua Thai, Good Earth Roasts… Ripples at L’ fisher Hotel.
    have not tried them all yet…

    Nov 21, 2007 | 6:14 pm

  42. Trish says:

    Abe at Serendra :)

    Nov 21, 2007 | 6:17 pm

  43. maybelle says:

    my tita always goes to binondo for the eng bee tin hopias. love their ube hopia! also to try is cafe breton’s la pinay. phil. mangoes and ice cream, what could be better? another one is the crab maritess in crustasia :)

    Nov 21, 2007 | 6:27 pm

  44. lee says:

    Sa Bacolod na gali ha? forgot to mention.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 6:37 pm

  45. Cathee says:

    oooohhhh…”home for the holidays” – makes me miss the traditional christmas reunions we have. being away from family during this time is truly a bummer.

    here’s my recommendation for balikbayans home for the holidays:
    (in no particular order)

    1. Guernica’s in Malate – for the oh-so-rich Spanish dishes like Callos, Lengua and Paella
    2. Mann Hann – for affordable Filipino-Chinese fare
    3. Max’s Restaurant – for their famous fried chicken sans the breading, great with ketchup!
    4. The Aristocrat (Roxas Blvd.) – to re-acquaint you with their ever-famous Chicken Barbecue with Peanut Sauce and Java Rice
    5. Dannylicious (Blue Ridge area) – for the best barbecue and bicol express (perfect for your parties)
    6. Sushi-ya – affordable Japanese treats (love their ramen)
    7. Pho Hoa – for authentic Vietnamese Pho at reasonable prices
    8. Barrio Fiesta – in case you miss the all-time Filipino favorites like Kare-Kare, Lechon Kawali, Pinakbet, Sinigang, etc. (with matching singing cooks and waiters)
    9. Razon’s – for the best halo-halo in town
    10. Aling Lucing’s Sisig (Pampanga) – the best sisig!

    Nov 21, 2007 | 6:39 pm

  46. Melizza says:

    Hope this list proves relevant. Bring your balikbayan to some of these pinoy/chinoy foodplaces:
    LYDIA’S LECHON – for good papaitan besides the lechon
    NORTHPARK (San Juan/Banawe) – for piping hot congee. ask for fresh egg at the bottom of your congee bowl and extra wanton chips.
    BIGBOWL – for seafood fried noodles, hofan and oyster cake.
    A VENETTO (Visayas Ave) – for pizza/pasta for groups. try their white sauce seafood asparus pasta.
    CHOCOLATE KISS (UP Aumni Center, DIliman) – try their hickory smoked spare ribs, hainanese chicken and rumaki. And kahlua butter cake for dessert.
    ISAWAN at UP Diliman Campus (though not really a resto)- if you wanna dare your balikbayans to sample isaw baboy and chicken. These are the cleanest and tastiest you can find. THe carts are regularly checked by the admins for sanitation. Try the cart near Ilang-Ilang dorm.
    FAIRVIEW LECHON (along Commonwealth Ave, Fairview) – for good barbecue and Crispy pata for take-home.
    KOPI TIAM (San Juan) – breakast all day everyday. if they’re craving for tapsi.
    MONGKOK (Royale Place along Commonwealth)- for dimsum. sample their seafood roll (mahi-mahi (I think) rolled with tender squid meat, siomai filling wrapped with nori seaweed and tied with noodles), hakao, chicken feet, beef tendons. I also like their jellyfish & century egg, ma tsang and green mango shake.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 7:01 pm

  47. Em Dy says:

    Lee, I love Bigby’s. Sayang wala sa Manila. I love their chocolate cake though I’m not a big fan of chocolate cake. But if it’s Bigby’s, wow!

    Nov 21, 2007 | 7:13 pm

  48. jingle says:

    1. Little Quiapo at malakas st, diliman, qc for their fiesta halo-halo
    2. Countryside along katipunan in front of Quirino Labor hospital for their isaw, inihaw na pisngi at tenga, papaitan atbp.
    3. Everybody’s cafe along McArthur Highway in San Fernando, Pampanga for their fried crickets, stuffed frogs, cat fish and fermented rice in mustasa leaves
    4. Volare at Araneta Center for their pasta
    5. Wham Burger in Shangrila Mall and Katipunan for their grilled burgers
    6. Good Burger along C5 in front of SM hypermart for their grilled chicken and vegetarian burgers
    7. House of Silvannas in the foodcourt of Ayala glorietta
    8. Bellini’s at the Marikina Shoe Expo in Cubao for italian fare

    Nov 21, 2007 | 8:36 pm

  49. tinsi says:

    Ley got me curious, I am based in Cebu but this is the first time I heard anyone mention Kaw-oy. Must ask around. Big foodie like me should not miss this one.
    When in Cebu: (let me mention the reasonably priced ones in order to allow our balikbayan friends to bring their extended families)
    1. Spice Fusion at Banilad Town Center- try their Roti dipped in curry sauce, Tofu with minced pork, singaporean chicken,sweet and sour crispy lapu lapu and their Beehon (they have a name for it but it escapes me right now)
    2. SUTUKIL (short for Sugba, Tinuwa , Kinilaw) in Mactan – Note bring your own water or always order bottled water. Also, if you just got into the country I would not want this to be your first stop based on my personal experience. I think somehow we have to ease your system a bit into filipino food choices (having kinilaw , butong juice, manggang hilaw with bagoong all in one sitting does not bode well for your stomach) My favorite is Mana’s and I always have their crispy sweet and sour lapu lapu – other than that it’s the usual pinoy fare.
    3.Golden Cowrie (lahug please)- My friends from Manila always make it a point to make a reservation at this place. Try the following: Sizzling bangus in coco cream, baked tahong, baked scallops, dinuguan and sisig. My son likes their calamares. For dessert don’t miss their maja blanca and biko.
    4.Chika-an- for Crispy Pata- across the street from G.Cowrie
    4. Cafe laguna – from its humble beginnings (a turo turo place in their rented apartment in lahug), this place has metamorphosed into the must stop place for balikbayans, try their bibingka, puto bumbong, pandan chicken, crispy kangkong
    5. Buffet at Grand Majestic – be impressed by the variety of food served at this buffet vis a vis the price of P 350 for lunch and P 500(+?) for dinner , this includes eat all you can peking duck!
    6. Pongko pongko sa Larsian – a throwback to college days. 30 years later, think you still have the stomach for it?
    7. Krua thai – for Thai food cooked to suit the Filipino taste buds
    8. Pino- newly opened Filipino restaurant. Have this in my list to try in the next few weeks since my boss gave it his two thumbs up.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 8:43 pm

  50. JM says:

    Hi Lee!! thanks for promoting Bacolod’s resto’s. Im from here,too. for STEAKS–the ever “namit” CARLO RESTORANTE tops my list. For Pizza/Italian Cuisine– ITALIA and TRATORRIA UMA are just the best. For BATCHOY and old time Pinoy Foods, nothing beats BAR 21. oooppps dont forget the old, realible PENDYS. And who could ever say no to KAI SEI’s California Maki, Sashimis and Sukiyaki…YUMMMM

