UP is known for many things: its world-class education, the Oblation, and its occasional student protest every now and then. But within the sprawling campus of our state university is one more thing it’s known for: the infamous foodie hub, Maginhawa Street!
Keeping with UP’s laid back (slightly hipster) culture, Maginhawa and its neighboring roads are known for the number of indie restaurants, cafes, and kiosks that call the street home.
Students from nearby UP, Ateneo, and Miriam College know the area for its excellent selection of grub (at student-friendly prices) but Maginhawa’s reputation has grown to draw in crowds from other parts of the metro too. For Maginhawa first-timers and regulars alike, we’ve put together another Fearless Foodie Guide to some of the more popular spots exclusive to the area, based on reviews from the looloo app!
Here’s a rundown of places you’ll find in our Maginhawa guide:
Their simple but whimsical takes on classics like pancakes, waffles, and toasts make eating the most important meal of the day just that much funner. Flavor your pancakes with bits of your favorite chocolate bar, or heck, even create your own breakfast concoction! Ally’s wants to make dining at the place worth getting out of bed in the morning for.
Intimate, artsy, and just a tad bit hipster with its offbeat decor and art pieces hanging on the walls, Blacksoup is a good alternative for those looking to add a little bit of spice to their usual coffee run.
Mixed reviews so far for this relatively new entrant in the all-day breakfast restaurant category. Aside from their ala carte menu, they also offer a build-your-own-breakfast option for those looking to ride the DIY food trend that’s been going around.
A no-frills al fresco burger joint that serves up burgers for as low as P89. If you’re looking for something to share, their sausage platter comes with 4 different types of sausages and would make an excellent pulutan dish for those looking to thrown down a brewsky or two.
This one should be pretty easy to spot — just look for the big red chili hanging outside. If you’re looking to get your Fil-Mex fix (on a budget!) in the area, this isn’t one to miss. Come with an empty stomach and some friends in tow, their servings are supposedly huge!
One of the first things you’ll notice at this place is the large bookcase brimming with reading material. You could literally park yourself in a seat for hours buried in books. A good place to study or chill with a pretty diverse array of dishes, it’s a good place to visit if you’re tired of the green mermaid’s coffee. Who needs Wi-Fi anyway?
With a number of grilled meat buffet options (all of them being less than P400) that all come with the usual array of side dishes, carnivorous Korean food fans are sure to get their fill at this place… as long as you don’t mind smelling a bit like grill smoke afterwards.
If you’ve got a hankering for some Italian food without the flash and flare of other more expensive restaurants, this place is for you. You’d be hard-pressed to find a place where you can get pizzas and pastas this tasty for prices that you’d more likely see at your neighborhood fast food joint.
Looking for a place to make tambay or HOHOL (#conyo) for the afternoon? Indulge in a cupcake or two at this quaint dessert cafe. With their varied selection of frostings and toppings like Earl Grey, Snickers, and Cookie Butter, it may take more than one visit to find your favorite.
Have a “Threesome,” try the “Kiss Sabay Hug,” or sample their “French Kissing.” These are the kinds of dish names you’d expect at this place, which stays true to its gayuma (love potion) theme. It’s not very surprising that the place is a favorite for anniversaries and other lovey-dovey occasions!
If the idea of getting 3 pizzas for P499 or trying out their pizza-all-you-can promo isn’t enough to convince you to try the place out, come for the cozy atmosphere you don’t usually find at the big pizza chains. If pizza ain’t your thing, they’ve also got a few oddball Mexican choices on their menu!
Lutong-bahay Pinoy food at its finest! From Pininyahang Manok and Nilagang Baka to Binukadkad na Tilapia, wash everything down with a nice cool Guyabano shake for good measure. Oh, and did we mention that all their food is MSG-free?
From the same chef behind BRGR: Burger Project, Pino, and Pipino comes this new all-day breakfast joint serving dishes like Kitayama Wagyu Tapa, Beef Belly Corned Beef, and Caramelized Spam. Be sure to leave room for their Smack Pie afterwards, crafted after Momofuku’s famous Crack Pie from New York.
The place doesn’t overcomplicate things — they serve Asian dishes, simple and true. You’ll find familiar Filipino fare like Bicol Express and Fried Chicken Skin, alongside other dishes like Tom Yom Goong, Karaage, even Turkish Chicken!
Come for the Spanish/Filipino cuisine, but leave enough room for what’s probably one of the most underrated desserts/snacks ever created — the churro. Rolled in sugar and dipped in chocolate sauce, these things’ll have your taste buds doing the salsa!
“STUFFED BURGERS?! What sorcery is this?!” Their fun take on burgers makes for an interesting experience for burger fans out there. Try the Hungry Daisy — a beef patty stuffed with bacon, caramelized onion, and cheddar cheese!
If you’re looking for something sweet, this place’ll hit the spot! After you’re done admiring the chic and cozy interiors, settle down with a book from their mini library, and take your pick from the different snacks, pastries, and drinks offered. For first timers, looloo reviewers’ favorites seem to be the walnut turtle pie and cheesecakes!
Molecular gastronomy is all the rage these days and if you’ve got a sweet tooth and are looking to give it a try, this place is for you. A lot of their most popular offerings involve the use of Liquid Nitrogen, which serves the dual purpose of cooling your dessert… and making you feel like a fire-breathing dragon.
Among the other burger places in the area, The Snack Shack’s claim to fame is its P70 Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Don’t let its price fool you though, because if the usual long queue of people is any indication, it’ll be worth the wait.
Probably the most eccentric place of the bunch, dining at Van Gogh is Bipolar is a unique experience that reflects the personality of its bipolar owner. You can wear funky hats and make your own tea, all while sampling the place’s supposedly mood-altering culinary concoctions.