9 Restaurants in Manila that Serve the Best Filipino Food with a Twist

Filipino food like you’ve never tasted before!

Once in a while we enjoy the trying other worldly cuisines, but we almost always find ourselves coming back to our own. When it comes to food, we’re biased towards home cooked style Filipino dishes that bring back great memories from the past.

We, Filipinos, are known to be creative, especially when it comes to food. Everyone is trying to be ‘the next big thing’ by reinventing traditional dishes. While there is no foolproof formula, a dish must still provide a sense of familiarity to the diners. After all, the original is what we fell in love with in the first place.

If you’re looking to try a unique set of Filipino dishes in the metro, here’s a curated list of restaurants that serve Lechon Carbonara, Sizzling Sinigang, Liempo Cheese Fundido. Eat away!

Related post: The Ultimate Guide to Manila's Best Reinvented Filipino Desserts

Locavore – various branches

Locavore serves locally grown and produced Filipino dishes with a French touch from Chef Mikel Zaguirre. It’s consistently on our monthly Top 10 lists and is really a top choice for reinvented Filipino dishes. 

MUST TRY: Sizzling Sinigang (featured in our rare Sinigang dishes), Lechon and Oyster Sisig

Photo from @eboymdonato
Sizzling Sinigang | Photo from @magocarla

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Cafe Enye – Eastwood

Cafe Enye (Ñ) serves signature fusion dishes that are inspired by colonial Spanish cuisine. Its menu shows a distinct character, as well as its bar list of handcrafted cocktails and craft beers.

MUST TRY: Lechon Carbonara, Steak with Sofrito Butter, Caesar Salad Mojo Chicken Breast

Also featured here: 10 Must Visit Restaurants in Eastwood City
Photo from @paperjammed
Cafe Enye
Lechon Carbonara | Photo from @cafe_enye

Reservations are accepted
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G/F Excelsior Bldg., Eastwood Ave, Libis, Quezon City
(02) 671-3230

Alab – QC & BGC

‘Alab’, which is Tagalog for flame, serves the same ‘burning with passion’ modern Filipino dishes that are youthful and forward thinking.

MUST TRY: Honey Lechon, Palabok Negra, New York Cubao Bibingka Cheesecake, Laing Ice Cream

New York Cubao Bibingka Cheesecake | Photo from @dreydavid

Reservations are accepted
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Neil’s Kitchen – Westgate Alabang

Neil’s Kitchen is a favorite dining destination in the South that offers reinvented Filipino dishes by Chef Neil Ramos, who was first known for his catering business, The Hills at Silang. 

MUST TRY: Sinigang Paella, Bagoong Paella, Crab Fat Palabok, Grilled Chicken & Crispy Pork Dinuguan Fondue

Also featured here: 11 Restaurants You Can Check Out at Westgate, Alabang
Photo from @alyssamascarina
Bagoong Paella with Kare-Kare | Photo from @nicoledorig

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Lot C701-704 Westgate Filinvest, Alabang, Muntinlupa
(02) 771-1334

Lola Cafe + Bar – Tomas Morato

Named after the mother of the Sanvictores family, Lola Victoria, this post-WWII era home is one of Quezon City’s most well kept secret restaurants. Lola Cafe + Bar offers Filipino specialty cuisine by Chef John Mangibin.

Some of their bestselling dishes are the Bone Marrow Sisig, Wagyu Salpicao, Spicy Tinapa Pasta, and Kimchi Kaldereta. Read more in our full feature here. 


Bone Marrow Sisig | Photo from @lolacafe

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99 Sct Lozano St, Quezon City
(02) 501-2620

Sarsa Kitchen + Bar – various branches

Sarsa Kitchen + Bar (‘sarsa’ meaning sauce in English) was created on the premise that Filipinos love eating food with accompanying sauces or condiments. Celebrity chef JP Anglo, who is from Bacolod, has successfully curated the best of Filipino-Negrense dishes, with little tweaks.

MUST TRY: Sizzling Kansi, Bangus Belly Salad, Pritchon Pancake, Piaya Ice Cream Sandwich

Photo from @janarias
Sizzling Kansi | Photo from @serialeater_mnl

Reservations are accepted
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Manam – various branches

Manam is a homegrown concept from the Moment Group and is said to be the home of the ‘best sisig in the metro today. It takes modern Filipino food to a whole new level with its two-part menu–one side shows the traditional version and the other, the twists.

MUST TRY: Crispy Pansit Palabok, Beef Short Ribs Sinigang with Watermelon, Lamb Curry Kare, Bibingkang Ube

Photo from @manamph
Crispy Pansit Palabok | Photo from @manamph

Reservations are accepted
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Alamat Filipino Pub & Deli – Poblacion

Alamat is one of the newest night spots in Makati that aims to serve ‘the best pulutan (beer match) of your life’. Also featured in 12 Newest Restaurants to Open in Makati

MUST TRY: Kare-kare Skewers,Bagoong Pork Jowls, Bacon Bagnet, Adobo & Salted Egg Sausage

Photo from @lowdownphcreep
Bagoong Pork Jowls | Photo from @chefninolaus

Reservations are accepted
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2/F 5666 Don Pedro St, Poblacion, Makati
(0917) 530-2580

7107 Culture + Cuisine – BGC

7107 Culture + Cuisine is primarily a culinary and hospitality food hall that aims to promote the heritage and local food of the Filipinos. The place is divided into five different sections, each highlighting the distinctive set of local dishes that the Philippines has to offer from merienda to desserts. READ MORE

MUST TRY: Malunggay Pestocino, Chocolate Binagoongan, Molten Pastillas Lava Cake, Bulalo V 2.0.

Photo from @franceaflores
Photo from @7107restaurant

Reservations are accepted
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G/F Treston International College, University Parkway District, 32nd St cor C-5 Rd, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
(0917) 807-8023

Are you excited to give this list a try? Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @bookyapp and share your experiences with us by using the hashtag #bookymanila when posting photos. If we missed out any of your favourites or latest discoveries, let us know in the comments section below!

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