10 Restaurants Perfect for Group Dining in Makati City

Your Makati friends have no excuse not to show up now!

PHOTO BY Marikit Singson

(SPOT.ph) Organizing a hangout with friends almost always feels like a struggle. Not only do you have to find a common time somewhere in everyone's schedule, but you also have to decide where to eat. Make that get-together just a little easier to turn into a reality by choosing a venue everyone can easily get to. Is everyone in your group Makati-based? Here are 10 great options.

NoKal

PHOTO BY Hans Fausto
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PHOTO BY Hans Fausto

New York may be thousands of miles away, but you and your friends can get a taste of the city that never sleeps right in the heart of Makati. NoKal features three floors, each of them inspired by New York City. The first floor is reminiscent of a neighborhood diner, with fluorescent lights and linoleum counters. Climb up to the second floor for a speakeasy-like area with dim neon lighting and dark wood interiors. Meanwhile, head over to the rooftop and you’ll find yourself in a garden, with craft beer on tap. Even the menu is New York-inspired, with NoKal’s Cheeseburger taking inspiration from two of the most famous burger joints in the U.S. If you’re looking for more of a local flavor, check out the NoKal Steak Rice, which is cooked in a savory, peppery sauce.

NoKal is at 8464 Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City.

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Gaja

PHOTO BY Hans Fausto
PHOTO BY Hans Fausto

There’s more to Korean cuisine than all-you-can-eat samgyupsal and Gaja is out to prove that. Their menu offers traditional Korean dishes with modern cooking techniques like double broiling or sous-vide. The Galbi-Jiim, Gaja's take on the classic braised beef ribs, potato, and carrot stew, showcases Wagyu short ribs cooked sous-vide for 48 hours, making them fall-off-the-bone tender. Even desserts here are beyond your usual. The Korean Chili Lava Cake may seem like your usual chocolate lava cake, but then it hits you with some heat from the Korean chili powder.

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Gaja is at 8445 Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City.

The Grid

PHOTO BY Hans Fausto
PHOTO BY Hans Fausto

If choosing a place to eat with your friends always feels like a chore, you may consider meeting up at Power Plant Mall’s food hall, The Grid. This food hall features minimalist branding for all of its 15 stalls, allowing customers to focus on the food. Each stall has their signature dishes, whether it’s Bun Appetit’s buttery lobster rolls, La Chinesca’s addictive street tacos, or Le Chon’s French-Filipino fusion lechon—there's sure to be something for everyone in the group.

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The Grid is at Level R2, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City.

Caffeined by Artesania

PHOTO BY Ian Santos
PHOTO BY Ian Santos

A furniture showroom may seem like an odd place to hang out with friends, but Caffeined by Artesania’s ambience, as well as delicious food and drinks, will always make you feel right at home. Their café is filled with all kinds of beautiful furniture pieces and art done by local craftsmen. Their food is vibrant too, not just in terms of looks but also in flavor. Their Cherry Tomato Bruschetta is both colorful and delicious, with the balsamic vinegar dressing bringing out the sweet-acidic notes of the tomatoes. Those looking for a more substantial meal can order the Miso-Glazed Salmon, a hefty piece of fish that’s marinated in a mix of mirin, sake, and brown sugar. Plus, they have a private room you can reserve for more intimate gatherings.

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Caffeined by Artesania is at 910 Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City.

Kermit Manila

PHOTO BY Hans Fausto
PHOTO BY Hans Fausto

If a trip to Siargao has always been in your squad's bucket list, you’ll be glad to know that you don’t have to fly all the way to Mindanao to get a taste of what the island has to offer. Kermit, the island's famous pizzeria has found a home in Poblacion, with a two-storey loft-style eatery complete with an al-fresco bar. Kermit’s pizza offerings are purely DIY, allowing you and your friends to customize pizzas to your own personal liking. Pair the pizza with either Kermit’s selection of craft beers or their own signature drinks like the herby Kermit Mojito or the tangy Grifoni’s Sour.

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Kermit Manila is at 4636 Molina Street, Poblacion, Makati City.

Lumu

PHOTO BY Marikit Singson
PHOTO BY Marikit Singson

If you and your friends prefer "chillnumans" to clubbing, then this reinvention of the classic beer house may be perfect for your meet-up. Lumu offers a wide range of pulutan, each with their own twist. Adventurous eaters may find themselves gravitating towards the Hardcore Kambing Sampler, which features three dishes in one. But there’s also more classic fare like the Sizzling Chicken Dinakdakan, a sisig-like dish with pork bits, chili, calamansi, and peppercorns. It’s topped with crispy chicken skin for that extra-indulgent crunch. Pair your chosen pulutan with their beers, which you can get in either Mucho or 1-Liter bottles.

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Lumu is at 3/F Greenbelt 3, Ayala Avenue, Makati City.

8 Cuts

PHOTO BY Ian Santos
PHOTO BY Ian Santos

8 Cuts' branch in Greenbelt is their biggest, and they’re taking advantage of the space not just by offering an expanded menu but also a wide array of alcoholic drinks. 8 Cuts’ bar also carries a variety of specialty cocktails, like the Frozen Lemonade Margarita, the Frozen Mint-lito and the Frozen Beergerita. You can choose to pair your drink with their signature burgers and onion rings, or with their chicken wings, with flavors like Garlic Parm or the classic Them Buffalo. They've also got Platters, perfect for groups who want a little bit of everything.

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8 Cuts is at Greenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Makati City.

Bodega

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

This restaurant in Salcedo Village is a passion project among young friends where they offer a modern twist on classic Filipino fare. Bestsellers include the Sisig Fries, or classic sisig made more indulgent with ox brain, piled on thick-cut potato fries. There’s also the more traditional Sinarabsab, or grilled liempo with homemade bagoong and tortang talong. But if you and your friends aren’t watching your cholesterol levels, consider ordering the Jogging Bukas platter. It comes with crispy bagnet, tender crispy pata, and crunchy chicharon bulaklak.

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Bodega is at G/F Two Central, 109 Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City.

Zubuchon 

PHOTO BY Vincent Coscolluela
PHOTO BY Vincent Coscolluela

Who says you have to wait for a special occasion to get your hands on some tasty lechon? Makati is home to Zubuchon’s very first Manila branch, thanks to its close proximity to the airport. The pigs used for the restaurant’s world famous lechon are flown in from Cebu and the recipe used is as close to the original as possible. Zubuchon offers two variants when it comes to their roast pig: The classic Plain and the fiery Spicy, which is infused with small native chilis from Cebu. The lechon also comes in three serving sizes, making this place perfect for large groups.

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Zubuchon is at Talisay Street, Barangay San Antonio, Makati City.

Ooma Sushi Bar

PHOTO BY Patrick Martires
PHOTO BY Patrick Martires

Craving some late night sushi? You may want to head on over to Ooma Sushi Bar. This branch offers a shorter menu compared to other Ooma branches, but it does focus on quality sushi and aburi. They even offer exclusive menu items like the Spicy Tuna Taco-Maki, which comes with fresh tuna tartare, a spicy scallion dressing and wasabi aioli, and the Salmon Aburi and Spicy Tuna, a rice bowl made with freshly cut tuna, torched salmon mixed with aioli and ceviche dressing. 

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Ooma Sushi Bar is at /136 Paseo Heights, Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City. 

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