In the mood for brunch? Here are 11 exciting spots worth setting your alarm for

Brunch is that welcome moment when we recover from our screened and speedy lives, to indulge in long conversations and togetherness.

There has been no greater time to indulge in a blissful brunch than today, when local brunch places have evolved from mere venues for catching up to places that are intentional and soulful. 

Historically, we have the British to thank for this brilliant idea at the turn of the 19th century, when the combination of breakfast and lunch allowed the rambunctious folk, rising late in the morning and tipsy from the night before, to enjoy both meals.

Champagne in the morning? Why, yes, it’s brunch!

Carrie Bradshaw and her Big Apple cadre and more recently Dan Levy’s reality show have shown us that brunch is so much more than a banal and slightly self-indulgent affair that may be great on the ‘Gram.  It is a tasteful celebration of togetherness in a simple and unfussy manner.  No matter where one is in the world, brunch has become more than a meal, a trend or vibe, but a timeless exercise in conversation and connection which we greatly need from time to time.

For nearly two decades, many of these delightful brunch places have brought us comfort through consistently prepared dishes that we never grow tired of, an exceptional sense of place for some, and a convenient location for  others.

Here are 11 places to brunch, to go slower, more intentionally.  

1. Brunch Bureau
Palanca Street, Makati

Photos from the restaurants’ social pages

Makati has many aesthetic cafes but the newly opened Brunch Bureau takes the idea of brunch to a bright and welcome direction—way into the night. 

With a menu drawing from different influences, it offers impressive plates of eggs benedict such as one with tocino, banana bread, chicken skewers over rice, grilled cheese and tomato cappuccino, brews from Melbourne’s Roastery Seven Seas, and boozy pours for dads who want to enjoy a tipple.

2. Wildflour
Branches at

Over 10 years ago, bold restaurateur Ana Lorenzana-de Ocampo created an attractive brunching proposition with an arsenal of well-made pastries and baked goods, rice bowls, addictive milkshakes and excellent tipples that have spawned a complete movement and aesthetic of its own.

Favorite staples are the generously filling kimchi bowl, pork adobo bowl, the immensely cheesy chorizo fundido and superbly made brunch essentials you can enjoy anytime of the day.

Each outpost is an exuberant love letter to rustic feels and warm interiors, where spending long hours with friends goes slowly indeed.

3. Pancake House
Branches at

Operating for 50 years is no small feat. This well-loved family restaurant started it all—of course minus the booze—at a time when pancakes were strictly for breakfast and you’d be hard pressed to find a place serving it in the evening.

We all have our individual stories from our childhood of going there with our parents, and later with our own children.  It’s a rare place where delicious nostalgia is served every day, from tacos to daing na bangus, tapa, its signature Chocolate Chip Pancakes or Banana Walnut Waffles that break out the smile in us and memories of a simpler times.

More importantly, the place brings a sweet sense of connectedness and homeliness that may have at times been lost. It seems there are many things that are sweeter other than the syrup on our pancakes that we miss.

4. Café Adriatico Premiere

Esteemed restaurateur Larry Cruz planted the roots of this Manila legend during the heady café scene nearly five decades ago, and it has become a place of culinary pilgrimage for some. 

Serving iconic dishes, Café Adriatico has been a base for wide political discourse for years. It was once devastated in a fire, only to return with all its weathered but well appreciated glory. Though the café has branches in other places, their premiere flagship has been witness to the ebb and flow of the fortunes of Malate. And don’t be surprised if you find yourself seated beside National Artists or celebrated personalities at brunch time.

Fitted like an old ancestral home, classic fare like Lola Ising’s Adobo, chicken a la Kiev, and many others that emerged from colonial times still beckon, with the wonderful conclusion of hot Tsokolate Ah as a surprising brunch theme that we very much enjoy today.

5. Lusso
Greenbelt, Makati

Decorated chef Margarita Fores has always had a soft spot for her luminous dining room, gilded with refined interpretations of brunchy favorites, and served by her highly efficient team under the light of a stately chandelier.