    Nov 21, 2007 | 8:46 pm

  51. jenny says:

    For the holidays , I would probably bring them to these following places:
    1. Abe at Serendra or at Trinoma
    2. Dampa at Libis or Macapagal Ave.
    3. Via Mare for their merienda
    4. Ferino’s bibingkahan at Tomas Morato or at Valencia
    5. Razon’s halo -halo
    6. Shangrila’s finest at West Avenue
    7. Fortune Chinese restaurant (San Fernando, Pampanga)
    8. Francia’s Puto at Meycauayan, Bulacan
    9. Puto Popular for their puto/kutsinta & dinuguan
    10. Mexico, Pampanga for San Nicolas cookies from the Borromeo’s kitchen.
    11. And my house where the guests will be served goto, tokwa’t baboy, okoy, suman , kakanin & hot chocolate

    Nov 21, 2007 | 9:38 pm

  52. elaine says:

    Sonya’s Garden in Cavite never fails. She serves healthy treats all fresh from her garden and she now has a baked goodies like her hopia which is really good(nothing of the Chinese variety), her scones. Her native meriendas are all good.(She doesn’t cook at all but has a very good cook:) ) Ambience is also great.

    Market!Market! food court: Ineng’s bbq: great tasting pinoy bbq; Buddie’s pancit hab2; fruit stand for some exotic pinoy fruits

    a treat of my mom’s spicy tuyo in evoo:)

    Magnolia House/or Creamery(by Nestle)along araneta ave.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 9:50 pm

  53. perkycinderella says:

    Here’s my list:

    1. Dampa in paranaque
    2. Kamayan
    3. Barrio Fiesta
    4. Pancit Malabon
    5. Bacolod Chicken
    6. Bar 21 for Batchoy

    Nov 21, 2007 | 9:53 pm

  54. Ebba Myra says:

    Thank you all for the tips. I am going again this summer 2008 for a clown missionary trip and I love bringing my staff & volunteers for a food treat, of course filipino dishes for me and something different for them. Summer 2007 we went where people suggested (since we go to different provinces), but some are not happy experiences. This list will really be of help.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 10:19 pm

  55. Mangaranon says:

    We are planning to eat at the following:
    1. Mamou
    2. Antonio’s in Tagaytay
    3. Shang Palace

    Nov 21, 2007 | 10:20 pm

  56. artisan chocolatier says:

    It seems that all the nice places have been covered.

    Instead, I will recommend the following be brought along:



    Nov 21, 2007 | 10:22 pm

  57. zena says:

    Wow! Great topic even for those living here. =)
    1. Dolor’s kakanin forever!
    2. Sunburst (Cebu, CDO, where else?) – for the BEST chicken skin chicharon and fried chicken. Yes, lipitor afterward.
    3. Via Mare for puto bumbong or the one at Salcedo (25 lang!)
    4. for Pinoy food with a twist/flair: Mannang at SM Mega basement A and Sentro 1771.
    5. Bag o’Beans Tagaytay for the best coffee (bottomless); stay outside under the hut. Good food too. Breakfast at Antonio’s is also great but not as peaceful. But try the almost “open air” bathroom. =)
    6. Dampa anywhere: Pranaque, Macapagal, Ortigas
    7. Tatoy’s in Iloilo (get their chicken. Super! Also diwal (angel wings), indigenous to Iloilo)

    Nov 21, 2007 | 10:23 pm

  58. pietra says:

    here’s my list:
    1. sentro (greenbelt) – sinigang na corned beef and bottomless sago’t gulaman
    2. via mare (greenbelt, shangri-la, etc) – puto bumbong, bibingka, and palitaw
    3. hossein’s persian kebab (serendra, trinoma) – shish (beef tenderloin) kebabs with saffron rice
    4. mamou (serendra) – roast pork
    5. kamameshi (qc, makati) – kamameshi rice (japanese)
    6. spiral at sofitel philippine plaza
    7. dampa
    8. mini shabu-shabu
    9. nathaniels (san fernando, pampanga) – the best buco pandan salad you’ll ever have, there’s really nothing like it

    Nov 21, 2007 | 10:25 pm

  59. MES says:

    Mamou for the steak and Cuban pork, key lime pie and pecan pie for dessert
    Lemuria for feeling you escaped the chaos of Manila for a while…the chef is excellent, extensive wine list and ask to tour the wine cellar as well
    Antonio’s in Tagaytay
    Pepato for imaginative Italian
    La Cocina de Tita Moning for the nostalgia trip
    Shang Palace for the best dimsum, comparable to HK
    Tsumura and Tsukiji
    Korea Garden for the Galbijim
    For cheaper eats, Max’s, Bacolod Chicken Inasal, C2 for the bibingka souffle, Recipes by Cafe Metro, Cafe Bola for Filipino comfort food, Via Mare for pansit luglug, and Ivan Man Dy’s Binondo food tour!

    Nov 21, 2007 | 10:33 pm

  60. kanela says:

    1] Bistro Remedios for the Crispy Pata
    2] Sentro for the Adobo
    3] Via Mare for the Bibingka
    4] Tortas at San Lo’s Famous
    5] Paho Salad with suahe and Dinuguan of Des Torres at Salcedo Market

    Nov 21, 2007 | 10:56 pm

  61. Bubut says:

    1)palengke paluto at Ortigas area where you buy the fresh food and choose the resto where you want to eat
    2) Dads at Megamall or Glorietta
    3) Circles at Shangrila (expensive)
    4) Banana Leaf at Greenbelt
    5) Razons halohalo

    Nov 21, 2007 | 11:09 pm

  62. Anna Banana says:

    MUANG THAI – for great thai food in quezon city. There’s a branch in Bagiuo too.
    BELLINI’s – in Cubao for pizza – great thin crust! mushroom pasta is also great. They also make their own home made fruit wine for after meals. It’s sweet so I love it.
    TANABE – in MOA and Remedios Circle for excellent Japanese food
    WOODNYMPH – in Bagiuo for simple but tasty Korean cuisine

    Nov 21, 2007 | 11:21 pm

  63. Onie says:

    This post is a goldmine! Thanks.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 11:28 pm

  64. edel says:

    CYMA (greek resto) shangrila plaza, greenbelt, trinoma
    KATRE, near alfredo’s in tomas morato
    BELISSIMO (italian), near roces avenue, qc
    YUTAKA IZAKAYA (japanese), infront of LTO/UERM aurora blvd
    WAI YING (chinese), benavidez st, manila
    VIA MARE, shangrila plaza, powerplant mall
    MUY HONG (chinese), banawe avenue (near orthopedic hosp)
    DAMPA, macapagal avenue

    Nov 21, 2007 | 11:59 pm

  65. kayenne says:

    for filipiniana souvenirs, there’s this store on the second floor of SM City North – The Block, beside Our Home. Their items seem to be priced reasonably, i saw some capiz picture frames that cost less then half the price of other fancier named shops. a lot of jewelries too made from mother of pearls of differing grades and other stuff.

