Exile On Main St. Bar Restaurant Manila

Friday, August 01, 2014 Stef dela Cruz 0 Comments

August 2014 update: Now that I’m about to move out of the DLSU Taft Avenue community, I will definitely miss Exile on Main St. I will forever crave their monggo and super crispy pork chop. Farewell, Exile.

I was in the mood to eat out and explore – thank God, or I wouldn’t have chanced upon Exile On Main St. If anything, this quaint little restaurant won me over instantly! Let me tell you why.

Exile On Main St. Bar & Restaurant

Its name is appropriate, given how it’s an out-of-way restaurant which you can access only by walking down an unassuming footpath. It’s also no coincidence that this restaurant-bar was named after a Rolling Stones album, given the good music wafting through the speakers the moment I stepped inside.

Exile On Main St. Bar and Restaurant in Manila

Exile On Main St., located in a building a little distance from the main road, is the kind of small restaurant bar that gets a cult following. It has the oddest, most curious trinkets and installments, from a table – complete with dishes and cutlery – suspended on the ceiling, to curtains made of spoons and forks.

They’re located at 2428 Leon Guinto Street, Malate, a stone’s throw away from DLSU, College of St. Benilde, and St. Scholastica’s College. I can’t help but think how students from these schools are lucky because they live right beside Exile On Main St., a restaurant that offers good food, good music, and quirky décor.

And I haven’t even touched on the food yet. Once I do, you’ll just be as in love with Exile on Main Street, too.

Exile on Main St: The Escapist’s Nook

If you live in the city, you’re probably just like me: You’re always looking for a great place to hang out or dine in. Unfortunately, too many restaurants are owned by conglomerate fast food companies that offer the exact same food. Of course, there’s the occasional exception, the restaurant very much unlike everything else you’ve seen. Just like Exile On Main St.

An odd combination of aluminum tables and ornate steel chairs greeted me before I reached the door of Exile On Main St. Inside, I saw unique light installments. One was a hanging lamp made of bottle caps and a paper plate. A series of light fixtures were made of different used wine bottles with their bottoms sawed off.

The wall décor was equally quirky. Different frames littered the walls, highlighting several objects chosen apparently because they were “different”.

There was one pseudo-room inside this bar-restaurant that caught my attention. On the wall was a bed’s headboard. There was a low table in the middle of the cloistered space and cushions on the floor, encouraging guests to dine Japanese-style.

Must-Try Food at Exile On Main St.

If you happen to live near De La Salle University at Taft Avenue, make it a point to drop by Exile On Main St. It’s a great place to get a bottle or two of cheap beer after a long week. Of course, they serve great food – and that’s really what made Exile On Main St. one of my favorite restaurants in Manila.


Baboy-O'-Riley-Black-Vinegar-at-Exile-On-Main-StBaboy O’ Riley is Exile On Main St. Bar & Restaurant’s newest menu item.
I give it 10 out of 10!

I ordered Baboy O’ Riley, a rice dish made of liempo that was deep-fried until it was almost – but not quite – chicharon. It comes with either Chinese sauce or black vinegar and salsa (I prefer the latter). Every bite was sinfully good!

Notice how Baboy O’ Riley sounds just like Baba O’ Riley, a song from The Who – and that’s no coincidence, either. If you happen to like good music, Exile On Main St. is the niche you’re looking for in Manila.

I can’t wait to go back and try their other offerings. I wonder, will they be just as good as Baboy O’ Riley? I sure hope so.

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Whether you just want a drink after a long day, a place to escape the fast-paced city, or a restaurant that offers affordable but really good food, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Exile On Main Street. Feel free to visit Exile On Main St. Bar & Restaurant on Facebook for more information.

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She maintains a health column in Health.Care Magazine and contributes to The Manila Bulletin. Add her to your circles.