Dining Travel Guide

15 Best Hidden Food Spots in the Philippines: A Gastro-adventure Awaits!

Are you a foodie who wants to explore the Philippines? Whether you’re here for a short trip or a grand vacation, your stay won’t be complete without trying some local delicacies. It doesn’t have always have to be a five-star restaurant or an expensive meal. Sometimes, the greatest food can be found in hole-in-the-wall stores or the best hidden food spots in the Philippines.

I’ve been traveling and living in the Philippines my entire life. And as a local, I eat Filipino food every single day. But on my spare time, I hunt down hidden gems that don’t fail to deliver sumptuous dishes.

While the pandemic forced many food businesses to permanently close (like the Malingap Marketplace in Quezon City), many still manage to thrive. And once the pandemic is over, I look forward to many foodie adventures on these hidden spots.

From the bustling food parks of Maginhawa Street to the rolling hills of Rizal and more, here are my top 15 food spots that you should try.

1. StrEat Maginhawa Food Park

best hidden food spots in the Philippines

Photo Credits – Traveling-Up.com

Over the years, the Maginhawa Street inside Teacher’s Village has made a reputation as the ‘Eat Street’. This is because of the numerous restaurants and eateries located on its stretch in Quezon City. It’s also home to many artists as well as the ever-famous StrEat Maginhawa.

StrEat Maginhawa is one of the most popular food parks inside the village. It houses a collection of food stalls, food trucks, and more. They also opened another branch in Commonwealth, Quezon City.

When I first visited StrEat Maginhawa, there’s The Lost Bread, which specializes in French toasts and one of the best overloaded shakes I’ve ever tasted. I also tried the Hong Kong-style waffles from Egg-It.

There are other concept stores you can visit like Avocadoria and Mang Larry’s Famous Isawan. And for those craving for some Korean flavors, the burgKyard offers baked kimchi rice. Also, you shouldn’t miss some goodies from BURN Blowtorched Ribs.

As a food park, they usually open at 5 pm then closes at 12 am before the pandemic.

Aside from good food, StrEat Maginhawa Food Park is also a convergence of art and culture. They have a garden backdrop despite being located in one of the busiest cities of the metro.

When visiting StrEat Maginhawa, you’d love to make room for other food spots. Maginhawa Street is surrounded by other food spots you can try!

Location: Maginhawa Street, Teacher’s Village, Diliman, Quezon City

Opening hours: 5 pm to 12 am

Contact info: 0939 923 2470 | streatmaginhawa@gmail.com

Social media: Facebook

2. Z Compound

Not far from Maginhawa Street is Malingap Street where can visit Z Compound. They are one of the pioneers in the food park scene in the country, serving anywhere from Japanese food, Lebanese food, Filipino food, and more.

Currently, you can enjoy a slice of vegan pizza from Indulge, one of their newest concept stores. You can also take a sip of iced coffee from KOPPII SHACK. Aside from that, you can also try Tuk Tuk Grilled Chicken, Brunch and Afters, House of Dee, and Ramenmoto.

There are other selections you can try, which are available for takeaway orders. Currently, Z Compound is open from 8 am to 7 pm, though it may vary based on local restrictions due to the pandemic.

Location: Malingap Street, Teacher’s Village, Diliman, Quezon City

Opening hours: 8 am to 7 pm

Contact info: 0927 691 5283 | zcompound.official@gmail.com

Social media: Facebook

3. Gubat QC

best hidden food spots in the Philippines

Photo Credits – Gubat QC Facebook Account

The word ‘gubat’ in English translates to ‘forest’, which is the fitting name for this garden restaurant located in C. P. Garcia Avenue in Quezon City (QC). It’s easy to miss this hidden spot because of its unassuming bamboo gate right next to garden supplies shops.

Unlike upscale restaurants, Gubat QC offers a homey vibe. There are a few tables and an open kitchen where they prepare the food. For this setup, it’s surprising that it’s located in the middle of a busy city.

Take note that Gubat QC serves food in the traditional ‘kamayan’ manner. ‘Kamayan’ means by hand or eating by hand. If you don’t want to eat with bare hands, you should bring your own utensils.

