Although iconic for its towering skyscrapers, there is more—plenty more—to Manila’s business district of Makati than meets the eye. Rey Moraga of Fairmont Makati takes us around its back corners and glitzy shopping district to explore the soul of the neighborhood and all it has to offer.
Where’s the best cup of coffee in Makati?
Head to The Curator and ask about the featured coffee bean or order from the YKW blends. Spend a quiet coffee time during the day before it moonlights as a speakeasy bar at night offering craft cocktails.
What’s the best place to go for a taste of local food?
My personal favorites include Manam and Fely J’s Kitchen. Manam presents a great introduction to comfort Filipino food with its menu split into the classics and the twists. Try the house specialty, Sisig, made from pig jowls, cheeks, and ears, served sizzling. For the more refined palate, reserve a table at Fely J’s Kitchen, featuring a collection of heirloom Filipino recipes and dishes inspired by the owning family’s travel, including Lola Ising’s Adobo and Lechon Kawali.
What’s a nice nighttime experience around the neighborhood?
A unique street nightlife experience awaits travelers in the Poblacion district. From being obscure to becoming crowd favorites, these establishments have an incomparable buzz to celebrate come nighttime: Tambai features street-style gourmet yakitori, the hip Mexican joint A’Toda Madre doubles as a tequila bar, and the culinary playground, The Red Light, is an incubator for up-and-coming chefs. You will also find here plenty of vendors selling the most quintessential of all Filipino street food: the balut, a ubiquitous Filipino delicacy and an object of cultural and culinary fascination. For some glamor and style, head to 71 Gramercy located atop the city’s highest skyscraper.
Where can you go to see the best of the local art scene?
Raffles Makati features a collection of over 1,600 paintings and sculptures commissioned from among the country’s finest artists. Pieces by Anthony Palomo, Edwin Wilwayco and Jaime Zobel de Ayala are tastefully curated within the property. Begin your artistic journey in this colorful city with the Art Concierge, a personal tour through the hotel, taking an intimate look behind the artworks, learning about the stories behind them, and the artists who created them.
For an insight into the thriving contemporary art scene, explore Pasong Tamo (Don Chino Roces Avenue). Formerly an address known for its large warehouses, these facilities now hosts a number of intimate art galleries like the Silverlens, Finale Art File, Archivo 1984, Vinyl on Vinyl, Nova and W/17.
When in need of some retail therapy, travelers should head to…
Greenbelt is considered by many as a shopper’s paradise. This expansive 12-hectare space seamlessly integrates indoor and outdoor retail experience. Highend luxury brands stand out side by side with ateliers of top-caliber Filipino designers. Its opulent department store, Adora, will provide you with whatever kind of therapy you are looking for.