Top 10 Tapsilog in Manila (2021 Edition)
Or should we say, tapa 10 tapsilog?
(SPOT.ph) Filipino breakfast wouldn’t be the same without silog on the menu. Pinoys have paired everything with their fave garlic fried rice and sunny-side up eggs combo—longganisa, bacon, SPAM, tuyo, hotdogs, the list goes on and on. But the one true staple that never leaves any menu is tapa: tender, thinly-sliced beef that’s cured, seasoned, salted, or sometimes even dried.
Everyone’s got a flavor preference for their tapa. Some appreciate a peppery profile, while others lean on the Pinoy propensity for sweetness, preferring a more caramelized taste and a glazed appearance. There’s dry, crunchy tapa; but also the saucy sort of tapsilog that practically begs you to sop up the sabaw with your sinangag.
No matter what type of tapsilog tickles your fancy, there’s bound to be one in the Metro that’ll deliver the flavor you’re looking for.
These are the best tapsilog in Manila, ranked:
10. Tapsilog from Goto Tendon
If you’re hungry and want a bowl of hot soup to go with your meal, then abandon your usual pares from Goto Tendon and give their Tapsilog (P288) a go. This large-sized serving of chunky, tender, super-soft tapa will be enough to take you from breakfast straight to merienda. If you want your meat saucy and hefty but with a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness, then this is the one for you. Goto Tendon’s tapa isn’t overwhelmingly flavorful, nor is it bland; it toes the midline perfectly, making it an easy crowd pleaser. Get it with a serving of vinegar for some spicy brininess, and take a moment to appreciate the chewy garlic topping, plus the uber-addictive crisp chicharon fluff that you’ll only find at Goto Tendon.
Goto Tendon has branches at 1/F Crossroads Building, 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City and 49 Scout Tobias Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City. See a list of Goto Tendon branches.
9. Tapa King from Tapa King
No tapsilog list would be complete without the King! A fast food staple for decades now, Tapa King’s menu has practically every kind of tapa for every flavor preference—from sweet to spicy to traditional and classic. Its eponymous offering, Tapa King (P179), is said to be made the “traditional” way. What you get is the same tapa you’ve known and loved for ages now—no-frills, tender, simple, subtly salty, and absolutely comforting. If you just want straight-up tapsilog that’ll fill you up even when you’re on a budget, then Tapa King will easily be your go-to spot. There’s a reason why this chain has reigned for so long—it delivers a signature Pinoy taste that reminds you of home.
Tapa King has branches at G/F The Link, Glorietta Complex, Makati City and G/F Executive Building, Jupiter Street Corner Makati Avenue, Bel-Air, Makati City. See a list of Tapa King branches.
8. Tapsilog from Rodic’s Diner
Rodic’s has been around since 1949. Its hard-to-beat status as one of UP Diliman’s most famous dining spots has allowed it to survive and thrive through the pandemic. Rodic’s is known for its extra soft, finely chopped tapa, and in the Tapsilog (P115) it’s sprinkled over a hot bed of rice with a sunny-side up egg to boot. Its tapa’s subtle sweetness shows you that you don’t need a huge slab of meat on your tapsilog for it to go a long way. Rodic’s is so flavorful that all you need is a tiny piece of tapa to get a full-on tapsilog experience. There’s an air of feel-good nostalgia that goes with ordering from this institution. Showing Rodic’s some love doesn’t just get you a unique, nostalgic taste of tapa—it means you’re supporting a business that’s defied the odds through the decades too.
Rodic’s Diner has branches at 14 Masaya corner Maginhawa Street, UP Village, Quezon City and 4 J. Changyungco Street, New Marikina Subdivision, Santa Elena, Marikina City. See a list of Rodic’s Diner branches by sending a message to their Facebook page.
7. Beef Tapa from Pancake House
Pancake House may be known for its more American breakfast fare, but don’t sleep on its Beef Tapa (P310), which they sell frozen and ready to cook at home too. Thinly sliced and extremely lean, this version of tapsilog is soft to the bite and is neutral enough to please just about everybody. Pancake House provides a delicious middle-ground tapsilog that doesn’t scrimp on tenderness or tastiness. This crowd pleaser is good enough for picky kids and discriminating lolos and lolas—something the whole family can look forward to. Plus, their atchara with pickled mango is refreshing and noteworthy, especially if you’re looking to add some zing to your beef.
Pancake House has branches at LG/F Diliman Commercial Center, Batasan Hills, Quezon City and 2/F Glorietta 1, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City. See a list of Pancake House branches.
6. Steak Tapa from Poco Deli
Just when you think your standard tapsilog couldn’t get any better, Poco Deli one-ups this breakfast staple in their Steak Tapa (P320) that’s got bacon atop soft and fluffy garlic rice. Apart from that, the star of this two-egg dish is the U.S. Beef. Poco Deli’s tapa seasoning is peppery and salty—a wonderful option for those who can’t stand any kind of sweetness in their savory meals. You can expect to get quality meat from Poco Deli; you taste it immediately the second you bite into their super delectable tapa. There’s a lot of bite to this offering, and it makes for a pretty solid treat when you’re in the mood to make your breakfast a little more special and indulgent.
