Food

Pig Out: The Best Hotel Buffets in Manila

Buff body be damned. Buffets are good.
IMAGE Okada Manila/Diamond Hotel
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The best thing about a buffet is the number of food choices availableat unlimited servings. Those with big appetites are definitely going to get that bang for their buck, especially if the buffet has a wide array of specialty dishes that people will keep coming back for. 

Yes, it is summer and swimwear season, but it is also good to feed those cheat day cravings at Metro Manila's best hotel buffets that make it worth the priceand the corresponding calories.

What makes the best hotel buffet?

The only thing better than waking up in soft, high-thread-count sheets and goose-feather pillows is the hotel buffet that comes afterward. It's the culmination—the pinnacleof all hotel comforts (except maybe for butler service). Hotel buffets must meet a strict, appropriately higher standard compared to other smorgasbords: variety, quality, consistency. Even the layout of the dishes is important because strategizing and mapping out your eating is key to really enjoying a hotel buffet. So sit back and eat your way through this unranked list of Manila's best hotel buffets.

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1| Spiral at Sofitel Manila

It’s a descent into deliciousness when you visit Spiral at the Sofitel Hotel Manila. The majestic winding staircase from the hotel’s main lobby leads to one of Manila's most prized and best buffets: a 2,500-square-meter space that houses diverse culinary choices within its 21 dining ateliers:

Salad and Appetizer, L’écailler, Sushi and Sashimi, L’épicerie, Hot Japanese, French Stove, Rotisserie, Wood-Fired Oven, Churrasco, North Indian, Asian Noodles, Peking Duck Oven, Steam Basket, Chinese Wok, Filipino, Thai, Korean, La Boulangerie, La Patisserie, Chocolaterie, and the Creamery.

Spiral was flooded in 2011 and it took a year for it to reopen again, but the wait was worth it. Other hotels noticeably upped their hotel buffet game after Spiral returned.


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Buffet Notes:

Spiral is open daily for breakfast (P2,000 net for adults, from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m.), lunch (P2,750 net for adults, from 12 to 2:30 p.m.), and dinner (P3,200 on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday; P3,500 on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 6 to 10:30 p.m.).

The all-day à la carte menu available from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday evening puts a spotlight on seafood, Thursday is full of meaty varieties with a Butcher’s Choice, and Sunday brunch features wines and Champagne.

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Sofitel also has a cheaper alternative buffet and it comes with a sunset view.

Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Manila; spiralmanila.com or sofitelmanila.com

2| Marriott Café at Marriott Hotel Manila

The buffet at the Marriott Café is a warm and inviting family food destination, with choices ranging from tender roasts and other meat carvings, to seafood and extensive choices in Filipino, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine. It ranks high among Manila's best hotel buffets because of the open-theater kitchen that wonderfully puts into play Marriott's level of service, as the friendly chefs who prepare dishes à la minute are able to interact with guests and put them at ease when dining in this five-star hotel setting.

One more thing to love about this restaurant is that it serves sustainable seafood that is served paluto style. Local produce is highlighted in its salad station and the dessert station often features fruits in season.


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IMAGE: Marriott

Buffet Notes:

Breakfast is at P1,500, lunch from Monday to Saturday is at P2,100, and dinner is at P2,300. The fresh-catch Barrels of the Sea dinner on Friday and Saturday is priced at P2,700, while Karneval Sunday is priced at P2,800.

2 Resorts Drive Pasay City; (632) 988-9999 local 8086; marriottmanila.com

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3| The Grand Kitchen at Grand Hyatt Manila

This hotel buffet offers an à la minute concept: The Grand Kitchen offers choices as you would have in a regular buffet, but these are cooked upon order, allowing guests to get what they actually want and how they like it. If you don’t see anything that catches your fancy among its already impressive selection, its chefs will be only too happy to make it for you. This assures the food is always freshly prepped.

The show kitchen allows chefs and guests to have a more interactive experience, adding a theatrical element to the gourmet meal—that's what makes it a favorite hotel buffet in Manila.

The Grand Kitchen also recently launched Green Mondays where every Monday features extensive vegan and vegetarian choices for people who want to live a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. On other days, its 100-percent plant-based burgers and sausages using Beyond Meat are available as à la carte options.

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Buffet Notes:

Breakfast is at P1,415.54, lunch at P1,905.54, dinner at P2,200, and Sunday brunch at P2,400.

Avenue corner 35th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; (02) 838-1234

4| Medley Buffet at Okada Manila

Okada Manila’s Medley Buffet is its center of local and international gastronomy. The all-day dining concept has an open kitchen design that showcases Filipino chef Guillermo Aspera and his orchestra of expert chefs in action as they create their dishes using only the freshest and finest ingredients right in front of guests.  

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There are seven buffet stations that include buffet staples and specialties from around the world, starting with salads, cheese, appetizers, and a generous selection of fresh seafood.

