Doors Have Always Been Open: More Nostalgic Metro Manila Restos to Revisit

Tropical Hut was just the beginning.

Nostalgic Restaurants Tropical Hut Ma Mon Luk Classic Savory Magoo's Pizza
PHOTO BY Mia Rodriguez, Google Images, Facebook/Classic Savory, Magoo's Pizza ILLUSTRATION Anton Reyes

( If you're anything like us, then you saw Tropical Hut trending all over social media in the past couple of weeks, went to grab a bite of their classic burger, and ended up having a Ratatouille flashback moment in the middle of the restaurant. "You're as beautiful as the day I let you go," we may or may not have tearfully whispered to our burger after our first bite. Anywho, after the (surprisingly filling) burger whet our appetite for both good food and keys to unlocking our long-forgotten memories of the distant past, we thought to ourselves, why stop here?

What are the remaining bastions of the local food scene, still standing tall after all these years, and are they worth revisiting for that nostalgic hit? We rounded them up for you.

Also read: Go on a Food Trip Around Some of the Oldest Restaurants in Manila


Here are the best restaurants if you’re looking to take a trip by taste down memory lane:

Tropical Hut

tropical hut food
PHOTO BY Mia Rodriguez/ archives

First of all, the restaurant that kicked off this whole list, Tropical Hut. We recently took a trip to Tropical Hut in Quezon Memorial Circle for some Nostalgic Eats. Our verdict? The chain still offers a generous serving of burger that you won't even realize you're halfway through eating, because of how satisfying each bite is. Even if you're not necessarily a burger person, the chain also serves chicken, sandwiches, and salads. It's far from niche, which is probably why the joint's been around since the 1960s. Definitely don't miss out on the renewed hype train for Tropical Hut.

Burger Machine

burger machine
PHOTO BY Screenshot/chardingpraning on Instagram
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You've probably never gone a single drive within the Metro without catching a glimpse of a Burger Machine stall at some point during the drive, but when was the last time you decided to hit up the stall? Okay, a tad bit exaggerated, but for real, these stalls are abundant throughout the Metro and they're always open. There was a time in our childhoods when we'd hands-down choose Burger Machine over other joints, for the burger worth the most bang for our buck. Don't sleep on the "burger that never sleeps." (They also serve a pretty mean sans rival.)

Magoo’s Pizza

Magoo's Pizza Taste Test

Coming to the Philippines from Hawaii in the 1970's, Magoo's Pizza brought over square-shaped pizza, delivery service, and humble hang-out spots where people could have get-togethers, all of which quickly captured the hearts and minds of Filipinos. After decades and the arrival of many more pizza joints on Philippines shores, Magoo's came back as the underdog of this pizza box-ing movie. We gave it a nostalgic taste test back in 2021 and concluded that Magoo's is worth preserving, not just in our memories, but as an operating pizza chain here in the Metro.



Dulcinea Churro con Chocolate
PHOTO BY Facebook/Dulcinea

With a vibe that strikes the perfect balance between "we're here on formal business" and "we're here to chill, no cap, fr fr," Dulcinea has been a lowkey quality spot for all sorts of get-togethers for at least a couple of decades now.  This Spanish restaurant is known for their desserts, particularly its Churros and chocolate dip. We're definitely keen on coming back home to Dulcinea just for that sweet chocolate serving.

Classic Savory

Classic Savory Fried Chicken Favorites
PHOTO BY Facebook/Classic Savory

This is the only image that can depict our live reaction to when someone tells us about a popular Filipino food chain that started off as a small store on a busy street, which later began to grow in popularity (among both locals and foreigners) as they started to sell a "specially made" chicken and gravy. Like, each word of that just keeps getting better and better. Yes, we also just described to you the history of Classic Savory. As their name implies, they have a timeless chicken recipe, and we know it's been too long since we've last tasted it.

Ma Mon Luk

Ma Mon Luk Siopao
PHOTO BY Loren Evangelista-Agaloos/ archives

In case you forgot, Ma Mon Luk is undefeated (in our books) when it comes to mami and asado siopao. Many memories have been made and many meriendas have been shared while dining at this Chinese restaurant chain, which has been around since the 1940s. We think it's about time to pay respects to the king and head over for a nostalgic bite, because we confess that it has been too long since we last dropped by the resto.


Also watch: A Look Inside Tropical Hut's Supermarket

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