The last nine months have been a whole new world of eating, and we’ve never had so much to choose from. We took comfort in our staples from pre-Corona days, but delighted in our new discoveries from home-based operations that were never in our radar before. Some of them we’ve been very eager to support not only because they offer a great meal but because the folks behind them lost sources of income and livelihood.
This last one gives us pause here at ANCX, because the act of dining this year didn’t end with just enjoying a meal, it also became about supporting friends, neighbors, fellow Filipinos. Having a meal just became a little more meaningful. The list below, filled up by some of our favorite foodies and favorite people, represents a wide spectrum of the best takeout food out there, from old, comforting faves to what will become classics on our takeout list—from businesses great and small. These were the answers to the question: What is your best takeout food of the year, or of the pandemic—food that doesn't only taste great but travel well?
We’d like to believe these are the real deal because they’re from people we trust. And as one of our respondent wisely points out, “Trust is everything these days.”
Secretary, Department of Tourism
My best take-out would be Macho Cochinillo, Brown Butter Cookie by Baked by Alexa, and Bibingka of Bbngka. These three businesses only came about during the pandemic. The lechon skin of the Cochinillo was still so crunchy when it arrived, and their cilantro rice was so good. The cookies are baked by a 12-year-old kid. It’s just so good! Alexa didn’t scrimp on ingredients. The third one is like a modern bibingka—butter cake with a lot of cheese.
@machocochinillo needs to be pre-ordered two days prior. Pickup/delivery schedules are 12pm and 6pm. Send a DM or SMS to 09778468886 send a DM to @bakedby_alexa and @bbngk_ph’s Instagram accounts.https://www.instagram.com/bakedby_alexa/
Founder, Pinoy Eats World
• Any focaccia from Crafted at Home. For me, this is the best in Manila, hands down. Paired with a salad and some soup if you want—it’s a meal!
• JenCooksPH’s Chinoy comfort food. These, I’ve ordered many times: silken egg with seasoned pork, braised beef and tendon, aromatic chicken—all amazing.
• Mama Rins serves heritage Pinoy recipes from a long gone beloved restaurant. Very Ilonggo taste, as my dad says. All really good! Bakareta is my favorite, also the dinuguan and puto
• Sambar’s Malacca-inspired chicken rice is clean, fresh-tasting and delicious.
• From The Claypot, one product hits the spot—claypot rice.
• Kumakuma Curry also makes one dish—Japanese curry. It only comes in 3 variants, but all done exceptionally well.
Anchor, Headstart, ANC
I discovered so many good businesses during the pandemic. Bravo to all. But one of my favorites is Azúcar y Sal. I discovered them on Instagram; the photos look fantastic. And when the food arrived, it was even more fantastic—meaning, it’s not just photogenic, it’s really yummy.
To order, send a DM to @azucarysalmnl on Instagram.
Host, Executive Class on ANC
I think the best delivery so far was the paella of La Collina, a Spanish-Italian restaurant in a quiet corner of Poblacion. It’s one of the best in Manila—both before and during the pandemic. Nothing has changed in the quality despite challenges faced by kitchens in these times. The option of having it delivered in a plexiglass tray or a metal paellera means it arrives in your home without looking like fast-food delivery. Plus, the fact that La Collina is partly owned by my sister, Anita, assures me the dish was prepared and packed safely. Trust is everything these days.
@eat.lacollina is located at 4558 Molina St. Barangay Poblacion, Makati. To order, call 88797401, (0917) 817 2487 or (0945) 306 5673.
Jose Magsaysay, Jr.
Chairman Emeritus, Potato Corner
Tropical Hut original hamburger. I have been eating this since the ‘60s. It’s still, today the same product I ate when I was a young boy. It brings back happy memories every time I have it and every time I think about it. What I like about it also is it’s nothing fancy, it does not try to impress. The cucumber gives it a nice crunch when you bite it, and the aluminum foil keeps it warm for a long time
@tropicalhut is available via GrabFood delivery.
Former food editor
In terms of everyday food, I’m liking Cibo’s attention to detail. Included in the takeout package for pasta is a little pasta water and extra sauce. They know that pasta tends to dry out on delivery, so mixing in the water and extra sauce really revives the pasta. And it does feel like you’re eating it fresh from the kitchen!