    Nov 22, 2007 | 1:14 am

  66. Silly Lolo says:

    WOW! What a list! I am actually checking in on this post every couple of hours (it seems), after all, I have to have something to do for the other 55 days of my visit. Seriously, please keep it coming. I’m sure MM appreciates it and this old dude will be forever grateful. A very wise old Lady once told me, “There are no strangers…..just friends you have yet to meet”.

    Nov 22, 2007 | 1:20 am

  67. vrite says:

    Aloha Market Man! Thanks for this very helpful topic and for your list, as well as your readers’ suggestions. It’s been 12 years since we last spent the holidays in Manila so we’re totally looking forward to our upcoming visit! You’re the best!

    Nov 22, 2007 | 2:33 am

  68. The Steak Lady says:

    Hi, i have relatives coming over and i intend to take them to the ff:
    1. Paseo Uno – Mandarin Oriental (buffet, great selection, serene ambiance. circles is more fun and festive but food lacks a bit of flavor)
    2. Mamou -Loved the Steaks!
    3. Abe – great Filipino Food
    4. Brazil brazil (Churrascaria) – interesting dining experience, and my teenage nephews always enjoy meals at this fun place. A must for Meat lovers
    5. Lolo Dad’s – wonderful food, a bit pricey but worth it. ask for the chef’s table
    6. Antonio’s – Old world style, great food with cozy ambiance. makes you feel like a guest in a beautiful home.
    7. Mori mori – Japanese yakiniku, Casa Susana, Alabang town center
    8. Old Swiss Inn – delicious cheese and Toblerone chocolate fondue, raclette, steaks, fresh corned beef and best of all their Olympia, Makati branch is 24 hours!
    9. Sentro – Greenbelt 3. i recommend their boneless crispy trotters, sinigang na corned beef and sizzling tofu! and its bottomless sago at gulaman
    10. Cibo, Pepato – great food, value for money

    * haven’t tried, but heard Cafe Juanita in Mandaluyong is great!


    1. Golden Cowrie – Yummy filipino food. great value for money, and right beside it, try Alavar’s (of Zamboanga) for their crabs!!
    2. Ginza – one of the first Japanese restaurant in Cebu, it still packs a punch due to innovative new dishes. cant beat their beef fried rice!
    3. Marco Polo and Marriot Buffet – definitely better selection than Tides Shang at half the price.
    4. Cafe Georg – comfort food at its best. ask bunny for her seasonal green tea cheesecake.
    5. Tinder Box – try having your after dinner drinks at their wine cellar
    6. La Buona – amazing Italian food
    7. Sunburst fried chicken – Cebuano Classic
    8. Abuhan – go to the original abuhan in Rajah Hotel, Ramos street and order the sizzling pochero, and soup. wow!
    9. harbor city dimsum – for quick meals in between shopping trips
    10. La Marea – crossroads mall. the bestseller is the warm brownie cup
    11. Tsai – my personal favorite Asian restaurant
    12. La Tegola – their lamb is wonderfully prepared and don’t forget to order the tartufo!

    Nov 22, 2007 | 2:55 am

  69. The Steak Lady says:

    Oh, i forgot to mention Gourdo’s at the fort! Great comfort food (im there every weekend) =) sorry for taking up too much space MM.

    Nov 22, 2007 | 2:58 am

  70. The Steak Lady says:

    very sorry, Abuhan is at Kan Irag Hotel in Ramos, not Rajah. my apologies.

    Nov 22, 2007 | 2:59 am

  71. Mitch says:

    DENCIO’S for their crispy sizzling sisig, bagoong rice, and dalandan shakes! :)

    Nov 22, 2007 | 4:07 am

  72. dhayL says:

    What a great idea MM, however,I have to admit that reading all these entries made me homesick…hhuhu, but atleast I have a good list of where to go, what to eat and much more the next time we go back home! Thanks everyone! :)

    Nov 22, 2007 | 5:02 am

  73. Ted says:

    Alfredo’s steak house in Timog is still around??????? Wow that’s been there since the 70’s.

    Nov 22, 2007 | 6:42 am

  74. bedazzle says:

    1. Serye at the Quezon Memorial Circle for boneless crispy pata
    2. The food stalls at the Sunday Market of Lung Center
    3. Razon’s at Trinoma
    4. Since I’m from QC, the best restaurant choices are at Trinoma

    Yes, Ted, Alfredo’s Steak House is still around.

    Nov 22, 2007 | 7:44 am

  75. Roberto Vicencio says:

    1. Razon’s Halo-Halo any branch from Pampanga to Grrenbelt to Jupiter St in Makati.
    2. Bulalo place in Calamba.
    3. Charly’s Wanton at Haig St. in Mandaluyong – formerly a jeep & taxi driver hangout.
    4. The President Restaurant at Ongpin
    5. Salcedo Saturday Market
    6. My sister-in-laws barbecue stall in Mandaluyong City.
    7. Grappa’s test kitchen at the Ubix Building beside the Makati City Hall for Italian food.

    Nov 22, 2007 | 9:10 am

  76. ting says:

    my aunt arrived from the US last week and so far, we have taken her to salcedo market (on the morning of her arrival to buy food to go: inihaw na tilapia & hito, lechon, okoy, bbq ,roasted chestnuts, suha and lanzones), new hachin japanese grocery (for some japanese ingredients and to taste the freshly-made takoyaki balls), marilao, bulacan (to attend a relative’s wake and buy some pancit marilao to go), bangus (in trinoma mall near our place for bangus sisig, binagoongang baboy, sizzling kangkong, sinampalukang manok), and to mannang/mannhann (sm megamall for sizzling tofu, pancit luglog,spicy squid w/ chinese bagoong, taosi fish fillet, broccoli flowers with garlic, and honey lemon iced tea)…we’re planning another dinner tonight somewhere at sm north edsa, the block…

    Nov 22, 2007 | 9:28 am

  77. Proud Davaoena says:

    In Davao City, we usually bring our guests to the following (note that this list does not include the “franchise” restos)

