Do you rarely get the chance to take the long drive or commute to Quezon City? Are you dying to experience the best food in QC? You’re in luck. Here’s a foodie guide that will help you make the most out of the city’s food scene. It’s high time you treat yourself to a pig-out weekend in the north.
Van Gogh is Bipolar: Whimsical Bohemian Restaurant
Van Gogh is Bipolar is a must-visit in Quezon City. The restaurant is operated by Jetro Rafael, a former art director turned restaurateur who also happens to be bipolar. This bohemian hangout has become a haven for weary souls. You will love the artfully-plated dishes that would appeal to people of varying diets. Designed by Rafael himself, the meals are meant to naturally boost your mood with infusions of proteins, botanicals and elixirs.
The place is decorated with Jetro’s artwork. Random items like ticking clocks, teapots, scribbles, and shoes give the small restaurant a wild, haunting, and whimsical feel. Don’t be surprised to find the place charming your worries away.
Mrs. Graham’s: Quirky and Quaint Cafe
Yet another foodie destination to charm you, Mrs. Graham’s is a quaint little cafe that specializes on macarons with a delightful twist of quirky and peculiar flavors. With a decidedly American approach, the macarons they serve are definitely far off the French roots they are known for. Some of the flavors they offer are Pancake with Maple Buttercream, Cookie Dough, and Inside-Out S’mores.
Serving their sweet merienda on colorful mismatched plates, the cafe is a perfect destination for afternoon getaways.
Maginhawa Food Park: A Haven for Foodies
A food trip in Quezon City is never complete without visiting Maginhawa Food Park. You can only catch it at dinnertime though, so make sure have your visit scheduled accordingly. Rest assured the place is worth the trip, with its assortment of food trucks operated by young, passionate foodies. Be prepared to be indulgent, as you gorge yourself with gourmet hotdogs at Schmidt’s Gourmet, milkshakes at Starr’s Famous Shakes, French toasts at The Lost Bread, and many more!
Gourmet Pipino: Comfort Local Fare
If you’d like to go the healthier route, Gourmet Pipino is the place for you. There are not that many options for vegetarians in the metro, so this one is a true gift. Located in Malingap Street in Teacher’s Village, the restaurant is brought to you by the same folks who opened Hillside Cafe and Juice Bar. They specialize in local comfort fare, but without the usual animal products or meat. The menu includes Pinakbet Risotto, Lentil Bolognese, and Potato Chilaquiles.
Alab: A Mecca of Modern Filipino Food
If you want to stay true to your native taste buds, Alab is the place to be. A mecca of modern Filipino food, the restaurant is run by Chef Tatung and is situated right in the heart of Tomas Morato. Its sleek façade and modern interiors stand out amidst the gritty and bustling surroundings. Of Bicolano and Cebuano heritage, Tatung brings us the best of Filipino cuisine and reinvents the rest. Among the dishes you must try is the Honey Lechon, fragrant and succulent pork made flavorful by garlic and lemongrass and slowly roasted for six hours. It is best paired with Kinilaw na Isda, which is tanigue fish marinated in coconut vinegar, ginger, onions, cucumber and coriander.
Lemuria Gourmet Restaurant: Fine Dining with a Mediterranean Feel
A fine dining restaurant hidden in Horseshoe Village, Lemuria Gourmet Restaurant gives off a Mediterranean feel. You will love the bougainvillea and luscious vines enveloping the two-storey restaurant made of homey wooden beams, painted tiles and terracotta tiles. The menu is a great mix of Italian and French dishes. You should start your meal with the Buerre D’escargots, cooked in herb butter and almond, followed by the classic Duck Leg Confit served with French white bean stew, then indulge your sweet tooth with Pecatostes, fried bread cooked in cinnamon and sherry and paired with vanilla ice cream.
Ninyo Fusion Cuisine & Wine Lounge: Rich and Luxurious
A quiet restaurant with a luscious garden, Ninyo is located in Loyola Heights. It does not stick to any specific cuisine, but you will notice strong inflections of French and Japanese cuisine. The restaurant serves set menus, but you can also order a la carte dishes. You must try the Akadashi Miso Rack of Lamb, tender and buttery and served with mashed potato croquettes crusted with Japanese puffed rice. You also should not miss the Uni Balls, fresh sea urchin wrapped in puff pastry. You will love the rich and luxurious taste and feel of the place.
Meat Depot: Personalized Steak for Less
Merkanto: International Cuisines in One Venue
Don’t miss the recent trend to hit the foodie scene, the food parks. The Merkanto: International Street Food Fair is a Quezon City dining must-visit. You will find a variety of options in one venue. Interestingly, it is located inside a carwash.
What makes this food fair stand out is the wide variety of cuisines that it offers. This is your chance to experience Vietnamese, Brazilian, Indian, Indonesian, and Moroccan food. You should try the Egg Noodles with Garlic Beef or the Mi Xiao Toi Thit Ko Bo and the Churrasco Rice Box, served with your choice of beef, chicken, or fish with beans on the side.
The local foodie scene in Quezon City is obviously worth visiting. Now if you live in the south and find the heavy traffic in the metro rather daunting, take this as an excuse to have a much-needed staycation. You can stay in one of the condotels or at the Infina Towers along Aurora Boulevard for the weekend, and easily escape to the food meccas in the area. You will find yourself refresh and eager for work. Monday would cease to be too dreadful.