If you really want to eat out, go al fresco

When you’re tired of your own cooking or daily delivered food, al fresco dining is your next bet in the new-normal scheme of things. It’s like going back to the basics of a tropical country — forgoing the air conditioner, getting more sunshine and vitamin D, and enjoying the greenery albeit with the mask on.

This month observes the half-year mark of the quarantine, and malls are becoming masters of health and safety protocols, especially with restaurants. So, if you’re ready to go out and re-experience eating your hearts out in your favorite food stops, here are some of the malls offering chic, al fresco dining options.


The upscale mall recently started opening its doors and closing some streets for the Rockwell Goes Streetside held every weekend at Lopez Drive, One Rockwell and Santolan Town Plaza. The last one offers open spaces and lush greenery that will refresh diners’ minds amid the current troubles. For Makati, customers have to reserve a table beforehand. 

See bit.ly/RockwellStoreDirectory and bit.ly/STPStoreDirectory for the complete directory.


Photo from megaworld-lifestylemalls.com

Everyone in the South got excited upon the announcement that Tagaytay is finally opening 80 percent of is restaurants. Located on Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway, Comida de Lola at Twin Lakes offers a sumptuous dining experience with a picturesque view that may make you forget the pandemic even for a while. If you’re from Metro Manila and you don’t have a travel pass, fret not because you can still enjoy the other Megaworld Lifestyle Malls here.

Ayala Malls

Photo from ayalamalls.com

This group of malls was thinking of “necessity shoppers” who needed a quick bite when it created The Patio and Stop Bite. The Patio is really meant for al fresco dining, where customers can enjoy the mall’s architecture and greenery. Meanwhile, Stop Bite is an “alternative on-the-go dining area nestled in familiar mall hallways and corners.” Both are available in 15 Ayala Mall branches.

SM Supermalls

Photo from smsupermalls.com

What used to be huge event centers and atriums have been transformed into extended dine-in halls with prompt reminders on physical distancing and safety protocols. SM Supermalls’ customers are advised to follow the three-step dining etiquette: (1) Buy food from mall restaurant; (2) Stay for a quick bite, and (3) Clean as you go. Of course, there’s also outdoor dining options for a fresh breath of air, such as at The Podium’s Roof Deck Garden.

Vista Malls

Photo from Vista Mall

Al fresco dining is available at the Sta Rosa, Lakefront, Taguig, and Iloilo mall branches, which also utilize their Instagrammable outdoor atriums. In other locations, such as Malolos and Evia Lifestyle Center at Vista Alabang, indoor atriums have been converted into additional dining areas for a more spacious and airy ambiance. Outdoor dining is also available at Coffee Project Black in Evia Lifestyle Center.