Aristocrat Restaurant in Malate


Having late afternoon merienda of halu-halo, sago’t gulaman and guinsang bihon at Aristocrat Restaurant in Malate last Saturday has brought back childhood memories.  



I remember when I was child when we used to go to  the church which Nick Joaquin refered to as the Shrine of Remedies in Malate to hear the anticipated mass (for Sunday) on Saturday evenings. After a half an hour drive from our home in Quezon City, my parents would see to it that we had enough the time to pray at the Adoration Chapel located at the rear of the church and have a late afternoon merienda at nearby Aristocrat Restaurant before we attend the celebration.




The year was 1936 when the Aristocrat Restaurant was founded by the late Doña Engracia “Aling Asiang” Cruz-Reyes and her husband, Justice Alex A. Reyes. The pioneering spirit and creativity of Aling Asiang in cooking Filipino food has elevated the once lowly and unknown Filipino dishes to well-loved and locally and internationally accepted culinary flavors.  



From its humble beginning as a snack mobile (probably like the ones that dominate the side streets of modern business district of Makati), the Aristocrat has grown into a restaurant enterprise with branches in Metro Manila, all serving the same quality foods that have made it “The Philippines’ Most Popular Restaurant”.



The Aristocrat in Malate is the first branch to serve the Philippines. During the 50s and 60s, Aristocrat became a favorite hangout among the politicos of that time. One of them was a great grandfather who was then serving as representative of Cagayan Valley and a contemporary of then Congressman Ferdinand Marcos who at that time is representing Ilocos Norte



In 1992, during the 100th birth anniversary of its matriarch, Doña Engracia Cruz Reyes was given national recognition. She was honored through the erection of a landmark in a Rajah Sulayman park, the issuance of a stamp edition and the naming of a street after her for the legacy that she has made to the Philippine cuisine.



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26 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Everytime we come home for vacation in manila, we always go to Aristocrat…my family. Mum, dad…loved it .foods are fresh, staffs very attentive and friendly…my irish husband loves filipino foods and aristocrat malate is our number 1. Been dining there since the 90’s..only the best filipino cuisine…we always feel very homey..see you. Again this coming april. And even my Dad passed away last year (rip dad)..we will still dine there – as its his fav.resto.!!!

  2. When my parents got married their reception was held in Aristocrat Restaurant in Malate. Now preparing their GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY, we are considering the same restaurant for their reception! Going there is like seeing our parents getting married over and over again!!!! It’s an all-time-fave!

  3. I have good memories of aristocrat I used to work in floating Casino SS Phil Tourist this the place we used to eat & drink beers like fish in the mid ’70s till mid ’80s a lot of servers there go to college too after work it’s really agood place to eat & drink I miss home & Aristocrat love the chick bbq & Chicken Honey ,Pancit Cantón South China Chicken etc looking forward to dine
    There when I get home more power to aristocrat & management mabuhay kayong lahat!!!

  4. My wife (Rosalinda) and I hosted our wedding reception at Aristocrat Restaurant on Dewey Blvd. on Feb. 9, 1964 after the wedding ceremony at Malate Church. I was born in Malate district and have many fond memories of my childhood years of it.

  5. This is were we gonna do our x-mass party of our school.. :)) hope that this place got good ambiance for that!

  6. i’m 45 years old and grew up in cavite. i studied ( high school) in manila when there was no coastal road yet. in order to beat the early morning traffic, my papa would lure us (my brothers and sister) with breakfasts at the aristocrat. they served the best tapa, sinangag and longganisa way before the tapsilog craze. but our family’s favorite dish was their south china chicken. we are back from the states and my mama is now craving for our favorite dish and of course the pancit palabok. yummmmm…….

    • Welcome home Joanne! enjoy dining at Aristocrat.

  7. At The Aristocrat on Roxas they used to have a photographer going around taking pictures of diners and selling them as souvenirs. They were one of the first restaurants in the area to sell american style desserts like chocolate layer cake back then. I have some old black and white photos that I’ve kept as remembrances… there wasn’t an item on the menu that wasn’t deliscious and I guess it’s still well loved.

  8. i want to be a part of your company…im a college graduate of hrm.


  10. Reyeses are relatives, according to my father, the late Retired Judge Lorenzo M. Quitco from San Enrique, Negros Occidental.

  11. I’m looking forward to visiting and eating in this all time favorite reataurant. Hoping to meet my relatives here also.

  12. i used to remember when our dad wud bring us der and eat outside but inside the was really cool..the waiters wore rollerskates and they hav specially designed trays to fit the windows of the car..hope they could bring that back again,,..that was really cool..

  13. do they have aristocrat here in the u.s.? dont care much about jollybee and chow king, burgers are better here and noodles are not hard to find. love aristocrat bbq and pancit canton…hmmmmm

  14. me and my wife #1 list to go eat every time we go back to the philippines. my dad always take us there ever since we were kids.

    • I am not sure if there is Aristocrat in the US lasmnl.

  15. good day im chef william cuibillas im working here in a japanes head chef here in kuwait you restaurant are very interesting i want to work in your restaurant how can i sent my C.V on your restaurant? here s my roming number 09296391245 and here my email

  16. […] Traveler On Foot […]

  17. I agree Robert, the chicken barbecue at Aristocrat Restaurant is sought after. The restaurant itself is has sentimental value to Filipinos.

  18. Im 46 years old and since I could remember we always eat at Aristocrat Restaurant almost every month with my sister and Dad. We always go to Cubao Aristocrat. My favorite is Chicken barbecue with friend rice. Went I went back to the Philippine my father ask me what I want for dinner after arriving from USA. The first and only thing I requested is to buy me the Chicken barbecue from Aristocrat. I felt I was in heaven when finally I ate my favorite food after 8 long years in Boston Mass. I wish there will be a time that I could just click my order and sent it here in Boston.

  19. Yes Nenette, it is the same Aristocrat Restaurant along Roxas Boulevard in Malate. Thank you for dropping by.

  20. Is this the same Aristocrat on Roxas Blvd.?
    Way back when I was in college, my boyfriend Andy used to take me there for dinner! And then, much to my delight, at the back of Aristocrat is a “turo-turo” called Aristoback! Their food was really superb and delicious and cheap!
    BTW, I love reading your articles.
    Thanks for the lovely and delightful memories!

  21. I wish my tummy could take both halu-halo and gulaman as well as the pancit lawstude. But it can’t. I shared that fun Saturday merienda with my wife and three year old son who yes would probably have in mind what you mentioned above.

  22. Bro, di naman sa nakikialam but did you consume both halo-halo and gulaman at sago? pareho malamig yun ah. anyways, i love their pansit and the kid’s expression basically showed it all. parang sinasabi ng bata, bat ka kuha ng kuha ng pic eh kumakain ako. lols.

  23. I think Aristocrat Restaurant has become a cultural landmark Gita not just for the food but also the best memories of Filipino family gatherings from different generations.

  24. this is one of my family’s all time favorite restaurants! we celebrated a lot of special okaysons in this restaurant! i love their chix bbq to bits! the best for me!
    and whats great is, the taste has never changed…. delicious as ever!
    and now that it is open 24 hrs, it has become our regular breakfast place whenever we pick up relatives at the airport early in the morning. (which is quite often.)… 😉

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