6 office neighborhoods, 20 great restaurants for power lunches, meetings, and more
MANILA, Philippines – "Kahit saan."
This phrase has become a running joke for many of Manila's office workers when they break out for lunch or look for a place to settle down after a grueling day at work. But when you're stuck in the daily grind of the city, you would just want a good meal, which offers a bit of respite.
Sometimes though, we struggle until the next payday, so we try to avoid splurging in the pricey joints in the business districts. Other times, we're just looking for a place where we and our colleagues could meet over good food.
We went around the metro to list down some places where you can eat a good meal without burning a hole through your wallet – because it's either cheap or good for sharing.
This list is by no means exhaustive, so please tell us your favorite eating spots in the comments section.
Salcedo Village is an open neighborhood full of high-rise residential buildings. This is also where some of the Philippines' biggest companies have set up office. One side of Ayala Avenue, which passes through Makati's bustling central business district, is part of the area. (READ: Salcedo Neighborhood Guide)
La Creperie and Toby's Estate at V Corporate
At the edge of Salcedo Village near Makati Avenue, Buendia and Paseo de Roxas is V Corporate Center, a building where trendy restaurants have set up shop.
A branch of La Creperie has set up shop on the Soliman Street side of the building, where you can get your fix of warm delicious crepes, pastas, and more.
One of the earliest branches of the Australian specialty coffee shop is also in V Corporate. Its setup is perfect for meetings, as it even has a communal table in the center of the coffee shop.
Some of the office buildings near V Corporate Center include Citibank Tower (Paseo de Roxas corner Villar Street), BDO Corporate Center (Makati Avenue corner HV dela Costa Street), and Chinabank (Paseo de Roxas corner Villar Street).
G/F 125 LP Leviste Street, Makati City
Sultan Mediterranean Grill
Just a few streets away from Sultan, which serves affordable Mediterranean cuisine, is Ayala Avenue. Office residents of PBCom Tower, Robinsons Summit Center, and Philam Life even have easy access to the center of Salcedo Village via gates fronting Valero Street.
UG9 Valero Plaza Condominium 124 San Agustin Street, Makati City
On the Legaspi Village side of Ayala Avenue are major establishments such the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Head Office, the Enterprise Center, and Makati Medical Center (Makati Med). Also nearby is the Ayala Center, where malls such as Glorietta, Greenbelt, Landmark, and SM Makati are located.
Just across Ayala Avenue, Legaspi Village is where ad agencies, banks, and offices of other multinational companies are within a stone's throw of Greenbelt Mall – and several exciting mom-and-pop restaurants such as Yardstick, one of the pioneering Third Wave coffee shops in the country.
The people at Yardstick take the science of coffee very seriously – making it a great place to meet with co-workers over a tasty cup of coffee.
Rufino Pacific Tower (VA Rufino Street corner Ayala Avenue), Convergys One Building (Ayala Avenue), and Makati Med (Amorsolo Street), are some of the nearest establishments. Across Ayala Avenue from Makati Med, the residents of office buildings like RCBC Plaza and GT International Tower (Ayala Avenue corner HV dela Costa Street) can access this side of Legaspi Village via a pedestrian underpass underneath Ayala Avenue.
Universal LMS Building, 106 Esteban Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
A branch of Rodic's Diner, famous for its tapsilog (P95), is located in the heart of Legaspi Village. This Rodic's is within walking distance of Makati Med and the Indonesian Embassy, which is on the same street.
Fedman Suites, 199 Salcedo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati
This café, which serves local coffees, is near creative offices such as that of ad agency Leo Burnett Manila's (in the Enterprise Center, Ayala Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas) and post-production house Optima Digital's (Greenbelt Mansions, Perea Street).
Mayfair Mansion, 116 Perea Street, Legaspi Village, Makati
Balkan – also along Perea – serves hearty Yugoslavian dishes good for sharing among your officemates: soups and stews (e.g. goulash, P260 - solo/P480 - 2-3 persons)
Maripola Building, 109 Perea Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
Bonifacio Global City
The fast-developing Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City is not only home to big companies – but also lots of delicious eats.
Head to Recovery Food – open 24/7 – for comfort food any time of the day.
Its Crossroads branch is just across 32nd Street from buildings like Globe Tower, EcoTower, and more. Meanwhile, its Bonifacio Stop Over branch is within walking distance from the Bench Tower (30th Street corner Rizal Drive), Net Quad (4th Avenue), and St Luke's Medical Center Global City
- Unit R108, Bonifacio Stop Over, Rizal Drive Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
- G/F Crossroads, 32nd Street corner 8th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Kanteen serves Ilonggo fare and other familiar Pinoy favorites for reasonable prices – all in the middle of BGC buildings like Bench Tower, Fort Legend Tower (31st Street corner 3rd Avenue), HSBC Centre (5th Avenue), and Net Quad.
