11 Unusual Cuisines In Manila You Didn’t Know Existed

Filipino, Italian, and American are some of the most common cuisines around. And yes, they can get boring after awhile. That’s why you have this extraordinary list of unusual cuisines in Manila to excite those taste buds once in a while.

1Mao Jia Hunan Cuisine

unusual cuisines in Manila
Image Credit: @pachweesha via Instagram

If you love spicy food, you’re in for a treat! Hunan cuisine is popular for its rich, colorful, and spicy dishes. Yang Chao Fried Rice and Steamed Chili Fish Head are definitely worth trying. Servings are pretty big so better bring your family or barkada to this hidden gem. You know it’s a legit Chinese restaurant when you see most of its customers are Chinese. Make a reservation before coming here as this restaurant attracts a lot of hangry people.

Mao Jia Hunan Cuisine
G/F Savana Commercial Center,1203 P. Ocampo Street corner Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City
+632 831 2271, +63917 630 6196
Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

2Cocina Peruvia

unusual cuisines in Manila
Image Credit: @monicdelrosario via Instagram

South American food is slowly creeping in as one of the unusual cuisines in Manila to be discovered. Just like how festive their interiors are, same goes for their food. Bursting with spices prevalent in their roast chicken or Pollo a la Brasa where every bite explodes with flavor. Those craving for rice dishes like paella might want to sample Arroz con Mariscos.  We hear that Happy Hour is worth it here especially if you love overflowing mojitos. The best pulutan paired up with your fave San Mig Light is their Salmon Skin Chicharron

Cocina Peruvia
G/F Bonifacio One Technology Tower, Rizal Drive corner 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
+632 955 9975, +63917 315 5727
Open Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., all day from Tuesday to Saturday, and Sunday from 12:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Facebook, Instagram


unusual cuisines in Manila
Image Credit: @balkanmnl via Instagram

A refreshing diversion from the usual, Yugoslavian and Serbian cuisine will pleasantly surprise your taste buds. Customers often visit to try out their Goulash, which is beef stew, and Stuffed Pljeskavica, ground beef hiding cheesy mozzarella. Meals are often served with your choice of mashed potato, rice or fries. Most menu items have really hefty servings, perfect for sharing!

2/F Crossroads Building, 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Other branch in Makati
+632 246 9069, +63917 862 0075
Open Monday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Facebook, Instagram

4101 Hawker Food House

unusual cuisines in Manila
Image Credit: @jvdeluna via Instagram

If you’ve ever been to the streets of Singapore, the best place to eat isn’t at the mall. In fact, the best dishes are served in a series of food stalls, known as a hawker center. Hawkers hold plenty of unusual cuisines in Manila to be found around Asia. Clean, affordable, and extremely delicious, satiate your cravings when it comes to Chinese, Singaporean, and Indo-Malay food.

Signature dishes are their Char Kway Teow, perfect for noodle lovers, and 101 Prawn Laksa, rich blend of spices. Let’s not forget about their legit tasting Nasi Goreng and savory Salt and Pepper Squid. Order whatever looks appealing on the menu because it won’t burn a hole in your wallet! 

101 Hawker Food House
Unit 102 Campos Rueda Building, 101 Urban Avenue, Makati City
Other location in Beacon Tower, Makati
+632 886 7329
Open Monday to Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


unusual cuisines in Manila
Image Credit: @ajejejed via Instagram

Located right in the heart of Makati, this restaurant focuses on Japanese-Peruvian fusion. Nikkei does this effortlessly and executes right on the nose. Their Fish Causa is finely combined with cilantro and guacamole perched on a bite-sized Peruvian seasoned mashed potato. This unlikely combination leaves a wonderful impression, which makes you wonder what else is there on the menu. Take a bite of their Yellow Pepper Ceviche wherein fish is marinated in a rich blend of spices in vinegar. Tickle your taste buds with a different twist to uni by ordering their Seared Tuna with Sea Urchin Risotto.

Unit GO3, Frabelle Business Center 111 Rada Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
+632 880 0231, +63927 273 0114
Open Sunday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Facebook, Instagram

6Pepi Cubano

unusual cuisines in Manila
Image Credit: @boboyco via Instagram

At first glance, these sandwiches might look like your usual Subway and not a risk of unusual cuisines in Manila. One bite and we tell you, they’re extremely addictive! That crispy flatbread has the best cruuunch to it, not to mention that rich meaty filling and stringy cheese. Try out Pepi Cubano (very meaty with its roast pork and ham) or Pan De Lechon (who doesn’t love lechon, right?) Don’t let its flat panini-like appearance fool you though. The content is waiting to stretch out your stomach. If you have a monstrous appetite, you can probably finish one on your own!

