The Fearless Foodie’s Field Guide To Legazpi Village, Makati!

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Many who live or work in the busy Makati Central Business District or “Makati CBD” find themselves familiar with a few daily frustrations: the insane traffic, the rush hour crowds, and the boredom of city life. There is one thing, however, that they can’t complain about — the food.

Especially in Makati’s Legazpi Village.

Legazpi Village is a village (neighborhood) within the Makati Central Business District. It’s named after the first Governor-General of the Philippines, Miguel López de Legazpi.

He envisioned building a foodie haven, but since it took over 440 years to happen, died broke and bankrupt before it became a reality.  (Okay, the last part might be very looloo-sely based on history.)

Fearless Foodie's Field Guide to Legazpi Village, Makati

Click on the photo to view it full-sized!

In Legazpi Village, the sheer number of restaurant options is enough to make any fearless foodie start drooling. From fine dining to third wave coffee, food markets to familiar chains, the heart of Makati is a treasure trove of culinary gems and we’ve got just the map for anyone up for the challenge of finding them.

Ba Noi’sNumber of Reviews: 25
Average Rating: 3.89

A Vietnamese restaurant in Legazpi Village other than Ba Noi’s? Pho-get about it! Ba Noi’s got all the authentic Vietnamese cuisine you could hope for, packaged in a quaint little restaurant space. On your must-try list are the usuals: Shrimp pomelo salad, spring rolls, and beef pho!

The Balcony GastropubNumber of Reviews: 17
Average Rating: 4.44

Adopting the tagline “Where the food is as important as the drink!”, The Balcony understands what it means to be a quality gastropub. The food is the star here, with classic bar chow dishes like bagnet, crunchy sisig, nachos, and quesadillas. Everything pairs perfectly with their selection of beers and hard liquors.

Balkan ExpressNumber of Reviews: 37
Average Rating: 4.15

Balkan Express, Legazpi Village, Makati

Photo from Russel F’s review for Balkan Express

Pretty much alone in its own little niche for Yugoslavian cuisine, Balkan Express offers more than just the usual middle eastern dishes we’ve gotten accustomed to. In a city where countless hours are spent doing the same work, at the same desk, in the same building… different is always good. A good rule of thumb here seems to be that if you can’t pronounce it, it’s probably good (reviewers love the Pljeskavica and Karadjodjeva!).

Blind PigNumber of Reviews: 45
Average Rating: 4.38

Blind Pig, Legazpi Village, Makati

Photo from Meg L’s review for Blind Pig

A no walk-ins-allowed speakeasy, Blind Pig has gained quite the reputation of being one of the most chichi places to grab a few drinks after work. Inspired by the time of Prohibition in the US, Blind Pig has its own set of rules that all patrons must abide by: no flash photography, no loud talking, etc. The place is SO secretive in fact, that it doesn’t even have any outside signage to identify itself — you have to knock on an unmarked door to get in!

Buffalo’s Wings N’ Things & Chubby’s Rib ShackNumber of Reviews: 49 (Buffalo’s), 44 (Chubby’s)
Average Rating: 4.09 (Buffalo’s), 3.94 (Chubby’s)

These sister (brother?) restaurants have a pretty obvious common theme: man food. That’s not saying that the place is just for guys, but there’s something about digging into a basket of hot chicken wings or devouring a platter of ribs that brings out the testosterone in all of us. With the option of either having poultry or pork, the only tough decision you’ll have to make is how much of each you’d like to eat!

The CuratorNumber of Reviews: 34
Average Rating: 4.33

The Curator, Legazpi Village, Makati

Photo from Tala G’s review for The Curator

In Legazpi Village, you’ll find a place that’s both a specialty coffee shop AND a cocktail bar. In a busy city like Makati, it makes sense — some people are going to want a pick-me-up for the day’s grind, and some people will need a quick hit of alcohol to unwind afterwards. Whatever your beverage needs may be, you can count on The Curator to hook you up.

Homeys CafeNumber of Reviews: 29
Average Rating: 4.13

Homeys Cafe, Legazpi Village, Makati

Photo from Mike L’s review for Homeys Cafe

Few things feel more like home than a plate of fresh-out-of-the-oil bagnet. Fast-food establishments take up most of the roadside real-estate in Makati, which makes places like Homeys Cafe all the more special. Monggo, tapsilog, gising gising, pinakbet — they may not make the best meals for big business lunches or meetings, but that’s the point. At Homeys, you’ll find food that’ll make you miss the good ol’ days when having time for lutong bahay cooking was a luxury you could afford.

Kitchen 1BNumber of Reviews: 18
Average Rating: 3.89

Kitchen 1B, Legazpi Village, Makati

Photo from Julienne D’s review for Kitchen 1B

When Marivic Diaz-Lim opened Kitchen 1B, it was the perfect example of how someone can really put themselves and their passions on a plate. Being a cancer survivor, her advocacy towards eating right (and not necessarily eating less!) is the driving force behind this new restaurant. On their menu, you’ll find dishes that aren’t just good, but are also good for you. It’s not a restaurant that prides itself in serving food with the least amount of calories — it’s about making the most of what you eat through wholesome alternatives and ingredients.

