12 Essential Seafood Places in Metro Manila
There’s therapy in picking at a piece of crab: pouring all your energy into cracking the hard claw, smashing the abdomen for those coveted gold juices, digging through every crevice to ensure the effort you’re spending into eating your meal is well worth it. It’s a metaphor for the bigger things: how rewards taste better—literally in this case—after some elbow grease.
So grab your bibs because it's seafood season and we're about to get cracking.
If you're looking for sushi, this isn't the list for that at the moment. We have a separate list for the best sushi restaurants in Manila.
1| Blue Post's Boiling Crabs and Shrimps
Blue Post was a bar in Davao in the late ‘90s, but the kitchen’s propensity for seafood overtook their skills with a cocktail shaker. A server walks out from the kitchen carrying several freshly caught critters, each weighing about 500 grams. Your pick is then tossed into your sauce of choice, dressed in add-ons of your choice in a food-grade bag that locks in the spicy jolts of flavor.
Blue Post's Boiling Crabs and Shrimps is at 4/F The Block, SM North EDSA, Quezon City; G/F Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.
2| Century Seafood Restaurant
A decades-old restaurant, Century Seafood has perfected the practice of cooking crab, shrimp, and lobster, which makes it the go-to of many Chinese families. It's a favorite reception hall for the old-school, but with the abalone and so kak crab, you're bound to have a wedding you won't forget.
Century Seafood Restaurant is at Century Park Hotel, 599 Pablo Ocampo Street, Malate, Manila.
3| Bag O' Shrimps
Seafood bags picked up in 2014 with the opening of the nautical-themed Bag O’ Shrimp in McKinley Hill and its second branch in Megamall a year later. One of the owners took inspiration from her time in Los Angeles and they were big proponents of getting messy with your meal. Eating with your hands is encouraged and the seafood experience is amplified by goodies like sweet potato fries and onion rings.
Bag O' Shrimps is at Victoria Plaza, 1 Brixton Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City; The Tuscany, Upper McKinley, Taguig City.
4| Crab n Crew
This nook caught everyone’s attention thanks to a recurring P699 crab-all-you-can promo, so crack your knuckles and, well, get cracking. Crab n Crew has three major offerings: crab, shrimp, and mussels—all in those delicious food-grade boiling bags filled with a sauce of your choice.
Crab n Crew is at 77 Visayas Avenue, Vasra, Project 6, Quezon City.
5| King Crab House
There's something about the way the Chinese treat seafood and pack flavor into everything, from steamed garoupa to chili crab. King Crab House is a Greenhills and Banawe staple, and while it's generally a Chinese restaurant, it's really their catalogue of seafood dishes that everyone's after.
King Crab House is at P. Guevarra Street, San Juan City; 411 N. S. Amoranto Street corner D. Tuazon Street, near Banawe, Santa Mesa Heights, Banawe, Quezon City.
6| Bun Appetit
Seafood can be a messy affair what with all the shells and bones and more shells you have to deal with. At Bun Appetit, enjoying seafood is a fun, neat, and convenient affair. The specialty? Seafood rolls available in shrimp, crab, and lobster. Recently, they even came out with the most sinful lobster grilled cheese—for the gentleman who requires a little more finesse with his classic sandwich.
Available at the Salcedo Saturday Market, Makati City
7| El Cangrejo
This hidden nook's selling point is unlimited steak and crab on some days and bottomless wine and unlimited oysters on other days. The seasoning is simple—just garlic and butter—but that's the mild kind of flavor you'll want when you're on your 10th helping. A restaurant that pitches a deal like this can easily scrimp on the offerings, but you can count on El Cangrejo to bust out large, fat crabs that make the P895 price tag so worth it.
El Cangrejo is at Unit D1, Jardin De Zenaida, 34 Sgt. Esguerra, South Triangle, Quezon City.
There's only one Clawdaddy's left, which is a shame considering they started serving seafood in boiling bags back in 2012—well before everyone else started doing it in the Metro. They serve their steamed crab any way you want them—from simple butter and ginger to Singaporean chili to spicy creole. Non-seafood lover? There's chicken and ribs, too. Perfect for Sundays with family.
Clawdaddy is at Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
9| Fish & Co.
Another oldie but goodie, Fish & Co. could always be counted on for random cravings of batter-fried fish and potatoes. It's hard to argue with a restaurant that has a dish called "Best Fish & Chips in Town," but theirs are pretty damn good. True to their catchphrase "serving seafood in a pan," practically everything is inside some kind of skillet: composed meals with baked salmon, seasonal fish stuffed with mussels, and even a bucket sampler of the ocean's best.
Fish & Co. is at 4/F Trinoma Mall, Quezon City; Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.
10| Somethin' Fishy
College. Hangovers. Post-night-out replenishers. Breakfast buffets. At Somethin' Fishy, it's not about the food (who can remember?). Just its existence and reliability during our young partying days.
Somethin' Fishy is at Eastwood City Walk, Quezon City.
This restaurant first opened in Cebu in 2013 and now, only four years later, they already have 16 outlets nationwide. Another purveyor of boiling bags, Choobi-Choobi is cheaper than average because the family who owns it farms shrimp as well. Convenient.
See here for a list of Choobi-Choobi branches.
You can't get any fresher than a seaside stop for a hefty meal. Simple cooking and fresh ingredients: That's always the best way to go when it comes to seafood.
Name your pick along Macapagal Boulevard, Pasay City.
Can't get enough seafood? We have a list for your crab cravings.