For those who want to taste Filipino food, Gubat QC won’t disappoint. This is home to one of the most sumptuous Baler longaniza (pork sausage), tuyo (dried fish), liempo (deep-fried or grilled pork belly), and a lot more. They also have a selection of fresh juice and beers to pair your meals. For as low as Php 200 (US$4), you can fill your tummy to the brim.

Overall, Gubat QC feels like a small sanctuary if you want to hide from the city noise. However, you should note that parking is quite limited here.

Location: Diliman Bonsai Society, C.P. Garcia Ave, Diliman, Quezon City,

Opening hours: 10 am to 8 pm, Tuesdays to Sundays (pandemic schedule)

Contact info: 0966 627 1522 | gubatqc@gmail.com

Social media: Facebook

4. Silayan at Masungi Georeserve

One of my trips outside Manila took me to Silayan. It’s a restaurant on top of the Masungi Georeserve in Baras, Rizal. This is literally on top of the mountain and overlooking the province’s landscape. The location itself is breathtaking, but the food made the place even better.

This restaurant is inside a glass hut, giving diners a picturesque view of the location. It overlooks the Metro Manila skyline as well as Laguna de Bay and the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.

Silayan has a seasonal menu, but it always consists of local delicacies. Some of the goodies I’ve tried here was their steak and some ube. Their rootcrop chips and mango tart are also insanely delicious.

All the ingredients of their food are sourced from the georeserve itself and partner communities in Rizal.

However, you need to request a visit in Silayan. It’s located in a georeserve after all, so they limit the entry of tourists. Most of the time, they cater to groups and private events, so this place isn’t the easiest to visit. Still, it’s one you should add to your bucket list.

Overall, you can reach Silayan through a 10-minute ride from the entrance gate of the georeserve. From Manila, this place is around 2 to 3 hours away.

Location: Kilometer 47, Marcos Highway, Baras, Rizal

Opening hours: 8 am to 5 pm

Contact info: +63 908 888 70 02 | trail@masungigeoreserve.com

Social media: Facebook

5. Burrow Café at Antipolo Beehouse

best hidden food spots in the Philippines

Photo Credits – Antipolo Beehouse

If you fancy a truly hidden food spot, you should definitely visit the Burrow Café at Antipolo Beehouse. This place is a hidden haven right inside the Beehouse property, which is open for photoshoots.

To reach the Burrow Café, you’ll have to go down a 19-step staircase. The speakeasy-vibe of this place makes it a thrilling location for curious diners.

Inside, it’s a 60-seater café with glass panels that let diners see the forest and Tungtong River. They also change menus every quarter to ensure that diners will have something new to enjoy. The menus are also tucked in classic hardbound books, which adds up to the laidback atmosphere of the place.

At some point, they offer sourdough pizzas, salads, all-day breakfast, and all-day lunch. There are also Kids Choice if you’re bringing a youngster with you.

They also have a good selection of cold drinks, hot drinks, and desserts. They also have food trays for groups or diners who want to buy takeaways.

Take note that this place is just 15 minutes away from the Pinto Art Gallery and an hour away from Masungi Georeserve. So if you’re planning a visit around Rizal and Antipolo, you should consider adding the Burrow Café to your itinerary.

Aside from that, the Burrow Café is open for private events and gatherings. They also have partners that can provide flower arrangements and other trimmings.


Location: 113 Beverly Hills Avenue, Beverly Hills Subdivision, Taytay, Rizal/Antipolo

Opening hours: 8 am to 4 pm (W, Th, F); 8 am to 5 pm (weekends)

Contact info: 0917-6229795

Social media:  Instagram / | Facebook

6. Kale Café + Restaurant

Another must-try food spot in the Philippines is the Kale Café + Restaurant in Quezon City. It’s located in a white building along Greater Fairview and is one of the best minimalist cafés I’ve seen, so far.

Kale serves a wide range of desserts, pastries, iced drinks, and savory dishes. Some of their best-sellers are bibimbap, katsu sando, and spaghetti marinara. You can also pair it with a cold brew, horchata, iced Spanish latte, and more.

If you can’t physically visit, Kale Café has a delivery service through FoodPanda and GrabFood. This service is available from 11 am to 7 pm, Monday to Sunday.

This place is a small neighborhood café, but they aren’t short of delicious offerings. They have wide glass panels overlooking the busy Fairview streets. It’s the perfect spot for a lazy afternoon snack or if you want a change in environment for your work-from-home setup.