    1. Harana (F. Torres St.) – this is one of the old classics in Davao. Do try the grilled or Mongolian spareribs that are perfect with the shrimp pinakbet. There’s also a wide selection of seafood that you can pick for grilling. There’s a huge play area in the front for the kids.
    2. Ah Fat (Victoria Plaza Compound, JP Laurel St.) – great Chinese food! My own favorites are the hot and sour soup, slipper tail lobster with garlic and steamed pompano. The place tends to get crowded but service is fast and very efficient.
    3. Yellow Fin (Quimpo Blvd., near Sandawa) – a no-frills place for Pinoy food where you can choose from the cooked dishes (try the fish laing and paksiw na panga) or the seafood and have it grilled, fried, etc. Best to go during lunch time.
    4. Dencia’s (Gen. Luna St.) — another classic Davao resto best known for their lugaw (congee), tokwa’t baboy, pancit canton and lumpia shanghai. Open even for breakfast.
    5. Eden Nature Park (Toril) – Their lunch buffets have the freshest garden salads (the organic vegetables are planted in the park itself) with some of the best salad dressings. The home-made macadamia ice cream is also a must try! After lunch, go on a guided tour around the park.
    6. Hanoi (Camus St, near Apo View Hotel and Damosa Gateway, Lanang) – it offers Vietnamese cuisine. Try the rice paper thingies (they have it in chicken, pork or beef) that you can wrap yourself. They also serve decent Pho (noodles). There’s also a Japanese Resto, Tsuru, on the other side so one can also cross order.
    7. Picobello (5/F Gaisano South, Ilustre St.) – for pizza that’s cooked in a wood-fired oven. Kids get a big kick out of watching the pizza dough being tossed by the cooks. They have a “buy one take one” offer on their pizzas from 2-5:30 pm. Good deal!
    8. Blu Gré Coffee (Matina Town Square; Landco Bldg in JP Laurel and SM)– for the durian coffee!
    9. Jack’s Ridge (GSIS, Matina) – the food is so-so and the service is quite slow (so don’t go if you’re really famished!) but you get a breathtaking view of the city within a 15-minute ride from the town proper.
    10. Pirata Bar (Waterfront Insular Hotel) – it’s a bar on a jetty! So you can actually see and hear the waves lapping underneath your feet. If you come near dusk, you can have a great view of Samal Island which is just across the place.

    During the harvest season (July-September), fruits abound in the city. Durian is practically found in every street corner. The city would also be teeming with mangosteen, lanzones and rambutan. If you want to get fruits for pasalubong you can go to Magsaysay Park (during durian season) or the Madrazo Fruit Stand for pomelo and year-round fruit shopping.

    Aldevinco (CM Recto St., right across Marco Polo Hotel) – Locals and tourists come here for souvenir shopping. There’s a wide selection of native handicrafts, batik products, antique and brass items, indigenous musical instruments, etc. There’s also cheaper pomelo that are sold in the street beside Aldevinco. Just be sure to check the pomelo (the heavier the better) or better yet have them open some so you can taste if it’s really sweet and juicy.

    Nov 22, 2007 | 9:38 am

  78. carina says:

    Mang Jimmy’s in UP Balara. :)

    Nov 22, 2007 | 9:53 am

  79. panache says:

    halo-halo – little quiapo 90 malakas st.,qc
    ginataang puso ng saging with langka,kare-kare – krocodile grille, trinoma
    ostrich steak ala pobre – moomba, mother ignacia,qc
    sebastian ice cream – podium
    chicken pie,mango bravo – conti’s,trinoma,serendra,connecticut st., greenhills
    binagoonang baboy, kilawin na talaba – ponciana’s,theater mall,greenhills,timog ave.,qc
    pork barbeque – aristocrat
    seafoods galore – aling tonyang’s,dampa,d.macapagal blvd.,pasay city
    sinigang na puro tiyan ng bangus – bangus restaurant,trinoma,greenhills
    ensaimada w/queso de bola -hizon’s,moa;promenade,greenhills;j. bacobo,manila
    bread pudding- cocina de tita moning, near malacanang
    fruit shakes w/sago balls-decs,wilson st, san juan
    chinese ham, majestic ham – unimart;tropical hut,sct borromeo,qc
    inipit – eurobake,malolos,bulacan
    honey- ilog maria honeybee farm,silang,cavite
    original sisig -aling lucing’s,railroad crossing,henson st.,angeles city,pampanga
    tibuk-tibok (maja blanca made of carabao’s milk)-susie’s cuisine,hilda st.,nepo 1,angeles city

    Nov 22, 2007 | 10:08 am

  80. dee bee says:

    this is great, thanks to everyone, even a local would not necessarily know about all these hidden gems

    sounds like an unplanned trip needs to be planned :) a 14-day food trip could mean 70 meals (3 main meals and 2 merienda per day) ahhh… one can dream.

    marketman, very glad to see the pen’s old manila featured on your list. do they still have those wonderful lunch buffets on the weekend? it used to be my family’s favourite where we had many long, slow lunches and hence, brings back nice memories.

    what about a list of best pasalubongs and where to get them?

    Nov 22, 2007 | 10:19 am

  81. marketmanatic says:

    I was looking for QC recommendations but found none in the first few hundred recommendations so here goes: KKK at West Avenue (across from Cabalen) for fusion Pinoy food. I found their catfish done unagi style and their bacon liempo a hit with all of the balikbayans we’ve taken there and their tamarind and kamias shakes are great. Uno. a resto off Morato Ave (turn right off Little Asia resto if coming from ABS-CBN) where the owner-chef has daily specials from early marketing and great cheesecake. Sometimes you see celebrities, too (if that’s your thing). Muang Thai at Malakas street behind QC City Hall) for good and reasonably priced Thai food.

    Nov 22, 2007 | 10:42 am

  82. fame says:

    I’d have to say Razon’s (Greenbelt, Galleria, and of course, spread across Pampanga) for their creamy halo-halo. Also, Peri-Peri Chicken at Promenade, Greenhills for their grilled chicken and hot sauce of varying degrees. And the Dampa at Baclaran (not sure if this is Seaside Market).

    Nov 22, 2007 | 11:41 am

  83. wits and nuts says:

    1. World Topps
    2. Exotik Restaurant- Kalayaan, Laguna
    3. Razon’s
    4. Piquant
    5. Kalye ni Juan
    6. Kanin Club
    7. Marta’s Cakes, Cupcakes by Sonja
    8. Binalot
    9. Peydros Sosi Street Food
    10. Cravings

    Nov 22, 2007 | 11:46 am

  84. anonymous paul says:

    marketmanatic, i was going to suggest KKK too! i think they serve up good filipino food…aside from cafe juanita and abe. i believe they have a branch at MOA now. Uno is quite good but has sort of underwhelmed me in my last visits. the fresh breads are still good though. Kozui (tea bar) on morato is surprisingly good too. light meals. the takoyaki and the anmitsu (japanese halo halo) are highly recommended. and i would suggest benjarong at the dusit and sala thai off nakpil as good thai restaurants, the latter being erratic depending on availability of ingredients. i find people’s palace way too expensive. Kowloon House/Kowloon West takeouts are quite excellent for those jumbo siopao hankerings….for P42. and Rodic’s, which has branches at the UP shopping center and in Makati has arguably the best tapsilog in the world. IN THE WORLD.

    Nov 22, 2007 | 11:47 am

  85. suzette says:

    since i’m from laguna,i’ll definitely bring them to kusina salud in san pablo city and to ugu bigyan’s in nearby tiaong,quezon.out of town trip to tagaytay would include antonio’s and sonya’s garden. in manila, spirals at sofitel circles at makati shang, cafe bola, cibo and pepato. jollibee for the kids, merienda at razon’s or via mare.

    Nov 22, 2007 | 12:35 pm

  86. CT2 says:

    -GOLDILOCKS 4-Ever!!!
    -GK Reunion Village in San Jose, Batangas (food, ambiance, farm tour, and an interesting exchange re: the philippines and balikbayan pinoys)

    Nov 22, 2007 | 1:05 pm

  87. yang says:

    In-yo in E. Abada Street, Loyola Heights. :-) Super yummy food!

