Remember when, at the height of the pandemic, you were trying to finish the mediocre meal you had delivered, bored to death, asking the question: Will this ever end? You used to have glorious travel plans, but right there and then, you just wanted to be able to visit your favourite BGC restaurant and chill.
But, at long last, it looks like better days are ahead. Borders have reopened, and travel restrictions are basically non-existent. The Metro Manila traffic is back — can’t say we missed it, though. More people are now out and about. Some of us have even returned to our beloved offices. Finally, we’re at the tail-end of the stuck-at-home-with-delivered-meals era. With restaurants back in business, it’s time we go back to our favourite food spots. If people have started revenge travelling, why can’t we have our version of revenge dining, right?
That said, we recommend still erring on the side of caution when dining outside. It would be best to stick with places where we can cosy up and relax without breaching physical distancing protocols. Think restaurants with spacious interiors, al fresco areas, or private rooms. If you’re planning to eat outside, consider this list of your best BGC restaurants for a chill dining experience.
Best BGC restaurants with al fresco spaces to chill at
1. Gallery by Chele
Since luxurious fine dining is often housed indoors, an al fresco upscale restaurant like Gallery by Chele merits a warm welcome. Dine on the restaurant’s rooftop and bask in the night lights of the bustling cityscape. It’s the perfect spot to unwind after a hard day’s work.
Providing an innovative gourmet cooking “eatsperience” is the man behind Gallery by Chele. Chef Chele Gonzales has been running the restaurant ever since it was known as Gallery VASK, the name that made it to the list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants twice.
2. La Picara Manila
Hungry for paella? Make a beeline for La Picara Manila. It’s a three-year-old BGC restaurant that serves arguably the best Spanish cuisine in the area. If dining close to the treetops of an urban jungle suits your “chill” vibes, then this one’s your best pick. Muy bien, muy bien indeed.
3. Sariwon Korean Barbecue
Annyeonghaseyo, sam-g lovers! Take your OG samgyup-squad to Sariwon and treat yourselves to a next-level Korean dining experience. Korean barbecue restaurants usually evoke an edgy atmosphere with all the smoke and sizzle. Well, not this one. With cream-white fancy seats and a grand interior design, Sariwon Korean Barbecue will calm your nerves and fill your bellies. They also set up tables outside for an al fresco Korean indulgence.
Make a toast for a breezy afternoon dining experience at 205. Pair their classic truffle pizza with some happy hour cocktails to cap off your long day. Their al fresco seats are limited, so give them a heads-up for an early reservation. And if you feel like your chill night out is bitin, you can order their bartender-mixed cocktails, so you can enjoy them at home, too!
5. Pool House at Grand Hyatt Manila
Looking for a place to dine underneath the stars? Head over to Pool House on the 30th floor of Grand Hyatt Manila. It’s one of the BGC restaurants that serve international cuisine with perfectly-grilled seafood and meat selections. Poolside gazebos are also available for a more intimate setting. Best if you arrive there before sunset — the golden hour views of the city skyline are a sight to behold.
Samba, Manila is another hotel-based restaurant located on the eighth floor of Shangri-La The Fort. Order Ceviche Limeno, Anticucho de Pulpo, or their other flavourful Peruvian dishes for a true South American treat. Its stunning views of the city guarantee a chill dining night for your friends or family. If that’s not enough, you can also vibe to the rhythm of lively tropical beats playing to the harmony of Samba’s cuisine.
BGC restaurants offering private dining rooms
7. Canton Road
If you prefer to chill in an indoor dining experience instead of al fresco, we got you covered! One of your best private BGC restaurants is Canton Road. If you’re up for a closed-door Chinese diner in what looks like a room made for people on Forbes’ list, then this one’s for you. Think celadon-coloured patterns and premium silk panels. True to its name, this BGC restaurant specialises in signature Cantonese cuisine presented in a contemporary fashion.
8. Ogawa Manila
Check out this highly raved traditional Japanese restaurant, Ogawa Manila. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the best of its kind. Their seafood ingredients are shipped fresh from Japan, hence their authentic-tasting sushi and sashimi. For this reason, gastronomes endure long queues for available seats, especially on weekends.
Since Ogawa Manila’s common dining space is usually very crowded, the area may not meet your chill dining expectations. So, hit them up days or weeks ahead to reserve their private dining rooms. As seen on Ogawa Manila’s Facebook page, a lot of Filipino celebrities have frequented these private tables, including Sarah Labati and Liza Soberano, the latter even revealing this as her favourite Japanese restaurant!
9. Lorenzo’s Way
If you’re searching for BGC restaurants with Filipino dishes, Lorenzo’s Way is the way to go. Adobo, sinigang, caldereta, diniguan, and pinakbet are a few of their recipes that’ll bring nostalgia right to your taste buds.
If you’re planning to take your family or friends to unwind with familiar-tasting food, you can’t go wrong with Lorenzo’s Way. Reserve their private dining rooms and do your much-needed catching up. Share a halo-halo or leche flan for dessert while you’re at it.
Instagrammable BGC restaurants that are crowd-favourites
10. Wildflour Cafe
If you fancy well-baked pastries, Wildflour Cafe has some perfect seats for a chill afternoon. The cafe is situated along 4th Ave cor 26th St. of BGC, where many people pass by. It could get a bit crowded during peak hours, but the food and ambience here are well enough to compensate. Try their pastry board for a complete dough-filled feast.
11. Sunnies Cafe BGC
Every angle of Sunnies Cafe makes for an Insta-worthy capture. Its LA-inspired interior design will surely get your appetite for a light meal or even a sip of tequila.
12. Elephant Grounds
There’s’ no denying Elephant Grounds to the list of chill spots in BGC. Their wall art says it all: Coffee n’ chill. You can choose to relax in the cosy seats inside the cafe or stay in their al fresco area. Order your preferred coffee and take a bite of their popular Gouda-grated fries with an aioli dip.
That’s it! As you go out to chill and eat, just make sure to keep yourself safe and wear your masks. If you need suggestions for chill spots outside of BGC, we can also help you out! Check our lists for Metro Manila, Antipolo, Tagaytay, and Cebu!