The Thomasians’ Cheap Eats and Lunchtime Grub List

November 4, 2019

If there’s one thing I miss about being a college student, it’s the endless options of ridiculously cheap but incredibly satisfying eats around campus. Every university has its own go-to carinderia and ihawan that students highly recommend for the tasty food at allowance-friendly prices. In today’s university eats list, we check out some of the Dapitan, Asturias, and P. Noval restaurants Thomasians visit in between or after classes.

1. Santorini

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No food street is complete without one place serving Korean cuisine. Santorini is where students go not only to get their bibimbap, ramen, and bulgogi fix, but also to bask in the presence of the K-Pop background music and photos of famous Korean actors and entertainers. Santorini also serves appetizers like the highly recommended radish and cabbage kimchi.


Address: P. Noval St cor Delos Reyes St, Sampaloc, Manila

2. Legit Restaurant

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If you’re not up for Korean, P. Noval also has its own Japanese restaurant called Legit Restaurant. They promise big servings at affordable prices, making the plates perfect for sharing among the barkada or class. Their Japanese options include Omurice Tonkatsu, Beef Curry, Scallop Balls, Tofu Teppan, and Kani Salad Maki.

Legit Restaurant

Address: 1-C 981 P. Noval St cor De Los Reyes St, Sampaloc, Manila

3. SR Thai Cuisine

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Students are no longer limited to lutong bahay and fast food as their only lunch options. The highly recommended SR Thai Cuisine along P. Noval serves Thai dishes close to the country of origin. Some of their menu options include Pad Thai, Kang Keaw Wan Kai, Pla Thod Kratiem Prikthai, and Khao Ob. They also serve plates full of Crabmeat Fried Rrice and Pinoy-palate friendly dishes like Sweet & Sour Pork, Chicken Pandan, and Bagoong Rice.

SR Thai Cuisine

Address: 965 P. Noval St, Sampaloc, Manila

4. Coffee Indulgence

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Before graduating to the world of serious caffeine dependence, every student depends first on the sugar-laden sweetness of frappes to beat the heat and to get that extra rush between study sessions. Coffee Indulgence sells blended drinks for less than PHP 100, such as the Oreo Choco Cookie (PHP 65 w/ whipped cream; PHP 45 without) and Milky Chocolate (PHP 60 w/ whipped cream; PHP 40 without). Those who aren’t fans of chocolate can opt for the Vanilla Strawberry or Vanilla Caramel blends (both at PHP 65 with whipped cream; PHP 45 without).

Coffee Indulgence

Address: 1055-1057 P. Noval St, Sampaloc, Manila

5. Mang Tootz Food House

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Ask any UST student or alumni about where to eat in the area, and they’ll be sure to mention Mang Tootz. This eatery is most famous for its Banana Rhum-a, which as its moniker describes, flavors banana turon with Tanduay White Premium Rhum, cinnamon powder, sesame seed, and Milk Boy (the skimmed milk powder used on iced crumble). The carinderia was also once called Tootzilog and continues serving satisfying lunches such as liempo, bicol express, caldereta, and sisig for less than PHP 100.

Mang Tootz Food House

Address: P. Noval St, Sampaloc, Manila

6. French Toast/Pancake Stall

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Even American breakfasts are served for cheap in the area. A tiny stall along Dapitan lets students grab a quick carb-loaded breakfast of 2 pancakes that come with a strip of bacon and strawberry or blueberry jam at PHP 30; an extra pancake just costs PHP 40. For those who want something to nibble on, hey also sell 8 French toast sticks for just PHP 25, while 4 pieces are at PHP 20. Both quantities are served with maple syrup.

French Toast

Address: Dapitan St, Sampaloc, Manila

7. Red Cinnamon Canteen

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For those who want a little more variety to their lunch, the Red Cinnamon Canteen serves sizzlers and Pinoy Meals at the very student-friendly PHP 50-80 price range. Their menu includes staples like pork, bangus and chicken sisig, Pinoy favorites like Fried Tilapia with Egg, and the tastier fare includes Chicken Cordon Bleu and Chicken Parmegiana.

Red Cinnamon Canteen

Address: V. Concepcion St, Sampaloc, Manila

8. Ali and B

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For those looking for a Western influence in their food, Ali and B serves all kinds of chicken such as Buffalo Wings (PHP 65), Pesto Chicken (PHP 55), Cheezy Chicken (PHP 60), and even Buffalo Chicken Strips (PHP 60). All meals come with unlimited rice and a drink, making the meal extra affordable and enough to keep students going through long classes.

Ali and B

Address: Asturias St, Sampaloc, Manila

9. Asturias Sisig Supreme

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No university list is complete without a sisig eatery and among the nearby choices is Asturias Sisig Supreme. This eatery has an incredibly affordable menu that includes Chicken and Pork Sisig with Egg at PHP 55, Butter Chicken Fillet and Chicken Fillet with Gravy Sauce at PHP 55, as well as Southeast Asian options like Nasi Goreng at PHP 69 and Chicken Hainanese at PHP 65.

