Valentine’s Day is a make or break date for any couple. It is a relationship goal to have a good time and good eats at a great restaurant and at an affordable price. There are of course, some requirements besides the great venue. For one, considering the traffic in the city, it should be accessible, and not by walking. Given that it’s Valentine’s men should expect their dates to be a little more prepared than usual; they might be wearing heels! Second is availability. Even though we’re not looking at fine dining establishments here, it may be wise to call ahead for a reservation. There are just so many couples and groups dining out on Valentine’s, and the last thing you’d want is to be turned down because the place is booked full. Third, is the price. Romance is great, but at the end of the day, there are still flowers, chocolates and Uber to spend on. The price range for a Valentine’s date lunch or dinner should not break the bank.
To help you along, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best spots for a romantic and memorable date spots for Valentine’s.
10. Korean Palace
Some have mentioned that the Korean Palace located at the corner of M. Adriatico and Remedios Streets in Malate, Manila, is the best that a particular reviewer has ever had. Spicy, flavorful Korean cuisine is not for everyone, however, if you and your date love the spicy-sweet cuisine, this is the best place for you. Remedios and Adriatico Streets are the hotbeds for good food, being in the center of the old tourist district in Manila. The restaurant has retained the old glamor of the neighborhood and is a reason that people keep coming back to the district. You can take a romantic stroll afterwards, or go to a bar for a round of drinks after dinner. Average price for a dinner for two is PhP1,000.
9. Casa Roces
At the turn of the 19th century, one of the most prestigious places to live in was San Miguel, Manila. For a long time, the area has not had a great fine dining place, being part of the University Belt, as well as being near Malacanang, which was heavily guarded during the Marcos years. Now there is a reason to come back to San Miguel with Casa Roces. It is located within walking distance of the Presidential Palace. Place reservations in advance, as it is usually fully packed with people who crave for good quality Spanish and Filipino dishes. Average price for a Valentine’s dinner for two is around PhP2,000.
8. Harbor View
There is something about the sea when going out on a date. An open air dining place like the Harbor View Restaurant located in Rizal Park is just the place to be. It is a well-lit place frequented by locals with plenty of tourist traffic. It may not be the most romantic place ever, however it has its own unique ambience and the seafood is good. You better get there early if you want to see the sunset, which is worth the cost of admission. Average cost for dinner for two is PhP1,300.
7. Acustica Bistro & Lounge
Acustica Bistro and Lounge serves bistro-style food with some American diner staples. This is a place to chill out and let your hair down. There is nothing presumptuous about the place. You have great food and this always goes along well with great company. This might not be a place for great intimate conversations, but it is well-lit and being in the University Belt, it is very affordable. Be prepared for a mixed crowd of office workers, and college students, as well as groups having great fun drinking. Average price for dinner for two is less than PhP1,000.
6. Bistro Remedios
Bistro Remedios along Adriatico Street in Manila lives up to the traditions of good food in the tourist belt. When you consider everything, this may be a touristy place, but the menu is composed of solid Filipino favorites. Adobo, sinigang, and lechon sa kawali are favorite dishes which locals keep coming back to. It has a friendly feel, simply because of the regulars who are treated like an extended family. This may not be the most romantic place to go to, however, you and your date would not be disappointed if she wants to eat well. Price for a dinner for two range from PhP500 to PhP1,000 pesos.
5. Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen
It is hard to find authentic Italian cooking in the city at an affordable price. Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen however tries very hard to meet those expectations. The original Mama Lou’s is located in a subdivision in Paranaque City. One of their most accessible branches is located in UP Town Center. This is a place to impress a date at an affordable budget. The staff are very accommodating, and the servings are large enough for sharing. Be prepared for hearty Italian dishes and delicious desserts. Average price for dinner for two is about PhP1,000. If you have extra money, they have a great wine list you could try.
4. Quezon City Food Parks
Food parks are a veritable smorgasbord of food choices. If you don’t know what you or your date want to eat and don’t mind a loud crowd of other food lovers on the other tables, then a food park is the place to go to. There are a lot of food park choices at Maginhawa Street, Quezon City. For some people a food crawl has become a relationship goal. This is just what you would find at Maginhawa Street, an avenue of food destinations where all kinds of people can literally walk and drop to eat at any of the interesting places along the route. Average price for a dinner for two is from PhP500 to PhP800.
Alabang may be pricey for a lot of people. However, if you live in the area, there is no denying the depth of choices in food. Practically all the restaurants have a place at Alabang in order to be considered as serious restaurants. On a side note, Alabang can be a great place for a Valentine’s Day date, especially if you are from the south of Metro Manila. Some of the places you should visit when you are in the area are Ramen Yushoken, Sushi Ninja, Old Swiss Inn and Appenzeller. Average price for a dinner for two is PhP1,500.
2. Forget Me Not
You may think that Forget Me Not is a place which is just too sweet for a date. That may be true, but if you eat somewhere else first, and then drop by for desserts, that would make more sense. It is cozy but has a light ambience to it. You will be tempted to eat more than one cake. Do not resist the temptation; their job is to make a great date out of cakes and other confections. Located at Lilac Street in Marikina, this is a mandatory stop when you are on a food crawl on that iconic street. Average price for a dinner for two is around PhP800.
1. Little Tokyo
Little Tokyo is an unimposing nook located along Chino Roces Avenue (formerly Pasong Tamo) in Makati. It is considered as the most widely known secret in the food industry. If you want authentic Japanese cuisine, this is one of those places where every restaurant is authentic. It feels like a Japanese alleyway where the aroma of delicious ramen and takoyaki wafts from every open door. This is a great place for an (almost) open air date. The place is cozy and intimate but not too dark. Average price for a dinner for two is between PhP800 to PhP1,000 pesos.