Travel & Food

A Definitive Guide to Eating Your Way Through Poblacion

If you haven’t ventured through the narrow streets of Poblacion yet, let this be your compass

A couple of months ago, friends of mine were in town for around a week to watch a concert in Manila. Having flown in from other Asian countries and across the globe, it was clear what the first order of business was: to get local cuisine in their stomachs. While I was expecting us to venture to the nearest Jollibee or to be dragged along to BGC or a mall, to my surprise, the rest of our friend group decided to take the foreigners in the group to Poblacion.

Years ago, Poblacion may have just been known for its narrow streets and the red light district within it, but one thing’s for certain: this little pocket of Makati is much more than that now.

Today, Poblacion is a melting pot of diverse cultures and cuisines—a foodie’s dream. Every street promises a restaurant, bar or cafe well worth trying out. But with so many promising places to eat, where does one even begin?

Don’t fret; that’s where this article comes in. Let this be your compass to the bustling bars and culturally diverse kitchens of the Poblacion area. Ahead, eight must-visit spots for your next Poblacion haunt:

RELATED: The Best Pizzas in Town You Might Not Know About

Khao Khai Thai Chicken House

Forget the pad thai; here, chicken rice and dishes from Thailand’s culinary capital reign supreme

Image via Khao Khai Thai Chicken House

Address: 5772 Ebro Street, Poblacion, Makati

Hours: 11AM to 1AM (Monday to Thursday), 11AM to 2PM (Friday to Sunday)


Your neighborhood sari-sari store turned yakitori house

Image via Tambai

Address: 5779 Felipe St., Barangay Poblacion, Makati

Hours: 6PM to 1AM (Monday to Sunday)

Pura Vida

The go-to place for Costa Rican cuisine and a good time

Images via Pura Vida Manila

Address: Don Pedro Street, Poblacion, Makati

Hours: 6PM to 2:30AM (Monday to Saturday)

Kermit Manila

Arguably a more refined version of the original Siargao pizza place, Kermit’s Poblacion location serves up spirits and Napoletana flavors

Address: Don Pedro Street, Poblacion, Makati

Hours: 5PM to 1AM (Monday to Friday), 11AM to 1AM (Saturday and Sunday)

Gaja Korean Kitchen

Generous portions, rich flavors, and a hidden soju bar await

Image via Gaja Korean Kitchen

Address: 2/F, 8445 Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati

Hours: 11AM to 11:30PM (Monday to Sunday)

YOI Sake Bar and Restaurant

Masterfully plated, mouthwatering dishes for Japanese foodies

Image via YOI Sake Bar & Restaurant

Address: 5579 Alfonso Corner Fermina Street, Poblacion, Makati

Hours: 7PM to 2AM (Monday to Sunday)

Agimat Foraging Bar and Kitchen

The food and drinks at Agimat will convince you that there’s something magical at work in this place

Image via Agimat Foraging Bar and Kitchen

Address: 2/F 5972 Alfonso Corner Fermina Street, Poblacion, Makati

Hours: 6PM to 2AM (Monday to Saturday), 6PM to 12MN (Sunday)


Say hello to the best oysters in Makati

Image via Wantusawa

Address: Tambai Alley, 5779 Felipe Street, Poblacion, Makati

Hours: 6PM to 12MN (Monday to Sunday)

RELATED: Bring Out The Cheese! The Must-Try Dishes In Manila For Cheese-Obsessed Foodies

Is your stomach churning yet? If these places strike your fancy, then you’ll want to sign yourself up for an afternoon of food and fun in Poblacion at the Lifesmith Life Sessions happening on September 21st. Join artist and foodie Deejae Paeste as he eats his way through some of the best food spots in Poblacion.

Register for the Food Crawl by Deejae Paeste and Poblacion’s Self-Starters Lifesmith session here!

Words Cessi Treñas

Art Alex Lara

How does this make you feel?