Don’t forget the bubbly and caviar, plus there’s something romantic about being looked after by a squad of servers in white jackets. Seasonal and highly prized Alba truffles on your eggs, Prosecco Infused Tiramisu that Barbie would enjoy—Lusso evokes a restrained richness that is unpretentious and utterly sublime.

It’s a bit of a fantasy we’d gladly welcome anytime of the day.

6. Green Bar
Aguirre Street, Makati

The rise of diners with special needs has grown exponentially in the past decades and thankfully, our city is blessed with a couple of flavorful spots that are mindful and conscientious, even delicious to meat-centric folks like ourselves.

Vegan sisters Jaderani and Sarada Santos opened the doors to one of Makati’s best plant-based gems nearly a decade ago.  Hailing from Southern California, the siblings cleverly cook immensely likable plates like barbacoa tacos, breakfast burritos, and vegan rice bowls along with a capable beverage list and, of course, their fantastic donuts.

More than a strictly healthy-minded offering, the spot nixes the stringency of rules and opts for a more delicious route that can actually change one’s mind about veganism and all its iterations.

7. Breakfast At Antonio’s

With this original outpost in Tagaytay, acclaimed chef-owner Tonyboy Escalante has been packing it in with an exquisite offer of brunching essentials like eggs benedict, rice bowls, signature brews and pours for those intentionally languid moments of the week.

Informed by the baronial spirit of Negros, which is infused in many of his eateries, Breakfast at Antonio’s is the serene manor of colonial hues and wraparound verandas that welcome the strong breeze from Taal Lake or the mountains of Batulao.

It is one of those places whose menu, service and setting seamlessly mold into a formidable brunch experience elevated into a near artform. 

8. Rustic Mornings by Isabelo

Having moved across the street from their original home, this leafy dream is a colorful and delicious city landmark built alongside the ruins of a centuries-old patrician bahay na bato.

Rooted in the spirit of overflowing abundance from above (hence “Isabelo”), the lighthearted restaurateur and chef Portia Baluyut-Magsino teases her regulars with straightforward, no-fuss platters of comfort that are the stuff of sweet dreams.

Think the fluffiest of pancakes, generous Filipino rice plates with copious amounts of meat and rice, buttered chicken and seasonal enticements with the wonderful idea of “getting away but not too, too far away.” It’s a spot we’d be happy to find ourselves in time and time again.

9. Dr. Wine
BGC and Poblacion

Known for their extensive wine collection, well executed traditional French fare, and one of the most energetic night scenes in the metro, the rousing Francophile wine bar embraces you in a quiet and captivating aura as the sun shines. 

With executive chefs Marc Silvestre (BGC) and Romain Ecande (Poblacion) whipping up Sunday brunches that stretch from the impressive seafood tower to quintessential plates of lobster rolls with a few glasses of bubbly, each outpost has a unique signature yet similar personality that is informed by the ease of weekends. It’ll make you raise a glass and say, “Bonne weekend!”

10. The Fatted Calf

Inspired by one of the gospel parables, chefs Jayjay and Rhea Sycip welcome diners with hearty plates filled with high quality ingredients from local suppliers all over the country. With their infectious joy, they create a warm and comforting feeling as guests are treated more like family in their treelined property. 

From naturally farmed greens to free-range chicken eggs and sustainable meat, the restaurant is a conscientious reminder that goodness always comes back in a hundred unexpected ways.

Even just a slice of Rhea’s exquisitely homemade desserts is an act of goodness unto itself.

11. Gorio’s

Tagaytay is a popular destination for cyclists and bikers who make this spot their regular pitstop, with weekend returnees enjoying their signature pares, tacos and deftly made comfort fare.

No fuss or faff, this inviting roadside affair nearly has something for everyone, from enjoyable silogs to Milo dinosaurs that make the weary and hungry tummy-happy.

Gorio’s is located beside their massive event venue, making for a relaxing place to decompress after an arduous journey.

The new lifestyle.