It's that time of the year when places are filled with chocolates, colorful bouquets, and romantic movies - Valentine's is just around the corner. Couples everywhere block off February 14th to celebrate Valentine's Day in a special way, whether it's a candlelit dinner, a museum date, or binge-watching rom-coms. But what about those of us who don't have a significant other to spend this special day with? Well, no one ever said you can't spend Valentine's celebrating self-love and singlehood! So if you'll be spending the 14th without a date, here are some places you can treat yourself to a delicious meal instead.
Image: Genki Sushi
If sushi dates are your thing, you'll enjoy this fun twist. Genki Sushi serves sushi on a conveyor belt, allowing you to choose from a variety of different maki, nigiri, and more. Orders are placed via touch screen menu then delivered fresh to your table on a sushi train! It's perfect for solo diners since servings usually come in two to three pieces instead of the usual six or eight you normally get at a restaurant. No need to share! Just pick from their assortment and keep the sushi trains coming. Genki Sushi's bestsellers include the Tuna Tataki (P130), Lobster Salad Gunkan (P180), and Fried Salmon Cheese Roll (P160).
Image: Sweet Ecstasy
Maybe you're looking for some no-fuss comfort food to fill your soul (and stomach) this Valentine's Day. Sweet Ecstasy is the perfect place to get it done. Sweet Ecstasy is home to one of Metro Manila's favorite burgers, and is a great place to grab a quick bite, even if you're dining solo. Be sure to try their famous Cheese Burger (P240) with lettuce, tomato, onions, and their special ecstasy sauce (pro tip: you can choose how you want your onions cooked). You can always change things up with their add-ons like jalapeños or bacon if you're looking for something more. Need something sweet to pair it with? Try one of their Classic or Premium milkshakes (P220-P250) that will definitely give you that classic diner vibe.
Image: Mad Mark's
Always dreamed of having a fancy steak dinner, but hesitant to splurge? At Mad Mark's Creamery and Good Eats, you can treat yourself to a great steak without worrying about the hefty price tag. This restaurant serves affordable, filling meals, and homemade ice cream that is to die for. The Signature Steak (P285) comes with 150g USDA, two sides, and a sauce. Talk about value for money! With a deal this good, you won't feel guilty about treating yourself at all. Of course, you'll want to leave room for a scoop or two of their famous ice cream afterwards.
Image: Mendokoro Ramenba
This popular ramen joint is notorious for its limited seating capacity. Bringing a date or a group of friends might make it a bit more difficult to get a table, but coming solo might make things a little easier for you. The seats at Mendokoro are basically one long, boat-shaped counter, instead of your usual booths or tables, which is another factor that makes it great for solo diners. Plus, you get to watch the chefs prepare your ramen right in front of you! Fill yourself up with a bowl of their best-selling Shoyu (P400), a bold soy sauce and tonkotsu broth with smoky pieces of pork. They also serve tsukumen, a style of ramen where you dip the noodles into a flavorful broth.
Image: Recovery Food
Getting over heart break? Had a tiring day and need to wind down? Or maybe you're just craving some soul food? Recovery Food's name speaks for itself - it's a great go-to restaurant for bad days of any kind. Plus, they're open 24/7, so you can "recover" at any time you want. Their Tapa de Morning (P180/regular, P260/full recovery) is a popular choice: house made tapa, a scrambled or fried egg, ensalada, on a bed of rice. Recovery Food's vinegar goes perfectly with the tapa, too! It's a no-fail combo of sweet, savory, and refreshing flavors that you won't mind keeping all to yourself.
Admit it: there are times when you want to get all dressed up and have a lavish night out, even if it's on your own. For special self-date nights like this, Lusso is the restaurant for you. The name means "luxury" in Italian, which aptly fits this contemporary restaurant serving French and Italian cuisine. Fans of foie gras will love their dishes like the Lusso Demi-Pound Burger (P850) with US beef, foie gras, and prosecco onions, and the Taglierini De Lusso (P995), a pasta dish with seared foie gras and cream. For a luxurious appetizer, Lusso has different variations of Luxe Fries (545) that come with toppings like caviar, champagne cream, or truffle salt.
This local ice cream joint never fails when it comes to Valentine's Day! Each year, Sebastian's offers special flavors that are perfect for the single, the taken, and even the bitter. If you need something soothing to give you peace of mind, Closure is made with chai ice cream and infused with different spices like cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, clove, and peppercorn. Feeling a little negative about love? Try their ampalaya sorbet called Unresolved Issues. They've also amped up their Matinong Boyfriend and Matinong Girlfriend flavors! Or if love is a bit too much for you to deal with, their other flavors like Tres Leches and Nutella Cookie Dough never fail. No matter where you fall on the spectrum of love and relationships, Sebastian's will make this Valentine's a little bit sweeter.
Image: Scout's Honor
Whether you're sad about being alone this Valentine's, or happy to have the day to yourself, a cookie is never a bad idea! Why not make it extra special and have something different from the usual chocolate chip? Scout's Honor sells craft cookies in tons of unique flavors. Their Eagle Scout Cookies (P95/piece) are their signature creations inspired by America's girl scout cookies; Cookie Inception, Matcha Sesame, Samoas Dreams, and Cereal Cookie Bar are just some of the flavors you can get. You also have the option to Craft Your Own Cookie (P135) and choose your own cookie dough and toppings. Have your freshly baked cookie with one of their special flavored milk for the ultimate Scout's Honor experience. This is what cookie dreams are made of!