(SPOT.ph) Taking after the hype created by establishments in Teachers Village and Loyola Heights are the neighboring Katipunan Extension (a.k.a. Blue Ridge) and White Plains areas, probably one of the fastest emerging food and activity hubs in the Metro.
This strip shows that despite minor obstructions (it’s not exactly commuter-friendly) and whether it’s a fitness hub or a new restaurant you’re looking for, there’s always good reason to go that extra mile.
1. Hoy, PANGA!
Katipunan Avenue corner Castro Street, Blue Ridge
Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Monday to Thursday) and 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Friday to Sunday)
Perfect for: Extremely laidback diners who get a kick out of cheap eats
Funnyman Bogart the Explorer, along with co-owners Kim Honasan, Nicky Sering, and Jako De Leon, bring a taste of Davao City to Katipunan Avenue with Hoy, PANGA!, a fresh take on turo-turo fare. Hoy, PANGA! specializes in fresh-from-Davao tuna grilled on ceramic briquettes. Unlike its Davao counterpart where tuna is taken to go, the Katipunan branch provides ample seating for customers who wish to dine leisurely, can of beer in one hand and a hefty serving of tuna belly in the other.
Must-tries: SioNga of Siopa (P20/pc, P100/6pcs and P200/dozen), Panga (P120-P290)
You're also likely to enjoy: Countryside Restaurant
2. Food Camp Burgers and Sandwiches
C-225 Katipunan Avenue, Blue Ridge
Open from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Monday to Saturday) and 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. (Sunday)
Perfect for: Burger fanatics looking to pair specialty, flame-grilled burgers with tasty sides or creamy milkshakes
Food Camp’s juicy Australian-made patties sandwiched in homemade bread help them stand out, but people continue to be loyal because this popular Banchetto (a food night market in Ortigas) stall forms a special connection with their customers. Food Camp offers specialty burgers suited for every taste and craving, each one ideal with a side of Nachos or Onion Rings.
Must-tries: Wagyu Steak Burger (P209 to 359), Angus Steak Burger (P189 to P319), Bravo (P165 to P250), Nachos (P99 to P199), Onion Rings (P85)
You're also likely to enjoy: Wham! Burgers, Crave Burger, and Sandwicheese
3. Sabroso Lechon
226 Katipunan Avenue, Blue Ridge
Contact: 961-9934, 0925-877-7300
Open from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Monday to Saturday) and 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m (Sunday)
Perfect for: Those up for a native gastronomic adventure
If its moniker is any indication, Sabroso has established itself as a go-to place for delicious lechon, a mainstay in Filipino festivities or gatherings. Sabroso's is one-of-a-kind: They pack their pork belly with lemongrass, tamarind leaves, and other spices from Bacolod and Bicol, all of which combine to infuse a lingering, delicious flavor in every tender mouthful. Apart from their specialty, Sabroso also offers a wide range of local delicacies including polvoron, nuts, and barquillos.
Must-tries: Lechon per kilo (starts at P200), Lechon Sisig (P225), Chicharon Bulaklak (P70)
You're also likely to enjoy: Nathaniel's, Katip's Bar and Grillery, Lola Idang's Pancit Malabon, and Pan De Amerikana
4. Peppermill Restaurant and Mixology Bar
20 Place One Building, Katipunan Avenue
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Perfect for: Those looking for an intercontinental dining experience
Peppermill Restaurant and Mixology Bar is Chef Vince Rodriguez's latest venture into the restaurant business, following successful offerings including R.E.D. Garlic, Torch, and Krave Restobar. The dining options are endless at Peppermill: The menu features gastronomic delights from cuisines that include American, English, Japanese, Mexican, Thai, Indonesian, and Italian. Pair your dish of choice with Chef Vince's awesome mocktails (the Lychee Mojito is recommended), and you'll surely be in for a treat.
Must-tries: Trio Pizza (P565), Foie Gras Nigiri (P755), Devil Roll (P395), Choco Log Roll (P155), Shrimp Popcorn (P325), Fire Cracker (P325), Ilocos Bagnet (P375)
You're also likely to enjoy: Tokyo Bubble Tea
5. Shutterspace Studios
175 Citigold Plaza, Katipunan Avenue
Contact: 738-2271, 0918-803-0188
Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Monday to Saturday)
Perfect for: Shutterbugs
Whether you’re a professional photographer or an occasional enthusiast, Shutterspace Studios is an ideal venue for a full-blown photo shoot! The 1,200-square feet studio is stocked with the necessary equipment for your shoot, and they also have huge windows available for your natural light requirements. For added fun, sign up for one of Shutterspace's photography workshops to get better at the game.
6. Maximo Comfort Cuisine and Casual Dining
173 Katipunan Avenue
Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Saturday to Sunday)
Perfect for: Those who enjoy dining in small groups
Maximo is anchored on the owners' belief that sharing is the best way to eat, so all dishes on the menu are good to split with a friend or two. Chef Geth Savellano's creations are tagged "family favorites": They are feel-good, fuss-free, and draw you back to what's essential-quality time with those who matter over a wonderful celebration of flavor.
