Polls + Surveys

Top 10 Best Modern Filipino Restaurants in the Philippines 2016

Our dear readers named which modern Filipino restaurant is the best!

By: Patricia Marie Prado | November 27, 2016
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Filipino cuisine will always be our favorite wherever we are in the world. Despite the rise of foreign players in the background, we still long for the hot bulalo over the popular buffalo wings at the end of a long tiring day. The good thing is our Filipino chefs still rise to the occasion despite the stiff competition, thus bringing a new wave of cuisine known as the “Modern Filipino” type of cooking. The modern Filipino restaurant nowadays innovate our regular favorites and give them a modern twist, elevating our everyday ulam to international standards.

This week we asked you, our readers, to vote for your favorite Modern Filipino restaurants and we round up our top 10. Check if your favorites made the list and if not, go ahead and give these top 10 restaurants a try!

10. Luna J Gastropub

Voter's Comment:
“Authentic Filipino dishes served with a twist, delightful taste, cozy and unique” - Doreen
”The best yung kare-kare nila!” - Mateo

favorite modern Filipino restaurants

Pair your beer with their classic Bagnet with Kamatis, Bagoong, and Lasona at Luna J

Starting our top 10 is Luna J Gastropub located in Tomas Morato. This modern Filipino restaurant is named after Filipino artist Juan Luna and serves classic Filipino dishes from scratch and a wide variety of beer served below zero or just before its freezing point. Some fans also flock here to get a chance meeting with Richard Yap or more fondly known as Sir Chief, the owner of the restaurant.

Customers are immediately drawn by the restaurant’s cozy and posh ambience but of course the food is not to be missed. Some of their best-sellers include the classic Bagnet with KBL (Kamatis, Bagoong, Lasona or Tomatoes, Fish Sauce, & Onion Relish) and Kare-kareng Bagnet.

Price Range: PhP100 to PhP345
Branch: See the complete details of Luna J Gastropub branch at the ShoppersGuide Directory.

9. Wooden Spoon

favorite modern Filipino restaurants

Taste the Crab Pancit invented by none other than Chef Nora Daza at Wooden Spoon

Our ninth place belongs to the creation of famed celebrity Chef Sandy Daza and that is Wooden Spoon , inspired by the famous tool that he used in his former cooking show. The restaurant that originated in Katipunan, Quezon City has been a popular choice because of its affordability and authenticity in serving Filipino dishes with a twist but are still familiar to the palate.

Aside from serving the familiar favorites, Wooden Spoon also serves unusual dishes that still hits home with the use of the classic Filipino ingredients. If you happen to visit Wooden Spoon, try their best-seller Crab Pancit created by Sandy’s mother Nora Daza and two-star Michellin Chef Jacques Marniere of Au Pactole. Other favorites include Stuffed Petchay, a reimagined version of laing wherein the smoked fish or tinapa is encased in pechay leaves and topped with coconut milk, and Dinuguang Bagnet, the classic dinuguan with crispy fried pork.

Price Range: PhP125 to PhP375
Branches: See the complete details of Wooden Spoon branches at the ShoppersGuide Directory.

8. Kuya J

favorite modern Filipino restaurants

Kuya J’s Halo-Halo Espesyal will make your hot afternoon cooler.

Nope, Kuya J is not owned by actor Jericho Rosales, but he is the proud endorser of this restaurant that originated from Cebu bearing the name “Ang Kan-anan ni Kuya J.” Aside from the amazing dishes served in the restaurant, people remember Kuya J because of their clean and elegant restaurants elevating their dining experience to a gourmet level.

Despite being relatively new in the dining scene, Kuya J is slowly rising to top ranks because of their best-sellers including Crispy Pata and Grilled Scallops. But one of their most talked-about offering is not the usual viand but the very special Halo-Halo Espesyal. People rave about the creaminess of the dessert and the generous ingredients in it.

