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From Downtown to Swank Town: Hole-in-the-Wall Food Scene of Poblacion, Makati

) Katrina Gadong |

Anyone who frequents Poblacion, Makati, say five years ago, may have a hard time recognizing what this area of the city looks like. Sure, the flashing neon lights, gritty streets, night clubs, and bars that it's known for are still around. But now more than ever, hole-in-the-wall gems, specialty restaurants, stores, and hostels, set up in repurposed buildings and tucked securely in unassuming alleys, dot the landscape and discovering them for yourself becomes an adventure.

A foodie's haven with no plans to stop growing, new restaurants or bars seem to open every other month or so. In fact, this answers the problem of limited food selections and repetitive restaurant choices in malls. Being a melting pot of different cuisines, Poblacion draws a crowd of foreigners and locals alike craving for a new taste or simply a new experience.

The streets of Poblacion and its multi-cultural vibe hosts three unpretentious specialty restaurants made by the same brilliant team, and have been dominating the food scene for at least three years now.

El Chupacabra
Located at 5782 Felipe St. cor. Polaris St., Makati City

Considered as one of the pioneers and the biggest name in the neighborhood, El Chupacabra is a Mexican-American restaurant popular for their cooked-on-the-spot street tacos and their inexpensive beer. From being a simple open street diner with an overflow area on the side of the road, swarm of customers now lounge in an indoor area with air conditioning.

Señor Pollo
Located at 5767 Ebro Street, Makati City

With the same street artsy ambiance and good value for money principle, the masterminds behind El Chupacabra opened the vibrant Señor Pollo, a Latin American restaurant and bar most known for their "Famous Latin Chicken," either roasted or fried. Their bestseller goes perfectly with their yummy coleslaw and cheap beer, shared with the crew until the wee hours.

Crying Tiger Street Kitchen
Located at 4986 Guanzon Street, Makati City

The latest venture of the group behind El Chupacabra and Señor Pollo, Crying Tiger Street Kitchen specializes in spicy and affordable Southeast Asian fare, with their Thai and Malaysian cuisine game strong. It has the similar simple hole-in-the-wall street-food dining atmosphere as the first two joints, with its homey and cool yet mysterious vibe calling out, just like those in the street corners of Thailand.

*Makati Central Business District (Makati CBD), the country's prime financial center, features both modern office facilities and classic retail options while retaining its overall relaxing vibe, attracting both local and expat executives to locate here. PropertyAccess includes list of Makati CBD properties you can choose from.