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The Taft Life: Hole in the Wall Picks around Vito Cruz

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All students struggle to budget their allowances. We have needs and wants that may mean forgoing a meal or two. But food is an essential part of our studying arsenal. I did some research, asking students for their favorite places to eat. After visiting their suggestions, I now present to you hole in the wall picks around Vito Cruz, Taft.

Sister’s Treat Kitchenette

Price Range: 35-55 Pesos
Location: Leon Guinto St. Adjacent to St.
Scholastica College Manila

In front of St. Scholastica’s College, along Leon Guinto Street, lies a cluster of little eateries. This is where you’ll find Sister’s. It offers meals at affordable prices, including a home-cooked bulalo with rice, available for only P45.

sizzling sisig

But what sets it apart from the usual carinderia? This is where you’ll find the cheapest and tastiest sizzling sisig in the area. Prepare to sink your teeth into a crunchy and chewy sisig served with a side of steaming hot soft rice, for a mere P55. One student I interviewed claimed that the sisig is so delicious and affordable that he ate it every day for an entire week!


Ate Rica’s Bacsilogan

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Price Range: 18-85 Pesos
Location: Agno St. Malate Manila (Behind Taft Tower Hotel)

To those who might not know, bacsilog is bacon served with egg. It’s certainly not an item found on most ‘-silog’ menus. Here at Rica’s, they serve it with rice and lovingly smothered with ‘chiz’ and knorr. Its flavor has been described as salty and kind of sweet. One student says “it’s one of the best na babalik-balikan.”


Aside from rice meals, they also serve sandwiches, burgers, and omelettes. There are plenty of great to-go meals for a busy student. On the menu you’ll even find other interesting items like tapa and tocino omelettes or dory fishsilog, and even a hash brown burger.

hash brown burger

Ate Rica’s is in the part of DLSU open to the public. It’s amongst stalls in a food court behind Taft Tower Hotel (formerly known as E.G.I. Tower) and Gokongwei Hall along Agno St.

Eric’s Fresh Siomai etc.

Price Range: 25-70 Pesos
Location: 2313 Castro St., Cor. Taft Ave., Malate, Manila

Hidden deep within the distinct red brick building on the corner of Castro St. and Taft Ave. is an old eatery well known to La Salle students as Eric’s. It has been there for more than 8 years, serving students a sinfully addictive siomai with rice (P40).

Eric’s famous siomai

It was originally a smaller stall, but they eventually expanded by purchasing an adjacent space, which they named Eric’s Budget Meal. This expansion led to them adding other must-try meals like Boneless Chicken Steak and Sisig. Most of their food can be purchased for less than P50.


Price Range: 40 – 110 Pesos (not including Bagnet per kilo)
Operational hours: Mon-Sat, 10am – 10pm
Delivery: 484-7521
Branch Locations: 7224 “The Zone” Malugay St., Bel-Air, Makati City
1021(Vito Cruz) cor. Arellano St., Malate Manila

Hungry for a taste of Ilocano cuisine? Mangan ka dituyin! Stoops is the place for you. It’s a small open eatery, not far from Taft Ave., along the corner of Arellano St. and P. Ocampo St. that has a limited but palatable menu of authentic Ilocano dishes. They even have student-friendly rice meals ranging from P42 and above–the cheapest of which is pakbet or dinengdeng for P42.

bagnet meal

No Ilocano restaurant is complete without the region’s famed Bagnet. You can purchase a humble solo-size bagnet meal with your choice of side dish for only P80. As if this isn’t enough, you can also purchase bagnet per quarter, half or whole kilo, and choose between regular or spicy.

chicken bagnet

As for side dishes, you can choose from the originally local flavors of KBL, (kamatis, bagoong, lasuna), KKB ( kamatis, talbos ng kamote, bagoong), or TBA (talong, bagoong, alamang). One student claims that the reason Stoops is unmatched by other Ilocano restaurants is their special suka and bagoong, which they sell per bottle.

Lola Edeng’s Canteen

Price Range: 15-75 Pesos
Operational Hours: Open 24/7
Location: Taft cor. Dagonoy St., Malate, Manila, Philippines

Situated next to the ever popular Rap’s Steaks and Cakes and Sinangag Express is a place some students describe as “a home away from home”. Though it appears to be relatively new, it was formerly known as Campus Diner. It’s been running for 14 years but changed its name two years ago.

Lola Edeng’s food

This establishment is popular among students for their home cooked meals. Their top five best selling rice meals are: calamares (P50), shanghai rolls (P50), chicken camron (P55), lechon kawali (P65) and Hamburger Steak (P55). They also serve merienda, sandwiches, and binalot meals.

One of the best things about Lola Edeng’s is that you can come here for the taste of home at any time of the day. Yes, you heard that right, hungry students! This establishment is open 24 hours a day for any night owls or early birds in the area.