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My 15 So-Worth-It Homegrown Finds In The Heart Of BGC

Bonifacio Global City or BGC is a growing city, throbbing with throngs of people from all backgrounds who work here or call this place home. Looking around, there is no denying that it is also more upscale than other areas in the metropolis, perhaps due in part to the soaring rents inside the behemoth steel and glass structures. But it really is a great place to eat, and if you sniff around well enough, you may even find good bargains. Here are 15 establishments, listed in no particular order, that are born and raised here in Central BGC:

 

1. Nomi Matcha

W City Center, 30th Street corner 7th Avenue

This paean to healthful living is pretty new, so a lot of you may have not heard of it. The young gun Japanese owners have built a colorful, picturesque space that’ll look good in your ‘gram feed. But dive into their menu and you will see a plethora of food that is not just tasty but good for you too. Don’t miss the matcha drinks and desserts—these people know their matcha.

 

 

2. Teppan Okochi

Ore Central Building, 9th Avenue corner 31st Street

 

A smallish restaurant with a centerpiece teppan bar to showcase their live cooking, this is such a random restaurant in a random building. But don’t be fooled: it is a temple to teppanyaki as it should be—Osakan chef Okochi makes sure of that. While you can blow a month’s wages on a date here if you order high grade beef or lobster, you can also partake of their more modest yet equally delicious specials, like their dry curry plate. (Trust me on this!)

 

 

3. Alegria Cozinha Moderna & Sangria Bar

4/F Uniqlo Building, 7th Avenue corner 30th Street

 

A quirky restaurant on the top floor of the Uniqlo flagship store (how cool is that?!), Alegria goes the Latin route as its main flavor theme, but draws inspiration from Asia as well, especially Japan and Korea. Beautifully plated dishes satisfy the eyes as well as the palate. Wash ‘em down with their signature sangria drinks!

 

 

4. Sagana Epicerie and Bistro

Net One Center, 3rd Avenue corner 26th Street

This is the latest incarnation and longtime HQ of Gallic chef Marc Aubry. For many years, he has fed an army of fans with his classic French dishes, stuff like escargot, coq au vin, soupe à l’oignon, and his famous couscous. Here at Sagana, he gives a nod to the country he has called home for so long, using his techniques to create new dishes using local produce. PSA: This is a great place for a date too!

 

 

5. Caravan Black

Net Park Building, 4th Avenue

Caravan Black is your classic neighborhood coffee place. They take their coffee quite seriously, offering several extraction methods to please even the hoitiest of coffee snobs. Their offerings don’t stop there, though. Not many people know this is a great place for a  meal. My top picks? The eggplant grain bowl, the pancakes with berries (tops!), and the croissant stuffed with kaya jam.

 

 

6. Keizo

Forbes Town Center corner Burgos Circle

This is actually a BGC old-timer, as it’s been here a while. The chef opened in a corner near Burgos Circle, and now even opened a more casual izakaya spot nearby. The food is well executed Japanese food, with good value for money. And yes, their curry is excellent!

 

 

7. Kuppa Roastery & Café

Commercenter Building, 31st Street corner 4th Avenue

 

A Bacolod original, Kuppa is a coffee place that also happens to have something for everyone. A favorite place for meetings and hangouts, you can choose from their wide selection of beverages and pastries, but you’d be missing out if you didn’t try their solid comfort dishes. I highly recommend their Huevos con Chipirones y Gambas, eggs with baby squid and shrimp sautéed in garlic. Sounds simple, yes, but it hits the spot!

 

 

8. Cocina Peruvia

Bonifacio One Technology Tower, Rizal Drive corner 31st Street

 

CP is now found in two other locations, but the mothership is also still the biggest one. If you’ve never had Peruvian food, this is a good place to start your education. Start out with their fish chowder, called Chupes de Pescado, and hit up some ceviche and anticuchos. This is for those who want something different but familiar.

 

9. Ogawa

2/F Fort Strip, 5th Avenue corner 28th Street

 

George Pua is quietly one of the city’s most prolific restaurateurs. Here at Ogawa, he’s teamed up with a versatile Japanese chef to feed us with an eclectic selection of Japanese dishes. The sashimi here is good, as chef Ogawa is a skilled cut man, but also seek other dishes like their soothing oden, or their economical lunch sets!

 

10. Savage

The Plaza, Arya Residences, Mckinley Parkway

 

Considering it’s run by one of our most talented chefs, Savage is pretty hidden from view from most of us. But don’t let that deter you from visiting. It’s in a nice building with its own parking, and Chef Josh Boutwood creates a menu of food cooked on top of live fire and wood. Be adventurous: try his deviled eggs, burrata, grilled tuna jaw, and lamb chops.

 

 

11. Friends & Family

Bonifacio High Street, 7th Avenue corner 30th Street

These kids did their homework: humble delicious Pinoy dishes priced very competitively and in a very central area. I don’t do much bopis because you gotta trust who’s making it, but theirs is one of the best I’ve tried, ever. Oh and there’s that birthday spaghetti, too!

 

12. Fowlbread

Bonifacio High Street, 7th Avenue corner 30th Street

 

A tiny, tiny stall along Bonifacio High Street specializes in a very crave worthy kind of food: the fried chicken sandwich. Ask for it spicy. On the side, well, they have garlic noodles and potstickers, and now even pork chops. A little cray, but a whole lot of fun.

 

 

13. Wrong Ramen

Forbes Town Center, Forbestown Road

 

Ramen with bacon, egg and Spam. So wrong it’s right.

 

 

14. Crystal Jade Dining IN

Bonifacio High Street, 7th Avenue corner 30th Street

 

The only standing Crystal Jade in town, it is also home to one of, if not, the best dimsum selections in Manila. And let’s not lie to each other here: we are dimsum addicts. (Even their soy sauce is great!)

 

 

15. Farmacy

Net Lima Building, 4th Avenue corner 26th Street

 

This little place that could is pure genius: a late night place that serves ice cream, coffee, and booze. They are ALWAYS full, and it’s easy to see why. They’ve got a lot of flavors, but do try their more local ones like cheese.