Situated somewhere in between Quezon City and Antipolo, Marikina is one of Metro Manila’s well-known historical sites. The city is popularly known as the Shoe Capital of the Philippines, but there is much more to Marikina than its shoe economy. While locals are familiar with the ins and outs of Marikina’s food culture, people who live far from the area may be missing out on some hidden gems. Marikina City is home to several unique restaurants that are well worth the long drive. Here are a few of people’s favorites!
If there’s one thing that makes a scrumptious meal even better, it’s a beautiful view. At Rustic Mornings, you can enjoy your meal al fresco, surrounded by beautiful gardens for an all-around serene experience. Rustic Mornings serves international and local brunch dishes that will satisfy your cravings. They serve Filipino rice meals, like Beef Tapa (P290) and Pork Longganisa (P220), served with eggs, garlic rice, and tomato wansoy salad. For a sweeter option, try their Buttermilk Banana Pancakes (P210) or their crispy Waffle Churros (P230).
Fino Deli is one of Marikina’s most loved restaurants to wine and dine at. Their classy interiors and deluxe food selection make it a perfect spot for special occasions or a date night. Aside from a great wine selection, they serve amazing Spanish and Italian food. One of their most popular dishes is the Cinco Queso pizza (P500), with five kinds of cheese and creamy white sauce. They also have a Create Your Own Platter option (P540-550) that allows you to choose a selection of cheese and cold cuts, perfect for pairing with wine!
Another widely popular restaurant in Marikina is Cafe Lidia, known for their warm, homey ambiance. Cafe Lidia has a wide variety of Italian-American food to satisfy whatever you’re craving. Their pizzas and pasta come in both classic and new, imaginative flavors. They also have almost every entree imaginable, with tons of choices for beef, chicken, pork, and seafood dishes. Don’t miss their Buffalo Wings (P190) and Pasta with Tuna and Bacon (P200). Make sure to get some coffee and their best-selling Blueberry Cheesecake (P120) for dessert!
For authentic Vietnamese food, visit the hole-in-the-wall Ca Phe Saigon. Located in one of Marikina’s residential areas, Ca Phe Saigon looks simple yet bright, and feels just like home. Fans of Vietnamese pho will love their humble selection of the noodle soup, with variants like the classic Pho (P160/regular, P260/special) or the Pho Hai San Voi Nuoc Leo (P270), made with seafood. Other must-tries are the Banh Mi (P120/regular, P190/special), and of course Vietnamese Coffee (P100) for that sweet caffeine kick!
Along the Marikina food trip destination, Lilac Street is a casual comfort food spot called Miguel & Maria. They serve classic Western comfort food in generous servings – their specialties include Baked Salmon (P300), Mac and Cheese (P220), and Chicken Parmigiano (P220). If you’re not afraid to get your hands messy, the Baby Back Ribs (P265), marinated in homemade sauce and grilled to perfection, is a good choice. Miguel & Maria also makes for a great drinking spot, offering craft beers from local brewers.
Balestier offers a unique take on Asian fusion, putting new twists on well-loved Singaporean dishes. One interesting dish is the Laksa Tsukumen (P375) – it’s just like your classic laksa, but served Japanese tsukemen style where the noodles are served separately for you to dip into the broth and enjoy. If you’re into the salted egg craze, you’ll definitely enjoy Balestier’s rich, savory, and slightly spicy Salted Egg Wings (P225). Apart from their modern fusion dishes, they have tender Hainanese Chicken (P235) for a more classic choice. Don’t forget the rice!
Krung Thai serves some of Marikina’s best, freshest, affordable Thai food – with a Thai chef behind the kitchen, you’re guaranteed a good meal. This restaurant’s servings are big enough to share, so it’s a great place for when you and your friends or family have a Thai food craving. It’s hard to resist a good plate of classic Pad Thai (P269/regular, (P299/with shrimp) for a medley of different textures and flavors. They also have amazing Pork Satay (P229/5 pieces, P449/10 pieces), which would pair well with Thai Bagoong Rice (P199/solo, P459/2-3 persons, P699/4-6 persons).
This place is one of Marikina’s oldest restaurants, dating back to the 1950s. The fact that it’s still alive today is a testament to how much people love it! Luyong Restaurant combines Chinese and Filipino flavors into their dishes, with bestsellers like Special Pancit with Lechon (P205) and Pata Tim (P495). They have a wide array of classic Cantonese and Filipino favorites. With Luyong’s affordable food, it’s no wonder people have been coming back for years.
At Tapsi ni Vivian, you can get your tapsilog fix 24 hours a day. Locals frequent here for a quick meal during late nights or after an inuman and rave about their tender Tapsilog (P110), flavorful Bulalo (P400), and more. In karinderya style, most of the food is displayed for people to choose from. Customers also love the fast service at Tapsi ni Vivian.
For a filling, affordable meal, and good coffee to pair with it, Qizia Cafe is the place to go. This spot behind SDS Medical Center has an extensive menu, ranging from pizza and pasta to all-day breakfast, to pastries and specialty drinks. Some must-try dishes are the Seafood Pasta (P175), Beef Pesto (P165), and Grilled Butterfly Prawns (P205). The reasonable prices and good quality food makes Qizia one of the go-to places for families and groups of friends. They also have plenty of cakes you can choose for dessert!
If you’re into Asian noodle dishes, Mogu Tree Noodle House is the place for you. Here, you can customize your own noodles, choosing everything that goes into the bowl – the noodles, the broth, and the toppings you want. Don’t worry about being unsure of what would go well together, because the staff at Mogu Tree Noodle House are more than willing to help you build you bowl and suggest what would taste best. Laksa Noodle Soup (P145/2 toppings, P175/3 toppings) with ramen noodles is one of the most loved choices, and the serving is big enough to make one person quite full. Aside from noodle bowls, they also serve claypot rice and dimsum.