La Grotta Cucina ItalianaNumber of Reviews: 38
Average Rating: 4.22

Authentic Italian food is about making the most of quality ingredients, letting the clean and fresh flavors of choice proteins, starches, and vegetables take center-stage. If your idea of real Italian cooking is stacking as many ingredients as you can on your pizza, this place isn’t for you. Using traditional cooking techniques to bring out the best from fresh ingredients, La Grotta Cucina Italiana serves Italian cuisine that is simple yet flavorful, and humble but bold — just like how Italian cuisine should be.

Legazpi Sunday MarketNumber of Reviews: 28
Average Rating: 4.40

Legazpi Sunday Market, Legazpi Village, Makati

Photo from Russel F’s review for Legazpi Sunday Market

On Sundays, Makati changes personalities. Like the many business people who work there, it’s as if the city itself loosens up its tie, puts its feet up, and unwinds before another busy workweek. Legazpi’s Sunday Market is probably the best representation of this. Once a week, people flock to the carpark-turned-market to find funky food, artisanal eats, and other unique items on sale. Here, the atmosphere is laid-back and inviting, a foil to the city’s weekday persona.

Local EditionNumber of Reviews: 29
Average Rating: 3.80

Local Edition, Legazpi Village, Makati

Photo from Anch B’s review for Local Edition

With a coffee shop around almost every corner in Makati, Local Edition has managed to stand out by serving not just good coffee, but some pretty good snacks and quick bites to go with it, too. Reviewers highly recommend their Tablocha, a tablea-infused coffee drink, and their Grilled Cheese Sandwich, described by one reviewer as “heaven in a sandwich!”

The PlantationNumber of Reviews: 65
Average Rating: 3.80

The Plantation, Legazpi Village, Makati

Photo from Denmark Y’s review for The Plantation

The place’s identity is a little confusing. Reviews mention their all-day breakfast, but then they mention that the place gets a DJ every so often! Some people come for brunch, others for the beer! At the end of the day, who cares — the food’s good, the beer’s free-flowing, and it’s pretty much walking distance for anyone who works in the area!

Plaza CafeNumber of Reviews: 32
Average Rating: 4.00

Plaza Cafe, Legazpi Village, Makati

Photo from Veronica F’s review for Plaza Cafe

Located at the Corinthian Plaza across AIM, Plaza Cafe is a simple cafe for those looking for a place to get away from their offices. It’s nothing too fancy, nor is it one of the more hipster cafes in the area, but the simplicity of the place and its food appeal to many, based on reviews. As one reviewer put it, it’s the kind of place that’s “perfect for brainstorming, leisure reading, or writing.” …and Pizookies. You have to try their Pizookie.

Rural Kitchen of Liliw LagunaNumber of Reviews: 21
Average Rating: 4.78

Finding a place named the “Rural Kitchen of Liliw Laguna” in the middle of Makati is interesting enough as it is, but even more surprising is the fact that the contrast seems to really work — it’s the highest-rated place on this list! No, you won’t find anything “fusion” or “deconstructed” here, as dishes like mechado or caldereta look exactly like they should, in their rustic true-to-Pinoy-style glory. More importantly though, is that according to reviews, it’s in how these dishes taste that expectations are broken.

Stockton PlaceNumber of Reviews: 65
Average Rating: 4.29

Stockton Place, Legazpi Village, Makati

Photo from John A’s review for Stockton Place

Stockton Place is on the pricier end of the spectrum, which means it’s not the type of place you can visit every day. Still, with the high ratings they’ve gotten so far, it sounds like dining here is an experience to invest in. Their intricately-crafted dishes sound like they came right out of an episode of Iron Chef and are sure to impress you and your food-loving friends. That is, of course, assuming you were able to make a reservation a week ahead (we highly recommend that you do!).

SwagatNumber of Reviews: 23
Average Rating: 4.17

Swagat, Legazpi Village, Makati

Photo from Jackie A’s review for Swagat

Eating at a legit Indian restaurant is an experience everyone should have. At Swagat, the sensory overload of colors, flavors, and smells makes for a dining experience that you’ll want to repeat over and over again… which should be pretty easy, actually. Their prices will have you wondering why you even bother eating at fast-food restaurants all the time.

Yardstick CoffeeNumber of Reviews: 130
Average Rating: 4.24

Yardstick Coffee, Legazpi Village, Makati

Photo from Joyce C’s review for Yardstick Coffee

“Third wave coffee” is becoming a buzz phrase thrown out all too liberally these days. It doesn’t matter what you call it though — it’s still about serving great coffee and cranking out good food – two things that Yardstick does particularly well. Their waffles are “mindblowing” apparently, and they’ve got cool stuff like a Philly cheesesteak-esque tapa sandwich that’s worth trying. They even have spiked coffee drinks for the holidays!

Your LocalNumber of Reviews: 99
Average Rating: 4.24

Your Local, Legazpi Village, Makati

Photo from Maj C’s review for Your Local

So much has been said about this hole-in-the wall restaurant that the place has all but lost the air of mystery and secrecy that drew a lot of people there in the first place. But then again, who cares, more for everyone… as long as they continue to serve dishes like the Lamb Rendang, which has reviewers going “HOLY SHEEP!”

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About Author

EJ dela Vega

You'll find EJ rummaging through refrigerators for unlabeled leftovers, earning him the nickname, "The Finisher." He's got a knack for magic tricks too, his best one being the ability to make food on his plate (or anyone else's for that matter) disappear in the blink of an eye. Too damn cheap to be picky, he once ate several slices of pizza doused in Robitussin... just because he can.