Holes in the wall are places where the casual and the gastronomic marry. And where else should one go hunting for these gems than the culinary hub of the north? We’re rounding up the best that Quezon City has to offer, from cinnamon-laced horchatas to kare-kare burritos to cancel your diet for.
Banawe Street, Dona Josefa
8 AM – 12 AM, everyday
Craving for something out of the ordinary? Bugis is named after the famous market and hawker center in Singapore, and stays true to its name by serving up Singapore-Malay fusion. Top favorites are laksa, chicken curry, and their perfect roti.
30 Mahabagin Street, Teachers Village, Diliman
4 – 11 PM, Wed – Sat
Out of a garage in an unassuming part of Teacher’s Village, Fil-Tex finds its home. Buen Comer cooks up comfort food packed with flavor, with foodies lining up for their kare-kare burrito. Part of their filling roster of indulgent grub is a nacho potato crisp that features longganisa, potato crisps, and homemade cheese. Another interesting dish is the taco spring rolls, which is basically a deep-fried Asian-Mexican-Filipino three-way.
1 Lt. J Francisco cor. CP Garcia Avenue, Krus na Ligas, Diliman
11 AM – 10 PM, Mon – Sat
A haven for anyone who wants more zen out of their lunch. Likha Diwa specializes in affordable vegetarian food that’s masterfully prepared. Dishes that stand out are its quesadillas, veggie adobo, and pechay balls. They also serve a variety of healthy drinks, and vegan dessert. Accompanying the simple perfection of their dishes is their colorful interior, which is sure to help you relax.
Diliman Bonsai Society, CP Garcia Avenue, Diliman
11 AM – 9 PM, Tues – Sat
A day-time speakeasy from Baler’s Kusina Luntian, Gubat is another pocket in the concrete jungle of the metro. Located within the UP Bonsai Garden, Gubat is a leafy escape from the city, but keeps it familiar with its Filipino food staples such as lechon kawali and tapa, all served with rice, salted egg, and pako (fern) salad.
305 Pos Building, Scout Madriñan cor. Tomas Morato Avenue
12 – 9 PM, Tues – Sun
Wabi Sabi is a cozy noodle house in the ever-busy Tomas Morato area. Their menu features vegetarian Asian favorites like banh mi, ramen, and viet pho. It’s a tiny nook, so make sure to get there early.
54 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village
8 AM – 11 PM, Mon – Sat and 3 PM – 11 PM on Sundays
A hole in the wall that boasts Indonesian authenticity, Indonyaki serves one of the best and most unique chicken dishes in the city. Despite its standout cuisine, it’s a pretty covert restaurant, sitting on the 2nd floor of a building with a bank. Best-sellers are ayam goreng, sate ayam, and terong (fried eggplants).
Cubao Expo, Gen. Romulo Avenue, Araneta Center, Cubao
5 PM – 1 AM, Mon – Sat
A corner in Cubao Expo becomes the stomping grounds of an inventive gastronomic artist with a penchant for the spicy. The menu is like a vision into the future of Filipino food, where each new experiment is a pleasant surprise (for example, mango habanero sauce, or leche flan inside an edible eggshell). The restaurant is anything but boring, but never forgets its roots. If you’re headed there, try out their X Bomb shots, Habanero Mussel Pizza, Turon Habanero, and their best-seller Lechon Habanero.
88 Esteban Abada Street, Loyola Heights
195 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village
5 – 11:30 PM, Sun – Thurs and 5 PM – 12 AM on Fridays & Saturdays
In the backstreet parallel to Katipunan Avenue, a humble taco stall stands as a beacon for Mexican food lovers. Its menu is pretty standard, featuring tasty plates of the Fil-Mex trinity: burritos, nachos, and tacos. A favorite is its chicharitos soft taco, generously topped with pork cracklings and garlic sauce. The best part is you get to wash it all down with ice-cold horchata, a smooth drink made of almond milk and cinnamon. They also have another branch in Sikatuna Village, which offers a mouthwatering wagyu burrito.
Did we miss your favorite hole in the wall? Comment below!