Words by Gaby Capule, Andres Martinez, and MJ Viernes
Art by Liane Baylosis
With the start of face-to-face classes, the UP campus is finally opening to students after two long years. In the midst of such excitement, the essential question for new students comes to mind—Where do we hang out on the campus? And more importantly, where do we eat? Pero ‘wag kayong mag-alala, because UP is known for having delicious and affordable street food that is well-loved by students, faculty, and non-UP-affiliated citizens alike! Here are some food and drinks you must try in the incredibly rich and mouthwatering street food scene of UP Diliman!
You can never go wrong with a quick snack or dessert fix from Iskorambol. It's one of the first stalls you'll find in Area 2 when you're coming from Balagtas street! With consecutive classes especially during a hot day, the sweetness of the Iskorambol–priced at only PHP 25 a cup–is sure to give you the burst of energy you need to conquer the day. Each spoonful of the pink concoction, which you can customize with any topping of your choice, is satisfying, delicious, and even nostalgic. It takes you back to your childhood, back when street skrambol was the perfect choice for a sweet merienda. What's more: each cup of skrambol is made with love by our own Aling Nene, and has charmed the hearts of UP and non-UP people alike!
At the heart of UP’s street food scene is Sizzy’s Sisig by DJAY’s Food House. For PHP 75 per order, Sizzy’s Sisig provides a heartwarming dish that can happily fill up anyone in search of deliciously sulit eats. Students on a jam-packed schedule will have no problem grabbing a quick hearty meal at Sizzy’s Sisig with the swiftness and convenience of their service. Not only are their products widely renowned for being financially worth it, but their menu is as extensive as it gets—with food items ranging from Filipino classics such as pork sisig and tapsilog, to vegetarian options such as tofu sisig, and specialty dishes such as butterfly squid and hungarian overload. Undoubtedly, Sizzy’s Sisig by DJAY’s Food House remains to be a well-loved comfort food shop among students and faculty alike – thus establishing its reputation as a place where everyone is welcomed and treated as family.
Jing’s Lutong Bahay
When thinking of cheap and inexpensive street foods in UP Diliman, what often comes to mind is the iconic Mango Graham shake served at Jing’s Lutong Bahay in Area 2. For PHP 80, you can avail of Jing’s Lutong Bahay’s buy-one-take-one promo that will leave you with one large and one small Mango Graham shake, which can be easily upsized for just an additional PHP 10. Perfect for a hot summer date in the UPD oval, the drink is a must-try for UP students, as it keeps them going after a long day’s work. At first glance, the mango graham combination seems a bit odd, as it features two seemingly different ingredients. That being said, any veteran to the UP street food community will tell you how the drink captures the essence of UP in its utter variety, convenience, and ingenuity—and boy, is it delicious! Whether it be for a much needed sugar rush to get you through your exams, a quick drink to cool you off during the summer, or the pièce de résistance for your birthday celebration, the Mango Graham shake never fails to do the trick.
What’s a UP student, majoring in pulling all-nighters, without their regular dose of coffee? Fortunately, there’s no need for Starbucks, Tim Horton’s, or Bo’s when we have Laya Coffee on campus! For less than PHP 100, you can have your daily fix of caffeine that can definitely provide you the energy you need to fulfill all your commitments, packaged beautifully in a delicious cup of goodness. For non-coffee drinkers, Laya’s got you, too! The shop also serves milk tea, iced chocolate, and even butterbeer (shoutout to the Potterheads out there)! You may also opt to pair your drink with one of their snacks – may it be the hungarian sausage or their yakitori sandwich-- and voilà, you’ve got a delectable meal that is worth its price. Yum!
Although not located in A2, this spot deserves a shout-out nonetheless! The list wouldn’t be complete without the famous isawan on campus, Mang Larry’s! From its humble beginnings three decades ago, Mang Larry’s has grown into a well-known food trip destination for street food enthusiasts. Its current location even has its own parking spots to accommodate its loyal patrons from within and outside the UP community! Mang Larry’s offers assorted street food, such as its popular isaw, fishball, kikiam, squid balls, gizzard, and so much more. At a very affordable price, you can have your fill of Filipino street delicacies at our very own campus.
Photo by Aiko Panajon Martinez from Zomato
May it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or even a quick snack, Area 2 & Mang Larry’s are perfect for famished students, street food enthusiasts, or just anyone looking for a delicious meal that won’t make your wallet cry. The UP street food experience is a prime example of how you don’t need to spend a fortune to taste good food. While most of these stalls have been in the food business for several decades already, it’s clear that their service continues to be loved and appreciated by the community–and for sure, you will too!
Ano, g? Tara, food trip!