When you're in Makati, searching for good food, one of the places that will instantly come to anyone's mind would have to be Poblacion. Located close to the Makati business district, it's the perfect place to be for those who want to unwind after a long day at work.
Poblacion also has everything one might crave for – from Korean barbecue and Vietnamese cuisine to breakfast food and good cocktails – so all you have to do is walk around and you'd surely find your next favorite hangout spot!
Rounding up some of the best places in the neighborhood, here's your guide to all that's good and tasty in Poblacion:
El Chupacabra serves tacos different from the ones we're used to eating. Known as street tacos, these are soft corn tortillas with fillings like carne asada, carnitas, lengua, pollo, camaron, and more, topped with onions, cilantro, and salsa. A piece of this Mexican food is priced starting at P110, and so getting 2 or 3 more street tacos will still not hurt your pockets! Pair it with a bottle of cold beer, dine outside, and you're sure to have the complete El Chupacabra experience.
Kapitolyo's 24/7 breakfast place is also in Poblacion, so whenever you find yourself suddenly craving for some good ol' tapsilog in the middle of the night, you know where to go! Kanto Freestyle Breakfast lets its diners customize their own breakfast plates. Some of the ulam they offer include tapa, Vigan longganisa, and Pampanga tocino, but if you don't feel like having rice, you could always opt to try out their Chocnut Champorado which they serve with tuyo.
Crying Tiger is the place to be for those who are looking for any Asian street food. Mee goreng, pad thai, satay — name it, and you would probably get your cravings satisfied here. Also available are a number of rice dishes, and an extensive vegetarian menu for those who want their meals healthier. They also serve good cocktails and bar chows, which makes it a perfect hangout spot with friends after a long day at work!
WOKby 4900 is a restaurant which doubles as a co-working space because it has wi-fi, charging stations, good coffee, and yep, good food! Their menu features a wide range of flavors from Southeast Asia, and while there are already Asian-built bowls available depending on the country it's inspired from, diners also have the option to create their own rice bowls depending on which flavors and meat they want to have. Available from their Asian-Built Bowls are Manila (Adobo), Seoul (Bibimbap), Japan (Donburi), and more.
A rooftop bar located in Don Pedro Street, The Wild Poppy lets its guests chill and relax in their cozy place while enjoying a fare of Southeast Asian-inspired dishes along with their handcrafted cocktails. A favorite from their menu is their Pok-Pok Bites which are crispy bite-sized chicken bites topped with shallots and cilantro. Another crowd-favorite is their Yaki Tomorokoshi which is their version of Mexican elote, but is topped with kesong puti, yuzu smoked aioli, scallions, onions, and cilantro. For their cocktails, you may try their Cucumber Frost – a gin-based cocktail with lemon juice and fresh cucumber.
For your Latin-American food cravings, there's Empingao! which gives a modern take on the traditional dishes people have come to love. They took your ordinary tacos and made it their own with the Salmon Tacos, which has chimichuri, mandarin orange, mango mayo, and romaine in a crispy tortilla shell. Another bestseller from Empingao! is the Ham and Cheese Empanadita made of Farmer's Ham, Mozzarella Cheese, Cheddar Cream Cheese, Puff Pastry, Crema, and Mojo.
For those who loves and just can't get enough of too much ihaw-ihaw, Tambai is the place to be. The place is located on the side of the street, and you can basically enjoy your skewers sat on one of the stools, having a bottle of Japanese beer (maybe even sake!) with your barkada. Available here are your typical skewers – chicken, pork, innards – as well as vegetable and seafood skewers which are just as good when grilled.
Whether it's Costa Rican food or reggae music, Pura Vida has it. This lounge serves authentic Costa Rican dishes and signature cocktails which diners get to enjoy over some good reggae music. Some of their must-tries include Chicharrones Con Yuca (Pork Rinds with Cassava), Con Pollo Caribeño (Carribean-style chicken), and Surtida De Bocas (Appetizer Platter).
For those nights where you just want to grab a drink or two with friends, Antidote is one of the best places to check out. Aside from being known as the first jellyfish bar in the country, I'M Hotel's rooftop bar also offers one of the best views of Metro Manila's city lights. All priced at P390, their signature cocktails are crafted by the head bartender of Bar Mace. Their bestsellers include Ube BAE, which has jalapeño-infused cachacha, ube-infused coconut milk, egg, and toasted coconut flakes, and Mr. DOMango, made of moringa leaves-infused vodka, banana liqueur, mango puree, coconut milk, and tapioca pearls.
Ask anyone for the most sulit KBBQ place in Poblacion, and they'll probably lead you to Matgalne. For only P499, you already get to enjoy all the samgyupsal and chadolbagi you want. They even have a banchan buffet so diners get to choose from the 20 different side dishes they have to pair with the meat. Also available are ala carte dishes, so if you suddenly want some japchae and kimchijjigae, you can have it here.
Located at Polaris cor. Durban in Poblacion, Commune is a place where you get to have your caffeine fix and make real life connections. Every now and then, this cafe holds events and workshops, encouraging the craft's enthusiasts to interact and communicate with each other. Besides their caffeinated and decaffeinated beverages, Commune also serves dishes to pair with their drink, so if you're feeling like having some salad or panini that day, you could have them here.
Cu Chi Bar is said to be Makati's first bar which serves authentic Vietnamese food and good cocktails at a cheap price, making it a good place to check out if you want to hang out with friends. Make sure to try out their signature dishes – Bahn Mi, Pho Bo, and Fresh Spring Rolls – and their cocktails like the Cu Chi Mule and Cu Chi Cucumber Mojito.
From the owners of El Chupacabra comes Senor Pollo which offersLatin American and Fried Chicken which they serve with chimichurri, garlic, and chili sauces. Diners also get to choose the side dishes they want – from garlic rice to patatas bravas. Also available here are nachos, quesadillas, and chicharrones.
A coffee shop by day and a bar at night, Oto is also a music room audiophiles can visit after work. For their signature cocktails, you may try their #ReligionBlack which is a mix of Rum, Lime, black sesame syrup, and shiso, or their Enriquez, which is a table-infused spiced rum, sweet vermouth, sugar, and orange bitters. You may also have your drinks with their Mozarella Sticks and the OTO Beef Teppan if you want something to munch on.
If you love brunch, Bean and Yolk is what you should definitely try out on your next trip to Poblacion. Not sure what to try? They recommend their Chorizo Mama, which has fried egg, cheddar cheese, homemade chorizo pattie, and bbq mayo in a brioche bun. There's also Farmer John where instead of a chorizo pattie, you get ham and caramelized onion. You can also have your favorite cup of joe here, but if you're looking for something that's a bit more different, they also have Espresso Milkshake and Malagos Cold Brew available.
Did we miss your favorite Poblacion hangout spot? Let us know in the comments!