Sampaloc: Manila University Belt Food Hub

The University Belt in Manila is a popular destination for students, tourists, and locals alike. It’s known for its world-class universities, historic landmarks, and vibrant cultural scene. However, it’s the food scene in the area that truly sets it apart. From street food to cafes and restaurants, the University Belt has it all. One of the reasons why there are so many food options in the University Belt is due to the large student population. Students are always looking for affordable meal options that won’t break the bank, which has led to the growth of the food scene in the area. Many street food vendors and cafes in the University Belt offer student-priced meals that are both delicious and budget-friendly. One of the most popular areas in the University Belt for street food and cafes is P. Noval Street.

P. Noval Street

This lively and bustling street is known for its wide variety of food options, ranging from traditional Filipino street food to trendy cafes and restaurants. For those who prefer a more traditional street food experience, the street vendors on P. Noval Street of University Belt offer a wide variety of options, including fish balls, kikiam, and kwek-kwek. These snacks are perfect for anyone looking for a quick and affordable bite to eat while on the go. The aroma of frying oil and the sound of sizzling skewers never fail to entice me, and I often find myself stopping by for a quick bite. Moreover, on one of my food adventures, my friends and I stumbled upon a bakery that sells delicious pastries. The aroma of freshly baked bread and pastries wafted through the air, and we couldn’t resist checking it out. We also ended up trying their pilipit pastry.

Fun Merienda!

The flaky and slightly sweet pastry, with its spiral shape and crispy exterior, was simply divine. It was the perfect mid-day snack that kept us going. We also stumbled upon a chicken skin stall, which just opened when we passed by. We decided to give it a try and were blown away by the crunchiness and flavor of the chicken skin. It was definitely worth the wait. The smell of the frying chicken was mouth-watering, and we were excited to try it. It would have been even better if they had some pinakurat vinegar to pair it with, but nonetheless, it was still a satisfying treat.

Aside from the savory treats we tried, we also tried a beverage store called D’Cream. They offer a range of drinks from P65 to P120, and we were curious to try some. We opted for their bestseller, the Golden Sun, which was priced at P85. Moreover, the creamy and refreshing taste of the drink was a perfect complement to the hot and humid weather. The combination of orange, mango, and milk also created a unique and satisfying flavor that made us want to try more. We also appreciated that the prices of their drinks were reasonable. Making it an ideal spot for students who are on a budget but still want to indulge in a refreshing beverage. If you’re in the University Belt and looking for a place to quench your thirst, make sure to check out D’Cream.


If you’re looking for a refreshing and alcohol-free beverage, look no further than Macktails. Located in I. Delos Reyes St. corner G. Tolentino St. in Sampaloc Manila, this small stall is just a stone’s throw away from P. Noval, making it a convenient spot for students and locals alike. The name “Macktails” is a clever play on words. Combining “mocktail” with the name of the owner and street bartender, Mcflyn. Mcflyn is a passionate mixologist who got into creating handcrafted beverages. Just four years ago and started this small business just last year. When we visited Macktails, we tried their best-sellers, the Yema Affogato, Rosy Pear, and Amarone Ice Tea. Each drink was priced from Php 85 to Php 115 only. Which is a great deal considering the quality and taste of the beverages.

The Yema Affogato is a delightful mocktail that combines the rich flavors of yema, a popular Filipino candy, with espresso. Served in a glass with a layer of yema at the bottom, topped with a shot of espresso and whipped cream. It’s a rich and indulgent treat perfect for coffee and sweet treats lovers. Furthermore, the Amarone Ice Tea is a refreshing and fruity mocktail that combines black tea, peach and grape juice, and a hint of lime. Served over ice, it’s a slightly sweet and tangy tea with a refreshing finish. Perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot day.

Out of the three mocktails we tried, my personal favorite was the Rosy Pear. It had a delicate balance of sweet and tangy flavors. With a subtle hint of rosemary that added an extra dimension to the drink. Moreover, if you’re looking for a refreshing and delicious mocktail in the University Belt area, Macktails is definitely worth a visit. They are open from Monday to Saturday, from 4 PM to 11 PM. Whether you’re a student looking for a quick break from studying or a local looking for a unique drink experience, Macktails is the perfect spot to quench your thirst. If you’re looking for more places to try in the area, check these out also:

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