    Nov 22, 2007 | 1:27 pm

  88. shalimar says:

    this just make me want to book a flight “home”.. wait home? a holiday soon..
    will keep a copy of this list one day soon wont be long

    Nov 22, 2007 | 1:46 pm

  89. shalimar says:

    by the way i will only go for local real filipino food ;-)

    Nov 22, 2007 | 1:48 pm

  90. sagada says:

    manila- any of the dampa will have fresh seafoods, dampa sa libis was good. you pic your fish/etc then have them cook it.

    baguio- jack’s for their house rice. fresh baguio vegies. yum.
    – sagada lunch for the exotic dishes.

    sagada- yogurt house for great food and ambiance.
    – st theodore’s for the best food prepared by a retired french cook.
    – sagada coop for the seasonal pies. wild blueberries during summer, citrus/lime during autumn, persimmon or misperos when available.

    Nov 22, 2007 | 2:56 pm

  91. Beki says:

    My daughter says, “Lolo, my heart belongs to Jollibee.”

    Nov 22, 2007 | 4:32 pm

  92. Rowi says:

    This is fantastic, MM! A food tripper’s guide to the Philippines! Who would believe after reading all these wonderful and personal suggestions that the variety of Filipino food is overwhelming, indeed. And yet, it is hardly known outside of the country. Anyone reading Eating Asia would believe that authentic Pinoy food is like a best-kept secret for food enthusiasts, that is.
    I’m compiling a list for myself and my curious friends from Europe who would one day visit the country. Thank you Marketman for initiating this and fellow readers for all your contributions.

    Nov 22, 2007 | 5:54 pm

  93. ysa says:

    my choices would be razons, little quiapo, trellis, dampa, … yummy

    Nov 22, 2007 | 6:10 pm

  94. HD says:

    KKK (Kainan sa Kalye Kanluran) West ave. Q.C. Sarap nung grilled liempo bacon cut. samahan mo pa ng tinapa fried rice, saka cheesy lumpiang shanghai.

    Bolas yata pangalan nung resto sa may araneta colliseum, yung may masarap na meatballs. Kaso konti ang serving.

    Nov 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

  95. rianne says:

    whoa! I can’t wait to go home…not this holiday season, though…but will definitely try these places in Feb. I’ve got 5 weeks to do this!!! yahoo!!!

    Nov 22, 2007 | 7:24 pm

  96. Rina says:

    -Inihaw na liempo of Aling Puring (at the Ateneo covered court)
    -Sunday Market at Lung Center
    -Weekend Market at Salcedo Village
    -Mary Grace grilled ensaymada
    -Gerry’s Grill
    -Yoohoo Barbecue and Roast Chicken (near Metro Walk)
    -Greenhills Tiangge
    -Michelle’s Putong Ube

    Nov 22, 2007 | 9:27 pm

  97. kulasa says:

    I’d take them to some little hidden jewels and have some must try food
    – Manong’s (Alabang) – Pusit/Squid ala Pobre
    – Kanin Club (Sta. Rosa) – Turon
    – French Corner (Alabang) – Grilled Seafood Salad
    – Esperanza’s (Laguna) – Calamari Pasta
    – RJM/RMJ (?) (sideroad to Tagaytay) – Daing na bangus
    – Aling Toyangs (Baclaran) – Buttered shrimps and crabs
    – Dolor’s (Paranaque) – sapin-sapin
    – Las Pinas Church (at Christmas) – puto bumbong with panocha!
    – Ferrino’s (any branch – pero gusto ko sa Magallanes Shell Gas station) – bibingka

    There is just so many to choose from, when my cousins come home you can’t help but gain so many pounds. Just goes to show the Filipinos love of food. Cheap or expensive they don’t care as long as it’s edible.

    Nov 22, 2007 | 9:30 pm

  98. Pecorino says:

    Whenever I go back to Manila, I try to hit the following places for my food cravings:

    Red Ribbon – (Palabok and Ube Cake)
    Via Mare Cafe
    Mamonluk (in Chinatown)
    Savory Fried Chicken (in Chinatown)
    Dolor’s Kakanin
    Lapid’s Chicharon
    Royal Carribean Jamaican Beef Patties
    Becky’s Kitchen
    Brother’s Burger
    Dampa in Paranaque
    Lord Stowe’s Portugese Egg Tarts
    House of Silvannas

    Nov 22, 2007 | 9:30 pm

  99. Marketman says:

    kulasa, it’s bangus at LZM near Riviera, I LOVE their bangus. To all, WHAT A FANTASTIC list or set of lists you have left on this post, THANK YOU!!!

    Nov 22, 2007 | 9:37 pm

  100. chatterbox says:

    Hi Marketman! For Pinoy food, you should revisit “Bakahan Manukan.” It was a popular after midnight hangout in the 90’s in makati ave. for yummy bulalo. It never really disappeared – the best branch is the main, which is near the corner of buendia and Roxas Blvd. The place is not known for its ambiance but the food, i would definitely go back to. They have an extensive menu which carries unusual dishes from different pinoy regions. My fave is the primecut bulalo done ala pobre served on a sizzling plate with bulalo gravy sauce. yum! also, don’t miss out on the guinataang sigarilyas

    Nov 23, 2007 | 9:56 am

  101. alicia says:

    Reading this list and all the comments make me wish I had balikbayans coming this holiday. I suppose I could hit all these place regardless if I don’t have visitors in town, but the thought of all the fun everyone will be having with their friends and families makes me green with envy! Cirkulo, Milky Way, Sala, Mamou, Abe, Mezzaluna and Peoples Palace would be right up there for me as well as Market Market , Sacedo and Tiendasitas. Had a nice lunch at C2 in rockwell the other day (filipino) so some people should consider that too. Oh and SANGO burger! I think I can see that many of your readers are going to have a very merry christmas!

    Nov 23, 2007 | 11:27 am

  102. bottomsup says:

    – Gloriamaris Hotpot in Greenhills… must try their taho too!
    – Ferino’s Bibingka
    – “Dirty Ice Cream” anywhere on the streets =)

    Nov 23, 2007 | 1:30 pm

  103. cupcakediva says:

    -The Continental at The Palms Country Club
    -Dalampasigan, Nasugbu Batangas
    -Antonio’s, Tagaytay
    -Sonia’s Garden, Tagaytay
    -Kanin Club, Sta. Rosa
    -Conti’s, Serendra
    -Dampa, Macapagal
    -Ebun, Greenbelt
    -Via Mare

    Nov 23, 2007 | 1:45 pm

  104. mudra says:

    Hindi masyado halata na mahilig talaga ang Pinoy kumain, no?! Grabe! he he he! Anyone for balut from Pateros? =)

