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Outdoor dining set-up at Abe Serendra. Photo from LJC's Facebook page
Food & Drink

20+ restaurants for people who feel safer dining outdoors

May their tribe increase.
ANCX Staff | Oct 21 2020

We’ve had way too much lutong-bahay and Grab deliveries in the last seven months, it's just natural we're craving to dine out again. But many of us have yet to feel "kampante" dining in an enclosed area, despite the safety measures restaurants have enforced. Good thing some of our favorite places have outdoor set-ups where we can feel just relaxed enough to focus on the food and enjoy the dining experience. Here are more than 20 establishments that offer dining al fresco. 

1. Mijo Comfort Food

What they serve: Chef Enrique Moreno cooks up an exciting menu of Spanish- and Chinese-themed comfort food inspired by his childhood. Considered a crowd favorite is their roasted crab noodles—a flavorful medley of crab, garlic butter, chives, and fresh rye spaghettini. They also highly recommend their Guava Duck, which comes in half and whole servings with duck fried rice, kailan (Chinese broccoli) and guava-infused hoisin sauce; and their Miso Gindara, which is local gindara with miso, pan roasted and served on a bed of creamy and cheesy lemon risotto.

What the outdoor setup looks like: Mijo actually does open-air dining, as they have a floor-to-ceiling sliding door that they leave open to increase ventilation. This extends to the al fresco area, where dining tables and a bar table setup are located, perfect if you want to chill with some privacy.

Mijo Comfort Food is at 4987 P. Guanzon St. Poblacion, Makati. It’s open from Thursday to Sunday, 5pm to 9:30pm. For reservations, call 0917 1490148.

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Chill with a bit of privacy at Mijo. Photo courtesy of Mijo Comfort Food

2. Elbert’s Pizzeria 

What they serve: Napoli-style, wood-fired pizza. Arguably the best Manila has to offer. Order the Quattro Formaggi e Fungi and the Margherita. Plus we’ve heard many good things about the carbonara. 

What the setup looks like: Nice woven chairs on an artificial grass flooring.

Elbert’s Pizzeria is at V Corporate Center 125 L.P. Leviste Street, Makati City. For reservations, call 0917 677 8325or email pizzeria@steakroom.com.


3. Lusso

What they serve: True to its name (lusso is luxe in Italian), Chef Gaita Fores serves an indulgent menu of Italian and French cuisine here. It has a delightful selection of pasta (e.g. Lobster & River Prawn Lasagna, Luxe Mac & Cheese, Spinach Taglierini, Fettuccine & Porcini), sandwiches (Roast Lambwich⁣, roast organic chicken sandwich) and signature dishes like the Osso buco and Lusso demi pound burger. You can also enjoy your bubblies, along with some fries and Burrata Pugliese.

What the setup looks like: Lusso has comfortable al fresco seats across the indoor dining area, with Greenbelt’s greens adding to the spot’s relaxing vibe.

Lusso is located at G/F, Greenbelt 5, Legaspi Street, Makati. For reservation, call 0917 700 5893 or email lusso@margaritafores.com.

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Luxury and nature meet at Lusso. Photo from Lusso's Facebook page

4. Gubat 

What they serve: It’s a very short menu of Filipino staples you’re expected to eat kamayan-style. The ulams—lechon kawali, pritong isda, pritong manok, adobong baboy—are served with white rice on banana leaves. No plates, no kubyertos, but there’s an awesome buro that will make you eat more rice even if you don’t want to. 

What the setup looks like: Very beachy (its origins is in La Union). But as the name suggests, it’s surrounded by greens and it is right next to Diliman Bonsai Society. 

Gubat is located along CP Garcia, Diliman, Quezon City. It’s open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10am to 7pm.


5. Lampara

What they serve: The neo bistro does a modern take on Filipino food. They are famous for their Rice Cups and Dinuckduckan, as well as their innovative take on desserts (Yema and Tsokolate, Melon Milk) and fun cocktails.