There is also a banquet of local and international cuisines, ranging from Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, and Italian, served daily, along with premium meats cooked in the restaurant’s own rotisserie and grill.  

Native delicacies mingle with choices of cakes and chocolate creations at the dessert bar.


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Buffet Notes:

Medley Buffet is priced at P1,850+ for lunch and P2,700+ for dinner (kids get a discounted rate). Visit Okada's website regularly as the buffet is generous with promos, offering deals for summer, birthdays, and graduation season.

New Seaside Drive, Entertainment City, Parañaque; (632) 555-5799; e-mail [email protected]

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5| The Café at Hyatt City of Dreams

Don’t let the name fool you. While it is simply called The Café, the buffet restaurant at the Hyatt City of Dreams is a grand 315-seat venue that offers a range of seating options, from cozy circular booths to private and semi-private rooms to standalone tables at the heart of all the action.

Interaction seems to be the theme for Manila's best hotel buffets. The Café is an interactive show-kitchen restaurant where chefs perform live culinary theater at their cooking and buffet stations.

Each of the counters—Italian, Grill and Griddle, Asian, Deli, Comfort Food and Favorites, and Pastry—showcases a different culinary production. Hot dishes are prepared à la minute to ensure freshness and optimum flavor.  

If you're looking for Japanese, the neighboring Nobu has a special Sunday brunch buffet


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Buffet Notes:

Open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., with extended hours on weekends, buffet prices range between P1,688 to P2,538, depending on the date and time of visit. 

Ground floor South Gaming Area, City of Dreams Manila; (632) 691-1234 local 1163; [email protected]

6| S Kitchen at Sheraton Manila

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The S Kitchen is a Filipino foodie paradise. It is one of the newest hotel buffet places in Manila and it is definitely worth a try. One of the first things guests will notice is the giant rotisserie with batches of lechon manok roasting over honest-to-goodness uling.

Chef Kiko Santiago also offers his take on Bicol Express on pasta and an array of rice cakes that takes diners to the days of their childhood meriendas. Oven-baked pizzas are also in the lineup, along with rich desserts in the form of cakes, pastries, and crepes, plus coolers ranging from halu-halo to gelatos.    

The restaurant also brings to the fore culinary advocacies such as organic produce, sustainable seafood, healthy options, and locally sourced ingredients to help small communities.

IMAGE: Sheraton Manila

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Buffet Notes:

Lunch is at P1,950 and dinner is at P2,150.

80 Andrews Ave, Pasay; (632) 902-1800

7| Corniche at Diamond Hotel Philippines

The food selections at Diamond Hotel’s Corniche will tempt even the strongest (diet) resolve. This top-notch buffet is not overwhelmingly big, but it offers a curated selection that still makes it hard to decide what to make room for.

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It begins with its fresh sushi and sashimi selections at the Japanese corner, and extends all the way to the down-home flavors of Filipino favorites, including the crave-worthy kare-kare simmering in a crockpot. Diamond Hotel is known for its confections and its house-made ice cream is the diva of the dessert station and should not be missed.

It has theme nights, tooThursday is Flavors of China, Friday is Seafood Night, and Saturday is Steak night. There is a very good Chinese food selection, but it is now also offering lauriat set-ups for the tables.


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Buffet Notes:

Breakfast is at P1,580, lunch is at P2,380 (Monday to Saturday) and P2,600 (Sunday), and dinner is at P2,480 (Sunday to Wednesday) and P2,990 (Thursday to Saturday). 

Roxas Boulevard corner Dr. J, Quintos Street, Manila; diamondhotel.com

8| Café Eight at Crimson Hotel Filinvest City

Southerners need not travel far for their food fixes. Family weekends are made extra special with Café Eight’s churrascuro-inspired Sunday brunch buffet. Churrasco, which originated in Latin America and Europe but became more popular in Brazil, refers to grilling meat over an open fire. And like all churrascaria, once the guests turn their personal dining card to green, a variety of meat is brought to the table, sliced off from the skewer and served right to their plates. If you're a meat lover, Cafe Eight is the perfect hotel buffet in Manila.

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Café Eight’s culinary team prepared a menu that includes savory grilled beef sirloin, lamb leg, pork loin, Brazilian pork sausage, pork liver, chicken thigh, and chicken breast wrapped in bacon. There are also barbecued vegetables and fruits which the guests can dip in chimichurri, cilantro lemon butter sauce, or tomato salsa.

The buffet also has the requisite salad station, cold cuts, bread and cheeses, and fresh seafood with baked oysters on the half shell. There are also Mediterranean, Indian, and Filipino dishes in the lineup. Younger guests can have their fill of burgers, hotdogs, spaghetti, cupcake, and cotton candy at the kiddie buffet.

