Pepper’s Guide to After Midnight EatsJune 15, 2019
Eating after midnight is a tricky thing in Manila. I am one of those people that usually end up at a Mini Stop, ordering fried chicken, heels in hand, with hardworking night shift-ers staring me down. I learned however, that eating past midnight doesn’t have to be about hangover grease, and that some late night spots offer up delicious grub, that can be eaten at any time of the day. To make this list, we decided to focus on places with a singular branch, with a few exceptions, but eliminate bars that serve good food, highlighting restaurants that serve some pretty great stuff past the hour of midnight.
1. Recovery Food
Since Recovery Food opened, it’s become the place in Fort to grab a bite after visiting one of the many establishments nearby. The Tapa De Morning is the stuff of legend, satisfying one too many drunken revelers. It’s the rice bowls here that have made them famous, especially since they are mostly spins on Filipino dishes that are hangover cures on their own. Their Filipino style ramen bowls are also a hit, with the peanutty Rau Men broth the kind of thing that leaves you slurping the very last dredges from the bowl.
G/F Crossroads, 32nd St cor 8th Ave
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
2. Erra’s Ramen
We’ve featured the insane Erra’s Ramen on Ghetto Grub before, and for good reason. Where else would anyone get ramen at this price, with a cool atmosphere to boot? Located in the heart of the backpacker district, the food is obviously miles away from a Nagi or Santouka bowl, but is more than enough to quell a hungry diner in the wee hours of the morning. Tantanmen with an extra piece of egg or pork is best downed with a cold beer, while you make friends with both tourists and locals.
Nihonbashitei might be the more famous late night eat along the Pasay road strip of Japanese restaurants, but Isshin is an underrated joint. It is definitely a little less grimy than its more well known counterpart. Here, they serve all the normal Japanese fare, including more-than-decent teppanyaki, and generous bento boxes. At night, get some grilled meats, or even the Isshin Special Ramen, a comforting bowl that will soothe you before you hit the sack or head off to work.
1024 Arnaiz Ave.
San Lorenzo, Makati
4. Beni’s Falafel
After several celebrities and foodies blogged and Instagrammed about Beni’s Falafel, the place is now crowded even during its off hours. At night, with the crowd spilling onto the streets, the tiny restaurant comes alive with the hum and buzz of diners trying to get their hands on Beni’s gorgeous fried fritters. Don’t be afraid if you’re the type of person who needs meat to curb their hunger- this falafel is blended and cooked so well, that you won’t mind that its made of chickpeas. Beni’s traditional Middle Eastern cuisine is the type of stuff you’d eat at a roadside taverna in Greece. Check out why we love his falafel here.
4634 Valdez St
5. El Chupacabra
Everyone’s favorite new hangout, El Chupacabra, shows you that sometimes the best food comes without pretension. Its location in the middle of Makati’s bustling red light district only adds to its gritty charm, and the straightforward Mexican fare a welcome change to the Tex-Mex we’ve become accustomed to. Street tacos are a little pricier than they once were, but are unabashedly delicious. A secret- the boneless chicken skewers are the best things you’ll ever eat here, tacos included.
5782 Felipe St cor Polaris St
6. Old Swiss Inn
Every New Year, my sister has kept up the tradition of going to Old Swiss Inn no matter where she celebrated the occasion. The place, and luckily the food, seems to have remained the same. Swiss classics like boiled pork knuckles, and fresh corned beef, are more than enough to fill up anyone looking for a big, satisfying meal in the early hours. The cheese fondues are always a great bet, with the Neptune’s buffet of seafood a personal favorite.
Old Swiss Inn
G/F Olympia Towers, Makati Ave cor Sto Tomas St
7. Filling Station
The reason why I love the Burgos area so much is that it is an incredibly colorful place that always seems to have surprises in store. Many of my own memories were made at Filling Station, and this place deserves the spot for nostalgia alone. While restaurants and new concepts seem to be opening left and right in Manila, sometimes it’s very comforting to know that you can go back to a place where all remains unchanged, just like my usual failsafe Filling Station Breakfast, paired with a thick milkshake.
P. Burgos St
8. Donu Pork and Beef Grill
Hands down, my favorite cuisine is Korean. I love how it can be both simple and complicated at the same time, with deep intense flavors that always win over my palate. Its something I crave for no matter what hour, and Donu is just one of the many Korean spots in the Burgos area open late at night, ready to welcome me into its arms with kalbi shortribs, and boundless kimchi. At Donu, order the pork jowl, which you don’t often see on other Korean menus.
Donu Pork and Beef Grill
Shinjuku is definitely one of those underrated noodle shops that have been eclipsed by flashier joints that have surfaced due to the burgeoning ramen trend. Sometimes it is so easy to forget that this place serves awesome bowls, when you’re bombarded with news of a hot new import coming in from abroad. They have some of the best udon out there, forgotten in the age of ramen, dishing up both hot and cold versions of the fatter, stickier noodle. Butakakuni ramen is also a guilty pleasure, with the thick slices of pork in an even thicker broth an indulgent early morning treat.
3 locations across Makati
10. Heaven’s Barbecue
There was a time when Heaven’s BBQ was dubbed the best barbecue in Manila by Food Magazine, garnering a reputation as an incredibly affordable chain that didn’t skimp on quality and quantity. Heaven’s may no longer offer the best sticks, but that doesn’t mean that their branches across Manila have diminished in flavor. Strategically placed in locations known for their late night haunts, it seems as if you’ll always stumble upon their good old barbecues no matter what night you end up having. The sauce is good slathered on traditional pork barbecue, but they serve a mean liver and jumbo chicken too.