Food is what brings people together. And along Katipunan Avenue, students of the Ateneo de Manila University gather over the many food choices available near the campus. Whether it's killing time before your next class, catching up with your barkada for some after school eats or if you just happen to find yourself along Katip (as what most people have been calling it), there are just dozens of cafés and restaurants waiting to be discovered and rediscovered.
Here's a list of new and classic favorite food spots where you can satisfy your immense cravings for good grub or if you're just looking to find out where students hangout these days:
Who doesn't love breakfast food? Named after the owners' daughter, this café serves up all-day breakfast favorites and comfort food hits that's great if you're looking to kickstart your day. Try their Bacon and Eggs (P285) which are to die for, we wish we could eat it every day! It's a huge serving for thick cut bacon that they cure themselves, two eggs, garlic rice and a side of grilled pineapple which perfectly complements the whole plate.
If you're seeking for something sweet to power you through the day, order the French Toast Brulee (P225) with mango, strawberries, almonds and syrup. They also have fresh juices which ranges from P110 to P210 you can sip on that's surely healthy!
Gino's Brick Oven Pizza
Craving for Italian food? Gino's should do the job! Just beside Tyler's Cafe is an Italian restaurant which has only three categories on their menu: appetizers, pizza and pasta. A visit wouldn't be right without trying their famous SMEGG pizza and salted egg pasta as it is a classic favorite! What's great is they make all their cheeses fresh every day so you better not skip on the Burrata Caprese (P405) which has cherry tomatoes, pesto and basil.
Cafe Sweet Inspirations
Being one the longest running restaurants in Katipunan, 27 years to be exact, Sweet Inspirations has been known for its food and atmosphere which makes it feel like you're at home. For one, their Mongolian bowls is a house specialty and has been a favorite since you can customize what goes into your bowl.
Besides its rice meals, they're also known for their cakes! Order their famous Pistachio Sansrival (P96/slice; P570/whole) or the tangy New York Cheesecake (P100/slice; P825/slice) that's surely to complete any meal.
Taco Joe's Food Shack
Located at the third floor in one of the buildings in Katipunan, you won't be able to find Taco Joe easily unless you really know where you're going. It serves Mexican dishes with a Filipino touch, imagine a sisig taco and they ever serve chicharon bulaklak. Their menu is simple so you'd instantly know what you'll order; they have street tacos with interesting flavors, rice meals and a few appetizers you can share with your amigos. Order the Macho Nachos (P195) which is loaded with ground beef, shredded lettuce and cheese drizzled with their white secret sauce.
Named after the Beatles song, I Am The Walrus, a visit would transport you to a spot by the beach with its wooden interior and drawings on the wall. It even has a walrus and the song's chorus written on the wall, "goo goo g'joob."
They're known for their cocktails like Strawberry Fields Forever, Sun of a Beach, Cuckoocachoo and more refreshing ones that's great for everyone who has successfuly gone through the week. While you're there, make sure you order the Chicken Skin (P70) that's great for pica-pica with the barkada or with a cup of rice!
Lan Kwai Speakeasy & Hong Kong Cuisine
Probably the hippest one you'll see in the area, this spot promises you great food, interesting drinks and a good time. Inspired by the owners' trip to Hong Kong, Lan Kwai Speakeasy gets its name from the famous alley in Hong Kong.
If you're looking for something to fill you up, the Braised Beef Brisket (P249) is your best bet. It has fork-tender pieces of meat in a flavorful broth served with a soft-boiled egg, bok choy, leeks and chili garlic. Staying a little longer for some drinks? Pick your poison from their 16 cocktails. Order the Classic Sangria (P129/glass; P299/bottle) that's perfectly mixed or get the Designated Survivor (P129/baby; P369/big) which is a refreshing citrus drink served in a fish bowl.
What's a visit to Xocolat without trying any of their hot chocolate drinks? Their Taza de Xocolat (P175) is a must. It's their signature hot chocolate that's rich and goes well with their baked goods like a slice of their Xocolat Cake. This really is the perfect place for all the chocolate lovers out there! Feeling crazy? There's the Xocolat Chicken Pasta which has cacao rubbed chicken strips in a light cream sauce topped with chocolate shavings!
Ella and the Blackbird
This café provides a haven for those who wish to catch up on school work or with friends over a good cup of coffee and scrumptious food. Their Adobo Pasta (P185) surprised us as it is the perfect mix of sweet and salty; it is chicken and pork adobo tossed in linguini served with boiled egg. If you want something more filling in the form of a sandwich, order the Truffle Burger (P235) which is a 100% pure beef patty, topped with mushrooms and truffle sauce.
Image: B. Wings
A favorite among students, B. Wings has meals as low as P150. They currently have 8 kinds of sauce on their menu: from non-spicy flavors like P-noy, B-nay and Garlic Cheddar to spicy ones like the Black Mamba and Barack. Other than their wings, they're also known for their special bagnet sauces: Bicol Express, Binagoongan and Kare-Kare. A half-pound order of wings is priced at P150 and a one-pounder at P280.
Cello's Doughnuts & Dips
Sure, Cello's has been in business for years now but their classics — cheese, oreo and chocolate — still taste the same since it opened in 2004. They're soft, light, fluffy and has just the right amount of sweetness to it that you're left wanting one more bite after another. If you're just like us who loves dessert but doesn't really want all the sugar, this should be your dessert staple too.
Looking for something different? The Crullers (P45) is a twisted doughnut which has a texture similar to churros; it's freshly fried and glazed with your choice of flavor — nutella, chocolate, honey-glazed or white chocolate — and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Up for some affogato? They serve theirs differently from the others by using milk ice cream instead of vanilla as to not overpower the shot of espresso.
Are any of your favorites on the list? Let us know in the comments below!