My mum suggested this project, and I thought it was a good idea: a hand drawn, hand painted map of our neighbourhood (Makati) with our favourite spots marked. I decided to do a bit of an informal Manila guide while I'm at it.
Let's start at Greenbelt, because everyone starts there. It's a big shopping centre with beautiful gardens and lots of great places to eat.
Simply Thai is good for... simple Thai food (funny that) and People's Palace is the place to go for fancy Thai food and cocktails. Mr Jones is a 50s style American diner. Cyma has nice Greek food, and Burger Bar serves up infinite combinations of deliciously messy burgers. Draft has a great menu (lots of different options, all good) and plenty of good beer to choose from.
Cerveseria is the usual after work bar when it's not too hot outside, and Dillingers is where we head in the warmer months (they have really good air conditioning!). Sala has a lovely dinner menu and a great value brunch, and we like going to Motorino's for pizza, Nanbantei for Japanese and Gilak for anything mediterranean.
We do our bookshopping at Fully Booked, our groceries at Landmark (hating every minute of it) and get our dentist-ing done at GAOC dental. I forgot to put it on the map but I get my hair cut at Piandre.
Glorietta is right next to Greenbelt. I go here for sewing stuff - Fabric Warehouse for most fabrics, Carolina's for lace and trims, Buttons 'n' Wrap for notions. I often stop at Army Navy for some quick tacos for lunch, then maybe a detour to Uniqlo for fun.
The biggest park in Makati and site of the original airport. They have an amazing Christmas Lights show during November & December, and a strip of restaurants and cafes. Our favourite is Poco Deli for the sausage and cheese platters and German beer.
Our 'hood. The Curator is probably our favourite place in Manila, for coffee in the mornings and cocktails at night. Mondo has great sandwiches and juice and Swagat is our regular Indian restaurant... we have eaten a lot of delicious chicken korma at that place! Balcony and Plantation are both good pub-like options.
Legaspi Market is our regular Sunday market, just at the end of our street. We go there every week for fruit, vegetables, bread and yummy pulled pork tacos.
We stayed here when we first arrived and didn't have a kitchen so we explored the restaurant options pretty thoroughly back then! Chocolate Fire is a chocolate shop owned by an Australian where they also have nice sandwiches and pastas and things. Apartment 1B has good breakfasts, and 'comfort food' for lunch and dinner. Bugsy's, Bowler and Rue Bourbon are all fun themed bars (1940s gangsters, London pub and New Orleans respectively). Wildflour, Toby's Estate and Hooch have all opened up recently - head to Wildflour for a great bakery breakfast, Toby's for Australian coffee and cafe food, and Hooch for drinks and Charlie Chaplin movies. Salcedo Markets on a Saturday has food, produce, plants and souvenirs.
The area around Burgos St is sort of a red light district so it can be a bit overwhelming to newcomers but there are some fun places to go around here. A big favourite with our friends is El Chupacabra, usually just referred to as just 'tacoooooos!'. Street tacos with a bit of a Filipino twist, served in plastic baskets out on the street. It's great. We go to Howzat sports bar for trivia on the first Tuesday of each month.
We also discovered two more great places in the area in the last week (after I finished the map) - Farfalla for lovely Italian food and handmade pasta, and Beers Paradise for a huge selection of beers, comfy armchairs and dead quiet 'atmosphere'.
I'm all finished with Manila now, I'm writing this from my friend's apartment in Sydney and will be going to Fiji next week with my mum and some cousins. Follow along on instagram!