Because safety still comes first
â€‹â€‹Finally, the pandemic seems to be winding down. Yet over the last two years, you’ve developed a habit of dining outdoors. That may well be a pandemic behavior that will stick around for the long haul–and for good reason. Whether it’s the gentle evening breeze, the intimate sounds of the city, or the mood lighting, there’s something inherently romantic and safe about dining al-fresco.
For this Valentine’s season, we put together a list of outdoor dining spots that would be perfect for date night.
The Peak Grill, Park Hyatt BGC
This might be the ultimate outdoor dining experience in the city. Spectacular views of Metro Manila, cooler temperatures, excellent (albeit pricey) food like dry-aged steaks and foie gras, as well as delicious drinks. For a special occasion, it’ll be hard to top The Peak.
Chic interiors, diverse clientele (expat friendly), solid drinks list, and inventive Spanish tapas (a bit fusion, but in a good way), La Picara will always be a smart choice for outdoor dining. It has a second-floor view of High Street too. Reservations are highly encouraged.
This place has low-key written all over it. Hidden along Roxas Boulevard by the US embassy, Harbor View is nestled right on the water and is an outstanding vantage point of Manila Bay. The ocean breeze and fresh kinilaw definitely add to its appeal. On some nights there’s live music too.
Blackbird at the Nielsen Tower
This place might have only been around a few years, but it is already a Makati landmark and institution. It has stellar comfort food, an extensive wine list, and sleek, art deco interiors. It’s located on the outskirts of Ayala Triangle, in a restored tower of the old Manila airport, which totally makes the vibe. If you want a successful date night, this is an ideal venue.
Looking for something a bit lighter on the pocket? The Social delivers. Located in central Poblacion, the lively container park boasts a full bar, weekend DJs, and a casual, young crowd. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that Crosta Detroit-style pizzas are available as bar chow.
Another Poblacion staple with a patio that has a distinct “neighborhood” vibe. Dr. Wine is located between Rockwell and Poblacion, in the area fondly known as Backwell. They do a hearty charcuterie and cheese platter here, among other French favorites like duck confit and steak frites. They also have a substantial (you guessed it) wine list with happy hour deals.
Wolfgang’s Steakhouse BGC
It may not be an obvious choice, but Wolfgang’s outdoor area boasts of a separate, more casual (and most importantly, more affordable) menu featuring individual steak plates, burgers, fish and chips, buffalo wings, and the like. They also have several beers on tap, which we find has become a real rarity in this city. So enjoy Wolfgang’s without having to break the bank. If things get awkward on your date, you can always people-watch to pass the time.
As things lighten up (once again) around the metro, we invite you to get out there and (re)discover a place or two. But as always, safety first.
Words Art Vandaley
Art Macky Arquilla