Aside from that, food at Kale Café is considerably affordable. You can get a cheese cake slice for just Php 85 (US$1.7) or a cup of latte for Php 140 (US$2.8). And if you want something for lunch, you can enjoy their bibimbap for just Php 295 (US$6).

Location: 2/F Melting Pot Building, Ciudad Verde Executive Village, Greater Fairview, Quezon City

Opening hours: 9 am to 10 pm

Contact info: 0917-560-5508 | kale_mnl@yahoo.com

Social media: Facebook | Instagram

7. The Hummingbird Rooftop Bar

best hidden food spots in the Philippines

Photo Credits – The Hummingbird Rooftop Bar Facebook Account

The last thing you would expect from a Tomas Morato Avenue bar is a laidback vibe and plants hanging around. This avenue is known for its raucous nightlife, so The Hummingbird Rooftop Bar is like a breath of fresh air.

This bar is located at the 5th floor of the Stone House Hotel. It’s an escape from the typical city noise of QC. Its Asian-inspired interior also adds to the relaxing environment for those who want a quieter choice of night life. This is also paired with groovy music that’s not as loud as the one you’ll find on nightclubs.

Still, you shouldn’t let the classy interior fool you. Prices at The Hummingbird Rooftop Bar can be as low as Php 89 (less than US$2) for cocktails and beers. Also, a draft beer here only costs Php 120 (US$2.5).

Aside from the alcoholic drinks, The Hummingbird Rooftop Bar also has a nice selection of chows. You can try their grilled skewers, spicy cauliflower, and wanton nachos. All of these are priced under Php 200 (US$4), making it a perfect spot for diners on a budget.

If you want to hang out and chill, this place is a must-try. However, due to local pandemic restrictions, the Hummingbird has to close its doors temporarily. Hopefully, once the pandemic is over, we can all hang out here.

Location: 1315 E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave., Quezon City

Opening hours: Temporarily closed due to the pandemic

Contact info: 0945 133 4751

Social media: Facebook

8. Flossom Kitchen + Café

If you want to take a break from the city, the Flossom Kitchen + Café is your perfect respite in San Juan City. Their large glass windows and surrounding plant decors is a relaxing touch. Aside from their San Juan location, they also have a branch in SM North Edsa.

This café aims to exude the feeling of being in a hidden garden. And in its own right, Flossom achieved to do so not just in the interior design of their place, but also in their food.

You can choose from their Nacho Bake pans, cream pancakes, nachos, pastas, and a lot more. The Nacho Bake pans are already good for 4 to 6 persons.

Take note that Flossom Kitchen isn’t the most budget-friendly pick. For example, their Cheeseburger Bolognese costs Php 330.00 (US$6.5). It’s not cheap, but the taste is worth the splurge.

Aside from that, they have an all-day breakfast and a massive selection of pastries. They are currently open for takeaway orders through GrabFood and FoodPanda due to pandemic restrictions. But on regular days, you can enjoy your food at one of their homey tables.

This place is great for those flying solo or a group who wants a feast. The bonus part is you can take Instagram-worthy photos on your visit.


Location: N. Averilla Street, Brgy. Sta. Lucia, San Juan City | 2/F North Towers SM North EDSA, QC

Opening hours: 10 am to 9 pm (pandemic schedule for takeaways only)

Contact info: (02) 238 5857

Social media: Facebook

9. Agimat at Ugat Foraging Bar and Kitchen

Photo Credits – Agimat at Ugat Foraging Bar and Kitchen Facebook Account

At first glance, the Agimat at Ugat Foraging Bar and Kitchen has a classic Filipino vibe. They also serve some of the best Filipino tapas you can find in the metro.

The word ‘agimat’ means ‘amulet’ in English. And true enough, this place has hanging amulets all over the branch-like overhead structures. It’s also situated on the second floor of a rustic Filipino house with a Spanish-era look.

Moreover, Agimat imbibes a mystic aura as if someone is going to chant rituals anytime. The place is spellbinding and so is the food.

They offer out-of-this-world cocktails, with unlabeled jars and bottles displayed on their wall, which looks like a scene from a potion maker’s shop. They make their own cocktail drinks, where they ferment and distill the spirits in-house.

