By hitting two birds in one stone, this FOOD PARK SERIES is intended as feature blog posts which could serve as a guide for returning Overseas Filipinos (OF’s) and tourists, as well as recommended locations for my Airbnb guests. The reference point will be the distance from my condo unit at Grass Residences and/or SM North EDSA which is also a landmark mall in the area. These are not sponsored posts and the opinions are the writer’s own. – BEST LIFE QATAR
INTRODUCTION TO FOOD PARKS IN THE PHILIPPINES
Food parks in the Philippines have been popping up literally everywhere in the last 2 years. These food parks are offering variety of cuisines and instagrammable food presentations making it very popular especially to the millennials.
These food hubs house different restaurants and offer a one-stop-shop for food and drinks ideal for friends and families. The relaxed ambience and cool open air designs make them more attractive and their unconventional designs even make them standout from the other food parks in the Metro. Others even use old container vans or trucks for the main structures (thus, popularly referred as food trucks). Interestingly, the restaurants in every food park are very unique that i didn’t see duplication with other food parks that I’ve visited so far.
Though the selection of food parks for this series are centered in a specific area (Quezon City), the entire concept has become a nationwide phenomenon and opens opportunity for young businessmen and aspiring entrepreneurs including celebrity chefs and even those who are starting up in the food business. This purpose alone inspires me to patronize the idea and even promote it on our blog.
Prior to the onset of the food park phenomenon, Maginhawa Street is already a popular food destination in Quezon City due to its proximity to the University of the Philippines (the biggest state university in the country), as well as other private schools and universities like Miriam College, Ateneo de Manila University and many others.
Due to its strategic location, students who are studying in these schools as well as residents in nearby exclusive subdivisions were regular patrons of restaurants in the area. Since the location is far from major thoroughfares in the city, traffic is less and going in and out of Maginhawa Street is very convenient for diners. The approximately 2 kilometer-long street, accessible only to small and private vehicles, makes Maginhawa Street a haven for food lovers without parking and traffic problems.
STAND ALONE RESTAURANTS
StrEat: Maginhawa Food Park is the first on my itinerary which is only 15-minutes away from my place via GRAB car (check out this link to get GRAB discount applicable in Metro Manila, Philippines only). However, i was surprised to see that it was under renovation (for expansion). Side notes: StrEat: Maginhawa Food Park already have new branches along Commonwealth Avenue and Sta. Rosa Laguna.
And since it was my first time to visit Maginhawa Street, I decided to check out a restaurant with more customers, ate my late lunch and browse online for alternative establishments to visit.
Then I headed outside, walked along the street and saw several other restaurants. Some of them really have a distinct ambiance and character which also shows the food they’re offering (cafe, burger, steak, or other specialties). I’ve not been able to enter most of them since I can only spend just enough time for a quick look inorder to cover as much with the limited time.
What i specifically noticed is that aside from stand-alone restaurants, there were also small cafe’s and restaurants located in old apartments, as well as international food establishments located inside newly constructed buildings.
I’m almost about to get frustrated not seeing any food park, but a few more minutes of walking led me to 150 Maginhawa Food Park. According to one of their staff, it was only opened less than a year ago (probably after their predecessor in the area – Streat: Maginhawa Food Park).
In order to rest a bit after a heavy meal from the first restaurant and a sweet treat from 150 Maginhawa Food Park, i decided to walk further and was surprised to see a relatively new food hub almost at the end of Maginhawa Street. I could have missed it if i decided to discontinue walking since there were no trace of it being closeby.
The Station Maginhawa was opened in the early 2017. The concept of this new food is very unique which resembles a train terminal in Japan (possibly an inspiration taken by it’s owners). Expectedly there were several Japanese food stalls and a smorgasbord of dining choices available.
Overall, it was a fun afternoon at Maginhawa street. As i posted on my social media account, “SOLO PHOTOWALK with GOOD FOOD makes it BEARABLE. Walked another 1.5km from Maginhawa StrEat Park (under renovation) to Sikatuna Village. Spent only Php500 total budget eating at every stop. 33% Pagod. 33% Busog. 33% Satisfied. 1% Bitin (very short time).”
Disclaimer: The visit to the mentioned food parks are done during the period of May 1-24, 2017. There may be changes in the lineup of restaurants or menus being offered when you visit so better check out their facebook or instagram account for latest updates.