We know how hard it is to meet up with friends in a world ruled by responsibilities and #adulting, but sometimes, all anyone needs to de-stress is a proper squad hangout.
Quezon City, aka the largest city in Metro Manila, is the perfect meeting place for large groups because it has almost every form of entertainment, from malls to museums and restaurants.
It has spots for sporty friends, for drinking buddies, and of course, dedicated foodies — here are some ideas for things to do in the city for every kind of friend group.
Spend the day at a dog cafe
Barkin’ Blends is a great hangout spot for dog-loving friends. Nothing brings people closer together than a bunch of wagging tails and cute puppy dog eyes all in one room, right?
There are tons of doggos people can interact and play with at the cafe. They have a Pug, a Siberian Husky, a Beagle, a Labrador, a golden retriever, and a poodle, among others — just one big happy dog family.
Customers can only stay for two-hours max and they can order coffee, frappuccinos, tea, pasta, and burgers on top of all that free-flow doggo love.
Barkin’ Blends has two branches at:
Contact: +632 533-7290
Go nuts and unleash your inner Barney Stinson at a laser tag arena
How I Met Your Mother fans know how much playboy Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) loved laser tag, and for good reason: shooting random people and their team’s base with laser guns can give quite the adrenaline rush.
For the competitive set of friends, play a game or two of laser tag at the Laser Maxx arena in the Eton Centris mall in Quezon City. Just remember to not get too into it as shouting profanities and physically hurting others inside the arena is prohibited.
One game costs PHP190 (US$3.63) each on weekdays and PHP220 (US$4.21) each on weekends.
Lazer Maxx is at Centris Walk, Eton Centris, EDSA Cor.,
Quezon Ave., Quezon City
Open Monday to Thursday, 12PM — 9PM;
Friday to Sunday, 10AM — 10PM
Phone: (02) 4411958
Check out other branches on its website.
Jog around the University of the Philippines Diliman’s Academic Oval
For those sporty friends who like spending their Saturday mornings exercising together, the University of the Philippines Diliman’s campus is a good location to jog at. For one thing, the campus has allocated ample space for both runners and cyclists (nice!).
The 493-hectare flagship campus is huge with tree-lined pathways and grassy areas where people can do all sorts of activities like soccer, frisbee, and the like. But, running laps around the Academic Oval will be enough work as it is. Five rounds and bam, that’s a 10-kilometer run.
Pro Tip: After the morning jog, take the squad to Rodic’s Tapa located inside campus grounds. It’s a small canteen that serves affordable Filipino rice meals. The best seller is the sweet and savory tapa (cured beef) rice meal.
The University of the Philippines Diliman is at Roxas Ave, Diliman, Quezon City
Become one with the artworks in Art in Island museum
There are tons of museums worth visiting around the city, but those who want a place that’s more experiential than most can try Art in Island in Cubao, an interactive 3D museum. There, friends can immerse themselves in the 3D paintings and murals that feature dinosaurs, Cupid’s butt, Adam & Eve, farmers, and a huge kitten, among others. There’s also a restaurant inside the establishment.
Entrance is priced at PHP500 (US$9.54) each for adults and PHP400 (US$7.63) each for students.
Tip: It’s cold, so bring a jacket. Shoes aren’t allowed inside the 3D museum, which is why it’s good to pack an extra pair of socks.
Art in Island is at 175 15th Ave., Brgy. Socorro, Cubao, Quezon City
Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, Holidays, 9 am — 9 pm
Contact: +63 9228106930
Score some old-school items at secondhand shops
Cubao Expo, also known as Cubao X, is a hotspot for hipsters who love old-school things. The compound is known for its retro vibe and the different urban subcultures clustered in the area.
Each of its shops has its own personality and sells different things: trinkets, vinyl records, art, skateboards, streetwear, and food, among others. There are also bars like the Today x Future bar perfect for a chillnuman (chill drinking session).
Cubao Expo is at 3 General Romulo Ave.,
Cubao, Quezon City
Open Monday to Sunday, 1PM — 12AM
Go in a wine night with the squad
Looking for a more sophisticated setting? Wine not have a wine night with the squad at Vitto’s Wine Bar & Restaurant, a hole-in-the-wall bar located in Tomas Morato.
The bar banks on its laid-back atmosphere and its unli-wine nights every Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. The unlimited Australian, Italian, Californian, and Spanish wines are priced at PHP599 (US$11.45) – PHP699 (US$13.36).