One of the best-sellers here is the Anting Anting ni Malvar (Malvar’s amulet/charm). It’s a cocktail composed of gin, their own dalandan liquor, Batangas honey, and a mix of herbs and berries. For Php 310 (US$6), you’ll get a conversation piece that you can enjoy on each sip.

Aside from their mystifying drinks, they also offer Chef Niño Laus’ tapa concepts. The most popular is their Pares, which is beef bone marrow with short ribs. You can get this for Php 595 (US$ 12). It’s not for the budget-conscious, but worth the try if you want something different and delicious at the same time.

Location: 5972 Alfonso cor. Femina St., Poblacion, Makati City

Opening hours: 6 pm to 11:30 pm

Contact info: 0917 890 4039

Social media: Facebook

10. Poco Deli Kapitolyo

The Poco Deli in Kapitolyo brings the French goodness closer to home. They are popular for their traditional charcuterie, cold cuts, and bacon slabs. This place has been in operation since 2008, so it’s no longer a big secret to diners.

Poco Deli only offers prime meat products, including wagyu beef, Angus beef, and US pork. Their artisan sausages are also a must-try. Above all, their meat offerings are a perfect pair for a glass of wine, which they also offer in-house.

If you’re a wine geek, Poco Deli will not disappoint. They have a fine selection of wines – from budget-friendly cabernet sauvignon to a more premium Amarone Della Valpolicella. But overall, their spirits are quite affordable for most diners.

There are so many selections of cheeses, meats, cakes, pizzas, and wines from Poco Deli that a single visit isn’t enough. But due to the pandemic, all their Manila locations are only open for delivery and takeout orders in the meantime.

All the food in Poco Deli is made in-house from scratch. That and the mouth-watering taste make the splurge worth it.

Currently, Poco Deli has branches in Fort Bonifacio, Pasig, and Coron, Palawan.

Location: Check locations HERE

Opening hours: 10 am to 8 pm

Contact info: Check contact info HERE

Social media: Facebook

11. Chesa Bianca

Photo Credits – Primer.com.ph

The Makati Central Business District is a fast-paced area that’s often filled with busy professionals on their neckties. But on a spot in San Antonio Village, you can find a respite in Chesa Bianca. This is a Swiss-themed restaurant where you can enjoy some Western delights.

Upon entering the place, you’ll be treated to a rustic vibe, mainly due to the warm appearance of the walls and ceiling. It also has worthwhile seating, perfect for small groups and even those going solo.

Chesa Bianca specializes in Swiss home-style cooking. They change their menu each week, so there’s always something new to taste.

At one point, they have Salmon Fillet Rorschach Style as the main course. They also have roasted spring chicken, veal dumplings, and buttercrunch with pomelo salad. Their menus are small, but each dish is crafted with much culinary expertise.

Aside from that, they also have wine selections, including Swiss Reds, Italian whites, and New Zealand whites. They also have more spirit offers from Chile, Australia, Spain, and Argentina.

Despite the classy vibe of the place, prices are quite reasonable. You can get one of their dishes at Php 850 (US$17).

Location: 7431 Yakal Street, San Antonio Village, Makati City

Opening hours: 10 am to 7 pm (takeout only due to pandemic restrictions)

Contact info: 0916-2351026 | 8815-1359 | gail@chesabianca.com.ph

Social media: Facebook

12. Over Easy

Over Easy is a perfect place for casual meet-ups with friends, hanging out with a special someone, or just enjoying a relaxing lunch. This place has become popular for their eggs and breakfast, but they also offer pastas, salads, burgers, pastas, wings, ribs, desserts, and more.

You can pair this with one of their frappes, milkshakes, coolers, or your choice of soda. If you want, you can take a sip of one of their craft beers.

Over Easy has a flexible vibe that makes it the perfect breakfast place while serving as an all-day bar and even as a working space. This place is a one-stop-shop for all kinds of diners.

The serving size of their food is good for one person, but if you’re mad-hungry, you may want to get another one. Prices are slightly high, but still manageable for the working class. For example, their nachos cost Php 305 (US$6), which is already good for sharing.

Overall, their spacious place makes Over Easy an ‘easy’ choice for diners who are at a loss as to where to dine in Marikina. The atmosphere is cozy and customers say that it’s one of the best in the city.