What the setup looks like: The resto is located on the second floor of a renovated apartment complex. It has a balcony that’s divided into two sections—one is enclosed in glass, and the other half is completely open air, allowing you to enjoy the city breeze. The al fresco space is not big so if you really want to dine outside, maybe give the resto a call in advance. 

Lampara is at 5883 Enriquez Street, Poblacion, Makati City. For reservations, call 0917 173 5883 or email restaurantlampara@gmail.com.


6. Grace Park

What they serve: This is Margarita Fores’ farm-to-table concept so expect lots of greens and healthy stuff but the menu has its sinful indulgences. We recommend the squash pasta with pistachios and goat cheese, as well as the Muscovado beef belly. 

What the setup looks like: Just a few tables right next to the glass facade. Nothing fancy.

Grace Park is at One Rockwell, Rockwell Drive G/F Makati. For reservations, call 0939 934 7223 / 02 88437275 or email gracepark@margaritafores.com.


7. The Test Kitchen 9780

What they serve: Chef Boutwood is out to surprise your tastebuds with his repertoire of a la carte meals. He’s got breads, salads and pasta, if you’re planning on something light. But if you’re in the mood for action, you can try the K-drama burger—tangy kimchi, perfectly cooked ground chuck patty with a slither of melted mozzarella cheese. Boutwood cures his own meat so a sampling of their charcuterie plate is a must-try.

What the setup looks like: The resto occupies a corner spot, so there’s enough room for their small al fresco café tables.

The Test Kitchen is located at G/F One Rockwell, Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City. It’s open from Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 3pm. and 6pm to 10pm. For reservations, call 0977 288 5751 or email thetestkitchen@bistro.com.ph.


8. Antonio's

What they serve: The resto offers a mélange of flavors—from breakfast favorites and European brunch fares, to classic deli favorites and sweet treats. Not to be missed are their freshly baked breads and succulent meats.

What the setup looks like: Its lush greenery serves as a perfect backdrop to your al fresco dining experience. Every spot you train your eye on is a beauty. They are open only from Friday to Sunday.

Antonio’s is located at Purok 138, Barangay Neogan, Tagaytay City. For reservations, call 0917 899 2866 or email reservations@antoniosrestaurant.ph​.

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Every inch a beauty. Photo from Antonio's Facebook account

9. Balay Dako

What they serve: They have an extensive menu of heartwarming Filipino fare—from arroz caldo and tokwa’t baboy, to sisig and kinilaw, bibingka to puto bumbong, bulalo to sinigang sa miso. There’s also a wide selection of Spanish-Filipino fare like callos and pastel de lengua, and Filipino-Chinese dishes like pancit and pata tim.

What the setup looks like: Seats by the veranda offer a refreshing view of the Taal volcano and the lake. And then there’s the cool breeze of Tagaytay. If you plan to stay till the evening, you could have some cocktails under the stars at the Terraza located at the top floor. Right now, seniors and minors are still not allowed to dine in, though. 

Balay Dako is located along Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway, Tagaytay City (Besides Leslie’s and Max’s across Magallanes Square in Tagaytay). It’s open daily from 11 am to 7 pm. For more information, call (046) 483 4847 balaydakoevents@gmail.com.

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Photo from Balay Dako's Facebook account

10. Nikkei Nama Bar

What they serve: They have a delightful menu of Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine. They have fresh cuts of sashimi, handmade sushi, bento boxes. They have exciting twists to causa, tiradito and ceviche. Something new to try off their Robata Grill is the Yakitori Platter—free range frilled chicken skewers, tamago and quail eggs. They currently have a bounce back promo, where you can have three kinds of alcoholic beverages for P599+ from 2pm to 6pm.

What the setup looks like: Their eight long al fresco tables can sit up to 3 persons each. The spot overlooks some nice greenery, so it’s nice to sit there especially when the air is cooler.

