Tired of the usual? Always looking for something new? In search for the best pizza? pasta? steak? dessert or whatever?
For 7 years of working in the heart of Pasig City (Ortigas), restaurants in nearby malls would always be by default for lunch or dinner (fast foods most of the time). But for the past 2 years, I find it more fun discovering new and the not-so-commercialized restaurants or cafes.
As a resident of the East (Rizal), MARIKINA CITY is near enough to do some exploring and food tripping with my buddies. Here are some restaurants in Marikina I can always keep on coming back:
- Cafe Lidia (Calumpang) – There are a lot of food choices: appetizers, pasta, pizza, rice meals, cakes and pastries. Prices are worth the big servings, mostly to share except for rice meals. Must try: Buffalo wings, cheesy pizzas, cream based pastas and their cake slices!
2. Caffe Piansa (San Roque) – This is the first ever jail-themed restaurant in the Philippines, the very first time I had a mugshot too! The foods’ names are too cool, all related to prison, death penalty and the likes, all unique sounding. Food is a bit pricey for the serving but it’s worth the ambiance and all the wacky photos anyone can have in almost all corners (with servers in costumes as prisoners, jail guards and a judge).
3. Tapsi Ni Vivian (G. Fernando) – After competing with several restaurants, Tapsi Ni Vivian’s recipe stood out. They have the best Tapsilog (Tapa, Sinangag and Itlog) as awarded by Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho in one of its features. They offer a a wide variety of viands too like tocino, bangus, adobo, fried chicken, hamonado, and a whole lot more. My personal faves, Letsilog (Letson Kawali, Sinangag, Itlog) and their Bulalo. For dessert, I love the sweetness and comfort Buko Pandan gives. Open 24/7, anyone can just go and feed their hungry tummies anytime of any day.
4. Tamagoya (Lilac) – My search for the best Ramen began 3 years ago. Got to try Tamagoya ‘s and to me it’s good but it lack some flavors. Not as rich as the soups of my personal favorites in Ramen Nagi, Wrong Ramen, Kichitora or Ukkokei, but for a quick ramen fix near the area, this one’s good enough. The price too!
5. Manila Wings (Lilac) – This, I would always crave for… flavored chicken wings! I first tried this small restaurant when they were still located beside Sta. Lucia Mall, along Imelda Ave. Now located along Lilac Street, they serve not just the classic and special flavored chicken wings, but nachos, basket of homemade fries, burgers, quesadillas, milkshakes and desserts as well. My Personal favorites: Garlic Parmesan Chicken wings, Nachos with generous serving of beef and cheese and their Frozen Brazo de Mercedes for dessert.
6. Pink Chiffon (Lilac) – The interior looks like it’s just a simple dessert place but they serve delicious pastas and rice meals as well. I will keep coming back for their meaty and cheesy Lasagna, Triple Chocolate cupcakes, White Chocolate cupcakes and Sansrival.
7. Singlish (Lilac) – I am a fan of Hainanese Chicken and Singlish just made me miss Singapore’s signature dish all the more. Their Hainanese chicken is ❤️, only if it’s bigger. Honestly, I haven’t tried anything else aside from their curry that is equally good too. And now, I crave.
8. Cookie Mug (Lilac) – Have you ever tried drinking your favorite milk, chocolate or caramel drink in Cookie Mugs? Too cute right? You get to eat the cookie too after all the drinking though I’d rather enjoy the taste of freshly baked cookies. Perfect place for laid back afternoons or some chit-chat with friends. I haven’t tried their meals but pastries and cakes are served too!
9. Teaza – Milk tea just makes me happy, whether it’s summer or rainy. Must try: Honeydew Milk tea with pearls! Super refreshing! One cup size, for an affordable price.
(Photo not mine. Credit to the owner).
10. Pan De Amerikana(Concepcion Dos) – All their meals are very affordable, plus an interior that is not the usual – a life size chess you can actually play with, a bridge, pond, windmill, a carriage, etc. The branch in Quezon City is actually smaller but has unique interiors too (upside down displays). Their Pandesal and Ensaymadas are their specialties! Try their rice meals too. Again, the emphasis on the meals that are truly budget-friendly.
P.S. This restaurant is a nice location to do a photo shoot. Chess area not in photo.
11. Qizia (Concepcion Dos) – Who would have thought this cozy restaurant is located at the back of a hospital? Unusual it may be but I fell in love with their pasta: Beef Pesto Penne. Their Chicken Quesadilla tastes ordinary but their cakes can satisfy anyone’s sweet cravings (Red Velvet and Cheesecake in photo). May it be a light or heavy meal, you have a variety to choose from.
12. Boyong’s (San Roque) – Don’t mind the limited space, tables and seats. When people of different social status (Class A-D) flock in this place, it surely serves good food. And they really do! Pasta, rice meals, burgers and appetizers available. Chicken, fish tenders and fries paired with Carbonara and their refreshing Cucumber drink is heaven to the stomach.
These are my personal favorites and there are a lot of Marikina restaurants in the list that are yet to be explored. Will do a Part 2, soon!