10 No-Fail Tapas Places in Manila
Your go-to places for post-work drinks with friends.
(SPOT.ph) Everyone knows that Filipinos have a fondness for Spanish cuisine, and it's no surprise that tapas are an easy favorite: they're perfect with a cold beer after work, shared with friends. You'll never have a hard time finding a place that serves these small plates in the Metro, and here are some of your best bets.
Bueno Tapas & Wine Restaurant
With a kitchen helmed by Chef Ken Alfonso, this tapas and wine bar is the first of its kind at The Grove by Rockwell. In Spanish, “bueno” literally translates to “good”—and they’re sure living up to their name as their classic tapas are nothing short of bueno. Take, for example, the Paella de Marisco y Pollo, an elegant and robust paella that’s brimming with perfectly seasoned shellfish and chicken, not to mention a distinct layer of tutong at the bottom.
Must-tries: Trio Montaditos (P280), Croquetas de Gambas (P390), Paella de Marisco y Pollo (P540)
Bueno Tapas & Wine Restaurant is at G/F The Grove by Rockwell, E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Pasig City.
Bistro Madrid is the brainchild of Chef JC de Terry, who’s popularly known for bringing European deli Terry’s Selection to life, so it wasn’t a surprise when he launched the restaurant in Capitol Commons in 2017. The quaint bistro offers traditional tapas like spicy Butifarra sausages, thinly sliced Jamon Iberico or, say, a fluffy tortilla española. If you’re in a hurry and can’t dine in, they’ve got a mini deli just by the entrance where you can grab some wine, cheese, and cured meats to eat elsewhere.
Must-tries: Ensalada Bistro Madrid (P195), Duelos y Quabrantos Omelette (P220), Bistro Madrid Gran Paella (P650)
Bistro Madrid has branches at Estancia Mall, Pasig City and Burgos Circle, Taguig City.
With their sleek and moody interiors, Donosti Pintxos y Tapas is top-of-mind when it comes to date places around Bonifacio Global City. Not only do they offer a mean wine list, but the tapas bar also provides excellent Spanish cold cuts and small plates. Come here if you want to impress a date, but you might end up impressing yourself, too.
Must-tries: Brandada de Bacalao (P150), Hojalde de Chistorra (P150), Chorizo Iberico (P995)
Donosti Pintxos y Tapas is at G/F NAC Building, 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City.
This casual hole-in-the-wall tapas joint in San Juan City is a go-to of many foodies and residents who are in the mood for light snacks and maybe a bottle (or two) of wine. Calderon’s menu is filled with tasty dishes that seem like they came straight from the street-side restaurants of Madrid or Barcelona. Start off with the Chori-Gambas Al Ajillo, a flavor-packed surf-and-turf combination of gambas and chorizo de Pamplona.
Must-tries: Chori-Gambas Al Ajillo (P460), Pan Con Tomate (P200), Pescado Croquetas (P280)
Calderon has branches at Calderon Street, Little Baguio, San Juan City and H.V. Dela Costa Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City.
With its homey ambience, Taperia instantly makes you feel as if time has ground to a meditative standstill. 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 is at 2/F Six Axis Center, 4347 B. Valdez Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Welcome to the newest tapas bar to tickle your taste buds. Located in Uptown Bonifacio, ¡OYE! Tapas & Grill flaunts a funky electric-colored mural apt for the restaurant’s casual and friendly vibe. If you didn’t know, tapas are meant to be shared with a group despite its small serving size. Head chef Joseba Sola tweaked some recipes to come up with their modern rendition of traditional Spanish tapas. The Huevo Trufado con Patatas y Jamon is an exciting dish you probably haven’t tried before, made of truffled egg foam and then topped with crisp shoestring potatoes and savory ham.
Must-tries: Huevos Trufado con Patatas y Jamon (P350), Calamares Rellenos de Chorizo (P375), Lengua con Salsa de Pimienta Verde (P375)
OYE! Tapas & Grill is at G/F Uptown Mall, Uptown Bonifacio.
TAURO Pintxos Wine Bar and Grill
At the helm of 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 the concept is more about Basque-style pintxos (essentially small tapas with bread 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.
SPOT.ph'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 has branches 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; its 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 La Lola Churreria and Rambla (Sergi Rostoll, Dani Aliaga, and Uri Singla) recently opened a new branch at The Podium. Like Rambla and Tomatito, Las Flores' menu features Spanish tapas with a lot of elegance and flair. Don't leave without trying their croquetas, which they offer in various flavors. The Croquetas De Queso De Cabra is a particular crowd favorite for its unique tang that comes from fresh goat's cheese.
Must-tries: Croquetas De Queso De Cabra (P225), Pulpo Ropa Vieja (P750), Tartar de Atun (P450)
Las Flores has branches at The Podium, Mandaluyong City and 25th Street, Bonifacio Global City.