Nikkei Nama Bar is at 2/F One Bonifacio High Street Mall. It’s open daily from 11:30am to 10pm. For reservations, call (+63) 966 533 7573; (02) 7753 9212


11. Lorenzo’s Way

What they serve: The resto is a tribute to LJC Restaurant Group founder Larry J Cruz and thus serves the man’s most adored Filipino-European dishes. It’s known for its Paella, Spanish Garlic Chicken, Costillas de Ternera, Calamares en su Tinta, Coco Loco Prawns, Pancit Pusit, and Gigil Tart, among many others.

What the setup looks like: Their al fresco area has plenty of room to set up several tables. And it’s quite nice to dine there at night as the ambiance gives off a romantic vibe.

Lorenzo's Way is at Level 1 in Greenbelt 5, Makati City. It’s open daily from 11am to 8pm. For reservations, call 7 7290013, 7 7290047, 0906 4634557.

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Lorenzo's Way gives off a romantic vibe during the evenings. Photo from LJC's Facebook page

12. Fely J’s Kitchen

What they serve: The resto offers a variety of Asian and Filipino dishes, inspired by the treasured recipes and travels of Larry J. Cruz’s mom, Felicidad de Jesus-Cruz. Bestsellers include Dilis-cious Rice, Bistek ng Kano, Lengua Rendang, Crispy Patang Bawang and Tilapia in Sweet Plum Sauce.

What the setup looks like: The resto extends to a small outdoor dining area section right outside it. It’s not exactly the most pleasant spot—there are better seats inside—but if you insist on eating outdoors...

Fely J’s Kitchen is at the second floor of Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street Corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. They’re open daily from 10am to 8pm. For reservations, call 8802-5354, 7946-3676, 0995-6539039


13. Abe

What they serve: A good selection of traditional Filipino fare (mostly Kapampangan) and gourmet dishes inspired by the travels of Larry J. Cruz’s father “Abe” Aguilar Cruz. They highly recommend Abe's Chicken Supreme, Klassik Kaldereta, Sinigang na Boneless Bangus Fillet with Ripe Guava, Knockout Knuckles and Crispy Shrimp Binondo, and their Camaru, Biringhe, Betute, Binukadkad na Plapla.

What the setup looks like: The small round tables and chairs give off a café kind of vibe. Pretty cool to hang out there at night.

Abe Serendra is located at 11th Ave, Taguig City. For reservations, call 8856-0526 / ‎‎‎‎8856-7696 | ‎‎‎‎09155006073. It’s open from 10am to 8pm (M-Th) and 11am to 9pm (F-Sun)


14. Bondi&Bourke

What they serve: You come here for their amazing steaks, chops and kebabs. But they also have charcuterie which are great with cocktails, and a selection of desserts such as Crème Brulee, English Trifle, Banana & Toffee Tart.

What the setup looks like: Very neighborhood hangout. They have a small yet cozy al fresco section just right outside.

Bondi&Bourke is open every Monday to Saturday from 11am onwards. It’s at the Ground Floor of Cattleya Condominium, Salcedo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City. For inquiries, call 0998 840 6268.


15. Le Village The Lifestyle Food Park

What they serve: There’s chicken and ribs at Porto’s Peri-Peri; paella, lechon and sisig at Sabroso Lechon; handpulled noodles at Shou La Mien; Japanese BBQ at Gochilla; plus the Fruitas line of beverage and dessert brands (e.g. 7,107 Halo Halo Islands, Black Pearl, Tea Rex, The Pub).

What the setup looks like: It’s a nice family picnic venue, under the trees with a charming fountain adding to the food park’s relaxing vibe.

Le Village The Lifestyle Food Park is at E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave, corner Cordillera St., Brgy. Doña Josefa, Quezon City. For more information, check out their Facebook and Instagram page.

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Bring the family to Le Village. Photo from Le Village's Facebook page

16. Holy Smokes BBQ

What they serve: Texas-style smoked meats (brisket, beef ribs, pork ribs, bacon, chicken, sausage, etc).

What the setup looks like: They have a few picnic tables outside and they also have a spot at The Pop Up Katipunan in Loyola Heights.

