Pares was born out of Philippine ingenuity, a hodgepodge of long-braised ingredients in a satisfyingly thick broth that could make even the hungriest of workers feel full. Along with mami, it is one of our most ubiquitous street eats, making it difficult to pinpoint a place that truly serves the best bowl. Cocoy’s however, comes particularly close.
Over twenty years, this Quezon City restaurant has become a meeting place of sorts for anyone in the area, from students to workers to residents. Lines are continuously long despite the slightly higher prices—the Beef Pares at Cocoy’s clocks in at PHP75 while street vendors’ versions can come around PHP25-40. This is probably because it is more substantial, and feels more premium, making it the very definition of bang-for-your-buck. Have it with rice, and you get fatty bits of meat that are tender, with just enough bite to soak up all that thick, sweet soup. The mami is intense in its garlicky flavor, with noodles toothsome enough to hold up to its broth.