Where to eat in UP Town Center

Updated June 2015

U.P. Town Center is the country’s first university town center catering to the nearby schools of UP Diliman, Ateneo de Manila and Miriam College, office workers and families living in nearby villages. The mall, located in the 7.4 hectare UP Diliman East Campus property along Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City is currently being transformed by Ayala Land into a mixed-use retail and office development.

photo from UP Town Center Facebook page

photo from UP Town Center Facebook page

A lot of construction is still going on in the main mall (can’t wait for the movie houses!), but the complex is already packed with some unique restaurants as well as popular cafes and chains. Unlike the smaller family-owned and indie restaurants along Maginhawa Street, the restaurants here are a bit more upscale. I haven’t had a chance to really try out all the restos, but I’ll try to update this every time I try something new. Here’s what I can share about the establishments so far:


From the same team behind Pino, Pi Breakfast and Pies, Pipino and The Burger Project (popular restaurant sin Maginhawa & Malingap), Backyard Kitchen + Brew is a casual dining restaurant that serves unique dishes making use of locally sourced ingredients.

backyard kitchen + brew uptown center

What interests me most about the place is that they serve a wide variety of local craft beer like Joe’s Brew, Craftpoint and their own line of backyard flavored beers, draft beers and cocktails.

  • Type of cuisine: Comfort food + drinks
  • Good for: lunch, snack, dinner, drinks
  • Recommendations: Salted Egg Chicken Skin, 4 Cheese and Truffle Flatbread, Waffle Breaded Fried Chicken, Backyard Burger, Thrice Cooked Crispy Pork Cheek, Beers
  • Price range: P275 – P495 per dish; Homemade draft beers – P180
  • Restaurant hours: Mon – Sun: 11am to 11pm
  • Facebook: Backyard Manila


Ramen Nagi is a gourmet ramen restaurant that offers four main ramen dishes in all of their restaurants. These are Original King Butao (with milk rich pork broth), Red King Ramen (topped with miso-minced pork and cayenne pepper), Green King Ramen Midorio (Italian-Japanese Fusion inspired ramen with basil and olive oil) and Black King Ramen Kuroo (with squid ink).

ramen nagi manila uptown center

Like a lot of DIY-concept restos these days, you can customize the spice level of your broth, firmness of noodles, and add extra toppings. The resto also serves other Japanese side dishes.

  • Type of cuisine: Japanese
  • Good for: lunch, snack, dinner
  • Recommendations:  Original King Butao, Black King Ramen Kuroo, Taki Gyoza, Chicken Karaage, Nagi Star Salad
  • Price range: P390-P410 per order of ramen
  • Restaurant hours: Mon – Sun: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
    Facebook: Ramen Nagi Manila


  • Rita’s Italian Ice
  • Mad Mark’s Creamery & Good Eats
  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • The Breadery
  • Crisostomo
  • Wangfu Chinese Bistro
  • Recovery Food
  • The Clean Plate by Twist
  • Wingstop
  • St. Marc’s Cafe
  • Triplo O’s by White Spot
  • Dencio’s Plus
  • Sbarro’s


Skull And Bones serves “university comfort food” dialled up a notch. You know the kind of junk food you scarfed down in college during study sessions and hell week? Well, S & B serves homemade “adult” versions of these classic favorites using only premium ingredients. The menu was developed by New York Chef Cuit Kaufman and the same team behind other upscale restaurants like Borough, Nolita, LES Bagels and Bowery.

skull&bones uptown center

The restaurant’s setting itself is reminiscent of an Ivy League college clubhouse with lots of touches of campus nostalgia (vintage black and white university photos, metal lockers, history books, and sports equipment) decorating the space. There’s a small game room that you can have set up for private meetings of functions. It can also be set up to play Beer Pong.

  • Type of cuisine: American comfort food
  • Good for: lunch, dinner, drinks
  • Recommendations: Steak Chimichurri Burrito (P420), Gingered Pork Ramen (P200), Spaghetti O’s Surprise (P290), Pulled Pork Nachos (P380), Skull Crusher Burger (P550), Bacon & Cheddar Bread Pull Apart (P360), Homemade Raspberry Zingers and Twinkies (P45/each), Fried Fluffernutteller Sandwich (P160)
  • Price range: P200 – P500/dish
  • Facebook: Skull & Bones


Pinác serves authentic Kapampangan cuisine. The restaurant’s name is Kapampangan for farmland or swamp, which refers to where most of the restaurant’s ingredients come from. The interiors are cheerful and modern, with some traditional touches, like photos of Kapampangan festivals on the walls, making this a good place for family reunions. The food looks great, but I found some of the dishes too subtle in terms of flavor.

up town center pinac heirloom kapampangan cuisine

  • Type of cuisine: Kapampangan/Filipino
  • Good for: lunch, dinner
  • Bestsellers: Crispy Hito Balls, Mustasa at Buro, Lumpiang Ubod Taquitos, Crispy Pata, Tidtad, Patatim, and Sinigang na Bangus sa Bayabas
  • Price range: P200-300+ per dish, some dishes good for sharing


Steveston Pizza in UP Town Center is the second Manila branch (their first branch is in Morato) of a very popular pizza parlor that originated from Vancouver, Canada.

steveston pizza UPtowncenter
Their claim to fame is having the most expensive pizza in the Guinness Book of World Records (a “C6” pizza topped with thermidor of lobster and black Alaska cod and a side of Russian Osetra caviar.) While that’s not available on the local menu, I have to say that they have the most delectable and overloaded pizzas I’ve ever tried. They use really fresh, high quality ingredients and they don’t scrimp on the toppings either. They have a wide range of pizzas with themes like colors, elements, and Journeys (popular cuisine around the world). This is great for sharing.

