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Taste.Company | Take Your Taste Buds Around the World in Poblacion, Makati

Take Your Taste Buds Around the World in Poblacion, Makati

April 25, 2017 7:00 pm by Gabriella Galvez

With Maginhawa in the North, Kapitolyo in the East, and Aguirre reppin’ the far South, Makati in the West is not left behind with its own little nook of good, cheap eats. Wittingly christened “Williams-burgos” by some of its residents, Barangay Poblacion may be widely known as Makati’s Red Light District, yet it has also been gaining recognition as the new home to a hefty sprinkling of cultures and cuisines in the past three years.

This Guide to Poblacion is an invitation to take your tastebuds on a whirl:Taste-WhatsNew_Poblacion23

We’ve divided Brgy. Poblacion into three parts, based on the fact that Kalayaan Avenue, P. Burgos St., and Makati Avenue seem to be the three main arteries that feed the area with its lifeblood (people and vehicles). Thus, North of Kalayaan (NoKal), South of Kalayaan (SoKal), and Around Makati Avenue (AroMA), are officially born, with Kalayaan Avenue being the dividing border that separates NoKal from SoKal, and Makati Avenue and being a vein that runs perpendicular to this border.

North of Kalayaan (NoKal)

NoKal, for the purposes of this piece, is defined as the area north of the lane of Kalayaan headed toward Makati Avenue out of Rockwell.

Taste-WhatsNew_Poblacion41. Yalla Yalla Express

5652 Don Pedro Street

A Lebanese joint that is still enjoying its soft opening, you can treat your vegetarian friends to some Falafel, Hummus, and Mountabal… and perhaps share a Za’atar Pizza between yourselves, should you find your stomachs wanting more.

Yalla Yalla Express

Open 5pm – 3am

(02) 9867078

2. The Wild Poppy + Bucky’s + The Smokeyard + Alamat Filipino Pub & Deli

5666 Don Pedro StreetTaste-WhatsNew_Poblacion12

This is the little compound that could feed all sorts of hungry mouths and thirsty stomachs.

Need more proof? Take a look at the Chicken Ren Damn, and its Lenten cousin, the Tuna Tataco, both of which can be found at The Wild Poppy:

The Wild Poppy

Open 5pm-12am (SMWTH); 5pm-2am (Fri&Sat)

(0995) 9908737

Follow up your taco/bun fix with a Vanilla/Chocolate or Cinnamon soft-serve (blessed with a heavy dusting of their signature Brown Butter Polvoron topping):


Open 11am-10pm (TTHSun); 11am-11pm (Fri&Sat)

(0916) 7545140

Or, a glass of one of Alamat’s locally-brewn brewskies:Taste-WhatsNew_Poblacion15

Alamat Filipino Pub & Deli

Open 4pm-1am (Tue-Thu, Sun); 5pm-2am (Fri&Sat)

(0917) 5302580

The fourth and final stop in this tiny compound is The Smokeyard, and if you’re one for American-style BBQ, then make this your first stop.

The Smokeyard

Open 12pm-2am

(02) 7711288


3. Crying Tiger Street Kitchen

4986 Guanzon Street

Closer to Makati Avenue but still less than 10 minutes by foot from Kalayaan, Crying Tiger serves cheap, Southeast Asian nosh that will definitely hit close to home. They even have a vegetarian menu!

Taste-WhatsNew_Poblacion7 Taste-WhatsNew_Poblacion8
I mean, just how cute are these fried quail eggs??

Pair these with a Moo Ping (beef BBQ on a stick) or in our case, a ‘healthier’ option, like the Fried Tofu with Peanut Sauce… and down a Rum Coke while you’re at it.

Taste-WhatsNew_Poblacion9Crying Tiger Street Kitchen

Open 4pm-3am

(02) 8941769


4. Empingao!

San Lucas cor. P. Burgos Streets

While a recent visit proved unproductive due to Empingao! temporary closure (for renovation), this colorful outpost on one corner of P. Burgos Street is still arguably Empingao’s, and we are definitely keeping an ear to the ground for when they open again!

Here’s some of their Latin American fare to tide you over:



Currently closed for renovation

(0917) 8131999


5. Tilde Hand Craft Cafe

5417 Matilde StreetTaste-WhatsNew_Poblacion

The brainchild of Ginny Roces de Guzman, Neil Oshima, and Chiqui Lara, Tilde is tucked away in the ground floor of a residential/office building at the very end of Matilde Street, so make sure you don’t blink or you’ll miss it!

Serving quality sourdough bread and a bunch of other goodies, like: Ratatouille with Quinoa & Harissa, Red Lentil Soup w/ Chistorra & Chorizo, alongside sweet somethings, like the ones pictured above. Roces de Guzman shares that the Champorado cookies are great when paired with certain red wines!

Tilde Hand Craft Cafe

Open 8am-7pm

(02) 7712764Taste-WhatsNew_Poblacion16

6. Holy Smokes BBQ
5834 Matilde cor. Jacobo Streets

Holy Smokes BBQ

Open 5pm-12mn (MTWH); 5pm-1am (Fri&Sat); 5pm-10pm (Sun)

(0917) 5036544


South of Kalayaan (SoKal)

The area just around Polaris Street is where things originally got started, and we have a few originals in this list who can probably take the credit for getting things started in Poblacion. Check them out below:

1. Tambai Snackhouse

5779 Felipe Street

A carinderia-type setup serving yakitori and elevated beer chow (think: fried soft shell crab) definitely lives up to its name.