Asturias Sisig Supreme

Address: Asturias St, Sampaloc, Manila

Where do you like to eat in the Dapitan or España area? What other eateries do you recommend? Where did you eat back in the good old (or present) college days? Tell us in the comments below!

Gela Velasco Gela Velasco

Gela is a young adult slowly settling into her late twenties. She likes to make a mess in the kitchen when no one’s looking, dance till dawn on long weekends, and dream about beef on lazy afternoons. On some days she learns how to write good in graduate school. Her life goals include sashaying somewhat like Beyonce and to write a cover story on Leonardo di Caprio.

29 comments in this post SHOW

29 responses to “The Thomasians’ Cheap Eats and Lunchtime Grub List”

  1. danevillaluz says:

    You should include Lovelite. Most students are familiar with the place. 🙂

  2. Charm says:

    Santorini’s kimchi fried rice is the best!

  3. Adrian De Leon says:

    So many new places have popped up!

  4. Unknown says:

    Red Cinnamon for exotic dishes (e.g. ipis, daga, etc)

  5. Anna says:

    I think I’m one of the few who find Mang Tootz’ (and the banana rhum-a) overrated. On another note, when Coffee Indulgence first opened, their shakes were priced from P20 to P30. Those were the days! 🙂

    • gela velasco says:

      Ah, inflation! haha!

    • Adrian De Leon says:

      Yes, you’re the only one I know who thinks that. 🙂 Mang Tootz is like the god of carinderias for me and every Thomasian I know. His Chicken Kabab and Barbecue Spareribs are amazing. I still crave for them from time to time. Hell, even his soup is good. It’s not the common “pinakuluan lang na buto na nilagyan ng vetsin” crap that most joints serve.

  6. Oscar says:

    There’s nothing cheap on the stores you shared. Walang Pares Lacson, Jhon Allen’s, Darling’s, or yung isawan sa España. Maraming shops na 50 pesos below ang pwedeng budget around UST

  7. Hi. says:

    Are you a freshie? Because your recommendations are horrible.

    • Hi again. says:

      Okay, my comment came off as rude and I really didn’t mean for it to be like that. My apologies.

      It’s just that…I really can’t help but feel bad for all the good AND cheap places you didn’t write about. They deserve to be promoted far more than some of the overrated, slightly dirty, and mediocre choices you’ve placed on this list.

  8. USTMedFreshie says:

    The Pit’s Tokwa’t Baboy is the best!

  9. Hope says:

    SANTORINI is the best place to get your Korean food fix at UST, hands down. Try their kimchi fried rice (kimchi bokkeumbap) and udon. Yea, their prices are a bit expensive for the regular student baon, but my barkada always try to save up for a tummy splurge :))

    COFFEE INDULGENCE if i’m not mistaken you can still get PIZZA CALZONES there at around 35 pesos for the double cheese. IT’S SO GOOD they really use good ingredients
    (tomato/marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese) and their pasta’s good too.

  10. Pilar San Luis says:

    Golly! Mang Tootz is still there! Have always enjoyed eating there. I also remember eating at Almer’s. Unlimited gravy! But I heard it’s closed already?

  11. Soren Kortenjan says:

    I think you should try FIREBRICK KITCHEN @ Crowne Galleria Lobby, P.Noval, Near Dakasi 🙂 Their Chicken and Lechon taste so good 🙂 Prices are low. 🙂

  12. Patrick says:

    BurgerVibes!! Affordable and “sulit”! Its at P.noval, Annies Place. Above Mini Stop! You should def check them out and do a feature 🙂

  13. Volts Sanchez says:

    The name “Legit Restaurant” just makes me laugh. It sounds so… legit! 😉

  14. Carl Francis says:

    Try Chewyork in Asturias! 🙂

  15. jitori says:

    I prefer Hanayo than Santorini

  16. Charlie says:

    Sorry, but a lot of these are terrible. The beef curry in Legit is not that legit, in my opinion. Santorini’s appetizer is not that higly-recommended but their Rabbokgi is the best and Zzapaghetti is a fun dish to try. I think Soulia has better appetizers. Never Hanayo though, very poor service EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. SR Thai Cuisine’s food is not that great nor that cheap, plus it looks depressing in the inside. If anyone would ask for cheap yeat really satisfying eats, they could try:

    1. Nasi Goreng (Garahe Grill, Asturias)
    2. Honey Chicken (Greenbox, which is relocated now in Dapitan)
    3. Siomai Rice (Golden Chopsticks)

    Coffee Ave’s Spicy Tuna Pasta and Stroganoff is feat-worthy, though it costs 100+ already. So yeah, thank me later.

    Disclaimer: Forgive the condescending tone but I think I earned it naman for I have tried them all. Regardless, those are all mere opinions.

  17. gummer says:

    Sr thai noval is a no go. Serving size in that branch is ridiculously small. If you want to eat at sr thai go to dapitan. U guys frgot chumbayan siomai, cantunan at noval and tap and chop.

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