    Nov 23, 2007 | 2:47 pm

  105. Daisy says:

    1. ISAW and FISHBALLS at UP Diliman/Matalino St.
    2. LITTLE QUIAPO- for the Kare Kare,Green Mango Salad,Sampaloc candies and Halo halo
    3. TRELLIS along Matalino St. Pinoy food all kinds of sigang
    4. MUANG THAI along Malakas St. para maiba naman Thai food
    5. BELINNI’s at Marikina Shoe Expo (the Soho district of Cubao) best gelato and spicy spagetti
    6. SHABU SHABU at Ongpin
    7. HAP CHAN for congee
    8. Pancit Malabon any branch
    9. Lung Center Weekend Market
    10. Yogurt House in Sagada

    at marami pang iba :-)

    Nov 23, 2007 | 4:44 pm

  106. chatterbox says:

    try the guinataang suso of Cely Kalaw at market market! i believe the place is called Tita Cely’s. One order comes with wooden sticks so you can pick the meat from the shell and the best part is the sauce!Super with a bottle of Cerveza Negra

    Nov 23, 2007 | 11:07 pm

  107. danney says:

    Every time I go on vacation in the Philippines, I always bring my family to:

    Rose and Grace Restaurant in Sta Rosa. Clean place and nice ambiance. Food is great. Their barbecue is soft. Their sinigang is maasim and in big portion.

    Tea House-SM Mall in Baguio. Their pancit bilao is huge and very good. Their English triffle is amazing. Some of the staff remember us every time we visit Baguio even though we only visit Baguio once a year.

    Orient Buco Pie in Los Banos, Laguna. No need to explain why.

    Carvajal Restaurant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Their roast chicken is perfect. Their chinese food is very affordable and good taste.

    That restaurant next to Cebu Cathedral is fantastic. They have the best selection of pasalubong.I can’t recall the name but I think it is Fortune Restaurant.

    Aristocrat Restaurant and Emerald Restaurant in Roxas Blvd. Nice food but robotic service. The staff are just accepting order and serve. No friendly interaction with customers.

    Max Restaurant – anywhere. Very Filipino clean.

    Nov 23, 2007 | 11:17 pm

  108. Onie says:

    This is from my last visit:

    1) Tita Moning’s/Legarda Mansion
    2) Antonio’s (Tagaytay)
    3) Conti’s
    3) Hizon’s (best Bulacan delicacies)
    4) Max’s (very Filipino fried chicken)
    5) Superbowl of China
    6) Cibo
    7) Tiendesitas and Salcedo Market(a must!)
    8) Pancake House (my kids love their pancakes, salisbury steak and chicken)
    9) Via Mare (if they still have their oyster bar)
    10)Aling Neneng’s Barbeque (is it along SS Hwy?)

    Nov 23, 2007 | 11:49 pm

  109. Cherrie Abaya-Blas says:

    C2 (Shagrila Mall or Rockwell), Sentro (Greenbelt), Via Mare (Rockwell or Shangrila Mall), Abe (Serendra) … these places within Metro Manila have consistently good Filipino food, are kid-friendly & clean, easy to find/reach by cab, and won’t break the bank :)

    Nov 24, 2007 | 3:51 am

  110. moni says:

    Sonya’s Garden and Breakfast at Antonio’s in Tagaytay.

    Nov 24, 2007 | 5:57 am

  111. fireworksky says:

    Cafe Juanita in Capitolyo, Pasig serves a fusion of Filipino, Spanish and Asian food. The place is very homey and real pretty, decorated with antique furniture and accessories that are all for sale. Prices are not bad for the food at all.

    In-yo in E. Abada, QC (near Xavierville and Katipunan Avenue) serves great pastas, salads, foie gras, lamb and desserts. Another homey and cozy fine dining place.

    Nov 24, 2007 | 10:59 am

  112. danney says:

    Ay dapat may Chapter 2 ang “Which Restaurants Will You Be Taking Balikbayans this Christmas Season?

    There are still alot to talk from pasalubong, desserts, chichiria, Filipino delicacies, main courses, souvenir items, Filipino handicrafts, furnitures, paintings, art work, jewelries and more. Events to watch, beaches that we should recommend during Christmas week. It is very interesting spending Christmas and New Year at the beach.

    Nov 24, 2007 | 11:22 am

  113. choy says:

    my sister and cousin are coming in from the US this dec. i already had a list of places to bring them to. now i have a very loooong list. thanks everyone…i think.

    Nov 24, 2007 | 11:38 am

  114. chinachix says:

    been here two weeks, and so far, been to, and scheduled to go to some of the places on your and other readers’ list: mary grace cafe, galileo enoteca (a friend is adamant about being the one to take me there), and chelsea cafe. i was at salcedo market today, and friends introduced me to ed quimson’s corned beef, definitely on my grocery list to take back to toronto.

    Nov 24, 2007 | 3:48 pm

  115. luwee says:

    Try the Harbor View Restaurant along Manila Bay near the Luneta Grandstand. I think it is the extension of Kalaw St.(?) There is a number of restaurants of the same category in the area but Harbor View is the last one in the line and is the one closest to the Bay and has the best view day and night. I love their sinigangs, kare-kare, pakbet, nilasing na hipon, crispy pata and others. They have foreign dishes too. Parking is not a problem. Balikbayans and foreigners we brought there loved the food, the ambiance and the sea breeze.

    Nov 24, 2007 | 8:51 pm

  116. Crissy says:

    I agree about People’s Palace. I’m also thinking of Sentro for Filipino Fusion food. Will post again if I think of more.

    Nov 24, 2007 | 10:39 pm

  117. joonie says:

    These are some of the places we bring friends visiting Manila to:

    1. Sofitel Hotel Philippine Plaza (buffet & view of the sunset)
    2. Mannang Restaurant(Mega Mall)
    3. Roti Mum (coffee buns for breakfast or for AM road trips)
    4. Goldilocks (sans rival, mamon, polvoron)
    5. Red Ribbon (cakes, palabok)
    6. Gaudi’s Spanish Resto(some cities in the US/Canada don’t have authentic Spanish fare)
    5. Classic Confections (the choco cake is always voted 10 best in manila)
    6. BIZU patisserie (great french pastries for a fraction of the prices abroad, plus there aren’t that many places in the US and Canada that sell macarons, believe it or not)
    7. Cebu-style Lechon (salcedo market)
    8. Dampa (Libis, macapagal)
    9. Gerry’s Grill
    10. Starbucks (cakes, they don’t serve cakes in the US)
    11. Razon’s Halo Halo
    12. Alex III or Aristocrat
    13. Merced Bake House
    14. Merci Piaya (pasalubong)

    Nov 26, 2007 | 3:01 pm

  118. joonie says:

    15. Antonio’s farm in Tagaytay
    16. Leslie’s (overlooking Lake Taal)
    17. Amici (Arnaiz cor Pasong Tamo – ube gelato, ensaymada)
    18. La Resurreccion Tsokolate (in Binondo, authentic chocolate tableas, great for pasalubong)
    19. Betsey’s (Malabon)
    20. BreadTalk (sisig bun)
    21. Ineng’s BBQ (market market)
    22. Highland Steakhouse (for view of the fireworks at MOA)

    Nov 26, 2007 | 8:20 pm

  119. joonie says:

    15. Antonio’s farm in Tagaytay
    16. Leslie’s (overlooking Lake Taal)
    17. Amici (Arnaiz cor Pasong Tamo – ube gelato, ensaymada)
    18. La Resurreccion Tsokolate (in Binondo, authentic chocolate tableas, great for pasalubong)
    19. Betsey’s (Malabon)
    20. BreadTalk (sisig bun)
    21. Ineng’s BBQ (market market)
    22. Highland Steakhouse (for view of the fireworks at MOA)
    23. Oysters (Via Mare)

    Nov 26, 2007 | 8:22 pm

  120. nzb415 says:

    Market Man ! Love your website. Thanks for the tips. Here are a few places I would recommend:

    1) Mamou – Serendra, a diverse collection of home-cooked goodness. The steak and the roasted pork/grilled chicken platters are wonderful.

