El Chapo, Four Leg, Pops Burgers
MANILA, Philippines – As a college student from the area, there’s no better way to enjoy the bustling streets of Katipunan than than with a belly full of good food! The resto-filled Quezon City strip beside many universities has always teemed with delicious and (mostly) affordable dining options that are perfect for take-out, lunch breaks, coffee-study breaks, or afternoon hang-outs with friends.
If you’re a Gen Z newbie to the Katipunan area, you might not be sure where to start. Luckily, we’ve rounded up a list of both old and new restaurants and stalls that are perfect for your next Katip food crawl, 2022 edition. Whether you’re going alone or enjoying with friends, one thing’s for sure – you’re up for a busog-worthy treat!
Located in Esteban Abada, Japanese fusion restaurant Tetsuo has an established cult following – and for good reason! Any item you choose from the menu is guaranteed to be bursting with umami. With its street-style restaurant aesthetic and unique flavors, it’s no wonder Tetsuo has retained its spot as a long-time Katipunan favorite.
On the top of the best-selling list is the Chicken Karaage (P160), which you can enjoy with either rice (P150) or buckwheat noodles in cold soba sauce (P200). Customers can choose from three spice levels: Ichimi, which is a mildly spicy seasoning; Sansho, if you like citrus flavors with a peppery kick; and Kaneda, for those who like their karaage hot and smoky.
There’s also the Torched Salmon Bowl (P380) with its cohesive union of textures and flavors – the slightly charred salmon in spicy mayo sauce is topped with crunchy tempura flakes, sweet cucumbers, and teriyaki drizzle, served on a hot bed of rice.
Tetsuo also serves Kani Fries (P130), addictive strips of crabstick dipped in batter, topped with mayonnaise, nori, and a soy glaze similar to takoyaki sauce.
Right beside Tetsuo is El Chapo’s, a Filipino-Mexican taco joint that fuses Fil-Mex flavors. Make sure to try any of the soft tacos on the menu, which includes the Chicharitos Pork Tacos (P160), Spicy Chicken Tacos (P160), and the Sirloin Beef Tacos (P180). Can’t decide what to get? El Chapo’s also offers El Clásico, an assortment of all three flavors, which you can get for P180. All tacos are served with sour cream and salsa verde and topped with a generous heap of crunchy chicharon.
El Chapo’s is also known for the Horchata (P100), a signature blend of rice milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Other menu items include Chicken Quesadilla (P180), Sirloin Beef Birria (P180), and El Chapo’s Burrito (P125).
Another beloved food joint is Pops Beyond Better Burgers, fondly dubbed by students as “the Shake Shack of Katipunan.” The family-owned hidden gem located at Petron Katipunan has interiors bursting with character, and instantly charms people with its cozy appeal, especially with its iconic wall plastered with pastel blue, pink, and purple posters of classic movies and TV series.
But once you sink your teeth into Pops’ freshly-grilled burgers, you’ll immediately understand why people keep coming back — it’s comfort food at its finest, meticulously crafted with care and love.
Made-to-order and assembled with classic, no-fuss ingredients, Pops’ bestselling Moo Melt burger (P279) shines in its simplicity, with melted cheese over an unbelievably juicy 100% Angus beef burger patty, topped with freshly-sliced tomatoes and lettuce and sandwiched in between a buttery brioche bun. For an additional P55, you can also enjoy your order with a side of spicy Cajun fries.
Pops also serves other staple menu items, including Buffalo Wings (P279), Roast Beef Platter (P269), and the Fab Chicken Sandwich (P199).
If you’re in the mood for a food trip in Pop Up Katipunan, make sure to stop by Four Leg! The food stall is a Pop Up newbie, but it’s full of interesting menu items with their own unique twists.
