The Kitchen Goddess' Top 12 Restaurant Picks for 2023

The year 2023 was an interesting one with so many yummy discoveries in new places. 

Starting my Twelve Restaurant Picks with 1. Ha Noi Pho, one of the newest Vietnamese restaurant in Poblacion, Makati. It was actually hubby and daughter who dined here when it just opened and we've been a fan since then. Aside from legit-tasting Vietnamese food, they also serve Vietnamese coffee. This is a must-visit if you're craving for Vietnamese food

Moving on to 2. Gloria Maris in Greenhills. This is my family's go-to for special occasions. We've been dining here since forever! What I like about Gloria Maris is that the food tastes consistently delicious. They also have private rooms for small and large gatherings. 

3. I am including Crosta Pizza on my list because why not? Even if they don't have an actual restaurant, but they're pizza is sooooo good! Did I mention that it was even included in the World's List of Pizzas and won Pizza of the Year 2023 for its Cherry Culatello Pizza? 

Jumping from pizza to burger, my pick would be 4. Wayback Burger in Tokyo. This is the most savory, juicy, and simply meaty grilled to perfection burger that I have tasted so far. They're Strawberry Shake is also quite good, btw. 

Then there's the umami-rich 5. Tomato and Cheese Ramen at Gotemba Station. This was a serendipity find prior to our trip to Gotemba Outlet. I tried other ramen shops in Tokyo that serves tomato + cheese ramen but it doesn't come close. Need to schedule another trip to Gotemba. Sigh! 

I am not really fond of katsu's because I find it oily but 6. Tonkatsu Yamabe made me change my mind. This is a popular tonkatsu place in Ueno so be prepared to line-up. But it will be worth the wait, I tell you. Hopping on to 7. Gyukatsu Kyoto Katsugyu for beef katsu. Another yummy discovery that merited a second visit. 

Then there's the decades old 8. Ginza Lion Beer Hall in Ginza, Tokyo. I love the spaghetti here so much that I had to back twice. And it's not just the spaghetti, the place will make you feel that you're in a Harry Potter movie. Another Ginza-find and favorite is 9. Tricolore Ginza. We lined-up longer here but thumbs up for the food and ambiance. I even bought some pastries to bring home to Manila. 

Now this is funny, we got 'budoled' in Japan, hahaha. But the food was good except that there's a lost in translation moment at 10. Kushi Katsu Tanaka. Full story on the blog soon! 

Because we just love Shangri-La Makati, we have to be there when it reopened again last August 8, 2023. We had coffee and pastries at the 11. Lobby Lounge Shangri-La Makati

Last but not the least, 12. Marcelino Cafe is a delightful surprise on the list. This buffet restaurant at Manila Prince Hotel serves good 'ol comforting food favorites- from Creamy Beef Mushroom, Roast Pork Belly, Mahi-Mahi Curry, and Traditional Pudding! 

It was indeed a FEAST-full 2023 for me and my family. There's still so many good restaurants and food finds that didn't make the list but I love them all just the same.