You don’t have to fly out of the country to travel the world anymore because everything is now accessible to the public through Lamp Quarters in Marikina.
I don’t like going to the Northern part of the Metro. I was raised as a Southern girl who now lives in Middle Earth (aka The Fort area). Going to the North is dreadful due to the horrible traffic in the Metro. Imagine driving up to meet your friends in TriNoMa or North Edsa only to find yourself stuck in traffic for a solid 3 hours? Much more, drive all the way to Marikina just to eat at a food park? NO FREAKING WAY.
Lamp Quarters changed my outlook on life. When we scheduled our visit to this restaurant hub in Marikina, I did my research on the place. Stock photos in Google will show you a brick façade which will make you think that it is just another addition to numerous food parks opening around the metro.
Getting out of my hired cab, I was surprised to see the beautiful architecture of Lamp Quarters. The first thing you will notice about this place is its brick walls. According to Myla Gonzalez and Dotie Cleofas, owners of Lamp Quarters, the place is inspired by a dining and shopping district in San Diego, California.
Well, they succeeded in teleporting us to San Diego just by stepping into their establishment. What I like about this place is its open-air dining area where you can sit and relax with your family and friends right in the middle of eight restaurants occupying the hub.
According to Dotie, every restaurant in Lamp Quarters went through a thorough screening. So, if you visit this place, you will notice there are no two same restaurants in the area. As you walk around Lamp Quarters, you will also see different concepts from all over the world.
Mehana by Yordanovi is the first Bulgarian restaurant in the country. Their specialties are sausages with a one-of-a-kind sauce. What is amazing and unique about this restaurant is that they import key ingredients for their dishes from Bulgaria to make each and every dish as authentic as possible.
The second country that you get to visit when you are here is Japan through Tongara Ramen. With branches all over the world, this ramen house gives high regard to the art of culinary cooking in Japan, so don’t expect the ramen noodles to be ordinary.
Another interesting place in Lamp Quarters is Chives Bistro and Market, a hippie place that gives European cuisine a fusion of our country’s very own flavors.
If you don’t want to go far to experience an authentic Kapampangan gastronomic adventure, Silyo Dmiela offers some of the best Filipino dishes in the metro. You should try out their sisig!
If you are a fan of steaks and ribs, Ahlee’s is the place to go. They serve honest-to-goodness slow cooked slabs of ribs coated with thick barbecue sauce, button mushrooms, and corn. This is a must-visit for those who love meat.
Now, if you like good cocktails and chicken wings, WingFathers is the go-to place to chill and relax. They sell affordable booze, so you can enjoy a drinking session with your friends here.
Last but not least is my personal favorite of all the restaurants: Dong Juan! Dong Juan serves American and Italian dishes, making it a place where you can get your favorite comfort foods. What I love the most about this restaurant is their cozy and homey ambiance. Its interiors are covered in white and blue hues with different phrases written on mini chalkboards at each table with a few dainty plants as an accent.
If you are wondering if there is a place where students can hang out without loading up on too much food, Bubba Lab is Lamp Quarters’ go-to milk tea and coffee place. Just like Dong Juan, it has relaxing interiors, making the place a cozy and classy coffee and tea shop.
After trying out all of the specialty dishes of these eight restaurants, I am ready to brave the Northern traffic anytime. According to the owners, they want to steer away from the regular food park concept. They wanted to be unique without intimidating their target audience and they definitely achieved their goal.
Amidst the fanciness of its façade, everything in Lamp Quarters’ restaurants is affordable with prices ranging from Php100 to Php300. Aside from being affordable, another highlight of this place is that you can cross-order from different restaurants without any hassle or additional fees!
If a Southern girl like me fell in love with this place, I am sure that people all over the Metro will definitely fall in love with it, too.
Gil Fernando St Centro De Buenviaje Sto. Nino, Marikina