For party food, I haven’t really ordered much, but what I remember most is the roast turkey from Old Swiss Inn, which my Tita had ordered, split in half and sent to us so we could enjoy together virtually. Usually turkey can be pretty dry, but this one was super flavorful and moist. When you order from Old Swiss Inn, they can actually split the turkey to send to different locations. (Btw, Old Swiss Inn owner is my cousin so I’m a bit biased!)
For dessert, I have to say it’s hard to beat Chef Chele’s basque cheesecake.
Head of Communications and Press, H&M
The best would have to be this Salted Egg Prawns from Loft Cafe. It was still hot and very much intact when it arrived.
@loftcafeph is open daily from 11am to9pm. For orders or reservations, send a DM to 09292207977.
Founder, Library Renewal Partnership
Tom Sawyer’s Fried Chicken. I love that it stays crispy. The flavor is the same as when I was a kid.
@tomsawyersfriedchicken has branches in Tiendesitas and Congressional Ave. For delivery, contact 09178110338 or 0279662291.
I love My Home Kitchen 88’s Salmon Kani Sushi Bake and their Ebi Unagi Sushi Bake. These always arrived perfectly and one of the best I’ve tasted. If it were a resto, it would have to be Kashmir. I ordered their bilao and it was a feast!
To order at @myhomekitchen88, follow the procedure on their Instagram. @kashmirphilippines has branches at Level 3 of One in Bonifacio High Street (cell. no. +639175316023) and at Kashmir San Antonio Arcade Plaza, McKinley Road, Makati (cell no. +639175316018).
Social media personality
It’s the Kenji Takoyaki for me. Nagustuhan ko siya kasi I am a huge fan of takoyakis. Nung dumating, fresh pa din and mainit. Buo pa. Considering na I live in Makati tapos Novaliches pa galing yung takos.
@kenjitakoyakiofficial is open from Mondays to Sundays 10am to 9:30pm. Store is located at 51 Buenamar Drive, Novaliches, Quezon City. To order, send a message to @kenji.takoyaki.1 on Facebook.
Makeup artist; Host, Man Hacks on ANCX
Cake from Cloudé. The cake itself is super airy and the frosting is rich but not too sweet. The tartness of the strawberries balances out everything.
Jako de Leon
Content creator and producer
The fried chicken tray of MyKusina - Anonas. It’s one of the best bang-for-buck orders during quarantine. Eight pieces of fried golden brown chicken breast fillets, with a side of gravy and honey hits the spot perfectly.
Anything from Chef Mom by Eliza Drilon-Luna is just awesome—from the cookies to the carrot cake. Everything is well-baked and gorgeously packaged and presented. Well worth the price.
Bees and Combs Ph raw honeycomb and honey has become a staple in my house. It’s great to pair with cheese, bacon and even ice cream. Hands-down, the best honey I’ve ever had locally.
Lastly, burgers. My favorite ones this quarantine were the quarter pounder burger from Chingolo (try the empanada, too), any smash burger from the pop-up Hungry Homies and tied for me up top are two of my local favorite burgers, the recently-returned classic, aloha champ from Jollibee and hands-down, the best pound-for-pound local burger—the steam burger from Sweet Ecstasy. (Tip: Get it double!)
President of Pulse Asia Research
Tanabe in Malate is an excellent restaurant. Food is fresh and tastes authentic. They use good Japanese rice for the sushi and are very selective when it comes to the quality of their seafood. I ordered a sushi boat—and it did come with the boat. I also ordered a sushi platter and a hamachi jaw aradaki (yellowtail jaw) cooked in mirin, soy sauce, and ginger. They lent me the sushi platters and the boat, I just returned it a couple days after. I picked up the food from their Malate restaurant and when I got home in Bacoor, Cavite, everything is still neatly arranged; the ice packs kept everything fresh.
Tanabe has branches in Remedios Circle, Malate, Manila (tel. nos. 528-4689, 524-7813) and in Jupiter Street, Bel-Air, Makati (tel. nos. 403-2321, 403-4831).