Must-tries: Lamb Salpicao (P295), Slow-Roasted Beef Belly (P260), Flat Tops Buchi (P125/four pieces), Chocnut Cake (P145/slice)
You're also likely to enjoy: Banapple
202 Katipunan Avenue
Open from 6 a.m. (Monday to Sunday)
Perfect for: Those who'd like to sample the latest in Katipunan
Meet one of the new kids on the block: Santiago is the homey, inviting escape for good food, coffee, and company. The month-old restaurant, situated in one of Katipunan's busiest spots, is the brainchild of Michelle and Richard Santiago. Consider this your one-stop shop for distinctly Filipino favorites such as dinuguan, bulalo, and adobo, as well as mouthwatering desserts that take inspiration from native delicacies. In Santiago, have your pick from cakes borrowing elements from champorado, sapin-sapin, and banana cue.
Must-tries: Batangas Caldereta (P371), Batangas Bulalo ng Baka (P387), Santiago Dinuguan (P367), Tinapa Lumpia (P179), 3-Layered Cheesecake (P119/slice and P850/whole), Chocolate Tablea Cake (P129/slice and P950/whole), Sansrival Cookies (P210)
You're also likely to enjoy: Tahir's Kitchen
8. Elorde Boxing Gym
216 Katipunan Avenue and Eliscom Building, Katipunan Avenue
Contact: 440-3680, 682-3196
Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Perfect for: Those in the mood to sweat off the extra calories
After sampling the best of the neighborhood's grub, engage in a calorie-busting workout with a trip to Elorde Boxing Gym, founded by famed Pinoy boxer, Flash Elorde. The gym not only offers boxing sessions with a personal trainer (P200), but also Muay Thai classes (P250) for when you want to kick ass without necessarily taking it out on a punching bag. Elorde recently acquired a second branch across the original. It’s where gym rats can enjoy their latest service: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).
9. Route 196
196-A Katipunan Avenue
Open from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. (Monday to Saturday)
Perfect for: Music junkies
Route 196 is the default hideout on Katipunan Avenue for those looking to have a grand time in the presence of friends, live music, and great food (their thin-crust pizzas are a must-try!). Route 196 regulars include Johnoy Danao, Up Dharma Down, Kevin Roy, Barbie Almabis, and Julianne Tarroja.
Must-tries: Noypi (P265), Jugz and Kel Pizza (P310), Salted Egg Wings (P200), Sisig TNT (P200)
130 Katipunan Avenue, Saint Ignatius Village, White Plains
Open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Monday to Saturday) and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Sunday)
Perfect for: Those with a sweet tooth
Situated in a small corner along White Plains is Crumbs List Pastry Depot, the area's latest contribution to Manila's booming pastry ventures. The newbie dessert stop is particularly special in that it gives home bakers a platform to showcase their creations. Those who are especially picky can be assured of top-of-the-line treats, as the owners are cautious to handpick and include only the best of the best in their tasty lineup.
Must-tries: Food for the Gods (P120/half dozen), Chocolate Chip and Red Velvet Cookies (P160/half dozen, P300/dozen), Snowflake Cake Balls (P220/box of four), Tres Leches and S'mores Cupcakes (P75), Lemon Yoghurt Mousse (P235/pack of four)
You're also likely to enjoy: Raintea Confectionery, Divine Desserts, Dexter's Bakeshop and Coffee Shop
142 Katipunan Avenue, St. Ignatius Village
Open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Monday to Saturday) and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday)
Perfect for: Fans of all-day-breakfast establishments that serve great coffee, too
Tucked in one of White Plains' newly renovated buildings is Roast, a hole-in-the-wall that serves all-day breakfast meals, specialty coffee blends, and an unparalleled take on Filipino cuisine must-tries, like bibingka and puto bumbong (served year-round!). Fans of light snacks are also in for a treat because aside from Roast's made-from-scratch dishes, owner Pia Caluag's pasta and grilled sandwich creations are also a keeper.
Must-tries: Adobo Flakes (P120), Beef Tapa, Carbonara, Tuna Melt Sandwich, Bibingka, Puto Bumbong
You're also likely to enjoy: Monsee's Café and Conti's Restaurant and Pastry Shop
12. Earth Kitchen
Lot 10 B 10, Katipunan Avenue, White Plains
Contact: 961-0572, 577-9138, 0917-584-3278
Open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Tuesday to Sunday)
Perfect for: Those looking to satisfy their palate with organic dishes
One of White Plains' most frequented establishments is Earth Kitchen, owner Melissa Yeung's effort to promote products of local natural farmers and indigenous people in the hope of sustaining their livelihood. Each dish at Earth Kitchen is made from products sourced from different parts of the Philippines: cashew nuts from Palawan, pili nuts from Naga, organic greens from Tarlac and Bukidnon, and wild honey foraged by the Mangyans and the Tagbanuas. Right next-door is Got Heart, the retail arm of Yeung's foundation, which carries products and ingredients aligned with the all-things-healthy thrust of Earth Kitchen.
Must-tries: Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Paccheri (P310), Farm's Harvest (P320), Tablea Ice Cream (P165), Vanilla Peanut Butter Crunch (P165)
13. Bawai's Vietnamese Kitchen
79 Katipunan Avenue, Bellitudo, White Plains
Contact: 442-8874, 0917-885-1445
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Perfect for: Foodies into Asian delights
Fans of Bawai's, the famed Tagaytay getaway, will now only have to trek (or drive) to Quezon City to satisfy their Vietnamese comfort-food cravings. The Manila branch has adopted the Tagaytay menu, much to the delight of those whose hearts were captivated by the original mouthwatering lineup.
Must-tries: Goi Cuon (P235), Bawai's Salad (P305), Com Suon Cha (P420), Pho (P325)
You're also likely to enjoy: Basil and Shinjuku