Every day is a busy day at Mario’s Restaurant, but their Sunday Buffet is something that’s truly special. A weekly tradition for many, the restaurant’s Filipino-Spanish buffet is flocked by generations of families, bonding over good food and homey ambiance.
Part of the Buffet Spread
Although the restaurant only has two branches—the original branch located in Baguio and the other in Tomas Morato—their dishes have created a name for themselves, creating a loyal and strong following for both locations. Opening its doors in 1971, Mario’s has been a witness to many family events of their most loyal customers. From wedding proposals to birthdays and baptismal celebration of their kids, Mario’s has truly become a great part of the lives of its customers, and it is no wonder that many of them keep on coming by.
Ms. Nenuca Benitez, Owner and Founder of Mario’s Restaurant
During our visit, we were lucky enough to meet Ms. Nenuca Benitez, the owner and founder of Mario’s Restaurant. At the age of 80, Ms. Benitez still visits her restaurants frequently, doing random taste tests to ensure the quality and taste of the food. “Growing up, I was never really a fan of cooking. It wasn’t until our family moved to Guam and I had to cook that I started to fall in love with it,” she shares. It was a rather funny start, but the business was something that grew on her and became a part of who she is. Until today, she stands proud with her restaurant, sharing her dishes and wisdom, to cooking the food the restaurant serves.
Mario’s Toffee Sansrival
The buffet’s menu is a mix of Filipino and Spanish cuisine, most of which were products of Ms. Benitez’s cooking lessons with her mother-in-law. She also takes inspiration from her own mom’s cooking, bringing in signature Spanish dishes like the Paella Valenciana, one of the most famous dishes in the restaurant. All the dishes in the buffet are served on their regular menu, but there’s a different kind of pleasure to eating some of their best dishes side by side, enjoying it together with clans and families who has taken the restaurant as their second home.
Mario’s Famous Caesar Salad
One of our favorite dishes from the menu was the Oysters Rockefeller—a huge tray of fresh oysters served with seasoning and cheese. It was one of those trays that would end up being refilled the most. Another famous and signature dish of Mario’s was their Caesar Salad. Fresh greens topped with seasoning, bacon bits, and crunchy croutons then drizzled with a special sauce, most customers note that this is the best salad they’ve tried.
From their Pasta Selection
From their Maki Selection
Other dishes in the buffet include a variety of pasta, from Crab and Mushroom Tortellini Shrimp to Fettuccine with Lemongrass Primavera. They also have fresh sashimi and sushi, as well as a carving station that includes roasted turkey, lamb, and beef partnered with tasty gravy. They also have a nice selection of desserts, from baked delights to chocolate fountains that are perfect for kids.
Mario’s Mango Jubilee
Part of the Dessert Selection
With its savory flavors that fit the Filipino palate perfectly, Mario’s food is truly worth trying. It is no wonder why many choose the restaurant to be a part of their lives. From its friendly servers to its homey ambiance and delicious dishes, Mario’s is a place that knows how to make you feel at home.
191 Tomas Morato Ave, Diliman, Quezon City, 1103 Metro Manila, Philippines
Upper Session Road, Baguio City
Sunday Buffet: PHP 870.00