Strawberry shortcake and strawberry doughnuts from Flour Pot. I love the flavor of the cake, the fresh strawberries, and the good amount of cream that didn’t soak through the sponge cake. I also love the Salmon Cake from Salmon HQ. It’s fresh and chilled. There’s also a set time for arrival so our household was informed and standing by.
The Beanery. I recently celebrated my birthday and what made it special is the Belgian Chocolate Cake from The Beanery. Right now it’s really hard to plan celebrations. But having the chance to have your favorite cake through delivery makes it so much memorable. The cakes arrived in a lovely packaging, delivered in perfect condition.
The Beanery has four branches in the province of Bataan—two in Balanga City, one in Orani, and one in Dinalupihan. For orders, message @BeaneryBalanga on Facebook.
Mia Rocha Lauchengco
Founder of @sotruenaturals and @layaliving
Bananarama’s Banana Pudding. Actually, everything they make is delicious, comforting, and soothing to the soul. Snackalubong’s Ube Cheese and Pandan Cheese Hopia—a nice twist to the regular hopia. It arrives fresh and warm. Another must-try is their danggit. WKND! Bakery’s Sweet Baby Sourdough Cheezus is super cheesy. Love the play of sweet and salty. Also worth mentioning is their Crack Pie, really addictive. Lechoneria’s Lechon Belly. Everything we ordered from them was delicious. Love their laing as well.
Landscape architect and urban planner
I order Pancit Canton and Camaron Rebosado con Jamon from Comida China de Manila in C-5 Pasig. These are my comfort food.
@comidachinademanilapasig delivers to nearby Pasig and Quezon City areas. Delivery cutoff time is 8pm; dine-in and pickup cutoff time is 8:30pm. To order, call 86715942, 79140832, or order via Food Panda or GrabFood.
Businessman, social media personality
Loafed. Super sarap ng bread. High quality. Very unique siya kainin, kakaiba ang lasa. Super yummy. Eksaktong tamis lang.
To order, send a DM to @loafed.ph on Instagram. Cut-off for orders is 3pm.
Capt. Butch Generoso
Philippine Airlines pilot
Aling Lucing’s Sisig. We are not from Pampanga but we learned to love the local cuisine from this province as we teach in the simulator in Clark. I exit via Dau and there is an Aling Lucing Sisig branch there. I order sisig, tokwa’t baboy, talong with buro, and chicken liver barbecue, which I pick up at 5pm. It’s value for money, made from fresh ingredients, and very well packaged. I talked to their chef and I was told that their sisig meat is boiled with herbs then barbecued as a whole, and then chopped. Then it’s reheated on the sizzling plate. It’s not so crunchy but very tender and flavorful
Aling Lucing’s Sisig has branches in Glaciano Valdez St., Brgy. Agapito del Rosario, Angeles City (cell no 0906 288 8905) and in Dau Access Road, Mabalacat, Pampanga (0961 181 6288).
Blogger and model
Here are the top ones on my list: Nikkei—their bento offerings are pretty and delicious; Bayani Gourmet—their Lechon Belly is still crispy upon delivery, and they have plant-based dishes, too; Gallery By Chele—it uses eco-friendly packaging, no plastics, and their food is amazing; Sunae Cantina—their food is great even when delivered, a must-try is their Burnt Coconut Curry; Vito’s BBQ—simple, no-fuss Chicken BBQ with Java Rice; Gourmei Cakes—these are my kids’ fave for dessert, they’re gluten free, and vegan.
@nikkeiph has branches in One Rockwell (cell. no. 0916-6369817) and Podium Mall (cell. no. 0995-9083155). @sunaeasiancantinaph is located at 2/F View Deck One Bonifacio High Street Mall (cell. nos. 0916-6074903, (02) 77469046). @vitosbbq has branches in Libis, Quezon City and Ronac San Juan, cell. nos. 0917-3000770 and 0917-3000809. @gallerybychele is located at Clipp Center, The Fort, cell. no. 0917-5461673. For @bayanigourmet, @_gourmei_, send a DM to their Instagram.
Director of Public Relations, City of Dreams Manila
Here are some of my quarantine favorites:
Your Tasty Kusina's Bagnet Kare-kare—it’s a good combination of crispy lechon kawali and the thick, sweet and savory peanut butter sauce with vegetables. It’s a comforting all-time favorite Filipino dish.
