Just like any modern city, Manila is riddled with fast food restaurants and coffee shops that don’t really offer Filipino authenticity. If it’s Philippine cuisine you want, follow these suggestions.
San Miguel by the Bay is relatively a new location for a series of eateries located around Manila Bay. It is included as one of the attractions of the Mall of Asia and it is also known as the Esplanade, a befitting name for a modern gimmick place. The ambience is perfect as a cool tropical hangout for foreigners and locals who can delight at the ample San Miguel Beer products, local dishes and sea food. One can customize orders as to how you want them cooked after picking from a fresh array of seafood. It’s also a perfect place to catch the Manila Bay sunset if you get there before dusk. On some occasions, visitors get to enjoy a fireworks display provided by Mall of Asia.
When along C5 Road in Pasig and you’re craving for native food, Tiendesitas is right up your alley. The whole place is designed to mimic a traditional Filipino village inside a shopping complex. Around 50 food stalls are designed using bamboo and woven leaves and sell delicacies and dishes found around the Philippines. Organic vegetables from Baguio City can be found here, as well as fruits from Davao coconut jams and dried fish from Bicol, bagnet from Ilocos and many other traditional treats. Grilled seafood is the best selling dish here as they arrive the stalls fresh every day.
For the more adventurous foodie, Mercato Centrale is a perfect venue to check out culinary creations by up and coming chefs. One could also enjoy specialties from the different regions of the country. Filipino chefs have taken the liberty of adding a Filipino twist to foreign cuisine, resulting to a fusion of flavors. Mercato Centrale does not have a definite location and it is held during weekends. It is usually found at the open area of Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City. Food exhibitors are welcome to showcase their signature dishes and treats which can vary from mini tacos, roast beef sandwich, paella, local cheese and lovely cupcakes. Mercato is a travelling food exhibit so they may be found in different parts of Manila. It’s a place for businessmen to spot an undiscovered culinary talent or a highly marketable product. Organic produce are also sold here, as well as food preserves and homemade natural beauty products.