G/F Commercenter Building, 4th Avenue corner 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Bonifacio High Street
Nolita BGC, where you can get your fix of huge slices of pizza that aren't the usual flavors, is a great place to hang out with your office friends – especially if you work in buildings like the Maybank Corporate Center (7th corner 28th Street), Globe Tower, or any of the office buildings adjacent to the entire stretch of Bonifacio High Street.
UG/F, Bonifacio High Street Central, West Superblock, 7th Avenue Corner 29th Street South, Taguig City
The Halal Guys Manila has a branch where you can get that New Yorker experience of eating their famous rice platters outdoors – just in front of the Fully Booked flagship branch in Bonifacio High Street.
Although the kiosk is on the Serendra side of Bonifacio High Street, it's very accessible from other office buildings on the other end of this commercial strip.
G/F Fully Booked/B6, Bonifacio High Street, 11th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
The busy Ortigas Center is home to several big companies, too, as well as shopping malls like The Podium, Robinsons Galleria, and of course, the gigantic SM Megamall. In this tight grid of office buildings, there are hidden gems waiting to be found.
For your Italian food fix – best shared with officemates – Benassi is a great place to visit. Located just near the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Center/Tektite Towers as well as other buildings like Benpres (Exchange Road), One Corporate (Meralco Avenue corner Julia Vargas Avenue), and Antel Global Corporate Center (Julia Vargas Avenue).
G/F The Exchange Regency Residence Hotel, Exchange Road corner Jade Street, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Craving for a hearty plate of buttery chelo kabab (P175)? Head to Mister Kabab, which is just close to establishments like the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P, which is just across the road), but also within walking distance of buildings such as Richmonde Hotel, One San Miguel Avenue, and San Miguel Corporation's (SMC) head office (San Miguel Avenue).
8101 Pearl Plaza Pearl Drive, San Antonio, Pasig City
Pass by the quaint hole-in-the-wall named Danji for cheap but homely Korean food. It's just near office buildings like Cyberscape Alpha, the Asian Development Bank (ADB Avenue), Jollibee Plaza (Emerald Avenue), and Robinsons Galleria.
Grand Emerald Tower, Garnet Rd, San Antonio, Pasig City
Kapitolyo isn't home to towering corporate skyscrapers, but there are several big companies that hold office here, too: UNILAB (United Laboratories, United Street), and down Pioneer Street – the TV5 Media Center (Reliance St, Mandaluyong City).
Across Shaw Boulevard, there's also Capitol Commons. Considering that there are tricycles plying the roads of this neighborhood, this is one of the ways you can get to the following destinations:
Kanto Freestyle Breakfast
Can you imagine getting Eggs Benedict for P95? At Kanto Freestyle Breakfast, you can get affordable gourmet breakfast like it – 24/7.
6A 1st Street, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Fifteen unique stalls at Kapitolyo Gastro Park cater to every taste and fancy – from milkshakes, Japanese, Singaporean, pizzas to burgers.
12 1st Street, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City
The 16 United restaurant complex seems to look like container vans stacked on top of each other, and it is home to many hidden gems like No Reservations, Uncle Moe's, Nav, Taco Vengo, and United Coffee.
Pro tip: if you're bringing a car, you can park on 3rd Street behind the complex, where there is an alternative entrance.
16 United Street, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Tomas Morato/South Triangle
The area of South Triangle/Tomas Morato Avenue is home to many restaurants – not just big brands and franchises, but mom-and-pop joints, too. This neighborhood is also home to two of the country's biggest media conglomerates, GMA 7 (EDSA corner Timog Avenue) and ABS-CBN (Mother Ignacia Street corner Sergeant EA Esguerra Ave).
If you're working nearby, you can take a tricycle or choose to walk to these places:
Señor Pollo at F7 Rallos
F7 Rallos is home to several interesting restaurants, including Purple Oven, Uncle Moe's, Kanin Club, The Daily Grind, Mr Churros, and a branch of Señor Pollo which, as the name suggests, specializes in chicken prepared Latin American-style – whether roast or fried.
F7 Building, Scout Rallos Street corner Tomas Morato Avenue, Laging Handa, Quezon City
Wabi-Sabi has the feel of a hole-in-the-wall Japanese joint, and what's amazing here is that not only is the food delicious and affordable – it's actually vegetarian.
POS Building, Sct. Mandriñan Street, corner Tomas Morato Street, South Triangle, Quezon City
Eastwood City, a residential, business, and commercial complex along C-5, is bustling place considering that it's home to Citibank Square and several call centers. An IT-centered office complex called the Eastwood City Cyberpark is located here, as well as buildings in front of the Eastwood Mall: 1880 and 1800.
Hot Star Large Fried Chicken
It's hard not to be awed by a piece of chicken so humongous, but for just P145 (+ P35 for rice and drinks) you can get a filling meal for lunch or dinner.
Unit 2-C G/F and Unit 2B-2C Mezzanine Area, Eastwood City Walk 2, Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City
With semi-private booths, Kettle's Eastwood branch is a nice place to discuss business or just chat with your co-workers – not to mention the restaurant's signature buttermilk fried chicken (P559).
G/F Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City