Price Range: PhP150 to PhP300
Branches: See the complete details of Kuya J branches at the ShoppersGuide Directory.

7. Café Juanita

Voter’s comment:
“A pioneer in updating the old Filipino cuisine... Loved the Crispy hito... Creative iterations to be proud of.” - David

favorite modern Filipino restaurants

Experience the creamy peanut sauce of this Kare-kare that everyone has been raving about at Café Juanita.

On the seventh spot is Café Juanita that can be found in Metro Manila. People visit Café Juanita mostly because of their quirky interiors that simply speak volumes. Some say it’s modern, while some think its shabby chic to the nth level, but whatever your interpretation is you’ll definitely enjoy their one-of-a-kind dining experience.

The colorful design is not all that there is in Café Juanita, the food too is a standout. Some of the favorites in the restaurant include the Bagnet Salad, a playful take in the supposed to be healthy dish, the Sisig on Tofu, another healthy vs. unhealthy viand, and Kare-kare, one of their best-sellers.

Price Range: PhP150 to PhP600
Branches: See the complete details of Café Juanita branches at the ShoppersGuide Directory.

6. Sarsa Kitchen + Bar

favorite modern Filipino restaurants

Try Sarsa’s Sizzling Bulalo created by Chef JP Angelo

Sixth on our list is Sarsa Kitchen + Bar owned by another Celebrity Chef, Chef JP Angelo, who became popular in the cooking competition TV show Master Chef Pinoy Edition. Despite being a newbie with only three years under its belt, Sarsa has already been making waves in the Filipino dining scene with its contemporary Negrense food and redefined classic Filipino dishes that we know and love.

Prepare to stand in line as Sarsa is always jam-packed especially during peak hours, but one taste of their dishes and you’ll know it’s worth the wait. Their best-sellers include the Sarsa Batchoy Special, a modern take on the favorite batchoy with egg and bacon-cut liempov, and the Sizzling Kansi, or their version of Sizzling *Bulalo with a special sauce made from a fruit called batwan.

Price Range: PhP150 to PhP350
Branches: See the complete details of Sarsa Kitchen + Bar branches at the ShoppersGuide Directory.

5. Buddy’s

Voter's comment:
"Delicious food." - Andrea May Aviado

favorite modern Filipino restaurants

Original Pancit Habhab can only be found at Buddy’s.

Halfway through our top 10 is Buddy’s. This unassuming restaurant may not be as ‘high-end’ as the other names on this list, but their humble service and authentic Lucban favorites is what made them a stand out.

Originally from Lucban, Quezon, Buddy’s became popular with their Pancit Habhab, a local favorite that they serve with special vinegar. Today, Buddy’s is not just a local favorite in Lucban but has now filling the stomachs of the people in Metro Manila. Other must-tries in the restaurant are the Longanisang Lucban, a short but flavorful sausage filled with garlic and pork, and Hardinera, a pork dish cooked with bell pepper and egg and covered in cheese.

Price Range: PhP150 to PhP300
Branches: See the complete details of Buddy’s branches at the ShoppersGuide Directory.

4. Abé

Voter’s comment:
“It really deserves to be on spot. Kapampangan cuisines are the best!” - Nina

favorite modern Filipino restaurants

Go on an adventure and try Abé’s Lamb Adobo with Popped Garlic.

Kapampangan people are known for being the best foodies out there, not just with their taste buds but with their superb cooking skills too. So it’s no surprise that our fourth spot belongs to Abé , a Filipino restaurant that specializes in Kapampangan dishes but of course with a tweak, inspired by the travels of its owner Larry Cruz. The restaurant is named after the father of the owner—artist-writer, gourmet, and bon vivant E. Aguilar “Abe” Cruz.

Today, Abe is known as a fine dining restaurant that serves Filipino dishes with interesting ingredients and innovations. Even if you’re not from Pampanga, you’ll surely enjoy their best-sellers that include Binukadkad na Crispy Pla-Pla, Lamb Adobo with Popped Garlic, and Abe’s Chicken Supreme.

