10 More Places in Manila For Dining Solo
Dining alone doesn't have to feel awkward
(SPOT.ph) The truth is, any restaurant or café can be a solo dining space if you have enough confidence...or the right attitude. Filipinos are such fans of eating as a group that it may still feel awkward to have a meal by yourself, but these spots have made it easier for solo flyers to have their quiet time—or maybe even meet new friends.
1 Corporate Center, Soliman Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Contact: 215-1751 or 468-9625
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
The Japanese frequently dine alone, and ramen shops are usually built with the solo diner in mind. Mendokoro Ramenba follows this tradition. A striking feature of Mendokoro Ramenba is how everyone is seated beside one another at a bar-like long table that is shaped like a boat. This enables customers to watch the open kitchen closely and see how the magic happens. Frequent diners recommend their Shoyu Ramen (P410) and Gyoza (P120 for three pieces and P200 for five pieces).
Café I'm Here
3/F CTTM Square, Tomas Morato, Quezon City
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A great place to hang out with a big group of friends, Café I’m Here is also ideal for those cruising solo. They have cubicles with bean bags for small groups, but they also have booths for when you’re dining alone. Similar to work stations, these booths are also handy if you want to read, study, or use your laptop. This place gets crowded at night so if crowds aren't your thing, grab some alone-time during the afternoon. Their Javachip Mocha Frappe (P180) is a highly recommended drink by regulars.
3/F 318-A Katipunan Avenue Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Open from 12 p.m. to 3 a.m. (Thursdays to Saturdays) and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Mondays to Wednesdays)
Cheap drinks, affordable food, a friendly crowd. What more can a solo diner want? This hip joint in Katipunan is a student-friendly space with barstools and game tables. At the end of the night, you may even walk out with new friends. Monday and Tuesday nights are less busy, but if your goal is to meet new people, then drop by during the weekend. Drinks range from P170 to P220 per pitcher and their alcoholic drinks are cheaper by the shot (P70 for a single shot and P50 for triple shot). If you want some bar chow, you can try their Lime Chicken Soft Tacos (P150), chicken skin (P60), or kropek (P50).
Unit GO3, Frabelle Business Center, 111 Rada Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City
Contact: 0927-273-0114 or 880-0231
Open 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. every day
A blend of the best of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, Nikkei’s subdued interiors make it easy to enjoy all those flavors on your own. For the adventurous palate, they have the Seared Tuna with Sea Urchin Risotto (P680). They also have curious ice cream flavors like Ginger (P98/scoop), Wasabi (P95/scoop), Sesame (P95/scoop), and Matcha (P98/scoop). There are booths in front of the chefs’ work stations, too, perfect for solo diners looking for a visual treat.
The Bookyard Cafe
G/F G3, The Garden Heights Condominium, 269 E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave., Brgy. Damayang Lagi, Quezon City
Open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Mondays to Thursdays) and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Fridays and Saturdays)
A book café that may not be as big nor as busy as the other book cafes, The Bookyard Café is the perfect place to chill and read. Whether you want to hide for a few hours from the world or simply want be alone, the casual set-up is perfect for some relaxed me-time. Pick up a good book to keep you company: they have plenty of titles, especially from the Young Adult genre. You can also try their best-selling s’mores bowl called S’mores Than Words (P120) and their ensemble of drinks named after authors and books.
16 Williams Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City
Open from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Monday to Thursday), 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Friday and Saturday), and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Sunday)
With an al-fresco area and bar seating, this taqueria is the perfect spot for enjoying Mexican food all on your own. Don't expect authentic fare here—though the food isn't exactly fusion, either. It's really just good food with no pretensions. The tacos are a must-try: the Pork Taco is lip-smacking with succulent pork cheek while the Shrimp Taco has a nice crunch from the tempura-battered shrimp.
802 Banawe St. Brgy. Siena, Quezon City
Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
It’s not unusual to find customers dining alone at G’s Café in Banawe. The diner is specifically designed to accommodate people waiting for their cars being serviced by the auto shop below. If you’re a car enthusiast, you'll appreciate the restaurant's automotive-themed décor. Some of their must-try dishes include the Herb Roasted Chicken (P185) and Gears Burger Special (P155).
Unit 16, Molito Lifestyle Bldg, Madrigal Ave. cor. Alabang- Zapote Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Open daily from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Light and spacious and airy, this farm-to-table restaurant can make any solo diner feel at home. Go for the bar seats, where you can watch as the chefs prepare the food in their open kitchen. You can even chat with the chefs about the food and they’ll gladly satisfy your curiosity. Just killing time? Try the Truffle Fries (P150).
106 Esteban St. corner VA Rufino St. Legazpi Village, Makati City
Open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Mondays to Saturdays) and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Sundays)
Constantly packed with office folks in meetings or expats grabbing a quick meal, Your Local gets full pretty quickly. So while groups almost always have to reserve ahead of time, solo diners can get a prime spot at the bar. Must-haves include the Lamb Rendang (P595) and the Torched Salmon Donburi (P595).
PRESS by Fully Booked
Level R3, The Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
It's located right beside a book store, so most of the diners at PRESS are actually busy reading just-bought books or the ones available for reading inside the cafe. Some are also working or studying. Take it as an opportunity to people-watch or, well, catch up on some reading. Order their specialty, the Pressadilla (P195 to P350) a fun take on the quesadilla, or the Mozzarella Wands (P235).