A post shared by @tambai_snackhouse on

Soft shell crab #tambaisessions

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A post shared by @tambai_snackhouse on


Open 6pm-1am

(02) 2155695


2. El Chupacabra

5782 Felipe Street

The place that most would argue started it all. Trust Mexicali’s owners to come up with a Tex-Mex joint that would sell its street tacos like hotcakes to the inebriated hordes of Poblacion. (Not that you’d need a drop of alcohol to enjoy these babies.)


By the way, they sell hotdogs now, too. You’re welcome.

3. Senor Pollo + Cu Chi + Wicked Dogs

5767 Ebro Street

Roasted chicken, Vietnamese food, and American hotdogs. Where else do you find a more diverse selection than under Lokal Hostel’s very nose?

Senor Pollo

Open 1130am-12mn (M-TH, Sun); 1130am-2am (Fri&Sat)

(02) 8316945

Cu Chi

Open 6pm-2am

(0906) 5260256

Wicked Dogs

Open 4pm-2am

(02) 2469069
4. Kite Kebab Bar

5772 Ebro StreetTaste-WhatsNew_Poblacion18

A personal favorite because of comfortable outdoor seating and constant Ox Brain cravings, Kite Kebab Bar’s value-for-money does not disappoint. Their Baba Ganoush, Shirazi & Tabouli Salad, and Vegetarian Samosas ensure that even vegetarians will not leave with an empty stomach.

Kite Kebab Bar

Open 11am-3am (Sun-Thu); 11am-4am (Fri-Sun)

(02) 8107388


5. Wokby 4900 + LOBO Filipino Tavern

4900-4898 Durban StreetTaste-WhatsNew_Poblacion19

Wokby 4900 is the plane ticket to a bowl full of goodness, because aside from having the freedom to make your own Mongolian rice bowl, they’ve pre-selected some bowls for you and named it after a locale from which a certain bowl was inspired, while the pretty (witty) interiors and a second-floor balcony will definitely convince you to stay for a signature cocktail (or two).Taste-WhatsNew_Poblacion20 Taste-WhatsNew_Poblacion22

LOBO (“wolf” in Filipino), on the other hand, is owner Kian Kazemi’s take on his Filipino (more specifically, Ilonggo) roots. Kazemi, owner of Kite (and Persia Grill) Kebab Grill just down the road, gives typical pulutan a twist. How can you resist an invitation to drink?

Balcony Garden drinking sessions. Call us for reservations. Progressive Filipino Cuisine.

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Rudyard Kipling. ✊?? #LoboFilipinoTavern

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Wokby 4900

Open 11am-3am (Mon-Thu); 6pm-4am (Fri&Sat); 6pm-3am (Sun)

(0917) 6759964

LOBO Filipino Tavern

Open 5pm-3am (MTWHSun); 5pm-4am (Fri&Sat)

(02) 8059380


6. Kismet Cafe & Wellness Market

5022 P. Burgos Street cor. Kalayaan Ave.

Poblacion is so diverse that even vegan English breakfasts and Kombucha have found their niche in it!

Kismet Cafe & Wellness Market

Open 6am-6pm

(02) 8967720 / (0927) 1523332


Around Makati Avenue (AroMA)

Stepping out onto the crazy that is Makati Avenue doesn’t just mean limited food options. Gone are the days when the only dining spots you could head to were limited to the fingers on one hand. Come see below!

1. Royal Indian Curry House

5345 General Luna Street

Hard to pick favorites in a 17-page menu, but you’re more than welcome to try!

Thank you for featuring us Gomanila ??

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Royal Indian Curry House

Open 12pm-1am

(02) 8014435 / (0917) 7249978


2. Hummus Elijah

2/F, 7850 Makati Avenue

Never have hummus dips & a vegan menu been so appetizing.

You can never have too much #hummus at #HummusElijah

A post shared by Hummus Elijah (@hummus_elijah) on

Looking for a tasty vegetarian option? Give our dishes a try! ??? @aysapie

A post shared by Hummus Elijah (@hummus_elijah) on

Hummus Elijah

Open 9am-3am

(02) 8021885 / (0905) 3134602


3. Bistro Manuel + Taperia + The Sippery

Six Axis Center, 4347 B. Valdez cor. Makati Ave.

Chef Ariel Manuel of Lolo Dad’s fame opens up a triplet base in Makati Avenue. Book your table for an intimate dinner/lunch out!

Bistro Manuel

Open 11am-2pm, 6pm-11pm

(02) 8718566


4. Il Fiore Earth Café Gelato Lab

4740 Salamanca cor. Eduque Streets

This hot and humid country can never have enough ice desserts, or in Il Fiore’s case: gelato. Hungry for something other than a frozen treat? Give their Portobello Mozza Burger or salad boxes a try!

Il Fiore Earth Café Gelato Lab

Open 1030am-10pm

(02) 5555645

With most (if not all) of Poblacion’s dining spots listed in one page, how hard a task could it be to tick them off one by one?

Got a spot we failed to list down? Comment below!


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