It’s open from 11am to 7pm, from Wednesday until Sunday. Holy Smokes BBQ is at 5834 Matilde, Makati City. For reservations, call 0917-5036544 or 0917-5329361 or 0917-8480324.


17. Ooma

What they serve: They have a hearty selection of all-time Japanese favorites—rolls, steaks, udon, and tempura. For a satisfying al fresco dining experience, they highly recommend their Salmon Skin Aburi Maki (a solid roll of torched salmon, crispy salmon skin, asparagus, cream cheese, wasabi aioli, and teriyaki sauce).

What the setup looks like: They have bar tables set up outside that can sit up to three persons each.

Ooma is located at 28 Plaza Dr, Makati City. For reservations, call 0917 631 6769. You can also reserve a table


18. Café Adriatico Malate 

What they serve: International staples and Filipino heirloom recipes in an old world setting. Favorites are Lola Ising’s adobo rice, Salpicao rice, and kesong puti with pandesal.

What the setup looks like: Dark wooden chairs with tables covered in checked tablecloth. The view is the Remedios Circle across and the Adriatico Korean resto hub. Or parked cars if it’s a busy night. 

Cafe Adriatico Malate is at 1790 M. Adriatico St, Malate, Manila. For reservations, call 8378-8220 or 09064766956.


19. Cartel

What they serve: They like to think of their menu as a little bite of Spain. They have Croquetas, Spicy Chorizo Bites, Gambas al ajillo and Salpicao. The Truffle Shiitake and Asparagus paella sounds like a party. 

What the setup looks like: a narrow patio just before the sidewalk. A little exposed but it’s a quiet part of the business district so it’s really nice to just kick back and hang out here. 

Cartel is at 119 L.P. Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati City. For reservations, call 0917 153 4805.


20. Blackbird

What they serve: “World classics with contemporary Asian cooking.” Order the Twice baked leek, Comté and cheddar soufflé for starters, and the Grilled Pepper Tuna Steak never disappoints. 

What the setup looks like: A good enough number of tables just outside the Art Deco Neilson Tower. Cozy, private, pleasant. Very cosmopolitan. 

Blackbird is at Nielson Tower, Ayala Triangle, Makati City. It’s open daily from 11am to 10pm. For reservations, call0917 889 2782 or email info@blackbird.com.ph.

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Right at the heart of the business district: the al fresco set-up of Blackbird. Photo from @blackbirdatthenielsontower on Instagram

Ayala Malls The 30th

The mall offers a wide array of food and beverage options from its line of restaurants—Albergus, Aunti Anne’s, Barcino, Basil, Café Breton, Cibo, David’s Tea House, Ippudo, Mamou, Mary Grace, Pho Hoa, Ramen Nagi, Kenny Rogers, Sweet Ecstasy and more. The mall has tables set up in their two-level open space/garden called Corte.

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Corte is a two-level open space garden. Photo from Ayala Malls Facebook page

Rockwell’s Streetside Dining

During weekends, Rockwell turns Lopez Drive, One Rockwell, and Santolan Town Plaza into a neighborhood tambayan with outdoor seating for a relaxing, pleasurable al fresco dining experience.

At Lopez Drive in Makati, customers may enjoy their favorite restaurants like Café Via Mare, a mano, Teppan Okochi, Mamou, Barcino, Single Origin, and Ooma. The same goes for One Rockwell, which is known for restaurants such as Grace Park, The Test Kitchen, Tajimaya, Coco Ichibanya, UCC Café Terrace, and Nikkei.

Over at Santolan Town Plaza which boasts of open spaces and lush greenery, the San Juan community can enjoy dining at the new outdoor area located at the Pavilions. Customers may order from any food kiosk, café, or restaurant.

Customers may call the restaurant to book a table at the al fresco dining area at Lopez Drive and One Rockwell. To see the Power Plant Mall and Rockwell Center directory, visit bit.ly/RockwellStoreDirectory. For Santolan Town Plaza, customers may simply proceed to the special outdoor seating area. Visit bit.ly/STPStoreDirectory for the complete Santolan Town Plaza directory.