    2) Kusina Salud – San Pablo, Laguna – part of the Viaje del Sol tour. Situated in the old weekend home of Patis Tesoro, chef Pol Poblador whips up Filipino food with organic ingredients and with the flair of French cuisine presentation. Well worth the trip.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 8:04 am

  121. badong says:

    if you’re showing foreigners around, Chef Laudico’s Bistro Filipino (Net One Bldg., the Fort; 856-0634/856-0541) and La Cocina de Tita Moning (www.lacocinadetitamoning.com/) will surely score! even the harshest critic of filipino food will leave these restaurants a total believer that our cuisine is at par with some of the best of the world!

    if you want to go countryside, a promising pampanga culinary tour is set for 15 dec 07 (betis church + claude tayag’s bale datung = WOW). check out http://anton.blogs.com/

    Nov 27, 2007 | 12:44 pm

  122. fit gourmand says:

    can somebody tally all these and report on the top 10 scorers?


    Nov 27, 2007 | 4:56 pm

  123. chocolatesky says:

    1. aristocrat – i’m missing their karekare and boneless chicken barbeque
    2. jollibee – ang chickenjoy para talaga sa pinoy! hehehe
    3. barrio fiesta – for their eat all you can merienda
    4. pancit malabon
    5. doon sa nagtitinda ng puto bumbong at bibingka sa may tayuman/bambang pagkatapos ng madaling araw na misa =)

    Nov 27, 2007 | 8:00 pm

  124. blacksilver18 says:

    1. blackbeard seafood island @ araneta center – best crabs and lobsters. i like the one cooked in olive oil and garlic. plus, they serve this amazing “Boodle Feasts”, its like a complete meal from seafood rice to different grilled seafoods and filipino dishes like laing, kinilaw na tanigue etc, then you and your friends eat with your hands… yum yum yum… my tita came home from canada, and she loved the place. everyday we were eating there. hahaha =)

    2. those stalls selling crispy pata and lechon manok, a must for every balikbayan’s hehehe =)

    3. Razon’s, for their famous halo halo. yumm yumm

    4. chicken bacolod inasal, one awesome dish.

    5. Goldilocks, pasalubong treats =)

    6. Red Crab, crabs and prawns… heaven =)

    Nov 27, 2007 | 9:42 pm

  125. corrine says:

    Serye..great value for money!
    Antonio’s in Tagaytay
    Filipino restaurant at the side of Waterfront Hotel in Cebu near the Ayala Mall. Has a lifesaver in hanging in front. Great seafood, sisig, and ambiance.

    Best crispy pata ever..in Tiaong Quezon, near the church

    try sevilla’s bottled langka. they have a stand at the malls. have one in Alabang Town Center. Tastes and looks almost like fresh. definitely not like the usual sweetened one.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 10:52 pm

  126. girlie says:

    The balikbayans will enjoy a trip back to memory lane with the menu of Kalye Juan.

    Sisig of pampanga. Hito with buro. Balot ni Juan. Palabok. Kare-kare. Pinakbet. Tapsilog. Longsilog.

    Locations at SM mall of Asia. And Tomas Morato open 20 hours a day (closed from 2pm-6pm)

    Nov 28, 2007 | 1:33 am

  127. Tracy Torre-Walsh says:

    You might think it’s nepotism, but I truly think my uncle, Joel Torre, makes the best Bacolod chicken inasal outside of Bacolod.

    JT’s Manukan Grille has a few locations in Quezon City and is great for balikbayans (like me) and locals.

    Happy Eating!

    Nov 28, 2007 | 6:59 am

  128. jeicubs says:

    – Razon’s of Gua Gua -MOA
    – Sonya’s Garden – Tagaytay
    РDampa РPara̱aque and Macapagal Ave.
    – North Park – Macapagal Ave. and Glorieta
    – Red Crab (Crab Maritess) – GB3
    – Dencio’s – Tagaytay
    – Aling Nene’s BBQ – Vito Cruz cor South Super Highway
    – Bread Talk – Glorieta
    – Becky’s Kitchen – Vito Cruz
    – Big Bowl – MOA and Glorieta
    – Cafe Breton in Greenbelt and MOA
    – Tokyo Cafe’s Chicken ala Pobre – MOA

    Dec 6, 2007 | 1:20 am

  129. chicky says:

    nathaniel’s- pampanga- the best buco pandan salad in town!
    mannhann- san juan- the best chinese food!
    razon’s- san juan- the best halo-halo in town!

    Dec 28, 2007 | 9:26 pm

  130. Susie Q says:

    We just got back from our Philippines vacation and feel like going again, I miss the following:
    -Mary Grace’s hot choco, sansrival,(we brought back in US 3 boxes of sansrival) brownie’s and lemon bars at Serendra
    -Seafood Market restaurant, buy the fresh seafoods and veggies and they will cook the way you want located at George Bocobo St, Ermita
    -Nathaniel’s all their products(brownie’s,puto kutchinta,etc)yummy and home made great for dine in and pasalubong located along #69 Kilometer, Olongapo Gapan Road,San Fernando, Pampanga try it, you’ll love it!
    -“C” Italian restaurant-love their unique pizza with veggie rollups along friendship, Angeles City
    -Razon’s yummy halo-halo and palabok along Olongapo Gapan Road, San Fernando,Pampanga
    -Conti’s mango bravo and tiramisu at Serenda

    We really wish to go again very soon to enjoy all these yummy dishes and desserts, we miss it!

    Feb 27, 2008 | 1:16 pm

  131. Jo says:

    My husband and I will be visiting next month, and I’ve been searching on the internet for eating places, other than the usual, and I found them all here. Thank you, MM. I may end up 10 lbs. heavier after our trip – but happy. Any suggestions also (you gave your hand and I’m taking your arm) on condotels along the Greenbelt area would be appreciated. It would be nice to just cross the street to shop and grab something to eat once in a while. I’m not looking for anything fancy – just a clean and safe place to stay after a long day. Thanks again.

    Mar 8, 2008 | 7:25 pm

  132. Marketman says:

    Jo, there are a few serviced apartments in the area… Somerset has the old Olympia beside the peninsula hotel and other newer building in Salcedo. There is also the Ascott in the heart of Glorietta, etc. Have a great vacation!