Location: G&W Terrazza, Gil Fernando Ave., Marikina City

Opening hours: 10 am to 9 pm

Contact info: 0917 139 4800 | hello@overeasyph.com

Social media: Facebook

13. Made Nice

Photo Credits – Spot.ph via Made Nice Facebook Account

If you’ve visited Made Nice Supper Club in Legazpi Village before, you surely know what to expect in Made Nice. It’s the evolution of the former but now located in the posh Rockwell Center area.

Made Nice is an upscale place, perfect if you want to make a nice impression on a date. Aside from the classy atmosphere of the place, this restaurant also pairs it with good food.

They are popular for their Octopus Made Nice as well as the chicken karaage that customers come back for. Made Nice also has a selection of wines to match your dishes. On top of that, you can also try their desserts to finish off your meal.

Another must-try here is their Wagyu Sinigang. It’s an infusion of Western and Filipino flavors served, of course, with rice.

For those dining with kids, Made Nice has burgers and fries. It’s also a great choice for a quick snack.

Overall, pricing in Made Nice is reasonable, considering that it’s located in an upscale neighborhood. On average, two persons will spend Php 2,200 (US$44) for their meals.

Location: Power Plant Mall, Makati City

Opening hours: 11 am to 8 pm

Contact info: 0917 183 6423 | madeniceph@gmail.com

Social media: Facebook | Instagram

14. Rustic Mornings by Isabelo

If you want to stay away from posh restaurants, Rustic Mornings would be a great choice. It’s located near the Marikina Shoe Museum, though it remains one of the few secret garden restaurants in the area.

Before it became Rustic Mornings there was Isabelo Garden. Two family generations after, the place is reborn into one of the metro’s best-kept secrets.

Rustic Mornings are open for all-day breakfast, brunch, and lunch. They have a good selection of Filipino favorites like Ilocos Bagnet, beef tapa, and crispy dilis. For breakfast, you can order their pancakes, French toast, and waffle churros.

Aside from that, you can indulge yourself in their 3-egg omelet and breakfast platters. All of these can be paired with your choice of hot coffee, iced coffee, or milkshake.

You can enjoy your meal in their country-style cottage or in an alfresco seat surrounded by lush greens. the place is homey, but you have to watch out for the mosquitoes.

As for the price, the budget-conscious will hesitate a bit. The breakfast platters cost around Php 450 (US$11). It’s reasonable for the taste, ingredients, and location of the restaurant.

Location: #11 Isabelo Mendoza St., San Roque, Marikina City

Opening hours: 8 am to 4 pm

Contact info: (02) 425 8610 | angela@rusticmornings.com

Social media: Facebook

15. Patio VERA

Photo Credits – Tripadvisor

Last but not the least, we have the Patio VERA. This is also located in Marikina and shares the same relaxing vibe of Rustic Mornings. This restaurant is situated in a residential neighborhood, with the place itself being an ancestral home.

It was owned by a successful shoemaker before being turned into the restaurant and museum that it is now. You can dine al fresco here, so you can enjoy the view of the garden.

As for the menu, the offerings are familiar to most Filipinos: crispy pork, menudo de maya, shrimp adobo, dinamita, and so on. They also have pasta, pizza, and dessert options. All of these are heirloom recipes that you can only taste in Patio VERA.

While you wait for your order, you can check the museum inside. This is a big plus if you’re going on a date, which will help break the ice.

Overall, the food may look basic, but the taste is the bomb! Everything is seasoned well and it will surely match the taste of Filipino diners. For tourists who want to try authentic Filipino food, Patio VERA is a great place to start.

The cherry on top here is how they present the bill. It’s tucked in a high heel shoe – the product Marikina is known for.

Location: 70 Gen. F. Santos St., Calumpang, Marikina City

Opening hours: 11 am to 11 pm

Contact info: 0905 424 1593 | patiovera@yahoo.com

Social media: Facebook

Final words

One of the best ways to explore a place is by trying its food. I can’t stress this enough if you’re visiting the Philippines, especially Metro Manila. Aside from the famous restaurants and cafés, you can also try the best hidden food spots in the Philippines.

These places may be less popular, but their food deserves attention. Sometimes taking the less traveled path in dining will take you to the best gastronomical experiences.

What do you think of these food spots? Have you dined on any of it before? Share your thoughts below!

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