Looking for a little variation in your restaurant routine?
Then you may want to give Mediterranean cuisine a try. Not to be confused with meal plan delivery services that provide people with the Mediterranean diet, these restaurants serve Mediterranean cuisine. More specifically, it is the cuisine from the countries around the Mediterranean Sea.
This particular area is home to a wide variety of cultures with distinct cuisines, such as French Provençal, Italian, Greek, Levantine, Maghrebi, and Spanish.
Rich in olive oil, fish, and placing a premium on seasonal and quality vegetables, Mediterranean cuisine is credited with being exceptionally healthy. It has given rise to the aforementioned Mediterranean diet, a diet loaded with olive oil, vegetables, fruits, wheat and grains, and some seafood.
So if you’re thinking about experimenting with some healthy food from the Mediterranean, check out this list of great restaurants in Metro Manila.
1. Beni’s Falafel
A. Venue Mall, 4364 Valdez Street, Poblacion Makati, 1210 Metro Manila
Before it moved into the mall, Beni’s was a tiny hidden gem in the heart of a bustling commercial district. Now refurbished and relaunched, Beni’s is the favorite place for people looking for delicious, authentic, well-made falafel. The only drawback is that we are unable to confirm if it maintained its old schedule of being open 24/7.
However, the food is amazingly well-made. Those looking for a vegetarian option should try the best-seller, Beni's falafel in pita bread. It’s whole wheat pita, falafel, shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, and special sauce. We love the grilled chicken option too!
2. Cafe Mediterranean
One of the first Mediterranean places that made waves in the commercial market, Cafe Mediterranean is the “fast food” of this type of cuisine, but it’s still amazing. Authentic, fast, and healthy food right in the malls, where people have easy access to it.
When you drop by, try is the gyro plates, the chicken donner kebab (slow roasted slices of lamb, chicken, or beef served with tzatziki in pockets of pita bread), and the foule (Egyptian staple made of cooked and mashed fava beans served with olive oil, onion, garlic, and lemon juice).
Discovery Primea, Makati City
Tapenade can seem a little intimidating at first, being the posh and dressy all-day Mediterranean restaurant in the lavish hotel Discovery Primea in Makati. But it's surprisingly homey, despite the vaulted ceilings and formally-dressed waitstaff. It's one of the places where you'll definitely splurge on a meal, but it's more than worth it.
Named after the traditional Mediterranean recipe of finely chopped olives, capers, olive oil, and anchovies, Tapenade has been dubbed the best place to go for a salad fix. The salad bar offers premium value at P750, but it has fresh oysters and cold cuts (even prosciutto!) alongside the regular selection of cheeses and breads.
4. Mister Kabab
31 West Avenue, Del Monte, Quezon City
From top shelf classy to something a little more affordable! Mister Kebab is a perfect example of how something doesn’t have to set us back a couple of thousand to be good eats. The place is clean, the ambiance is nice, but don’t expect the hand-and-foot service available in higher-end restaurants.
What to get there? The kebab, of course! There is now more than one branch of this restaurant, all of which are pretty beloved by local residents.
5. Greeka Kouzina
A family restaurant with big servings, the Greek Kouzina serves hearty and filling food. Definitely a place to take the members of your family who are not very familiar with Greek food. It’s nice and affordable Mediterranean food.
Try the grilled pork chops (or, as they’re called, krasates) blue cheese, walnuts and Greeka's signature gravy, and have the haloumi salad along with it. It’s generous slices of pan fried haloumi cheese served on top of a luscious bed of arugula.
Tigris cor. Euphrates, Burgos District, Poblacion, Makati City
Another foodie gem, Ziggurat is almost prophetically located at the corner of of Tigris and Euphrates streets in Makati. Everyone raves about the wide selection of the food, despite the fact that the décor and the ambiance is a little kitch.
7. Zuni Restaurant and Wine Bar
Level 1, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City
Elegant but still somehow casual, Zuni manages to capture the heart of the food lover by serving hearty portions of an authentic flavor.
Mediterranean food has really taken off in the past years, and several restaurants have sprung up to meet the public’s growing taste for this healthy cuisine. Running the gamut from high-end, premium priced dining spots to secluded hole-in-the-walls, these restaurants have claimed their spot among the favorites of the health-conscious.
We chose these seven restaurants to represent the cuisine, but there are many more we have not yet explored. Try them out yourself and let us know what you think in the comments!
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