What’s Cooking in Poblacion, Makati: A Guide to Some Serious Street Eats

We explored seven food hubs that are serving up some serious food finds!

IMAGE Lara Bigornia

From toasty Cubanos, soft tacos, to authentic Middle Eastern falafel, we checked out some note-worthy eats this side of town:



Where: Kite Kebab Bar

What: Chipotle Herb Chicken, Falafel Salad, Beef Tenderloin Chipotle


Here’s a spread that features a colorful falafel salad, and a beef tenderloin chipotle kebab, and the star of the show: super tasty chipotle herb chicken served with a combination of creamy and spicy sauces. Wash everything down with a tart yogurt shake!  




Where: Tambai

What: Tofu, Chicken Liver, Quial Egg and Bacon, and Chicken Wing Yakitori


If you happen to be passing through the nondescript street that Tambai calls home, make sure to sit down for a bite. Tambai brings more than just succulent, juicy yakitori sticks, they also serve sake shots—literally the perfect drink for yakitori sessions. Get the tofu yakitori, chicken wing yakitori, and chicken liver yakitori: all deeply savory and satisfying.



Where: Beni’s Falafel

What: Falafel balls with Tomatoes and Cabbage in Pita Bread


When you walk into Beni's with the owner himself overseeing preps of his authentic falafel recipe, you sit down and order ASAP. The classic hummus falafel is excellent: soft-on-the-inside, crunchy-on-the outside falafel balls wrapped in pita bread and drizzled with a flavorful tahini sauce




Where: Empingao!

What: Cubano, Ham and Cheese Empanaditas


Despite its hard-to-find location deep in the heart of Poblacion, Empingao! has managed to introduce us to our new sandwich obsession. Their Cubano is everything you want it to be: it has mojo pork, melty gruyere, spicy yellow mustard, and dill pickles held together by toasty bread and served with light, crisp patacones (plaintain slices). 




Where: Crying Tiger

What: Mee Goreng, Crispy Naem Pork Spring Rolls


With fun, colorful interiors and intense Thai flavors front and center, Crying Tiger is the place to hit for no-frills comfort food and drinks. Its menu of Thai street food is chock-full of flavor, especially with their saucy Mee Goreng or Spicy Seafood Noodles.




Where: Tacos Chingones

What: Chicken, Carne Asada, and Chorizo Tacos


Tacos Chingones takes  Mexican street tacos seriously! They open at 5 p.m., so this small street food cart is a great place to order a beer and a few tacos after work. Get the good stuff: chicken and carne asada tacos. Drizzle hot sauce over your grub for some serious amount of heat.



Where: The Wild Poppy

What: Pok Pok Bites, Roll Chi Mihn


The Wild Poppy has the most charming al fresco dining area: we hit the resto just as the sun was setting against its rustic wooden tables and quirky potted plants. This restaurant has quickly and quietly established itself as a go-to dining area with its no-fuss Asian menu and relaxed vibe. What to get:  bite-size fried chicken pok pok bites and their multi-dimensional roll chi mihn: fresh spring rolls of grilled prawns, pomelo, tomyao, and rocket smothered in fresh herb oil and peanut sauce.



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