Surviving Makati: The City’s Budget-Friendly Finds

Living, working, and even visiting Makati can be intimidating because so many establishments, from malls to boutique cafes offer only expensive options. Despite what the city offers as the center of it all, many are demanding for cheaper choices #WhenInMakati.

Below, we’ve created a quick list to help you cope with the city’s endless opportunities even on a tight budget.

For any foodie situation, here are where you can go without hurting your wallet.

Lunch Break: Tita Emm’s


Photo from: Tita Emm’s

Many yuppies will agree that most of their salary goes to bills, gas, or commuting. Thus, their food choice is the most affected by personal budget cuts. Tita Emm’s kiosk, however, at Makati Cinema Square offers good Japanese food including Tonkatsu, Tempura, Gyoza and Sukiyaki meals for less than Php 100!

Payday: Aida’s


Treat yo’ self Even when on a budget! Also located at Makati Cinema Square, Aida’s offers Chicken Inasal that is just as good as the original version from Bacolod. Aida’s has “Executive Meals” that include rice and soup that go for just Php 175, and you choose the specific chicken cut to get. Also, Aida’s has dishes good for sharing that are usually below the Php 200 to 300 mark.

Date: Salt


Photo from: Salt

Salt has made a name for serving good steaks at affordable prices (less than Php 500). So, if you’re dining out on a date but on a budget, bring your date here for steaks and even salmon. You’ll just spend Php1,000 or even less with the right choices. Sure enough, you’ll both frequent this cozy little spot in the back alleys of Rockwell and Kalayaan.

Drinks & Nightlife: Poblacion


Photo from: Le Cafe Curieux

Diverting from its roots where the red light district is situated, Poblacion has become a thriving neighborhood with something for everyone. Head to Le Café Curieux to warm up with their selection of homemade infused rum at just Php 80 a shot, or 10 shots for Php 720. Local beers at Tambai are available at only Php 55 a bottle to go with their street-style yakitori, while on the next street at Sen͂or Pollo, you can drink-all-you-can at well under the Php 500 all day until 9 PM.

For those looking to upgrade your wardrobe or home interiors to be ready for 2017’s trends, keep money in and haunt these budget finds instead of the usual mall.

Clothes: Makati Cinema Square


The best place to get good quality and stylish clothes for cheap is at Makati Cinema Square’s ukay-ukay haven. With a number of secondhand boutiques spread throughout the space, you’ll have an adventure looking for the best buys. Although keep an eye out and keep your budget low (at Php 100 and below) unless it’s a Gucci bag or the like, as some places do have incredible prices for pre-loved goods.

Fabric & Craft Supplies: Carolina’s


Photo from: Carolina’s

Carolina’s is the go-to for many sewing and craft enthusiasts, or anyone who needs to get their fabric fix. This standalone branch in San Antonio, Makati offers a wider selection of fabrics and accessories in a wider space, compared to the numerous Carolina’s stores inside malls. Go here especially for hard-to-find fabrics, from satin to cotton, and whether you need a gown made or even a new customized curtain for your condo.

Furniture: Bangkal


Photo from: Xplorra

When your budget for your new place is limited to a few thousand pesos, the options you have inside shopping malls may be a little pricey for you. Instead, you’ll need to look at great bargains at Makati’s famed furniture and antique strip, Bangkal. Lined with thrift stores filled with everything from functional furniture to quirky décor, you just need a good eye to distinguish the treasures from the trash. Also, Bangkal is a wonderful challenge to your creativity as cheap novelties like old vinyl records and toys become wonderful elements in DIY home projects.

On-the-go millennials and starting out families know the value of money, choosing long-term investments over trends and novelties. The San Antonio Residence is perfect for those who know the worth of seizing life at its helm, making the most of their time with their families or their passions. The San Antonio Residence merges convenience and class through its multidimensional design and direct access to dynamic lifestyle choices.

What are other ways you turn to when you’re on a tight budget? Let us know!


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