Poco Deli is at 21 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City and One Parkade, 7th Avenue, Taguig City.
5. Tapa de Morning from Recovery Food
Known as a post-night out pit stop, Recovery Food provides the hung over, the hungry, and those with a hankering for simple, solid comfort food exactly what they’re looking for. Their Tapa de Morning (P195/regular, P275/full) is a tried and tested winner. It takes your basic thinly sliced tapa and improves on it with a slightly-sweet flavor and a distinct consistency similar to corned beef, plus a sprinkling of chopped spring onions for zing. One remarkable thing about RF’s tapsilog (and most of its menu items) is that it comes in two sizes. Feel a little splurgy? Go for the full bowl. The regular-sized version, however, is enough to satisfy even the most intense tapa craving—morning, noon, or night.
Recovery Food has branches at G/F Crossroads Building, 32nd Street Corner 8th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City and Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. See a list of Recovery Food branches.
4. Beef Sirloin Tapa by Mary Grace Café
If you’re down for some Mary Grace but want to save their signature sweets for dessert, start your meal with their Beef Sirloin Tapa (P484). This one’s a sure splurge, but you’ll be getting your money’s worth with a huge plate that includes your choice of rosemary or garlic fried rice, two eggs scrambled or sunny side up, plus atsara fashioned out of pickled mango, tomato, and onion parsley, which cuts the tapa’s heftiness with its delicious acidity. The meat itself is thick, chewy, and sweet. Mary Grace’s tapsilog tastes like coming home to that one lola who never wants you to go hungry. You’ll want the full experience with this dish—don’t rush through it and savor each bite. Hot tip? The sweetness of the beef meshes well with the acidity of Mary Grace’s vinegar. You also have an option for a ham-and-cheese or mushroom-and-cheese omelette top up (that’s if you think your stomach can handle it!).
Mary Grace Café has branches at G/F Serendra, Bonifacio Global City and L/1 Greenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City. See a list of Mary Grace Café branches.
3. US Beef Tapa by Mom and Tina’s
You may think you’re getting your run-of-the-mill tapsilog when you visit Mom and Tina’s, but we guarantee their U.S. Beef Tapa (P375) delivers much more than you expected. Not only does Mom & Tina’s give you a huge serving of rice (a must for Pinoys!), you also get beef tapa sliced so thin that when it’s cooked, it garners a distinct crispiness that’s really one for the books. If you’re a fan of bacon, you’ll appreciate the dry, delightful crunch that comes with every bite of Mom & Tina’s tapa. No other place in the Metro does it quite like them; once you try Mom & Tina’s tapa you’re going to want to keep coming back for it. Nix the diet on your visit—perhaps Mom & Tina’s tapa is so good because it comes with sinful slivers of glorious, glorious fat.
Mom and Tina’s has branches at 58 Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City and Unit 14 Tropical Palms Condominium, 103 Delarosa Street corner Perea Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City. See a list of Mom and Tina’s branches.
2. Tapa Donburi by Elephant Grounds
In the Tapa Donburi (P490), Elephant Grounds puts a one-of-a-kind spin on tapsilog that turns this Filipino breakfast staple on its head and transforms it into something elegant, fun, and incredibly interesting. Their tapa is fashioned out of marinated beef yakiniku—gyudon fans, take note—and is topped with cilantro and a smattering of sesame seeds. The meat is paired with garlic Japanese rice that’s fluffy, soft, and delicate—hands down, the best sinangag we’ve tasted. What brings everything together is an out-of-this-world combination of roasted eggplant and onion salad, dilis, and tomato that adds sophistication to this Japanese-Filipino take on the classic dish.
Elephant Grounds is at G/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City and G/F One Bonifacio High Street, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.
1. Mr. Jones’ Filipino Breakfast from Jones All Day
Mr. Jones gives you a choice of viand to go with its garlic rice, eggs, atchara, and orange. Don’t waste your time deciding—go straight for Mr. Jones’ Famous Tapa (P350). It’s been a while since we’ve had Mr. Jones on the Manila restaurant scene—if you’ve missed the old diner in Greenbelt 5, then we recommend you make your way back right now and revive your taste buds with their Filipino breakfast. Mr. Jones’ doesn’t scrimp on portions—this is good enough to share between two people. The tapa is sliced thin and just as tender as the pillow-soft rice that goes with it. Topped with large chunks of garlic that are, simply put, fun to gnaw on alongside your tapsilog, Mr. Jones proves that you don’t need a lot of extras to do tapsilog well. All you need is a good cut of meat cooked, flavored, and seasoned perfectly.
Jones All Day is at G/F Serendra, Bonifacio Global City.
Photos by Toto Labrador
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