Graze Up Manila's grazing box—this is perfect for a night of quarantine unwinding or capping a week with a good antipasto paired with wine. It's delightful with its premium selection of cold cuts, cheeses, chocolates, fresh fruits, pesto bread, pretzels and pistachio. Lasagna from Madie's Lasagna and Paella— freshly-baked and delivered warm with its rich bechamel sauce and generous portion of ground beef, satisfying my craving for Italian cuisine. Red Ginger's Laksa—I love savoring the authentic flavors of Singapore in Red Ginger's take on this noodle dish with spicy gravy sauce.
DJ, Magic 89.9
Chubby Crab. It was sulit for the price, with great ingredients and everything. It was really good! Great mix of seafood and more. Also honorable mentions are Chunk for cookies, Cheese Rolls by Miss J for great cheese rolls, Bandido 2005 for barbecue and paella.
Executive director, Lopez Memorial Museum
At Oscar’s in Eugenio Lopez Center, they make this really good cassava cake, it’s my favorite. I also bought gising gising from Kusina Kapamilya. Even if you buy it frozen and then you warm it up before you eat it, it tastes like it’s fresh.
DJ, host, social media personality
• Isa mga pinaka-nahappy ako is yung cheese bread from LBS Bakeshop and Kitchenette. Hindi nila tinipid sa lasa at legit na cheese bread talaga. Wala pang isang araw, ubos na namin ang two boxes.
• I also like Crave MNL’s Peri-Peri Chicken. Malasa from the outside to inside and masarap din ang sauces.
• Another favorite is BaaBaa Thai Milk Tea. Never nagbago ang timpla mula noong una and until now na pandemic, same kahit delivery.
• I also like the longganisa and burger patty from Aunty Nors’ Home Cooking.
Reese Fernandez Ruiz
President and Founding Partner, Rags2Riches
• Sushi Bake from Kurimi Sushi Bakes. Very gift ready and the product looks and tastes great, too.
• Anything from The Grid just tastes amazing. We had a lot delivered over to our place and they are well packaged and looked delectable.
• Feliz Dish & Details has great food that comes in good serving size, perfect for family lunches, dinners, and celebrations.
The best takeout for me has to be The Cafe Mediterranean’s Gyro Plate. It’s a little pricey (around P400), so I only buy when I want to treat myself. But even with the price, it never disappoints and is always, always good even when it arrives to my home!
@thecafemed has branches in Power Plant Mall, Greenbelt 1, Bonifacio High Street, Estancia Mall, The Podium, Alabang Molito, Nuvali, and SM MOA (under renovation). To order, message their Instagram or Facebookaccount.
Social media strategist
I live near a lot of food establishments but Gino’s tops my list. Lydia’s lechon in a box is a dream for porkers like me who hate washing the dishes—I ordered a bunch of times na.
@ginosbrickovenpizza has branches in Katipunan (0956-3068707), Salcedo Village (0917-9645339), Serendra (0916-6700012), Shangri-La Plaza (0945-5122947), and Rada, Legaspi Village (0995-5591004). You may also order online via their website ginosbrickovenpizza.com.ph. You may order from @lydiaslechon via their delivery hotline: 8939-1221 (Quezon City) and 8851-2987 to 89 (Baclaran), thru their website www.lydias-lechon.com or their official Facebook and Instagram accounts.
The most amazing Filipino desserts and food products from Laguna are with Probinsyana. They also have absolutely beautiful packaging. The super delicious and must-try ginataang hipon is the best. I now have three bottles in my freezer. Imagine crispy freshwater shrimps slow-cooked in caramelized coconut milk! The bottled kesong puti and the bibingka cheesecake, suman sa lihiya, cassava cake with cheese and buko pie are all winners. Slowburn MNL has an amazing and flavorful new tray with pork ribs, garlic shrimps and umami truffle rice which I really enjoyed. Finally, can't get enough of Vito's BBQ. It's perfectly seasoned, juicy, moist and they use dark meat (I'm not a fan of white chicken meat!). It's full of flavor already but it still comes with a sauce! Have it grilled (skin on fillet) or skinless on a stick. Either way, both are unbelievably delicious.