Wantusawa Oyster Bar - one of the must-visits in a Poblacion food crawl
Food and Drink,  Philippines

TOP 10 Restaurants in Poblacion Makati for Your Next Poblacion Food Crawl

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Are you a foodie looking for a new dining experience? Look no further than Poblacion, Makati. Formerly a red light district, this downtown neighborhood is known for its wide array of restaurants, serving everything from local food to international flavors such as Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Mexican, Mediterranean, and more. It is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with bars offering free-flowing drinks from late afternoon to late night.

Poblacion attracts many crowds — from local foodies seeking out the best restaurants in Poblacion and friends on a fun night out to foreign tourists who want to experience the local culture in Metro Manila. Poblacion happens to be one of the best areas to stay at in the metro — it has a great location, lots of dining options, and other activities.

Here is some good-to-know information about Poblacion:

  • Compared to other popular areas such as BGC, Poblacion may seem a “rougher” neighborhood. Due to its history, some areas may seem seedy but overall it is a great place to have fun.
  • Most restaurants and bars have limited parking. During the day, you can park at the roadside and other selected pay parking areas. For overnight parking, your best option is Century Mall.
  • After the pandemic, some popular restaurants have been closed, including the famous Hole-in-the-Wall in Century Mall. This guide is meant to give you an updated guide on the best restaurants in Poblacion, Makati.

If you’re looking for a cheap place to stay in Poblacion, we highly recommend Abraham Manila. They have a great location and they also offer tours in/around Manila.

Without further ado, here are the best restaurants in Poblacion Makati for your next Poblacion food crawl.

1. Cosmic

Cosmic Vegan Restaurant - one of the best restaurants in Poblacion.
At Cosmic Vegan Restaurant.

Cosmic is a vegan restaurant offering delicious, reasonably priced plant-based menu. If you’re ever curious about trying out vegan dishes or you’re looking for a more conscious way of eating, then you should definitely check it out.

Try local favorites including bagnet, sisig, kare-kare, sinigang, and even local street food such as ihaw.

I think that when it comes to vegan food, a lot of people get disappointed because they expect it to taste and feel like the real thing. The food at Cosmic tastes almost similar to real meat, but you have to appreciate it as what it is — a plant-based cuisine with its own flavors.

Aside from the food, the interiors are also gorgeous, with cozy murals of nature.

Whether you’re looking for a new foodie experience, a good date spot, or a brunch restaurant for your friends, Cosmic is one of the top restaurants in Poblacion you should try.

  • Menu: Filipino and other Asian vegan dishes
  • Schedule: Daily 11 AM to 10 PM (closed on Tuesdays)

2. Crying Tiger Street Kitchen

Crying Tiger Street Kitchen
(Photo by Crying Tiger Street Kitchen)

Crying Tiger Street Kitchen offers great bang for the buck. They serve delicious Thai and other Southeast Asian dishes at affordable prices. (Fun fact: this restaurant was established by the same people behind El Chupacabra and Senior Pollo.)

Some of their bestsellers include pad thai, pad see ew (Thai stir-fried noodles), char siu pork rice, and street-side skewers such as chicken satay and moo ping (Thai grilled pork skewers). You can also get some of the cheapest local beers in Poblacion here.

  • Menu: Thai and other Asian dishes
  • Schedule: Mon – Thu 11 AM to 9 PM/Fri – Sat 11AM to 1 AM

3. Wantusawa

Wantusawa Oyster Bar - one of the must-visits in a Poblacion food crawl
(Photo by Wantusawa)

Wantusawa is one of the top-rated restaurants in Poblacion, catering to seafood lovers. The restaurant features a trendy, upscale interior and prides itself for serving fresh oysters, air-flown from Aklan, ensuring slick, briny goodness with every slurp.

Try their classic fresh oyster, or try other variants such as grilled, baked, and fried. Aside from this, they also have other delectable seafood options such as tuna tataki, shiro butter garlic prawns, baked scallops with bacon and mushrooms, grilled prawn laksa, and more.

Pair your food with a selection of different beers and cocktails, and voila, you’re guaranteed an amazing dining experience in Poblacion.

  • Menu: Oyster and other seafood
  • Schedule: Daily 12 PM to 12 AM

4. Hola Bombón

Hola Bombon
(Photo by Hola Bombon)

A Poblacion food crawl wouldn’t be complete without visiting Hola Bombón. Considered one of the best Spanish restaurants by Tattler Asia in 2023, this restaurant offers delicious Spanish dishes, ranging from tapas and pintxos to full plates, as well as various cocktails and drinks.

Some must-have dishes include the paella de pato, pulo (Gallecian-style octopus), and mouth-watering cabecero iberico. The food is on the pricy side, but considering the authentic quality of the dishes, the generous portions, and the service, it gives great value for money.

Don’t miss out on their all day and night Buy 1 Get 1 sangria and happy hour selections with Buy 1 Get 1 on handcrafted cocktails from Tuesday to Sunday night.

Let Hola Bombón whisk you away to the vibrant streets of Spain and convince you why Poblacion is one of the best local neighborhood for food crawls.

  • Menu: Spanish
  • Schedule: Daily 5 PM to 11 PM/12 AM (closed on Mondays)

5. Royal Indian Curry House

Royal Indian Curry House - one of the best Poblacion restaurants and bars
(Photo by Royal Indian Curry House)

Said to be one of the best — if not the best — Indian restaurant in Metro Manila, Royal Indian Curry House (or Rich, as it is affectionately known among locals) offers an extensive menu of authentic Indian dishes.