Price Range: PhP300 to PhP500
Branches: See the complete details of Abé branches at the ShoppersGuide Directory.

3. Mesa

Voter’s comment:
“Macau chicken” - Duhnah

favorite modern Filipino restaurants

No need to remove the bones in this Crispy Boneless Tilapia at Mesa

On our top three is Mesa , a restaurant that is known for sticking to the authentic Filipino cuisine without adding much fuzz to the dishes. Customers enjoy the fine dining ambience at Mesa without the fine dining price. Food are still affordable and worth every peso.

Aside from the great tasting dishes, customers also love the way Mesa presents their dish. From fish flakes on spoons to shrimps cooked on hot stones, eating here is like watching a magical show as your food unfolds before you. Some of their best-sellers include the Crispychon, sliced beside your table and served two ways—wrapped in panda crepe, and one dashed with chili garlic, Crispy Boneless Tilapia served with four sauces, and Laing Two Ways served in original and dry form.

Price Range: PhP300 to PhP500
Branches: See the complete details of Mesa branches at the ShoppersGuide Directory.

2. Sentro 1771

Voter's Comment:
"Ok yung inihaw at salad" - Lawrence

favorite modern Filipino restaurants

Sentro 1771’s signature dish, the famous Sinigang na Corned Beef

The spot for second place goes to Sentro 1771 that has been a prevalent face in the dining scene in the metro. The classic favorite is known to serve modernized Filipino dishes mixed with Western influences. They even twist the classic Western dishes and make it more Filipino.

Sentro serves breakfast meals and all-time Filipino favorites that are sure to fill your tummy whenever you visit the store. Among the favorites in the restaurant are their Rated GG or galungong fillets, Lamb Caldereta made with boneless lamb shoulder, and their most famous dish, Sinigang na Corned Beef made with corned beef short plate and boneless beef shanks in tamarind broth and vegetables.

Price Range: PhP300 to PhP500
Branches: See the complete details of Sentro 1771 branches at the ShoppersGuide Directory.

1. Barrio Fiesta

Voter’s comment:
“Their Crispy Pata & Kare-kare, perfect combo!” - Rena
"Delicious and affordable" - Louella G. Almazar
"Dbest Kare-kare!" - Mack

favorite modern Filipino restaurants

The classic and all-time favorite Crispy Pata now also a Crispy Patita at Barrio Fiesta

Barrio Fiesta claims the top spot of our survey for the Best Modern Filipino Restaurant in our country. Despite the streams of competition of both local and foreign restaurants, Barrio Fiesta still remains as the top favorite of the Filipinos with its classic dishes that almost feels like your mom made it. With over 50 years of experience under their belt, it’s no surprise that they have claimed the top spot.

Aside from the scrumptious meals, eating in Barrio Fiesta is like a nostalgic experience, bringing you back in time with every bite. Today, Barrio Fiesta is still known to house the best Crispy Pata in town, simply because they are the ones who invented it. Other most loved dishes in the restaurant are their Kare-kare partnered with their signature Ginisang Bagoong and the Barrio Adobo.

Price Range: PhP150 to PhP300
Branches: See the complete details of Barrio Fiesta branches at the ShoppersGuide Directory.

Results are based on the Best Modern Filipino Restaurants survey posted at the home page of ShoppersGuide.com.ph from November 15 to November 20, 2016.

Prices are subject to change without prior notice. Please contact the aforementioned stores confirm serving size and prices.

Images are from the Facebook pages and official websites of featured stores.
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About Patricia Marie Prado
Patricia came from the field of business and accounting but is now pursuing her dreams of being a writer. She is a self-confessed introvert and is passionate about reading, travelling, writing, movies, coffee and God. When she's not writing, she loves discovering new coffee shops/cafe and doing TV-series marathons.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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