Vitto’s Wine Bar & Restaurant is at 114 Sct. Lozano St., Cor.
Tomas Morato, Brgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 11 am — 1 am; Friday to
Saturday, 11 am — 2 am; Sunday, 6 pm — 12 am
Phone: +632 374-2299
Alternative: Paint while drinking wine
Sip and Gogh provides customers with a canvas, a paintbrush, and some wine in between. It’s a cozy little place where people can exercise their creative skills and learn how to recreate a featured painting with the help of an instructor.
Sip & Gogh is at #1 Capitol Hills Drive, Old Balara 1119 Quezon City, Philippines
Open Tuesday to Friday, 1PM – 11PM; Saturday to Sunday: 10AM – 11PM
Phone: +63 9998876190; (02) 9611248
Check out its other branches.
Get lost in the unli K-BBQ craze
There’s no denying that Manila and its denizens have caught up with the Korean culture fever. More and more Korean barbecue joints have started popping up around the metro and we’d be lying if we said that “Tara Samgyup (Let’s eat samgyupsal)” wasn’t the new trendy thing to say whenever we want to eat out with friends.
And it’s easy to see why. Korean barbecue spots are usually pretty affordable and is a meal and activity rolled into one. There are tons of K-BBQ spots around the metro, but a newcomer in Tomas Morato is making waves online: Yoshi-Meat-Su.
Yoshi-Meat-Su is an unli-Korean-Japanese fusion restaurant that serves ebi tempura, sushi rolls, and premium grilling meats. It’s a gamechanger in the K-BBQ craze.
There’s also a touchscreen monitor at each table where customers can place orders. No need to follow up on the waiter more than once.
The unlimited grill is priced at PHP549 (US$10.49) each.
Pro Tip: It has cheese dips for its meat. Bon appétit.
Yoshi-Meat-Su is at 258 Tomas Morato Ave., Quezon City
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11 am — 12 am
Contact: +63 9338222771
Steal the spotlight at karaoke
Ah, Filipinos and our undying love of karaoke. It’s an activity that brings people together and gives Filipinos the chance to express their love for singing — even if singing doesn’t love them back.
One of the best places for karaoke in Quezon City is Red Box, with one of its branches conveniently located in Trinoma mall. Customers can order snacks and drinks inside their own karaoke booths. Some rooms have its own billiards table, too.
Karaoke room prices are priced at PHP149 (US$2.85) – PHP399 (US$7.63).
Red Box is at 4/F Trinoma, EDSA Cor. North Ave,
Brgy. Pagasa, Quezon City
Open Monday to Sunday, 12PM — 12AM
Phone: (02) 901-8833
Welcome the weekend right
It’s a good idea to sober up after a drinking session. While at The Beech, customers can do it in the cafe hidden at the far-right end of the bar. It’s quaint, peaceful, and serves comfort food like buttered chicken and sisig (pork dish made out of chopped up pig face).
The Beech is at 121 Panay Ave., South Triangle, Tomas Morato, Quezon City
Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 6 pm – 4 am; Friday to Saturday, 6 pm — 5 am
Phone: +63 9175805116
Slow your roll at a quaint coffee shop
Good conversation over some great coffee? Stockwell Café + Lounge is a sleepy coffee shop with rustic, industrial interiors.
Dish out some juicy gossip over burgers, pasta, and specialty coffee. There are also rice meals for those who prefer a heavy meal.
Pro Tip: Order the Iced Stockwell 50/50 (PHP150/US$2.87 for hot, PHP160/US$3.06 for iced). It’s 50 percent coffee and 50 percent secret ingredients. The top is sprinkled with cocoa powder. It tastes a bit similar to dark mocha but with the right amount of creaminess.
The Spanish Hot Chocolate (PHP120/US$2.29) is also good for those who aren’t coffee drinkers.
Stockwell Café + Lounge has two branches at:
G/F 61 Sct. Tobias Cor. Sct. Rallos, Quezon City
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10 am – 10 pm
Phone: +63 9496710687
The Corner Market, 2/Floor, The Podium, ADB Ave., Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 11 am — 10 pm; Friday to Sunday, 10 am — 10 pm
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in November 2018, but the Coconuts crew is bringing it back from the archives since the information it contains remains relevant and useful. Rest assured, we’ve reviewed and updated it to make sure this oldie but goodie will still serve you well.
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