Consuming good food is essential to producing good work. And for the busy bees that devote a good third (or more) of their day in the office that is located right smack in the concrete jungle, satisfying food is a definite must! Knowing what (and where!) to eat can definitely add some plus points to your knowledge of the metro.
Simply put, great food makes people happy. So if you’re in the business of closing a deal with a client, having a quick but scrumptious “to-go” lunch, or simply unwinding with colleagues after a long day, here is a list of some of the gastronomic secrets hidden in the business districts of the Philippines.
Makati, Metro Manila
Makati, also known as the Central Business District of Metro Manila, is home to a teeming selection of culinary delights! Whether you are craving for something American, Thai, or Italian, there is always something that will please the people’s palette.
Bugsy’s Bar and Bistro, Salcedo Village, Makati
Bugsy’s is famous for their Buffalo Tenders, Fish and Chips, Baked Salmon, and a lot of other American delights that will satisfy your Western cravings. This place is always packed during lunch hours and after-hours. Yes, Bugsy’s is also a watering hole for those in the Salcedo area, being a haven of fine American beers and exquisite cocktails. With an interior so cozy and relaxing, Bugsy’s is the perfect place to simply chill and catch up with friends after a long day at work.
Soms Noodle House, Rockwell, Makati
Hailed as the most authentic Thai resto in the metro, Soms is definitely a sought-after dinner spot for curry lovers and Thai milk tea enthusiasts. This house-turned-restaurant is usually packed during dinnertime, and is also a favorite of those from the vicinity.
Some of their bestsellers include their Tom Yum Soup, Bagoong Rice and Green Curry. If your taste buds are sensitive to spicy food, you can simply have the chef adjust the levels. When dining in Soms, their Thai Iced Tea is a refreshing accompaniment to the Thai-spiced dishes. Beer is also available upon request. So if you’re looking for a place to dine Thai style, hop over to Soms and get your Eastern fix!
Va Bene, Dasmariñas Village, Makati
Tucked away in the Petron gas station as you enter Dasmariñas Village, Va Bene is a hole-in-a-wall Italian gem. You can’t go wrong with handmade pastas and an assortment of delicious homemade sauces. Simple, rustic, and filling, Va Bene offers quality Italian comfort food that is worth every centavo.
Start your meal with their complementary crostini that comes with their tomato-EVOO-basil relish that is so rich in flavor despite the simple ingredients. Their Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Ravioli is highly recommended, as well as their Crab Tortellini in Seafood Bisque, Lemon Zest, and Basil Infusion. For those who want a white-sauce alternative, their Organic Eggs Tagliolini with Portobello Mushrooms and White Wine Cream Sauce is the perfect choice. But their specialty of the house, Black Ink Homemade Spaghetti with Seafood Marinara, will never fail to impress. With a carafe of Italian wine, you’re all set for a perfect evening.
Ortigas, Metro Manila
Ortigas is also home to a number of grills, restaurants and bars that will please those who work after-hours, and those who need a quick fix of comfort food. Each street is lined with a variety of restaurants, each different from the other.
Uncle Moe’s Shawarma Hub, Julia Vargas, Ortigas
Appease the Middle Eastern man in you by sitting down to a plate of kebabs and an assortment of below-zero beers. Uncle Moe’s is a popular spot for the Pasig peeps. Serving some of the best Kofta Balls you will ever sink your teeth into, this Mediterranean restaurant will definitely keep you coming back!
Borough, The Podium, Ortigas
Craving for some comfort NY food? Then troop over to The Podium and spot the homey, wood-paneled place the first floor that’s aptly called Borough.
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Borough, located in the most posh Ortigas mall, is a hip stop to the yuppies of the area. Whether it’s the food, the ambiance, or the drinks, Borough houses good company. This is where friends and colleagues converge after work hours, and munch on some gourmet all-American treats such as their Portobello Pita, BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, Baked Mac and Cheese, and their NY Strip Steak. Don’t miss out on their Milk and Cookies that definitely hit home. Open 24/7, Borough never fails to appease the hungry soul.
Surprise, surprise! Pampanga isn’t one to miss out on the best food spots in the Philippines! Located up North, Angeles City is definitely a frequent destination for the curious foodie, offering the best in local Filipino cuisine such as everyone’s favorite pulutan, Sisig. It is also known to be one of the budding business districts in the country thanks of the rise in BPOs and call centers in this city.
Aling Lucing’s Sisig, Glaciano Valdez Street, Angeles City
Save all the guilt for later and indulge in the pride of Pampanga! Being a huge part of the Filipino culture, Sisig is enjoyed by groups of friends over a round of beer…or two! Aling Lucing is known as the founder of Sisig, and where else to better feast on this Pinoy pulutan than in its hometown? Served on sizzling plates, Aling Lucing’s Sisig is definitely worth every calorie.
C’ Italian Dining, Don Juico Avenue, Angeles City
Way before Dear Darla, there was Chef Chris Locher and the Panizza. A panizza is basically a cross between a Panini and a Pizza, hence, the name. Once you get your panizza, you roll it up with basil and alfalfa, and take a bite out of this heavenly creation.
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Aside from the well-loved panizzas, C’ is also known for its other authentic Italian delights such as the Gnocchi and Polenta. Meat lovers can also feast upon the Sirloin Steak and the famed Roasted Honey Garlic Spare Ribs. Though the meals in C’ are a bit pricey, the satisfaction you get is worth it.
Cebu and Davao
The Visayas and Mindanao regions refuse to be spared from all this talk about the best places to eat in the country! In this area, you can find a number of delightful restaurants to wine and dine with your friends as well.
Abaca Restaurant, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu
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Reminiscent of Antonio’s in Tagaytay, Abaca offers a gourmet selection of mouthwatering entrees from the freshest homegrown ingredients. You’re definitely in for a feast as you chow down on hearty meals and toast with fine wines.
Abaca isn’t the cheapest place to eat, especially for a big group, but if you want a fine culinary experience from the heart of Cebu, then Abaca is your best bet. For starters, try their Duck Confit Salad, which contains hazelnuts, goat cheese, and balsamic plumped currants. Another favorite is the Mortadella Flatbread Pizza that contains organic arugula, garlic, herbs, and fontina cheese. Other bestsellers include the Abaca Bouillabaisse, Braised Beef Shortrib, and their newest tasty addition, the Roasted Oxtail Canneloni.
De BonteKoe, Rizal Street, Davao
De BonteKoe houses some of the finest Dutch food and wine in the country. The ambiance is very European and exudes a warm and cozy glow. Despite being established as a Dutch restaurant, the extensive menu is quite palatable, with bestsellers such as their Paella Negra, Pasta Pangritata, and Vegetarian Lasagna. Wines are also something to look forward to in De BonteKoe. The smoky Chateau Los BaldosCaberne wine is also a great complement to all their dishes.