    Mar 8, 2008 | 8:30 pm

  133. Jo says:

    Thanks, MM. I checked online and found the two accommodations satisfactory to our needs location wise. Great customer reviews, too. I am leaning towards Somerset Olympia, though, only because its rates are more within our reach. Thanks for your help.

    Mar 10, 2008 | 8:27 am

  134. vampired says:

    Saning’s bacolod…

    Love their cansi and bulalo!!!


    Mar 23, 2008 | 10:39 am

  135. Vince Lopez says:

    ON my LIST for a Balikbayan must-visit-restos:

    1. Tong Yang Hot Pot for eat all you can…fresh seafoods (fish , crabs to shells); pork and poultry. Quezon Ave.
    2. Sangkalan near ABS-CBN. fresh steamed veggies; grilled fish; sinigang.
    3. Kalye ni Juan in Morato Ave, QC. they served exotic filipino dishes.
    4. Snackaroo best steak in town… best taste! delicious but very reasonable price. located along judge jimenez st, kamuning QC.
    5.Bloomfield hotel restobar, world’s best sinigang na baboy ever!!! Dont missed this one in case you visit Baguio City. (this resto is located very near SM City Baguio)
    6. Myrnas’ Bulalo. best bulalo in town; most celebrities usually dine here. located near corner of Morato ave and kamuning QC.

    Mar 26, 2008 | 8:37 pm

  136. Janice says:

    Razons – Halo Halo
    Ay See ( Pasig ) – Pork Sisig
    Spiral ( Sofitel ) – BUFFET… Yummy Desserts
    Old Swiss Inn ( Makati ) – Pork knuckles & Fondue
    Cupcakes by: Sonja ( Serendra ) – CUPCAKES!
    Contis ( Serendra & Trinoma ) – CAKES & Pastries
    Beckys Kitchen ( Near CSB ) – BROWNIES

    Apr 9, 2008 | 11:50 am

  137. jorgelle reyes says:

    razon’s for halo-halo and palabok
    dolor’s for sapin-sapin
    manoza for pansit miki-nihon
    conti’s for cakes and pastries
    gloria maris for siopao asado
    sweet inspiration for mango cream pie
    primablend bakeshop for san rival

    May 21, 2008 | 4:59 pm

  138. mia says:

    grabe, i thought i wouldn’t reach the end of the line anymore so i could share my own fave food list as well.such recommendations is a good time and money saver. sometimes even non-balikbayans who find themselves in other places just settle for the good old jollibee or mc donald’s because of ignorance (or due to lack of advertisement)on what the place has to offer. thank you to all! i hope i get to try them all before i die…he,he.

    >brothers burger (manila and cebu)
    >dampa(sucat road, seaside market(baclaran), macapagal ave)
    >cocina de tita moning
    >house of chicken bacolod(across walmart pasay road)
    >ma mon luk (quezon ave)
    >everybody’s cafe
    >bigby’s (cdo, cebu)
    >solihiya (Greenbelt 5)
    >cruiller (serendra)
    >ontivero’s- my fave isaw!good sisig too, mura pa! (old villamor airbase along 3rd street yata)
    >sosing’s – (turo- turo style)bangkal, makati
    >good bulalo (at least in the metro)-forgot the name of the place but it’s along evangelista makati a few meters away from edsa.recommended to me by a cab driver.

    i suggest you post a sequel to this one, where everyone would share their feedback on the places they have tried.at least that would skim down our priority list.kudos! great job.

    May 25, 2008 | 11:15 am

  139. mia says:

    i mean skim down our priority list…

    May 25, 2008 | 11:17 am

  140. mia says:

    ano ba yan! slim down our priority list!

    May 25, 2008 | 11:43 am

  141. Jo says:

    My husband and I have just returned from a 3-week holiday in the Philippines, and I would like to say that yours and your other readers’ tips came very useful! To mention a few of the eating places we visited, most of which I read about here: We ordered bringhe and binukadkad na pla pla at Abe’s, and had coffee and cake at Coffee Bean in Serendra. Had dinner at Sentro and Via Mare Bistro in Glorietta 3, Max’s Restaurant everywhere and Jerry’s Grill. We were invited to a delicious lunch at Antonio’s in Tagaytay (this one must’ve cost our generous host an arm and a leg). The lush surrounding alone was well worth the trip. We dined at Fely J’s in Greenbelt 5. I can’t remember now what else we ordered aside from their famous adobo and the rice dilis, but my husband still swears by how good their dessert called “Maria Clara’s Secret” was. The meal is quite pricey, though. Also enjoyed brunch at Travel Cafe and dessert at Classic Confections in the same mall. We also drove two hours to eat at Kamayan sa Palaisdaan in Tayabas, Quezon. The food was great and the price was very reasonable. On our way home, we stopped by a rest area along the road and had supper at Rose and Grace. These were the only two places where I had the famous bulalo – and enjoyed it to the max! My husband also can’t get over the crispy dilis at R & G. I also read here about the Blue Kitchen in Rockwell, so I went and bought a few bottles of crispy dilis, tawilis sardines and garlic tuyo. I also had halo halo everyday and enjoyed it most at Razon’s, Milky Way and Max’s. We also went once to the Salcedo Village Saturday Market, where we bought some food to keep in the fridge, just in case. We also bought many of our pasalubongs from there.

    Thank you, MM, for all the important information you provide your readers. You helped make our holiday more enjoyable.

    May 29, 2008 | 6:59 am

  142. leticia says:

    this site is really a gold mine!

    thanks MM!

    Jun 26, 2008 | 4:12 am

  143. Ron says:

    I visited Rockwell’s Baker Dozen and there’s a lot of delicious baked goodies. What i found worth giving as gifts are the ff:
    1)Sweet Life’s Frozen Brazo de Mercedez
    2) Estrel’s Caramel Cake
    3) Sanlo’s Chicken pies and Chocolate Cake
    4) Kitchen’s Best Yummy Chocolate Brownies
    a lot more but i didn’t get the names..oh Vargas buttercake is also good

    Nov 29, 2008 | 7:45 pm

  144. carla says:

    the CHOCOLATE BUFFET of The Lobby at The Peninsula!!!!

    Dec 2, 2008 | 2:11 pm

  145. ging says:

    can’t wait to go home.. thanks for this post. it’s a treasure trove of food finds. will be checking back for updates.. certainly the coming weeks will bring more new restos to try:p more power to you, MM!

    Feb 14, 2009 | 8:59 am

  146. noiras says:

    Just got back from a wonderful visit. Adding a few that weren’t already mentioned from what i can see…

    Uncle Moes in City Golf Plaza, J. Vargas St., Ortigas for great shawarma and cool atmosphere.

    Any Burgoo in the Manila and surrounding area

    Of course Jollibee if you’re bringing the kids

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:39 pm

  147. Maribel says:

    Can anyone tell me how to get in touch with or how to get to Bale Datung in Pampanga. Have heard so much about it but articles written on it did not contain contact numbers. Thanks

    Aug 2, 2009 | 10:13 am


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