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Start Your Day Right with These 6 Brunch Spots in Poblacion

by Dyan Zarzuela
September 14, 2018

Picture this: It’s the Saturday morning after a night out in Poblacion.

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You’re hungover and hungry, feeling the inexplicable urge to go back to last night’s scene of the crime. Or, you’re scrolling down your feed, intrigued by #PobCrawl posts yet value your personal space way too much to do a #PobCrawl of your own. Or, you simply wake up craving carbs and caffeine, as one does on a lazy morning.

No matter what your weekend mornings look like, the growing neighborhood of Poblacion is a great contender for your brunch quest. A go-to spot for fun nights out, the red light-adjacent area returns to its quaint residential roots in the daylight. While most bars and restaurants board up during the day, you can grab brunch at these early bird places. Then, while everyone else is still snoozing, it’s the perfect time to take a leisurely stroll in the neighborhood sans sweaty skin-to-skin contact—a Poblacion lite experience if you will.

1. Dulo MNL

INSTAGRAM: coffeecupseries & seanmnl

A vibrant space dedicated to the holy trifecta of food, drinks, and the arts, Dulo MNL knows just what you need in the A.M. Trade your after-hours cocktail for an iced latte, a long black, or the activated charcoal coffee that deserves a spot on your curated grid. If you’re not a coffee person, the Camaloo (calamansi, malunggay, luya) or Honey Ginger Juice will give you that morning jolt. Food-wise, the spotlight is on baos and bowls—pair your drink with the Mushroom Bao or the Pork Belly Rice Bowl. The best part? If you’re in the mood for a Saturday night out, you don’t have to move elsewhere as Dulo morphs into a neon-lit bar with the most interesting events once the sun sets.

Dulo MNL
4988 P. Guanzon Street
(0956) 504 0739
Open from Mondays to Saturdays, 8:00 AM to 2:00 AM

2. Tilde Hand Craft Café

INSTAGRAM: mabuhaymagazineofficial & reich_torio

With a kitchen that prides itself in continuous experimenting, Tilde Hand Craft Café offers an inspired and evolving menu that will keep you coming back. Almost everything is handmade, as its name suggests, from the sourdough bread to the creamy sodas. Bread is the main star here, to be dipped in artisanal jams and butter, stuffed with juicy Australian beef patty, or used to sop up every last bit of the best-selling Sisig Carbonara. The coffee is locally sourced and best paired with crowd favorite baked goods. Take your pick from the Babka, which is best ordered a day in advance; the Pistachio Sans Rival, which is generously coated with hand-crushed pistachio; or the Carrot Cake Cheesecake, a genius combo that has earned its place on many top desserts lists.

Tilde Hand Craft Café
5417 Matilde Street
Open from Mondays to Saturdays, 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM;
Sundays at 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM

3. Oto

INSTAGRAM: marvinconanan & mardinography

Named after the Japanese word for sound, the bar-slash-coffee shop is also a listening room with a wall of vinyl records, repurposed vintage cinema speakers, and wooden slats on the ceiling to help distribute sound better. This is a place where you can kick back and sip your Cortado or Flat White as old school hip-hop plays at juuust the optimal level. Add a heaping plate of their Sausage with Mashed Potatoes and Garlic Gravy or the umami-rich Char Siu Pasta to the picture, and you’ve got yourself an excellent morning.

5880 Enriquez Street
(02) 728 2433
Open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 10:00 AM - 2:00 AM

RELATED: Z Hostel Changed My Mind About Hostels

4. Commune

INSTAGRAM: coffeecupseries & communeph

There’s latte art—and then there’s 3D latte art. Commune is known for its adorable animal-inspired latte art (think cats and pandas and the like), but more importantly, its commitment to exclusively brewing locally sourced beans. Get the Flat White or the Iced Toddy (18-Hour Cold Brew) with Milk, and keep it an all-local brunch by pairing your coffee with the Pork Longganisa with Fried Egg and Rice or Pork Adobo and Salted Egg Mayo Pandesal. True to its name, Commune is a place where people are encouraged to come together, through the long communal tables, the events space upstairs called, well, Upstairs, or the intimate, semi-secret restaurant inside that is Poblacion Dining Room.

36 Polaris St. corner Durban St.
(02) 275 6324 / (0919) 859 5848
Open from Mondays to Thursdays, 8:00 AM - 12:00 AM;
Fridays to Saturdays, 8:00 AM - 1:00 AM, Sundays at 9:00 AM - 10:00 PM

5. Filling Station Bar Café

INSTAGRAM: angelicaramosvalerio & fillingstationbarcafe

It’s never too early for milkshake, and this diner brings all the boys and girls to the yard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every inch of the ‘50s-style diner is covered in vintage memorabilia, from the gas station signage to the checkerboard floors to one half of a convertible hanging upside down from the ceiling. The interior design details alone will inspire multiple visits. Order the Strawberry Milkshake or Cookies ‘n’ Cream Premium Milkshake to go with the All-American Burger, Chicken and Waffles, or Steak and Eggs. For the ultimate experience, book the Cadillac convertible-turned-dining table, which is also prime viewing space for when the waitstaff bursts into song and dance.

Filling Station Bar Café
5012 P. Burgos Street
(02) 897 2053
Open daily

6. Kanto Freestyle Breakfast

INSTAGRAM: hooknorm & thendiaries

This restaurant is growing fast with branches from Manila to Marikina, and for good reason: it’s one of the most affordable all-day breakfast places in town that is literally open all day. As its name suggests, you can make your own breakfast plate with Vigan Longganisa, Crispy Corned Beef, Spanish Sardines Tempura, and more yummy breakfast staples. You can also try bestsellers such as the New Zealand Tapa with Eggs and Rice, Chocnut Champorado with Tuyo Flakes, and Goya and Chocnut Ganache Pancake. Round off your meal with a cup of Kapeng Barako or for a nostalgic twist, a glass of good ol’ Ice Scramble.

Kanto Freestyle Breakfast
5079 P. Burgos Street
(02) 400 2268
Open daily

Want to wake up a stone’s throw from these spots? Make a staycation out of it by checking into the millennial-fave Z Hostel, the artsy Element Boutique Hotel, and the hip Y2 Residence Hotel.

Exploring more of the city? Check out our Manila section.

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About Dyan
Dyan Zarzuela is a freelance writer, editor, and producer who dreams of living by the sea one day. You can find her on Instagram at @dyanzarzuela.

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