For starters, make sure to try the chicken wings, which are also available as tenders. Customers can choose among four flavors: Classic Buffalo (P268), Italian Parmesan (P268), Salted Egg (P268), and the chef-recommended Sisig (P248), coated in perfectly crisp batter, tossed in a rich mayonnaise-based sauce, and topped with chopped onions and green chili.
Four Leg also offers its signature bar chow Bull Fries (P148) – a hefty combination of buffalo sauce, blue cheese dressing and crumble, and sesame seeds drizzled on top of a crisp bed of golden fries.
You can also choose from a wide array of gourmet burgers, which they serve with its very own secret sauce, caramelized onions, and a side of barbecue fries. Bestsellers include the Bacon Cheese Burger (P288), the Chicken Floss Burger (P268), and the Umami Mushroom Burger (P273).
Craving for Indian? Make sure to check out Pepper Tree Foods, which serves authentic Indian-Filipino cuisine made with spices shipped all the way from India. The restaurant is a Pop Up classic, open for take-out, delivery, and al fresco dining.
Pepper Tree Foods serves generational and hearty family recipes aimed towards a healthy dining experience, with dishes that are home-cooked and boasting a symphony of exotic flavors. Don’t miss out on the signature Hummus (P179), which you can enjoy with the best-selling Butter Chicken (P420) made with “silk smooth Italian tomato and cashew curry” and served with roti.
The beloved establishment has other menu items like Masala Pork Sisig (P298), Kambing Curry (P660), Chicken Tikka Masala (P420), and Chicken Biryani (P444).
Coffee and booze…need we say more?
Not Just Coffee is another one of Pop Up’s latest additions, serving the most devilish liquor-infused, cold brew-based coffee. If you’re looking to have your alcohol with a caffeine jolt, we can vouch for the Boozy Collection, with crowd-pleasers like the Rum Americano (P149), Caramel Brandy Macchiato (P159), Mocha Whiskey Latte (P159), and the Peppermint Tequila Latte (P169).
Want your coffee alcohol-free? The café also offers non-alcoholic drinks, like the Toasted Marshmallow Latte (P159), Dirty Matcha (P149), and the best-selling Strawberry Latte (P149).
Chicken Chingu serves delicious Korean fried chicken on Xavierville Street, directly behind Pop Up. If you’re craving boneless fried chicken like in your favorite Koreanovelas, Chicken Chingu is perfect for good food on a budget.
The classic flavors are Crunchy Garlic — fried chicken tossed in garlic butter and sprinkled with garlic bits — and Honey Soy, if you like your chicken on the sweet and savory side, topped with sesame seeds. A favorite flavor is Butter Parmesan, which is “a mix of cheesy and buttery goodness.” Recently, Chicken Chingu came out with the new Jack Daniels flavor, which combines the iconic whiskey with a savory glaze. You can get any of the chicken flavors with rice for P118.
Also try out the K-Loaded Fries (P250) topped with yangnyeom, garlic aioli, honey soy, and cheese; Korean Beef Stew (P138); or the Breakfast Bulgogi (P148)!
Crazy Peri Peri is another newcomer to the Katipunan scene hidden by the corner of Alcal Building (beside CCA), serving a variety of dishes like peri-peri chicken, burritos, and nachos.
Get the Combo Meal (P280), which combines the signature Quarter Peri and Liempo. The charred texture adds depth and smokiness to the flavorful chicken, while the liempo stands out for its tenderness and savory marinade. The meal is served with a cup of specialty Crazy Rice.
Don’t skip on the Crazy Peri Peri’s original sauce, which we recommend for people who are suckers for heat! Other sauce options include Lemon & Herb, Hickory, and Mild. If you want to try the other meals, make sure to order the best-selling Crazy Burrito in chicken or pork (P220/P240), or the Crazy Peri Peri Loaded Nachos (P290). – Rappler.com
Andrea Ebdane is a Rappler intern.
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Food trip: Where to eat in Katipunan, 2022 edition – Rappler
El Chapo, Four Leg, Pops Burgers