  • Type of cuisine: Pizzas (all pizzas come in one size only 12″; you can order up to 2 flavors in 1 pizza)
  • Good for: lunch, snack, dinner, drinks
  • Recommendations: Pink (smoked salmon, asparagus, bocconcini and onion with pesto drizzle), Fire (pepperoni, capocolli, roasted pimiento peppers and fresh jalapenos), Wind (spinach, artichokes, fresh seedless tomatoes and basil pesto), Water (shrimp, snow crab and basil pesto), Blue (rosemary smoked bacon, caramelized onions, mushrooms, baby spinach, and Stilton blue cheese mousse), Green (herb pesto butter, shrimp, brie and scallions)
  • Price range: Pizzas range from P399 to P1,299; 1 pizza is good for 3 to 4 people
  • Facebook: Steveston Pizza


Tonteki literally means “Pork Steak”, which describes the restaurant’s signature dish served on a sizzling plate. Tonteki is a famous local dish from Yokkaichi Mie Prefecture in Japan popularized by Chef Shusaku Namikawa, who founded Tokyo Tonteki.

The branch in UP Town Center is actually the first branch of the novel Japanese homegrown concept outside of Japan. Tokyo Tonteki prides itself on on having the “passion for perfectly prepared pork.” They use thick cuts of premium, high grade pork steak and a low fire cooking method which preserves the flavor and juices of the food. All set meals are served with pork miso soup, rice and cabbage with free extra servings. Try ordering different sets if you’re in a group so you can share.

  • Type of cuisine: Japanese
  • Good for: lunch, dinner
  • Recommendations: I highly recommend the Spring Roll of Prosciutto, Avocado and Onsen Egg as an appetizer. This was really delicious and refreshing.
  • Bestsellers: Tokyo Tonteki Set (their signature dish, which is really juicy and flavorful, comes in regular or large size); Cheese Tonburg Steak Set (pork hamburger steak with cheese which kids will probably like, P400), Chicken Steak with Teriyaki sauce, Salmon Fry, Special fried rice with egg (order this instead of regular rice or make it a meal on its own)
  • Price range: P350-500 per person
  • Facebook: Tokyo Tonteki Philippines


Kos Greek Ouzeri (a type of Greek tavern) is a fine-dining restaurant that specializes in Greek and Mediterranean cuisine like souvlaki, gyros and lamb. They also give complimentary/unlimited bread, which goes great with the mezedes (small finger foods)/dips. I find the restaurant a bit pricey for ordinary dining out, so you may want to save this for special occasions or date nights.

  • Type of cuisine: Greek
  • Good for: lunch, snack, dinner
  • Recommendations: Souvlaki (Skewered meat with veggies served with yoghurt garlic and red pepper sauce), Taramosalata (Greek style caviar with cod roe, olive oil & lemon juice)
  • Price range: P300-400 per person
  • Facebook: Kos Greek Ouzeri


Casa Verde is the first Manila branch of the popular chain of family-owned restaurants from Cebu City. This American-style diner serves home-style comfort food including great ribs, pastas, burgers, sandwiches, desserts and more. Servings are large and good for sharing so this is good for families, barkadas and big groups.

  • Type of cuisine: American-style diner & comfort food
  • Good for: lunch, dinner
  • Recommendations: The bestseller Brian’s Ribs (P250) is huge and good for about 2-3 people. They have a lot of interesting and crazy sounding things on the menu, including The Big Bang Burger (a 9-inch burger topped with onions, tomatoes, lettuce, mayo, American cheese on a sesame-seed bun); the Milky Way (a huge chocolate milkshake drink good for about 4 people) and The Mighty Ton, a burger stuffed with a kilo of USDA tenderloin patty in a homemade 12-inch bun, with all the trimmings of 125 grams of bacon, an overload of american cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sauteed onions and mushrooms and paired with your choice of barbecue, cheese or sour cream fries. The waitress said this was good for about 8-10 people. Whoa!
  • Price range: P250 for ribs (good for sharing), 300+ for appetizer sampler, P100 for drinks, The Mighty Ton Burger is P888+
  • Facebook page: Casa Verde, Website: www.casaverdecebu.com/


Very cute concept bakery that offers a wide variation of 15-24 flavors of cupcakes at one time, mousses and cheesecakes. Lovely interiors, very pretty fabrics for their chairs, and cupcakes that are delicious as well. They also have shops in Trinoma Mall, Glorietta 4 Ayala Center and Alabang Town Center.

  • Type of cuisine: Cupcakes and cakes
  • Good for: Dessert, Snack
  • Price range: Cupcakes start at P100 each
  • Recommendations: Coffee Walnut Salted Caramel Cupcake, Banoffee, Oreo Cheesecake
  • Facebook: Vanilla Cupcake Bakery


One of the largest convenience stores in Japan and South Korea. They offer a lot of options not found in your typical convenience store including Japanese snacks like chips, onigiri, maki, microwaveable ramen, kani salad and sandwiches.

These are the other establishments in UP Town Center (which I haven’t tried yet). Check out their individual Facebook pages for more info:

UP Town Center is located along Katipunan Avenue, UP Campus, Quezon City. Mall hours are from 10am-9pm Sunday to Thursday and 10am-10pm Friday & Saturday. For the latest updates, check out their Official FB page: UP Town Center

4 thoughts on “Where to eat in UP Town Center

  1. Hi There!

    Just a slight correction. BurgerBar isnt found at UP Town. But 8Cuts Burger Blends (not a steakhouse) is the little brother of BurgerBar. It’s still BurgerBar but with more stuff. : )

  2. Pingback: Maginhawa: The Eat Street | Travel Up

  3. Pingback: The Porch | Grub!

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