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LIST: Top 6 lugawans in Metro Manila

By Tanya Lara Published Apr 02, 2021 2:30 pm

“Lugaw is essential,” Malacañang Palace declared this week. Of course it is!

Anyone who has ever needed comfort food to get over a broken heart, deal with stress, enjoy a rainy day or get over one drink too many knows this. Only the woman who stopped a rider from delivering lugaw in San Jose, Del Monte in Bulacan doesn’t.

Suddenly, there is a collective craving for lugaw as the nation is in ECQ for the second Holy Week since the pandemic.

Glutinous rice porridge by any other name—lugaw, arroz caldo, goto, congee—is indeed essential. Everyone has a fave version and place to get it, whether it’s a restaurant or a roadside stall.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on March 31, “A video which has been circulating online has come to our attention. Lugaw, or any food item for that matter, is considered an essential good.”

Naturally, the internet jumped on this by making memes and a million posts about lugaw being essential. More importantly people began sharing lugaw, whether to Grab riders or at home with loved ones.

Whether you prefer the simple lugaw or everything-but-the-kitchen-sink version, lugaw always makes the day better.

Here are some of our fave lugawans/gotohans that are open for takeout or delivery around Metro Manila, in no particular order: 

1. Lugaw Manila

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This restaurant offers various toppings to your goto such as crispy bagnet; chicaron bulaklak; Goto Fiesta, which has both; Goto Emergency (spicy and I suppose it’s meant to sober you up quickly); and Goto Forever, which has everything on it! It also has the most beautiful gotos in red bowls and carefully placed toppings.

2. Goto Monster

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Goto Monster is one of the most popular post-libation lugawans. It offers a variety of lugaw topping as well. You can have it with shiitake mushroom (they’re possibly the only one that offers this topping), bagnet, beef tripe or chicken adobo.

3. Gotobelieveph

In the tradition of Pinoy puns and play of words, this wins in the lugawan category. Yes, you’ve got to believe they serve Goto Infierno (spicy), Goto Heaven (with tripe) and plain. You can also have these dry or fried rice version.

4. Philippine Airlines (PAL)

Technically not a lugawan, PAL’s arroz caldo is so iconic and loved by everyone that’s tried it that it has to be on this list. And I wonder if, with the recent launch of Mabuhay Lounge’s arroz caldo, the airline will sell more lugaw than seats in this pandemic. That’ll really be tubong lugaw! PAL’s arroz caldo should have been made available outside its business class lounge years ago. But no matter, now everyone can enjoy it.

5. Goto King

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Like many other gotohans or lugawans, Goto Kong has the usual variety—plus one. It offers Lugaw Macao, which is topped with slices of century egg.

6.  Gusto Goto

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You can have your goto with sisig or pares. If you can’t decide, well, why not throw both in! Gusto Goto also sells frozen sisig and pares.

Yummy lugaw too

Though not lugawans, below are restaurants that specialize in Chinese and Filipino cuisines for their main dishes. Their signature soups come with noodles rather than glutinous rice, but their lugaw or congee offerings are outstanding as well:Luk Yuen Noodle House, North Park and Goodahh!!.

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