Those who frequent Legaspi Village will agree that the neighborhood is laid-back and relaxed compared to others in the city. The area is known by its tree-lined streets, parks and urban gardens, but it’s also a place to discover many dining destinations that typically go unnoticed. But each night, the neighborhood takes on a more exciting personality when many unassuming cafe-bars open their doors to cater to the workforce who hang out after hours. Here are four famous after work hangouts in the neighborhood.
BCN by Rambla
Owned and operated by the Bistronomia Group – the folks behind many Spanish dining concepts in the Philippines like La Lola Churreria and Tomatito Tapas Bar in BGC – BCN by Ramla is the perfect spot for a nightcap with delicious food and wine. Founded by the trio of Sergi Rostoll, Uri Singla, and Dani Aliaga, the restaurant is a reflection of Barcelona, with their ultimate goal of capturing the elegance, warmth, and comfortable atmosphere of the Spanish city through its homey interiors.
Perhaps its most enticing offer is its large selection of wines. In fact, the restaurant’s second floor houses a wine cellar where diners can choose what they want to pair with their meal. Of course, perfect wine-pairings like tapas and jamon Iberico are favorite starters among diners, but the mouthwatering mains definitely set BCN by Rambla apart from others. The BBQ Costillar de Cerdo Iberico is a generous serving of barbecue ribs in a sweet-and-savory sauce served with grilled corn while the Cochinillo Asado – or roasted pork shoulder – is another favorite featuring meat so tender it falls off the bone. BCN by Rambla is located on the ground floor of The Grand Midori in Bolanos Street.
Its roots trace back to Kapitolyo, Pasig but Vengo has steadily made a name for itself in Legaspi Village, even launching new concepts ahead of its pioneering branch. Located along Don Carlos Palanca Street, Vengo is many things in one: it’s a taqueria, it’s a cafe, and it’s a bar.
The restaurant, headed by Gerard Cancio, is a Mexican restaurant that aims not to be limited to the usual street tacos and horchata pairing. Vengo offers an extensive menu composed of rice bowls, burritos, and quesadillas – and they even have a vegetarian menu!
Aside from its cafe menu with Mexican-inspired coffee-infused drinks, they also serve cocktails and wine, offering something for everyone. With its simple interiors and its concept of wide tables with many chairs, Vengo manages to attract groups on a daily to come together and enjoy a meal, relax, and catch up.
Named in honor of their grandmother, Christine and Peter San Diego’s Damiana’s Kitchen aims to introduce Filipino cuisine through tasteful local dishes. Damiana’s Kitchen has a menu overflowing with Filipino favorites: Bicol Express, Kare-Kare, Tinolang Manok, and Crispy Pata among many others. But the menu is is much more extensive. The restaurant also has a vegetarian menu and all-day breakfast specials.
There’s a wave of comfort that washes over those who dine at Damianas, the kind one gets from enjoying a home-cooked meal at the end of the day. With al fresco seating, interiors with a living room vibe, and delicious food and drinks, many first-timers come back to Damiana’s Kitchen and become regulars.
There are two layers to The Curator. The first, which can be seen while walking along the corner of Palanca and Legaspi Streets, is a quaint coffee shop with an irresistible homey atmosphere that isn’t difficult to get drawn to. Take a few steps inside and one would find the second layer: a bar behind a wooden black door with dark wood interiors and a selection of drinks lined up in dim lighting.
Owned by the tandem of Jericson Co and David Ong, The Curator has become one of Makati’s most famous bars, even earning international acclaim for their crafted cocktails and delicious coffee. But its owners real vision was simple: to create a space that’s laid-back, where people can just walk in, and to have conversations. The space doesn’t feel threatening at all; instead, its industrial backdrop blended with wooden detailing makes it feel like an extended living room.
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