It is an understatement to say that Manila is a foodies’ paradise. Everywhere you look, from retail establishments to the streets, there’s always a food spot that can satisfy one’s cravings. There are the humble turo-turo kiosks for a quick bite of street food, local and international restaurants ready to serve culture through flavorful plates, and bars offering a myriad of booze and spirits to kick a night off on a gleeful note. And there are more hidden gems to discover. But if it is a worldwide food adventure you are looking for, there’s a food hall in Quezon City that serves the best Filipino and foreign eats and sips all in one place.
Located at Robinsons Magnolia Mall, Public Eatery is a cornucopia of food brands “where the neighborhood meets to gather over good food.” Led by the Tasteless Food Group, the dining concept takes inspiration from subway lines. It features over 16 stations where diners can go and discover various culinary creations.
Manila Bulletin Lifestyle got to experience Public Eatery’s flavor train and try the stations’ mouthwatering specials. Below are our must-try dishes at the food hall, guaranteeing a one-of-a-kind food journey to share with your friends and loved ones
New York Cubao's Pinoy Chori Burger; The Bev Bar Scramble
New York Cubao
With noted Filipino chef Myke “Tatung” Sarthou as its captain, one can expect nothing but the best dishes to come out of New York Cubao. The food spot serves reimagined Filipino dishes, one of which is the Pinoy Chori Burger (P205). A Filipino-meet-American sandwich, it features a sweet, juicy patty in the middle of soft buns with fried potato wedges on the side.
The Bev Bar
A great foodie adventure calls for some great sips. One can find that at the Public Eatery through The Bev Bar. One of its signature mixes reimagines the streetside favorite ice scramble in a grander sense. The Bev Bar Scramble (P160) is everything how you want your childhood favorite should be—cool, sweet, with generous toppings.
Morse Coffee's Dirty Chai Latte; Thomson Road's Seafood Laksa
Inspired by content creator and entrepreneur Mike Holaschke's passion for aviation, Morse Coffee is a sleek coffee spot with the best brewed drinks to match. Its signature drink, the Dirty Chai Latte (P220), is a stunning cup that features a mix of signature Morse blend and organic blue chai tea that will delight many caffeine-addict Filipinos.
Anyone hungry for oriental eats will definitely love Thomson Road’s offerings. The food spot is known for its handmade Jumbo Shrimp Siomai and Claypot Rice. But for us, its Seafood Laksa (P450) perfectly sums up what the store put on the table—meals that are full of spice and truly comforting.
Lechon by Happy Ongpauco-Tiu's Lechon Sisig; Konbini Karaage's Garlic & Salt Karaage
Lechon by Happy Ongpauco-Tiu
We cannot talk about a Filipino feast without mentioning the classic lechon. At the Public Eatery, foodies can find it in different iterations thanks to Lechon by Happy Ongpauco-Tiu. The best dish to try first is the Lechon Sisig. It’s like getting the best from the two iconic Filipino dishes—juicy pork with loads of sauce and grilled veggies and fried sweet potatoes on the side.
Offering the best Japanese-style fried chicken, Konbini Karaage has something that is perfect to share with your barkada—or enjoy on your own. What we tried is its Garlic & Salt Karaage, the perfect hand-held treat to munch one as you discover the many stations of the Public Eatey.
Ok Bob's Hanging Ribeye Shish Kebab; 10 by Tsukemen's Tonkotsu Premium
Fine Middle-Eastern eats await at Ok Bob, from special curry dishes and biryani to different kinds of shawarma. But for something truly outstanding, what diners shouldn’t miss trying is its Hanging Ribeye Shish Kebab (P800). Marinated in spiced yogurt, the juicy grilled meat comes with a sumac salad, basmati rice, and grilled tomato and green chili.
10 by Tsukemen
It is an understatement to say that Filipinos are big Japanese food fans. If that is what they are looking for, then a stop at 10 by Tsukemen station is a must. What we tried is its Tonkotsu Premium (P440), a comforting bowl of Pork bone soup ramen topped with grilled chashu, aji tamago, sesame seeds, and negi.
Samyan's Crab Pad Thai; FRNK's Maccha Beri
Stopping at Samyan station at the Public Eatery is like going through the streets of Bangkok with its authentic Thai street food offerings crafted by Chef ThiTid Tassanakajohn, the culinary master behind Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 champion Le Du. When it comes to Thai cuisine, one can do no wrong by ordering a plate of Pad Thai. Our pick is the Crab Pad Thai (P720), a sweet-spicy noodle dish generously topped with crab meat.
Since it arrived in the Philippines, FRNK has garnered a vast following thanks to its healthy plant-based drinks. Diners can experience the goodness that comes from its cups at its station at the Public Eatey. Our drink of choice is the Maccha Beri or Ichigo (P195), a mix of sweet strawberries and earthy maccha.
Bookooh's Coconut Cappuccino; Anyhow's grilled salmon fillet
Who would have thought that coconut juice would go well with coffee? At Bookoh’s station, the brand is serving many coconut juice combos that will surprise everyone. What we tried is the Coconut Cappuccino (P150), a drink made of coconut water, coconut milk, house coffee beans, coconut froth, and coffee jelly.
Who doesn’t love a good grilled dish? At Anyhow’s station, one can customize their ihaw-ihaw dish depending on what they are craving. Its “Make Your Own” offering allows diners to select their protein and the rice and side dish that will go with it. Our pick is the grilled salmon fillet coated with Hickory BBQ sauce with brown rice and mac ‘n cheese on the side (P580).
Ono's Spam Musubi Bowl; Bad Bird's chicken tenders
Hawaiian goodness comes in a poke bowl at Ono. Poke “is diced raw fish served either as an appetizer or a main course and is a popular dish in Hawaii.” But for our stop at Ono’s station, we tried its Spam Musubi Bowl (P260), a deconstructed version of the famed Hawaiian dish. The bowl features teriyaki-glazed spam, musubi sauce, furikake, green onion, pickled cucumber, wonton crisps, and a poached egg.
Known for its award-winning umami fried chicken, Bad Bird brings to the table classic, yet elevated, comfort food such as chicken sandwiches, fish and chips, and, of course, fried chicken. After a day of feasting at the Public Eatery, we opted to try Bad Bird’s chicken tenders, a plate of fried chicken breasts in signature batter, served with sweet potato chips and secret sauce.
Seafood and Oyster Bar's fresh oysters; Merry Moo's Cheesy Mamon ice cream
Seafood and Oyster Bar
A recent addition to the Public Eatery’s roster of food stations is the Seafood and Oyster Bar. Led by Chef Sonny Mariano, the bar features the best seafood feast, from grilled tanigue and salmon head sinigang to fresh Aklan oysters.
End your food journey at the Public Eatery on a sweet note with a stop at Merry Moo’s station. Sweet tooths can choose from its vast premium and gourmet ice cream flavors. Our favorite is the Cheesy Mamon—it is creamy and has that sweet-salty taste we love.
Public Eatery is located on the 4th Floor New Wing of Robinsons Magnolia in Quezon City. To know more about it, visit thepubliceatery.com or @publiceatery on Instagram.