Via Mare: 40 Years of Serving Good Filipino Food

Via Mare

Admit it. Filipino food tastes really good especially Pinoy dishes like Kare-Kare, Sinigang na Baboy/Bangus, Sisig to mention a few including Pinoy merienda meals such as Bibingka, Puto Bumbong and many more(Now I’m drooling! hahaha!).

Now you can delight in the well-loved Filipino merienda and enjoy  your classic Pinoy dishes family favorites at Via Mare, where wide array of good  and sumptuous Filipino food are always available to make you remember your fondest memories of “lutong bahay” even when you’re out of your home.

via mare

For almost 40 years now, Via Mare serves Filipino cuisine that matches the eating pattern of Filipinos: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and merienda – a meal that is served in between the main meals of the day. Pan de sal is a breakfast staple among Filipinos and Via Mare serves it fresh every day, grilled with sides of corned beef, Vigan longganisa, Laguna cheese, and queso de bola. Other breakfast favorites, but can be enjoyed any time of the day, like tapa, smoked bangus, tuyo flakes, and tocino are served under the Altanghap section of the menu, an abbreviation for almusal, tanghalian, and hapunan – Filipino terms for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The lunch and dinner menu of Via Mare is not complete without crispy binagoongan, kare-kare, and pinais na alimasag among its wide selection. An extensive array of salads with native greens is also on offer, as well as comfort food like arroz caldo and tokwa’t baboy.

Merienda, or light snacks, are as important as main meals for Filipinos. At Via Mare, diners can choose from well-loved Filipino fare such as puto bumbong, palitaw, and guinataang halo-halo. Ending scrumptious feasts on a sweet note are iced deserts such as halo-halo and guinomis.

Speaking of merienda, I was able to try some of the Filipino merienda dishes that Via Mare has always been offering to its customers. My personal favorites are… Puto Bumbong, Pancit Luglog, Lugaw Toppings and the Shooters. I must say that It was a pleasant dining experience bringing good memories back as I munch on each one of them. So, here they are…

Via Mare Bibingka Cassava 1


Via Mare Palitaw


Via Mare Guinataang Halo-halo


Via Mare Puto Bumbong


With grated cheddar cheese ADD Php17

With grated queso de bola ADD Php26

Via Mare Bibingka


With Laguna cheese and salted duck egg  Php130

With Laguna cheese and queso de bola Php160

Via Mare Puto Maya


Via Mare Goto


Via Mare Chicken Arroz Caldo


Via Mare Lugaw toppings


Via Mare Tokwa't Baboy


Via Mare Pancit Luglog


Via Mare Bam-I Guisado


Via Mare Shooters


(Refreshing combination of Halo-halo, Mais con yelo and Guinomis)

Via Mare’s chef Glenda Barretto, who has been at the helm of the restaurant since its inception, and her strong belief in the Filipino cuisine’s potential to be world class is what pushed the restaurant to keep outdoing its achievements.

“The past 40 years is not only the story of a restaurant, it is a story of the Filipino people,” Barretto said. “Via Mare is our pride as we helped a lot of Filipinos enjoy and be proud of the cuisine that we have here, of recipes that we have enjoyed throughout our childhood, and of what Filipino fine cuisine truly tastes like.”

Since 1975, no other Filipino restaurant has been the top-of-mind when it comes to hosting dinners for dignitaries, heads of state, international celebrities, and international events. From beauty queens during the 1995 Miss Universe pageant in Manila, the papal visit of then Pope John Paul II, the 1996 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, the gala of the Philippine-run of West End’s Miss Saigon, the 2007 ASEAN Summit in Cebu, the weddings of illustrious families, and other milestones in Philippine history, Via Mare was always the top choice.

Via Mare, with Glenda Barretto herself leading the kitchen, was also the choice of First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos whenever she hosted gala dinners for visiting dignitaries at the Malacañan Palace. The former first lady’s penchant for elegance was apparent even in the food that she served her guests. In one instance, she requested for a more upscale version of the adobo – a request that Barretto easily managed by marinating the chicken in simmering adobo sauce with red wine. Another anecdote from the halls of presidential residence was how Barretto recreated a Mexican dish of squash, baked and topped with cream and caramel sauce based only on the narrative of Mrs. Marcos. The first lady nearly squealed in delight after the first bite.

via mare

The restaurant itself has changed over the past 40 years. While it maintained to be the premier Filipino restaurant, it branded itself according to the demands of its wide clientele. Café Via Mare was introduced to the market, dubbed to be a pioneer in introducing the first authentic Filipino café.

via mare oyster bar


The Via Mare Oyster Bar was also launched to cater to the more discriminating taste and specialized in serving the most succulent of oysters.

“At 40 years, we have shown the world and most especially our fellow Filipinos, what Filipino cuisine is all about – it is about the freshest of ingredients cooked in influences of our ancestors and the rich heritage of the Filipino nation, sprinkled with the love and affection of a Filipino chef,” Barretto said.

Through the years, Via Mare became a part of every Filipino by serving good Filipino cuisines and telling great stories through good food. And as it continue to serve great dishes, memories of good food will never die and will be passed from generations to generations.

Happy 40th Anniversary Via Mare! 

For more information, visit or like its official Facebook page (@ViamarePH).

Written by Cristelle Torres
Online Content Creator/