Their signature butter chicken,  creamy and delicately spiced, is a must-try, as well as the succulent lamb dish curry called Rogan Josh. If you’re a fan of hearty bread, their garlic naan is a crowd-pleaser. Another star of the show is their biryani — aromatic, long-grain basmati rice cooked with tender meat and a blend of fragrant spices.

Pair these delights with a glass of their mango lassi, a sweet, refreshing yogurt-based drink, for a well-rounded meal.

Although their prices are on the expensive side, the authenticity and large portion of their dishes certainly make up for it. This is one of the best Poblacion eats for those who love Indian food or those looking to try something new.

  • Menu: Indian
  • Schedule: Daily 11 AM to 2 AM/5 AM

6. El Chupacabra

El Chupacabra - one of the best restaurants in Poblacion
(Photo by El Chupacabra)

El Chupacabra is an iconic food joint in Poblacion and one that you shouldn’t miss during a Poblacion food crawl.

This vibrant spot is famous for its flavorful Mexican fare, with their street tacos as the talk of the town. Made with soft corn tortillas and filled with a variety of succulent meat options like carne asada (grilled steak) and pollo (chicken), they’re a burst of flavors perfect for those who love authentic Mexican cuisine. They also offer other classic Mexican favorites such as nachos, quesadillas, burritos, and more.

Wash down your food with a cold glass of margarita for a perfect meal.

Whether you’re hanging out with friends or looking for a casual, upbeat place to grab a bite, El Chupacabra is the place to be.

  • Menu: Mexican
  • Schedule: Daily 11 AM to 11 PM

7. Alamat

Alamat
(Photo by Alamat)

Of course, this list won’t be complete without a restaurant specializing in Filipino food. Alamat (a Filipino word for “legend”) is a local gastropub that serves ancestral and tribal dishes from various regions in the Philippines. Take it as a culinary tour like no other!

Enjoy local favorites such as kare-kare, lechon belly, sisig, crispy pork binagoongan, and more. They also offer an array of craft bears from different places in the country.

And it’s not just about the food and drinks — the ambiance, with its indigenous decor and live music music, will make you feel right at home!

If you’re looking to experience the breadth of Filipino cuisine, while soaking in the local culture, Alamat Filipino Pub & Deli is your next stop in Poblacion.

  • Menu: Filipino
  • Schedule: Daily 6 PM to 2 AM/4 AM (closed on Mondays)

8. Buccaneers Rum & Kitchen

Buccaneers Rum & Kitchen
(Photo by Buccaneers Rum & Kitchen)

This bar in Poblacion is highly rated for its good food and music, a perfect place to chill out and hang with friends. It has both local and foreign crowd and gets full during Friday nights and weekends.

Come in here to enjoy the pirate-themed interiors, delicious Caribbean food, and an array of cocktails, wines, whiskey, and other drinks. While you’re enjoying the mouth-watering food, listen to the DJ play songs ranging from nostalgic 90s to modern pop songs, jazz, and more.

This bar is on the expensive side, but it’s worth paying for the amazing ambiance and drinks.

  • Menu: Carribean
  • Schedule: Mon – Thu 6 PM to 2 AM / Frid – Sat 6 PM to 4 AM

9. Hummus Elijah

Craving for a taste of the Mediterranean? Check out Hummus Elijah, a local favorite celebrated for their signature hummus, offered in different variants and served with warm, fluffy pita bread.

Apart from this, they also offer an array of other Mediterranean classic like falafel, shawarma, and moussaka. The food is not only delightful but also healthy, making it one of the most popular restaurants in Poblacion.

The restaurant has a casual, laid-back interior ideal for casual dining. They are also open 24 hours on most days of the week, so you can easily pop in even for late-night snacks.

  • Menu: Mediterrenean | with vegan options
  • Schedule: Mon – Tue 9 AM to 12 AM / Wed – Sun open 24 hours

10. Firefly Roofdeck

Firefly Roofdeck - one of the best bars in Poblacion
(Photo by Firefly Roofdeck)

Firefly Roofdeck is one of the most popular bars in Poblacion for this reason: it offers great views! Perched on the 32nd floor of the City Garden Grand Hotel, it offers a 360-degree view of Makati skyline so you can wine and dine in style.

While the reviews here are mixed, it’s certainly worth a try. The restaurant & bar offers an outstanding menu that ranges from delectable Filipino dishes to international cuisine, catering to every palate. You can try the crowd-favorite sisig or have a comforting pizza or pasta.

The ambiance is also equally compelling, with a mix of high chairs and cozy couches, open-air setting, and of course a gentle breeze that adds to the laid-back vibe.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner under the stars, a fun night out with friends, or just to wind down after a long day, Firefly Roofdeck sets the perfect scene.

  • Menu: Filipino and international cuisine / happy hour menu
  • Schedule: Daily 7AM to 2AM

Over the years – and even with the onslaught of the recent pandemic, Poblacion has stood out as on the best destinations for food and night life. Whether you’re looking for a local food joint, an affordable restaurant with Asian cuisine, or a laid-back bar or somewhere noisy and loud for fun and dance, you’ll have a great time in Poblacion.

What other Poblacion restaurants and bars do you recommend? Let us know in the comment section below!

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