IMAGE: Crimson Hotel
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Buffet Notes:

The all-you-can-eat Churrasco-style Sunday Brunch Buffet is at P2,100, inclusive of unlimited beer, sparkling wine, and juices.

(632) 863-2222; (63) 998-595-3769; [email protected]

9| Escolta at The Peninsula Manila

At Escolta, it's a flavor trip around the world. The highlight is its farm-to-table section, which puts the focus on everything Filipino. It's not the biggest buffet, by far, but what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for quality. Escolta has the perfect selection for people who get overwhelmed by food and options.

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Buffet Notes:

Buffet rates start at P1,600. The Sunday Champagne Brunch (12 to 3 p.m.) is at P4,900.

Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue, Makati City; (632-887-2888)

10| Café Ilang Ilang at Manila Hotel

The grand dame of Manila never disappoints. Upon entering the impressive lobby with its classic interiors that are steeped in history, you will get into the mood for a meal that is one for the books.

Café Ilang-Ilang has a surprisingly modern and yet classy charm that is perfect for impressing dates and business associates. It is one of Manila's best hotel buffets because of its eight live cooking stations that offer Asian, Mediterranean, European, and Western dishes.

Café Ilang-Ilang also has a Pan-Asian kitchen, Churrasco station, dessert station, and an Italian kitchen with a wood-fired pizza oven for pizzas with a beautiful crisp, chewy crust, and a variety of toppings.  

There’s a Teppan table at the Japanese section and also a selection of Halal dishes. Desserts include gelato (go for the Ferrero) and even bibingka and puto bumbong out of season.

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Buffet Notes:

Breakfast is at P1,550, lunch on Monday to Saturday is at P2,425, and Sunday brunch is at P2,675 (with bottomless chilled juices).

Dinner comes with different themes. Monday and Sunday feature international buffets, Tuesday is Mediterranean night, and Wednesday is Asian nights, all at P2,725. Thursday is Surf and Turf nights, Friday is for Seafood specials, and Saturday is American night, all at P3,320.

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One Rizal Park, Manila; manila-hotel.com.ph

11| Heat at Shangri-La EDSA

Shangri-La EDSA’s Heat is one of the all-time popular go-tos for hotel buffets in Manila. It has been around for a long time and it simply keeps surprising guests at each visit. The buffet spread is always a plethora of choices with staple items and new dishes for diners to try.

One of its latest mad concoctions is an intriguing lobster-flavored ice cream included in its Mad for Lobster dinner every Friday night (it also has Lobster Thermidore), while on Saturdays, it goes Wild for Wagyu, with dishes such as Wagyu Beef Steak Tagalog redolent with onions, of course.

Since we are in the thick of summer, we strongly suggest you go for its rich ice cream as your dessert, otherwise, ask for the pudding.

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Buffet Notes:

Breakfast is at P1,985 daily. Lunch is at P1,985 from Monday to Saturday and P2,400 on Sunday. Dinner is at P2,425 from Monday to Thursday, while the Mad for Lobster and Wagyu Nights are at P2,715.

The other Shangri-Las in the metro also deserve special mention: Circles in Shangri-La Makati is always a reliable option, while High Street Cafe in Shangri-La at the Fort (considered more as a luxury food hall instead of a buffet) puts a premium on fresh, artisan, and a la minute style.

1 Garden Way, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City; shangri-la.com/manila/edsashangrila

12| Cucina at Marco Polo Ortigas

When at Cucina, head straight for the paella. It is made just before the buffet opens. Other crowd favorites are the comforting beef noodle soup, the roast pork (with crackling skin!), and the sinful chocolate haven cake.

What makes Cucina different from other hotel buffets in Manila is that, though the interiors are very modern and chic, the vibe feels like being in a homey kitchen, with guests encouraged to talk to the chefs so their food can be prepared the way they want it.

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The Cucina buffet stands out because it's a curated selection of dishes from different parts of the world. The focus is on the quality of the ingredients and how personalized the service is.

IMAGE: Marco Polo Ortigas

Buffet Notes:

Lunch is P1,399 from Monday to Friday and P1,450 from Saturday to a Sunday. Dinner is at P1,650 daily.

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Meralco Ave and Sapphire Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City; marcopolohotels.com

13| Spectrum at Fairmont Makati

Spectrum is a boutique hotel buffet with a curated selection. Most notable is that it's open all day, which is perfect for people whose cravings (or IF schedules) hit awkward dining hours. Among the best hotel buffets in Manila, Spectrum is definitely on top when it comes to roasted prime rib. Its carving station hits all the right marks: porchetta, chicken, and beef. They also have their own poke station.

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Buffet Notes:

Breakfast is at P1,450, brunch is at P3,077 (Sunday), lunch is at P2,150, and dinner is at P2,380 (Sunday to Thursday) and P2,450 (Friday and Saturday).

1 Raffles Drive, Makati Ave, Makati; (02) 555 9888

With additional reporting from Sasha Lim Uy

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