Why a Food Crawl in Poblacion Makati Is a Must-Do Right Now

Nestled behind and around Makati Avenue, Poblacion has slowly turned itself into the Williamsburg of Makati with its fresh crop of cafes, hostels, bars, and specialty restaurants. A part of the old town, it is bordered by city hall and the Pasig River to the North, Bel-Air on the West, and the upscale Rockwell cluster of buildings to the southeast. There is a decidedly naughty undertone to some parts of Poblacion, what with the red light district running right through it, but that only adds to the distinct character of the place. 

The recent slew of novel bars and restos in Poblacion have been reviewed to death in all major publications, and for good reason. The area is a treasure-throve of hot and happening places as well as the old stalwarts that have amassed loyalists. Here are few reasons why it’s one of the Metro’s go-to places right now. 

 1. You’ll discover new things
Poblacion has, in the last two years, launched some of the most exciting and noteworthy shops and restos the Metro has seen in a while. One can practically feel the energy emanating from all the small, locally owned bars and family establishments that have recently opened. The renaissance is here and you best well catch it before the landscape changes yet again. 

2. You have endless choices
There is no end to the choice of cuisine within a one-mile radius—Filipino, Korean, Japanese, Argentinian, French, Mexican, Spanish, Iranian, Irish, American—phew, that doesn’t even cover it all. The infamous Burgos Street runs right smack through it, neon lights that wrestle for your attention, next to harmless carts of street vendors. Mural art can be found on public walls. The only problem you’ll encounter is having to settle on and choose which place to hit first.  

3. You can walk everywhere
Want coffee? Cold beer and tacos? Want to party on a rooftop? How about some post-party falafel? You can do all that without hailing a cab or booking an Uber. Every shop is within walking distance! Have some amazing coffee at Commune, grab a Cuban Sandwich at Empingao!, drop by Crying Tiger for a bottle or two of Chang beer and spicy Pad Thai, walk over to Kite for a Mediterranean dinner, or cross Kalayaan and hit Alamat, Wild Poppy, Smokeyard, and Z Hostel all in one go. The permutations for a great night out are endless! All you need is your posse and some shoes you can comfortably walk in.

4. Prices range from affordable to splurge
From eateries that’ll allow you to stuff yourself with a limited budget of a couple hundred pesos to more upscale places where you can splurge your entire paycheck all in one go, you’ll have no dearth of choices in Poblacion.

 

5. THE BOHEMIAN ART SCENE
In contrast to the five-star hotels and suites of Ayala Avenue, Poblacion gives you a chance to just kick back and let your hair down. If you are an artist, inspiration is everywhere—from the food presentation to finding hidden works by fellow creatives, hidden around the neighborhood. Settle into any of the new cafes and admire their interior design. The bars make their own visual statements, all with their unique choice of décor and original art hanging or sometimes painted straight to their walls. Turn a corner down a random street and find yourself staring down an entire wall filled with spray-painted murals. Music lovers can get their fill of acoustic covers, reggae, techno, or rock–depending on where they end up for the evening. 

6. THE LAID-BACK VIBE
No time or energy to get glammed up for the evening? No problem! Grab some yakitori and cold beers out on the street at Tambai, order barbeque outside El Chupacabra, or sit at an outdoor table at Señor Pollo and watch the world go by without feeling the pressure to conform in any way whatsoever. Because the atmosphere is pretty chill, one will feel at ease traversing the neighborhood in just flipflops and casual street wear.