Pandacan is a small district in Manila that homes 82,000 residents of the metro. Often just known in recent history for its former Pandacan oil depot, the place can be considered a little overlooked by city people.
Some may just see it as a pathway towards Makati, but the district actually boasts a lot of cute, little stop-over or exploration spots. Pandacan may be a little antiquated and old soul in the streets, but the different flavors within may reveal something else in the sheets.
So, let’s explore the different exciting flavors of Pandacan with these food-spots:
Tagpuan sa Pandacan
Antiquity is a recurring novelty in Pandacan. The district brims with antique Spanish-style houses, with some even built during the 1800s. Tagpuan sa Pandacan is no different, in fact, it is rather daring and sweet to stay faithful to the natural appearance of the district.
This place is one of the best chicken wings houses, not just in the district, but in Manila. Located in the Bayan Central of Pandacan, this resto is actually an old Spanish-style house slightly renovated to cater a food-spot on the second floor. Complete with lamp-ornamented terrace and Capiz windows, you will certainly feel like you’ve been transported back in time because of the ambiance.
Make no mistake, their food is their main weapon! For only 300php below, you can enjoy unli chicken wings, rice, fries, and drinks! They also have a wide variety of flavors to choose from. Their Spiced Maple and Mango Habanero flavors are superstars!
At Pandacan’s Laura Street, another small but flavor-rich food spot is backed by the residents. Burp Diner only opened last October 2022, but it has since been the talk of the town. Their secret is their affordability.
In this resto-slash-diner, you can get an authentic taste of Bacolod cuisines with signature dishes beautifully cooked by their Ilonggo chefs. They feature different specialties and delicacies such as Pancit Molo, Batchoy, Kadyos Baboy Langka, Aros de Valenciana and Tarts. They also have dishes like Sizzling Beef Caldereta, Dinuguan, Masskara Shrimp and Nilaga. But the main star of Burp is their Chicken Inasal. With a luscious flavor backed with their Bacolod-style method, their ihaws can put any other fastfood ihaws to shame!
Their place also features a retro-vintage ambiance complete with cute lighting fixtures and twee decorations. The residents just can’t get enough—and so should the non-residents!
Sophia’s Irresistible Sweets
After dishing out chicken wings and cuisines, or if you’re just a sweet tooth, Pandacan also has desserts for you!
Sophia’s Irresistible Sweets is a small dessert shop along Beata Street that features different kinds of baked treats and pastries. The shop started with cakes and cupcakes but now they also have eclairs, brownies, cookies, meringues, truffles, creampuffs, tarts and more!
The beauty of this shop is their spontaneous and diverse menu or list of products. They feature different products everyday, seemingly never the same product twice in a week. They also like experimenting, fusing different products together like Custaroons (custard + macaroons). Their bestsellers include eclairs, Choux au Craquelin and custard creampuffs. The shop is also open for customized event cakes and other treats by requests.
Naturally affordable, they usually also sell their products per piece and not just per box. For only 50php, you can have a piece of their eclair, and you have many flavors to choose from!
On the go and need a quick coffee take-out? Pandacan still got you.
Kape Siklo is a cozy cafe that you and your friends can just chill to, while sipping good drinks and good snacks. The café has two branches located only in Pandacan. One is along Beata Street, just near the Balagtas Plaza Fountain, and the other is located in Lorenzo Dela Paz Street, near Beata Elementary School.
For coffee lovers, they have hot and iced coffee, macchiatos, and cappuccinos with variations of concentration, sugar level and add-ons. They also have frappes with assorted flavors. Outside the caffeine club, you can also have milk teas and fruit juices that also boast a variety of flavors. They have Calamansi, Cucumber, Taro, Strawberry, Lemon, fusions and many more.
If one needs a quick bite, they also have snacks that pair perfectly with their drinks. One of their best feats is their pasta catalogue. Their tuna pesto is rich in flavors, while their fresh tomato pasta boasts chunky ingredients like Hungarian sausages. Sandwiches are also a thing here, with clubhouse, grilled egg and ham, and French toast. Outside those, they also have Silogs, tacos, waffles, fries and Takoyaki.
Kape Siklo is open daily, until 12 midnight. If you’re up for a late night snack or quick chit-chat with a friend, this place is perfect.
Kochi’s is a silogan in Pandacan. They may be small but they have been around for years now, well-known to the Pandaceños.
Needless to say, their best-sellers are their Silogs. They boast meaty and chunky sahogs or ingredients. If you try their Bagnet-silog, you’re down for an unforgettable experience. They also have Super Sulit Combo Silogs, a catalogue of different silogs fused together. Mixed Tapa Tocilog and 2Ham Adobo Silog are just few to name from that roster.
Their other best-seller is their palayok dishes like Crispy Pork Sinigang, Crispy Kare-kare and Sinigang na Bangus/Hipon. For as low as 150php, have a mouthful of these dishes served in a Palayok. Other feats that can’t be dismissed from Kochi’s are their Pork Katsudon, Lumpiang Shanghai, Kochi’s Sisig and Lomi Overload. They also offer Mixed Pancit Bilao for special events, take-outs, and deliveries.
Whether you’re in a tipid phase or you’re just a silog connoisseur, Kochi’s won’t fail you!
If you live around Manila, Pandacan is just within your reach. This small district caters to commoners with their small but diverse businesses. Spark a simple foodtrip, go with barkadas or have a me-time with food— Pandacan is there for you!
Xian Oquendo is a free-spirited writer and camera-person from Manila. His passion connects facets of poetry and visuals. Whether inside the cinema or in the groove of the city's streets, he is always in the pursuit of the transcendental.