Cheap Eats in Poblacion: 10 Tasty Finds for P150 and Below
From Mexican to oysters!
(SPOT.ph) Poblacion is a treasure trove of cool night spots and tasty eats—and boy does the location have range, too. The district has almost everything, from Thai to Mexican and even fresh oysters. And it’s possible to sample these without having to spend loads of cash. Whether you’re sticking to a budget or just want to save more for drinks later in the night, we round up some of the grub you can get in Poblacion for P150 or even less.
Here are some of Poblacion’s best budget eats:
Almacen’s Beef Pares Open Burrito (P150)
Almacen is one of Poblacion’s coolest bars right now: Their interiors are an explosion of colorful murals and neon signs inspired by Día de los Muertos and they even have a dedicated fotoautomatica photo booth and e-darts for a fun night out. But it’s not all fun and games at this Mexican bar; they also offer Mexican twists on classic Filipino dishes and at pretty affordable prices, too. Take the Beef Pares Open Burrito—Almacen takes the beef stew and turns it into a burrito with tender beef chunks and seasoned rice.
Almacen is at 5910B Matilde Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Khao Khai’s Gai Tod (P115/one piece)
Khao Khai isn’t like any other Thai restaurants—for one, they refuse to offer pad thai on their menu. Instead, their signature dish is the Gai Tod or Thai fried chicken, similar to what's peddled on the streets of Bangkok. Literally translating to “chicken rice,” their Gai Tod, crunchy and savory with bits of shallot mixed with the breading, is served with sticky rice and a side of Thai green papaya salad. Be sure to dip your chicken in the accompanying jaew, a tangy-spicy dip of fish sauce, lime, and chili flakes.
Khao Khai is at 5772 Ebro Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Tortuga’s Veggie Spring Roll (P140/six rolls)
Vegetarians (and vegans!) know how hard it can be to find options that not only fit their diets but taste great as well. Lucky for you, Tortuga has their Veggie Spring Roll. Fresh and light, these rice-paper rolls are stuffed with crisp lettuce, carrots, bell peppers, and cilantro—and is very budget-friendly, too.
Tortuga is at 2/F Lokal Hostel, Ebro Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Cosmic’s Surprise Me Stir-Fried Noodles (P120)
Whether you’re vegetarian or just want to try going meatless for one night, head to Cosmic. The vegetarian café boasts chic interiors full of locally made decor and an Asian-inspired menu that’s entirely meatless. Try the Surprise Me Stir-Fried Noodles—the most surprising element of this noodle dish is their version of the crunchy bagnet. While made with soy and starch, this bagnet has the crispy, savory flavor of its pork counterpart.
Cosmic is at 2/F 5057 P. Burgos Street corner General Luna Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Ebi 10’s Chahan (P150)
A lot of the dishes at this Japanese hole-in-the-wall actually fits a P150 budget, but if you want something incredibly filling, have Ebi 10’s Chahan. Cooked fast and hot on a wok, the fried rice is bursting with umami goodness—you can absolutely have this by itself. But if you have a few more bucks to spare, pair your rice with tempura, like Jumbo Shrimp (P120/piece) or Ika (P45/three pieces), which are squid rings.
Ebi 10 is at Tambai Alley, 5779 Felipe Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Yalla Yalla’s Falafel Wrap (P120)
Ask anyone who’s spent one too many inebriated nights in Poblacion and they’ll tell you that some of the best recovery food can be found at Yalla Yalla. After all, nothing really beats warm and spicy wraps, whether you’re hungover or simply hungry. While the Falafel Wrap contains no meat, this doesn’t mean it lacks in the flavor department. Their deep-fried chickpea balls pack a punch, especially with the tangy pickled vegetables that come with this wrap.
Yalla Yalla is at 5652 Don Pedro Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Wantusawa’s Fresh, Baked, or Grilled Oysters (P50/piece)
For fresh oysters, you don’t have to go further than Poblacion. Wantusawa is a chill, hidden oyster bar that serves oysters from Aklan. You can get them Fresh, Baked or Grilled for P50 a pop. Fair warning, though: Wantusawa has very limited seating so it’s best to drop by before they open at 7 p.m.
Wantusawa is at Tambai Alley, Felipe Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Tambai’s Yakitori Sticks (P35-P65/piece)
Before there was Tambai Alley—home of some of Poblacion’s best hole-in-the-walls—there was Tambai. True to its name, you can tambay at this laid-back eatery and feast on skewers. There’s great variety on the menu of sticks, too: Choose from Quail Egg and Bacon (P35) to U.S. Pork (P50) and U.S. Beef Isaw (P45).
Tambai is at 5779 Felipe Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
Crying Tiger’s Kai Jeow Moo Sob (P125)
Open since 2015, Crying Tiger has become a go-to for affordable Thai food in a casual, street-kitchen setting. Fill up on rice meals like the Kai Jeow Moo Sob or Thai pork omelette set atop a bed of jasmine rice. You can have this omelette without the minced pork as the Kai Jeow (P95)—a great vegetarian option.
Crying Tiger is at 4986 P. Guanzon Street, Poblacion, Makati City.
El Chupacabra’s Al Pastor Street Tacos (P115)
Before Poblacion became the cool district it is now, El Chupacabra was already there to feed folks before or after a crazy night out. The Mexican hole-in-the-wall is best known for their street tacos—to stray from your usual, have the Al Pastor Street Tacos, which is El Chupacabra’s take on the dish from Central Mexico. Think of it as a fusion between shawarma and taco, with spicy pork and a garlicky white sauce on a soft, warm tortilla.
El Chupacabra is at 5782 Felipe corner Polaris Street, Makati City.
Note: Some establishments may charge VAT and/or service charge.