The district of Malate in Manila is a well-known commerce and tourism hub. Back then, it was where the kings and chieftains were believed to have settled after their fort in Intramuros was taken by the Spanish. But today, the district is now a bustling hub of various businesses and the home of visual and performing artists.
Nowadays, most people go to Malate for work, school, or commute to other parts of Manila or the south of the metro. However, food lovers can go to the district to enjoy delicious bites and beverages with prices varying from the most expensive to the most affordable. Here are seven of them:
Cafe Adriatico Premier
Since part of Malate’s heritage is Spanish, drop by Cafe Adriatico Premier in Remedios Circle. This 36-year-old bistro offers a unique charm that entices many to try their sumptuous Spanish-style dishes. And while the restaurant has a modernized Spanish-style architecture, you can still see how it contrasts with many contemporary and Art-deco-style condos for rent in Manila.
Patrons of the restaurant recommend newcomers to order and enjoy the Salpicao rice, Lola Ising’s adobo rice, beef spare ribs ninja, and the baby squid pasta.
Craving for Japanese food but on a budget? Nihonbashi Tei in Adriatico Street has got you. This resto-bar offers authentic Japanese cuisine. Take your pick from sushi, fried seafood, bento boxes, ramen, udon, and curry. Sounds delicious, right?
If you want to drop by Nihonbashi Tei but don’t want to spend a lot of money on your first meal, the restaurant has a happy hour from 11 am to 5 pm. You can choose from different meal sets without breaking the bank.
The Korean craze doesn’t stop with music and television shows. For instance, 24 Chicken in Taft Avenue corner Pedro Gil Street offers different flavored Korean-style fried chicken. You can even order wings sets if you’re craving flavored wings and Korean food at the same time. Flavors you should try are Jack Daniels, yangnyeom, (sweet and spicy), and lemon glazed.
Ate Rica’s Bacsilog
Decided to start your food-tripping venture early in the morning? Start your day right by getting a go-to tapsilog meal at Ate Rica’s Bacsilog. What started as a small food stall outside De La Salle University grew into a popular tapsilog kiosk found in malls. However, visiting where it started might teach you that simple meals served with a creative flair can go a long way.
The best part about Ate Rica’s Bacsilog is you can enjoy tapsilog meals for below Php 100! You’ll also get savory cheese sauce which makes the meal taste even more delicious.
Another affordable eatery to try is Dixie’s in Castro Street corner Taft Avenue. This small restaurant specializes in sizzling meals, but you can still order other notable Filipino ulam, such as bulalo and chicken adobo. For under Php 100 pesos, you can have a full meal with Dixie’s silog and sizzling plate dishes. Be sure to try their bestseller: the sizzling chicken steak which you can get for just Php 50.
What’s a Malate food trip without grilled food on sticks? Head over to Noel’s Barbeque on Fidel A. Reyes Street. While the eatery may not have a fancy ambiance like other barbecue places around Malate, Noel’s is notable for serving the best barbecue around De La Salle University. Choose from different barbecue skewers such as pork barbecue, grilled hotdog, isaw (chicken or pig intestines), and Betamax (gelatin-like blood in the shape of a small box).
Ged and Bart
If you’re craving British food but on a budget, Ged and Bart’s menu has fish n’ chips and shots n’ chips waiting for you. With prices starting at Php 65, you’ll get a plateful of French fries, fried chicken, or a piece of fried fish that is the size of a plate. Other dishes on Ged and Bart’s menu include omelet rice, pork or chicken sisig, gyudon, and katsudon.
Over the years, Malate has become a district that boomed into a commerce and trade center in Manila. Thanks to these seven eateries as well as other food-tripping spots, you get a sense of Malate’s heritage and its growth as a hub for foodies from all over the country.