Over the past few years, Poblacion has become a resurgence of gustatory adventures, attracting a thriving nightlife through the plethora of pubs peppered around the humble neighborhood. Not to mention, the countless restaurant concepts that have proven unique to other food districts in Metro Manila such as Maginhawa, Kapitolyo, Aguirre Ave., etc.
Because of the influx of new eateries and establishments, Poblacion also houses hole-in-the-wall restaurants that are underratedly good and deserve more attention. We’ve rounded up a few hidden gems, so here’s a list of 15 Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants to Discover in Poblacion.
Holy Smokes BBQ serves authentic Texas-style barbecue such as smoked brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage, bacon, and pulled pork – all smoked using local fruitwood. Although Holy Smokes BBQ is temporarily closed, their best-selling Beef Brisket will definitely be back soon! For now, you can call their number and get their barbecue delivered.
Recommended dishes: their best-selling USDA Certified Angus Beef Brisket (smoked between 12-16 hours) as well as their Corn Donuts.
Dulo MNL is a hybrid of both a restaurant-bar and an events place that caters to creatives of all generations. Often, Dulo MNL hosts live performances, open mics, and art exhibits, so be sure to check out what they have in store!
Recommended dishes: their Pork Belly Bao and Four Nine Nine Two Cooler.
Originally created as a tasting room for the local Engkanto Brewery, Polilya has become a popular hang-out with reinvented bar chow and an array of signature cocktails infused with Engkanto beer to emphasize the homegrown beer as the heart and soul of their bar.
Recommended dishes: their Zen Chicken Nuggets, Ultimate Nachos, and Bourbon IPA.
Insider tip: You can enjoy a Buy 1 Get 1 Weekly Slushie for
Lobo Filipino Tavern pays homage to classic Philippine architecture while serving Filipino fare that is simple yet progressive as they highlight our islands’ robust flavors with a hint of elevation.
Recommended dishes: their Lamb Adobo, Sizzling Bulalo, Pork Sisig Nachos, and Squid Ink Pasta.
Alamat is one of the newest night spots along Poblacion in Makati that aims to serve ‘the best pulutan of your life’. Unique Filipino dishes like kare-kare skewers and bacon bagnet and scene stealers. Pair them with Alamat’s draft beer selection and cocktails.
Recommended dishes: Kulma Skewers, Taho Cheesecake, and Sampaloc Candy Cocktail.
Loco Manuk is one of the newer spots in Poblacion and an underrated Filipino-Latin American fusion restaurant specializing in delectable wood-fire chicken.
Recommended dishes: their Wood-Roasted Chicken with Labuyo Jam, Sisig Bao, and Churro Clasico.
Insider tip: Get up to ₱500 off on your bill with Booky!
Wantusawa is a hole-in-the-wall oyster bar tucked behind the bustling bars and restaurants of Tambai Alley. The unassuming restaurant serves fresh oysters flown in from Aklan daily, which you can get fresh, baked, or fried for only ₱50 a pop.
Recommended dishes: their Baked Aklan Oysters, Grilled Prawn Laksa, and Crispy Tawilis.
Lámpara is a Neo-Filipino Bistro, which aims to illuminate Filipino cuisine through their contemporary fare. A gustatory experience, Lámpara has paved the way for Filipino cuisine and the endless possibilities it can achieve through its imaginative yet distinctly Filipino dishes.
Recommended dishes: their Dinuckdukan, Yema & Tsokolate, and the Melon Milk Dessert.
A’Toda Madre is the only tequila and mezcal bar in the Philippines with the largest selection of Mexican liquor. To complement their selection of 100% agave spirits, they also serve authentic Mexican bar chow such as Elotes Callejeros, Street Tacos, and Tostaditas.
Insider tip: They also offer a tequila tasting flight, so you can sample everything!
Short for “North of Kalayaan,” NoKal is a New York-inspired restaurant concept in the center of Poblacion. Serving casual, New York-style comfort food accompanied by acts from the most coveted artists, NoKal is your go-to to witness Poblacion’s nightlife prowls.
Recommended dishes: their Nokal Steak Rice and Hot Wings.
Fun fact: NoKal is a three-storey bar and each floor offers a different vibe.
Hidden in the busy streets of Poblacion, Khao Khai is a laidback eatery that specializes in Northern Thailand cuisine. You won’t find your classic Pad Thai dish here, but their best-selling Bangkok “Street Cart” Style Fried Chicken known as Gai Tod, is a mainstay.
Recommended dishes: their Gai Tod fried chicken, Kor Moo Yang Pork Belly, and Gai Yang Charcoal Chicken.
Cosmic is a cutting-edge bistro that offers full-fledged vegan comfort food. The concept was built out of the owners’ passion and need for more accessible, affordable, and delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes. Now, Cosmic has become a sanctuary for the health-conscious folks of Manila with their plant-based delights.
Recommended dishes: their Vegan Lasagna, Kare-Kare with 'Bagnet', and King Oyster Mushroom.
Yalla Yalla (Arabic for “let’s get going” or “hurry up”) is a hole-in-the-wall eatery that serves affordable and authentic Lebanese cuisine.
Recommended dishes: their Beef Shawarma, Shishtaouk, and Lebanese Burger.
Pura Vida is the first Costa Rican lounge in Manila that offers cold beers, authentic Costa Rican favourites, and reggae music all night long. An epitome of the vibrant culture of the rainforested nation, Pura Vida opens their dance floor to the public from 11 PM onwards.
Recommended dishes: their Patacones, Casados, and Churchill.
The Smokeyard is the brainchild of internationally-trained pitmaster, Troy Conine. This no-frills classic all-American barbecue joint serves low and slow-smoked meats, tacos, and sandwiches.
Recommended dishes: Baby Back Ribs, Beef Brisket, and Mac & Cheese.
For more choices, search for ‘POBLACION‘ in the Booky app to see the complete list of restaurants within that area. Subscribe to Booky Prime now to get your P1,000 worth of discount credits! Use it to book a table at any of our 500 partner restaurants that offer up to P500 discount on selected seating times.
Cover image by @khaokhaiph.