The Philippines is a rich country in many ways. Historically, it teems with beautifully preserved relics from the past, especially in the form of buildings. Many ancestral houses have been given new purpose, turned into museums, shops, hotels. Some have transformed into heritage restaurants, welcoming diners into a different dimension where they can experience—and take photos of—the distant past. A photograph you take would still reflect the beautiful bygone days.
If you like the warmth and nostalgia evoked by heritage houses, here are our top picks of picture-perfect heritage restaurants in and around Manila.
Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant in Intramuros, Manila
Barbara’s has a heritage that spans decades, traced even before it occupied its home in the historic walled city of Intramuros. The heritage restaurant specializes in Filipino and Spanish recipes, aptly served in a nostalgic Spanish-colonial dining interior. Enhancing the vibe is a traditional Filipino cultural performance that will entertain you as you savor your meal.
Book Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant on KKday and enjoy hassle-free transfer services for select areas in Metro Manila.
Location: Plaza San Luis Complex, General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila
Business hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Las Casas Manila in Quezon City
Another restaurant offering a nostalgic taste of Spanish cuisine is Las Casas Manila. If it sounds familiar, it’s because it is an expansion project from the same brains behind Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan. Las Casas Manila is not just a restaurant but also an events place. It is housed inside a 60-year-old Art Deco mansion with intricate and tasteful interiors, as if it was occupied by a person of nobility with a taste for art.
Location: 134 Roosevelt Ave., San Francisco Del Monte, Quezon City
Business hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Reservations required)
Contact: 0917-136-6796 / 0933-822-4522
Aurora Filipino Cuisine in Santa Cruz, Laguna
What’s charming about a road trip around Laguna is finding ancestral restaurants like Aurora Filipino Cuisine. It’s worth a stop for local heritage dishes like Ensaladang Santa Cruz (fern salad) and Inalamangang Baboy (crispy pork belly in shrimp paste). Not only that, but the house is almost a hundred years old. And decor like sepia-toned vintage photographs and antique appliances speak much of its colorful history.
This restaurant is the perfect cap-off to an exciting day at nearby resorts like Caliraya Resort Club, just 30 minutes away (by car).
Location: 1488 Pedro Guevara Ave, Santa Cruz, Laguna
Business hours: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sulyap Gallery Cafe in San Pablo, Laguna
Craving more homey Filipino food in Laguna? Don’t miss Sulyap Gallery Cafe, situated in a beautiful antique Filipino casa nestled in a lush garden in San Pablo City. The restaurant is a great place to share a meal with family as long communal tables are set nicely on open balconies and well-ventilated rooms (thanks to wide rustic windows).
Combine your visit to Sulyap Gallery Cafe with a rejuvenating trip to Hidden Valley Springs in Calauan, which only takes a 30-minute drive from the restaurant.
Location: Brgy. Del Remedio, Cocoland Compound, San Pablo City, Laguna
Business hours: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Contact: 049-545-5144 / 0917-182-1483
Camalig Restaurant in Angeles, Pampanga
Camalig Restaurant has become a tourist attraction in Angeles; a visit here is a must if you ever find yourself on its turf. The structure that houses the restaurant was originally built as a farm shed so you may get that feel here—plus a whiff of speakeasy vibe with the low ceiling and wooden bar counter. The place is cozy and casual, a perfect place to grab a bite of Armando’s “pambansang pizza” (national pizza), which itself has a long-standing history and reputation among the Kapampangans.
Location: Camalig Square, 292 Dalan Santo Rosario, Heritage Zone, Angeles, Pampanga
Business hours: 11:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
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*Featured image via Sulyap Gallery Cafe