6 Places to Go for Great Tapas in Manila
Scrumptious small plates!
(SPOT.ph) The after-work drinking crowd is always on the lookout for the coolest spots to unwind after a long day. But aside from the great selection of drinks and cozy ambience, everyone is also looking for a tasty bite. The best place for a drink-and-eat combo? Definitely a tapas place.
Did you know that in Spain, though, eating tapas is more than just a way to fill your belly? It’s actually sort of a social ritual—called tapear—and it isn’t something you do in just one restaurant but in several (kind of like bar-hopping but with food!). With that said, here’s a list of places in Manila with the best tapas (both traditional and modern) that you can visit when you're feeling Spanish, or when you’re just simply in the mood to indulge on some tapas and sangria.
With its homey ambience, Taperia Poblacion instantly makes you feel as if time has ground to a meditative standstill. It has a laid-back feel and the food is just straight-up delicious with spice profiles that’ll leave you clamoring for more rather than drinking too quickly. The menu is a well-curated list of dishes—built around high-quality and fresh ingredients—that carefully merge the best flavors of Spain and the Philippines. It’s also such a treat that it’s in the same building as The Sippery, a homey place where you can enjoy wine, sake, Cognac, and other drinks.
Must-tries: Smoked Salmon and Asparagus (P85/piece), Chorizo Arrozada with Fried Egg (P230), Chilean Mussels a la Mariniere (P360), Shrimps in Pimenton, Garlic and Olive Oil (P385)
Taperia Poblacion is at 2/F Six Axis Center, 4347 B. Valdez Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
TAURO Pintxos Wine Bar and Grill
Behind this restaurant is acclaimed Chef Patrice Freuslon so it’s not a surprise that everything on the menu is bursting with flavor. It features tapas but its concept is more of Basque pintxos (essentially small tapas or canapés) and plancha (grilled on a metal plate). Tucked inside French restaurant Society Lounge, this intimate place also has an impressive selection of wines. If you’re not sure which wine would go with your mouthwatering bite-sized dishes, you can sample different kinds without buying a bottle by ordering a WIT (Wine in a Tube).
Must-tries: Chicken Liver and Mushroom Cripy Onion (P190), Shell off Scallop Garlic Butter (P440), Smokey Prawns Tapas (P420), Paprika Spicy Pork Belly (260), Chicken Wings a la Basquaise (P340)
TAURO Pintxos Wine Bar and Grill is at G/F Atrium Building, Makati Avenue Corner Paseo De Roxas Street, Urdaneta, Makati City.
If you’re in for Japanese tapas then this is the place to be. As the name suggests (it translates to “wait a minute” in English), here you can take your time and simply take a break to enjoy scrumptious food and sake. Its interiors mirror the minimalist lifestyle the Japanese are known for, but modern architecture adds stylish contrast. Izakayas in Japan are usually enclosed and dark, but Chotto Matte's bright space feels just right in bustling BGC. Come here for small plates of scrumptious Japanese fare!
Must-tries: Sensu Kara-Age (P220), Wagyu Katsu (P450), Sichimi Age (P150) and Ebi Kaori Age or Deep-Fried Baby Shrimp with Spicy Herb Salt (P295)
Chotto Matte is at G/F Net Park Building, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.
SPOT's number-one tapas place, Bar Pintxos isn’t about the flash and the flare. Regulars love the no-frills, neighborhood vibe as well as the extensive and affordable menu that can satisfy whatever your taste buds might have a hankering for. It features tapas, pintxos, charcuteria, local and imported beers, and of course, Spanish wines. If you’re looking for a more refreshing drink to pair with your savory food, their sangria won’t disappoint.
Must-tries: Salmon-Truffle Honey-Caviar (P175), Pulpo A La Gallega (P490), Tortilla Patatas Chorizo (P240), Salpicao (P420)
Bar Pintxos is at Don Gesu Building, Don Jesus Boulevard, Cupang, Muntinlupa City; and Fairways Tower, 5th Avenue corner McKinley Road, Bonifacio Global City.
This place is where jamon takes center stage but it also has a wide selection of Spanish and French wines. If your wine knowledge is a bit rusty, their friendly staff will help you find the best pairing. Txanton is an ideal venue for an intimate gathering with friends. While the place is elegant, the warm and inviting interiors make it cozy enough for long, laid-back conversations.
Must-tries: Fried Eggs with Jamon (P385), Jamon roller with Iberico (P645), Tierras de Casa Blanca Picual Olive Oil (P275)
Txanton is at 2294 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City.
The Spanish trio behind Las Flores, La Lola Churreria, and Rambla (Sergi Rostoll, Dani Aliaga, and Uri Singla) recently opened their newest venture, Tomatito, which they fondly describe as a "sexy tapas bar." The menu features contemporary Spanish tapas with loads of flair and sophistication. Try the pulpo and jamon, or the boquerones for a more authentic selection, but don't forget to make room for their paella, as well as the salmon with honey and truffle. For refreshments, treat yourself to a glass of wine, some sangria, or a tinto de verano (a fizzy wine cooler) served in jars.
Must-tries: Montaditos de Gambas (P375), Pulpo a la Tomatito or Octopus with baby potatoes, smoked paprika, and Iberian ham (P595), Filete con Airbag or Cheese and tenderloin steak air baguettes (P325), and Salmon TNT (P595)
Tomatito Manila is at G/F BGC Corporate Center, 30th Street corner 11th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.