Where To Eat In U.P. Town Center: 5 Favorite Spots We Can’t Get Enough Of
There is no shortage of dining options in the metro, and definitely none in U.P. Town Center in Katipunan, Quezon City as well. It’s a busy yet laidback hub where people of all ages, especially students from neighboring schools, come to unwind and hang out. Living near U.P. Town makes it my default mall for errands and for dining when there is no cook at home. There is a variety of restos—from Filipino and Japanese, to Korean and American, and a lot of them are very reasonably priced to make it student- and family-friendly. If you’re in the area, here are favorites, both old and new, that are worth the visit:
Specialty Asian: Marugame Udon and Tempura
Phase 2, 1st Level
As one of the newer restos in U.P. Town Center, be ready to line up during peak hours. With a self-service line, choose from delicious hot or cold udon bowls (noodles are excellent), rice bowls, and other side dishes like ebi tempura (I’ll also come back for these), karaage, omusubi, and more, and then head to the condiments table to add toppings and sauces to your dishes. Prices are very affordable, too!
Novelty Buffet: The Alley by Vikings
Phase 2, 2nd Level
Not your typical buffet restaurant, but definitely one you’ll enjoy exploring. Aptly named “The Alley”, it’s like a mini food tour around the world in this street food-inspired food hall. Walk around and choose dishes from 15 different food stalls such as Lost & Pound for burgers and fries, Hao Chi for dim sum and noodle soups, Just Steak a Minute for steaks on hot plates, Atching Lilian for Pinoy fare, and Hunneycomb for all the desserts. There are lots of drinks like soda, juices, milk tea, and even coffee and cocktails. Don’t miss the baked oysters at O’Sean Eleven and the bagnet at Frituen Batsoy, and don’t forget the taho vendor, dirty ice cream cart, and fish balls, squid balls, kikiam cart that add to the festive mood. (The U.P. Town branch of The Alley is the first of only two.)
Underrated Goodness: Shrimp Bucket
Phase 1A, 2nd Level
I had to include this in my U.P. Town list just because I always enjoy eating here. They have transferred to a new location, which makes me happy because now it is more visible and accessible, so I won’t have to worry about this closing any time soon. The star dishes are, of course, the shrimps, mussels, and crabs by the bag, dunked in the sauces you want. The seafood is always fresh, and the sauces are irresistible, especially our favorite Mardi Gras (a yummy oily chorizo sauce) and Salty Eggsperience (salted egg that’s not too rich). Dig in!
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Comfort Food: Casa Verde
You’ve probably eaten at Casa Verde on a trip to Cebu. From its popularity in Cebu, this has also become well-loved here in Manila. You can’t go wrong with Western comfort food like the ribs and steak, which are their specialties. And since the mall opened in September 2013, this is one of the very few original restaurants that are still standing, which is a testament to how great the food is—and at reasonable prices at that.
Phase 1A, 2nd Level
Best Dessert Place: Manila Creamery
Phase 2, Cinema Lobby
Just thinking about the gelato makes my mouth water. The flavors that the duo behind Manila Creamery whip up are really exciting and unique. They turn local favorites like mangga’t suman, taho, and biko into awesome gelato. And then there are leveled up flavors like Roasted Milk and Cookies and Tinutong na Kanin. Or if you fancy a gelato shake, be sure to try the Ube Salted Egg or Matcha Taho. It’s always so hard to choose what to get, so we just keep coming back for more!
* Coming Soon: Meat Depot
And something that got this steak lover really excited was seeing the sign that Meat Depot will be coming to U.P. Town soon! Glad that there will be a branch in my ‘hood for easier access to premium meats to bring home, and also to enjoy perfectly grilled meats at the restaurant.
At Meat Depot, we make sure that our customers get quality fresh imported and local meats! Head to the outlet nearest you and just ask our butchers for the cuts that you need! *Butcher Shop is available in BF Homes and Banawe outlets, 8AM-8PM daily | Frozen premium meat cuts are also available in Meat Depot Mini Outets - The Corner Market, The Podium & Ayala Malls The 30th
U.P. Town Center, 216 Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
Lead photo from @marugameph