Typical of a freshman, I started out my college life bringing baon and eating in the school's cafeteria. But it only took a while before I got sick of eating the same thing everyday. That made me go out, seek, and try different restaurants along Katipunan Avenue.
Contrary to popular belief that all there is in Katipunan are splurge places that befit the supposed sky-high allowances of the students from the nearby schools, there are budget-friendly restaurants littered around the area. So freshmen, fret not! Here are some of Katipunan's student budget-friendly places. Take note of these establishments the next time your tummy grumbles during one of your long breaks.
Raza's Kabab and Persian Cuisine is a WiFi-enabled restaurant that is perfect for students who have to catch up on late papers or are in need of a filling lunch that won't break their wallets. Aside from the Persian cuisine that it claims to serve, Raza's also serves Filipino-style value meals like Tapsilog and Chicksilog, priced affordably at P60 each. Also worth trying are their Beef Kabab Meal and Keema Meal for P79 each. Meals come with an unlimited serving of rice -- a welcome treat for students with long and grueling classes ahead.
Ken Afford is perfect for students who can't afford to splurge for lunch every single day. That P120 pesos in your pocket can go a long way in this restaurant where ample servings of Lechon Kawali and Sinigang na Baboy are sold for only P95 each, and Chicken Breast Steak for P100. Add a bowl of Garlic Rice (P20) and your meal is solved. Desserts are affordable here as well. A Sylvanna can be bought at P30 while the Fruit Salad costs only P40.
Grilled Tomato offers Greek and Mediterranean style of food at budget-friendly prices. Enjoy Beef Shawarma Rice for P90 or Chicken Tikka for only P50. Adventurous? Try their Sizzling Ox Brain (P130)! Who knows? It just might help you ace a test. Extra toppings like grilled tomatoes, onions and more can be bought at P20 to P25 each. Grilled Tomato also offers unlimited rice and tea.
Chix & Treats is best known for their Chicken Inasal and lutong bahay fare. With around P150 on hand, you can eat heartily with friends in this small air-conditioned restaurant located near Grilled Tomato. Their best-sellers are Fish Fillet with Tartar Sauce, Pork Inasal and other Ilonggo food.
Xocolat exudes a home-like atmosphere, making it a great place to converse with friends and rant about homework while eating delicious desserts (most are priced at a little below P200). Order their signature Hot Xocolat (P135) and a slice from their lovely cakes and be energized for another day of school.
Saint's Alp Teahouse, located at the 2nd floor of the fairly-new Regis Center, is perfect for those who want a cozy place to enjoy a quiet morning. In addition to the cold and hot teas (get Oreo Milk Tea and Honey Milk Tea at P100 each!), Saint's Alp offers snacks like Cheesy Tempura Balls (P90) and Blueberry Jam Toast (P90).
After your tea session, visit Red Mango also located on the same floor. Treat yourself to some healthy 100% all-natural frozen yogurt like Yuzu Lemon or Blueberry Swirl for less than P100 (4 oz. cup). You may also want to try their Waffles with Yogurt (P125). Students who are in need for some cooling-off can head to Red Mango after their P.E. and dance classes.
Also located at the 2nd floor of Regis Center is Mom & Tina's Bakery Cafe. They are famous for their Hershey's Kisses Brownie (P30) and White Toblerone Walnut Torte (P100), but don't let this quaint bakery fool you. Hearty and heavy food are also served in here. Patrons line up for dishes like BBQ Pork Steak (P250) and Lamb Chops (P375), among others, although these are on the pricier side.
Satisfy peanut butter cravings at Peanut Butter Company, where peanut butter is cast as the main star in sandwiches, pasta, burgers, and even drinks. Fish Diablo Pasta (P105-half, P185-whole) is a must-try here. Another fool-proof order is their Marshmallow Peanut Butter (P75-half, P135-whole)-- a creamy peanut butter and melted marshmallow sandwich that's unique and tasty at the same time.
When in doubt, head to Bon Chon. This fast food restaurant that serves Korean-style crispy chicken is a popular choice for a fast and filling meal. Their Chicken Wings (6 pieces - P185)can be shared by two to three people. Value meals like the Chicken Drumsticks Rice Box (two pieces with soda at P145) are also available for the budget-conscious.
If you're in Katipunan and on a budget, be sure to drop by Moshi Moshi to satisfy your Japanese fix. best-sellers include Takoyaki (4 pieces for P40) and Tempura Maki Shrimp Roll (8 pieces for P145). What makes Moshi Moshi different from other Japanese restaurants is their recently added customizable bentos ( Choose your own bento - P155) that are budget-friendly.