Makati: In the Heart of Metro Manila

Roda Novenario

Makati isn’t the first place you’d think of visiting in Manila, but it’s got a lot of things to do. It’s the economic center of Manila, but there are a lot of places to eat and shop becuause of this. If you’re passing through Manila, check out Makati

Breakfast

Old Swiss Inn

Old Swiss Inn is an old Makati favorite. It has been around since 1946 and was originally located along Roxas Boulevard in Manila. It is now located at Somerset Olympia Building, along Makati Avenue.It specializes in Swiss and European delicacies.

The Makati branch of the Old Swiss Inn offers a sumptious spread for its breakfast buffet, which is available from 6AM to 10AM daily for Php 325 per person. Try the beef hash and adobo, and don’t skip the pancake station.

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Morning Activity

Ayala Triangle

A short walk from the Old Swiss Inn is the Ayala Triangle, which refers to the Ayala One building and the small park at its foot. Ayala One houses the Philippine Stock Exchange, and is one of the centerpiece highrises of the city. Walkways web through the park; towering trees litter it. There is a row of restaurants and cafe along the main path, which is a good pitstop for some Caramia homemade Italian gelato.

When you’ve had enough of walking, head to the Filipinas Heritage Library, which is at Ayala Triangle’s right side. The library has an extensive collection of old Philippine photographs at its basement. This is a fascinating find for the typical history buff. Sometimes, photo exhibits are displayed at the library’s lobby.

For more of Philippine art, head to the Ayala Museum, which is just across the street. The museum is open everyday, except Mondays. Aside from exhibits that change periodically, they have interesting collections. Check out the dioramas of Philippine history, which were crafted by the skilled artisans of Paete, Laguna.

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Lunch

Atellier 317

Atelier 317's Degustation Meal
Atelier 317's Degustation Meal

Atelier 317 is one of the best foodie finds in Makati. Fusing Filipino favorites with French cooking, you get the most delectable selection of comfort food. The Balsamic Beef Adobo is a must-try, as well as their Truffle Mushroom Lasagna. Yummy!

Afternoon Activity

When in Makati, shop! At the center of the district is a chain of shopping centers, which include the Ayala Mall and Greenbelt Mall. Several retail outlets and department stores are housed in these malls. Sales happen at least once a month, usually during a payday weekend.

Dinner

Manila Maki

Manila Maki's Laguna Roll
Manila Maki's Laguna Roll

Before you think that this is just another Japanese restaurant, think again. Manila Maki specializes in Filipino and Japanes fusion food. They’ve ingeniously come up with addicting favorites, such as the Laguna Roll (kesong puti and salmon belly maki, topped with fresh salmon and bacon bits), Sisig Gunkan (chicharon and pork sisig – Filipino delicacies – on sushi rice), and Manila Maki (drunken shrimps, kani salad on garlic sushi rice, topped with mango wasabi and tuna).

Evening Activity

Filling Station's Batman
Filling Station's Batman

At nighttime, take a stroll along Burgos Street. This is reputed to be the center of Makati’s red light district. There are several bars and clubs that cater to different tastes and desires — and not necessarily PG-rated ones. The Filling Station, for instance, is a favorite haunt of both locals and the expat community. It offers one of the best burgers in Makati, pool tables, as well as a great collection of 60s inspired memorabilia, including a life-size Batman statue.

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