Pepi Cubano
Tropical Palms Condominium, Gallardo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
+632 880 0389, +63907 535 7574
Open Monday to Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Facebook, Instagram

7Ziggurat Cuisine Restaurant

unusual cuisines in Manila
Image Credit: @clintmamerto via Instagram

Ask any Filipino if they’ve tried African food. Chances are slim to none. Thank goodness we have Ziggurat Cuisine Restaurant to feed our curiosity. Their extensive menu includes a bit of this and will also make you suddenly realize how little we know it. It also dabbles a little into Indian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern.

A must try is their Lamb Curry François, which is rich and creamy, sending shivers to your soul. With a group, you’ll have fun tasting different kinds of dips with some pita bread with their Mezze Forte. Rice lovers, watch out! They have over 20 rice dishes that are waiting for you to try them out! There’s a whole lot of variety you don’t see in your regular grocery store.

Ziggurat Cuisine Restaurant
G/F Sunette Tower, Makati Avenue corner Durban Street, Makati City
+632 897 5179
Open daily 24 hours


unusual cuisines in Manila
Image Credit: @brasasphilippines via Instagram

Vegetarians might want to steer away from this meaty tale of unusual cuisines in Manila. Specializing in Latin American street food especially meat whether it’s beef, chicken, or pork is cooked right off the grill. A dish attesting to that is Puerco Asado, a succulent pork belly slow roasted to perfection. Whether it’s a wrap or a burrito, make sure you go for their Carne Asada that’s grilled beef sirloin goodness. Wash down all that meat with a glass of refreshing and minty Mango Agua Fresca.

SM Jazz Mall, Nicanor Garcia, Bel-Air, Makati City
Other branches in Ortigas and Quezon City
+632 570 5559
Facebook, Instagram

9Chesa Bianca Swiss Restaurant

unusual cuisines in Manila
Image Credit: @racheljalejandro via Instagram

You know you’re in the right place when its interiors transport you somewhere else. Its wooden interiors are reminiscent of a homey chalet. Cheese lovers will go gaga over their Genfer Fondue, a delightful concoction of gruyere, emmental, and raclette cheese. No meal is complete with some fine wine from their vast (and we mean huge!) collection. A low-key yet classy place to bring your date.

Chesa Bianca Swiss Restaurant
7431 Yakal Street, San Antonio Village, Makati City
+632 815 1359, 63928 554 3002
Open Monday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Facebook, Website

10Don Andres

unusual cuisines in Manila
Image Credit: @daperuviankitchen via Instagram

Okay, so we admit that the Peruvian cuisine is one of our favorites on this list. That’s also because it’s one of the most underrated and unusual cuisines in Manila. The melting pot of spices all boils down to zesty and sweet flavors, which is a pleasant break from the savory.

Start with Pulpo Al Olivo, sliced octopus marinated in lime that goes well with crackers and special-flavored dip. The signature Pollo a la Brasa is tender and juicy, a mouthwatering hit with every sauce it touches. Its side dishes are perfectly made to refresh one’s palate.

Don Andres
Pioneer Center Supermart, 8006 Pioneer Street, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City
+63917 508 0773
Open Monday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Facebook, Instagram


unusual cuisines in Manila
Image Credit: @makansutraph via Instagram

Still can’t get enough of Southeast Asian flavors? Well, we can’t either! Discover Makansutra that offers the best of Indonesian, Malaysian, and Singaporean cuisines. Choose from 12 stalls when it comes to eating Nasi Lemak, Laksa, and Chicken Satay! Larger-than-life graffiti on brick walls and repurposed chairs and tables. This will be the perfect background for those Instagram-worthy dishes.

Unit 209 AB, 2/F SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Facebook, Instagram


So, there you have it! This list of unusual cuisines in Manila is more than enough to stimulate a rumble from your tummy. Even if we can’t hop from one country to another anytime we feel like it, your taste buds will. Which one are you willing to try out first?

Happiness Creator
A stay-home-mom losing fights to a crazy toddler, itching to travel, overeating herself to death, struggling with cooking skills, and writing freelance on the side.
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