The compact, vibrant neighborhood of Kapitolyo is right in the heart of Pasig city—one of the 17 cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila. Though it has gained a reputation as a foodie’s domain, its creativity is expressed in other ways, with independent stores and even a homegrown craft brewery if you know where to look. Better yet, Kapitolyo’s manageable size makes it easy to spend a relaxing day here on foot.
9 a.m. Start off on Brixton Street with breakfast at The Good Seed, a whitewashed vegetarian café whose Filipino fare includes vegan sisig served with brown rice, and a mushroom “pulled pork” pan de sal sandwich featuring mole salsa and avocado.
10:30 a.m. In the same building, newly renovated home and lifestyle shop Heima stands out for its elegant, Scandinavian-inspired wares. Another place worth dropping by is The Green Company Organic + Natural just up the road, stocking a wide range of eco-friendly personal care products.
12:30 p.m. Brace yourself for a hearty lunch at Poco Deli. Must-tries here are the German-style sausages made on the premises, as is the family recipe of Spanish callos—beef tripe and chorizo slow-cooked for 10 hours and served with bacon rice.
2:30 p.m. On San Isidro Street, Cevio Art Haus may resemble a mid-20th-century home, but it’s a low-key gallery that showcases mostly new names in contemporary Filipino art. A recent exhibition involved “flying” chairs flanked by surrealist paintings.
4 p.m. Inspired to create your own artwork? Just 10 minutes away on foot, Craft Carrot is stocked with a formidable range of professional-grade supplies, from Sakura paints to brush pens and Krink New York specialty inks.
4:30 p.m. If you’re feeling peckish, wander over to the Gastro Park on 1st Street, Kapitolyo’s response to the trend of hip outdoor food courts popping up all over Metro Manila. Cool down with ash-frozen ice cream from The Seventh Element, made with liquid nitrogen and industrial mixers.
7:30 p.m. Contemporary Spanish tapas await at Montaditos Y Mas, housed in a food center built from converted shipping containers. Beyond bite-sized sandwiches, popular options are the bestselling octopus and rabo de toro (oxtail).
10 p.m. After dinner, order a strong brew at United Coffee, a cozy, hipster-friendly café in the same complex. You can’t go wrong with its dependable espresso that uses beans roasted right in Manila.
This article originally appeared in the August/September 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“A Day in Kapitolyo”)