Marikina has been a secret munch-worthy destination which echoed its way through the ears of many food connoisseurs way back 2009. The city has become quite the food destination for East and North residents, as well as hard-core foodies from the South (like us!) who are willing to go beyond the toll gates. This eclectic area is touted as the “Shoe Capital of the Philippines” has become a hub for many food concepts, from Japanese to Italian and everything in between, drawing visitors from all over the Metro.
But with great fame comes great expectations. The more hyped a certain neighborhood scene is the bigger the risk of being stamped as “just another fusion- millennial themed concept”. That’s our immediate bias as food writers. Neighboring areas become a crowded scene, literally and figuratively, turning what used to be a celebration of start-up concepts into a survival of the fittest, restaurant edition. Countless restaurants have closed down in sequence, an ominous trend that does not promise well for even the most solid of businesses.
I have learned about this Fil-Mex place from a good friend and a long-standing invitation which lasted for a few months. I was pretty skeptic going to another Fil-Mex restaurant. Telling myself, how can this place be different from the rest, and is it worth the drive from Alabang to Marikina?
On a random Saturday night, I found myself in Bodega Casa Villa, it is still relatively a new entrant to Marikina’s roster of restaurants & bars. The new hopeful kid on the block which has lots to offer to the current dining scene drawing us into a conclusion that the kid has the potential to outlast the rest of their co-siblings in the neighborhood. Let me tell you why.
What Made Us Stay
The intricately-carved wooden double doors opened widely that night, leading me to the airy alfresco dining space. It already feels homey and warm. The yellow walls, cream tufted booths, and wooden tables & chairs were so inviting.
As we make our way through,
The open space, warm lighting and a solid live music playing in the background made it more conducive for my friends and I stay for hours sharing a drink or two
Warm, inviting Mexican case. Walls painted bright canary yellow, intuitively accented with murals. My favorite place was the alfresco part of the Bodega CASA Villa. It is complete with a complete bar counter.
Owned and operated by Karen Villa (head chef), Keanne Andeza (in-charge of Marketing & Entertainment), and Jan Junsay highschool friends turned into business partners visioned Bodega Casa Villa as your next home away from home destination and make you feel as if you’ve been invited by a friend’s home.
The Food: Fat Girls Day Out Picks
Bodega ’s menu as fusion, taking after Latin American cuisine, with familiar Filipino taste elements.
Mucho Nacho Bodega (220php)
is a mountain of nachos mesh together with fresh salsa, longanisa, jalapeno, kesong puti, loads of garlic and queso sauce. Best shared as pulutan.
The Taco Trio (295php) crispy buttered ox brains, beef barbacoa, and bagnet sisig.
Their take on the taco is by adding rich ingredients and balancing it with other flavors. These flavors are created by pouring in some of their sauce, a garlic yogurt sauce, salsa, and spicy sauce. Each rich in flavor and complementing the base protein of the taco.
Alique Squid Pasta (275php) Cappelini, Aligue and Grilled Squid.
The Aligue pasta topped with baby squid sauteed with garlic was a nice tag team on your tongue. Served with pita instead of the typical bread.
One notable drink that you should order is the Sili Mo Rita (140php/shot, Bodega’s Jalapeno infused tequila-based alcohol shot. Rimmed with half salt.
Check out their full menu selections here. Please take note that menu roster is subject to updates/changes:
The playful execution of Chef Karen Villa for this restaurant is instinctive and comforting that is prevalently shown on the food that they’re serving. Their price point is competitive considering their portion sizes are generous.
This special nook in Marikina City is a place of refuge where you can end your stressful day. Their dishes are comforting, drinks are strong and people are open and inviting. A CASA I wouldn’t mind going back to every now and then.
The Marikina community has become so diverse, That we are given a chance to try dishes in small quantities to test on customers who would actually have an appreciation for bold flavors. The city will always be a destination, even if currently, the other counterparts such as BF Homes Pque and Maginhawa scene has a lot of ebb and flow. Marikina has a lot of gems worth seeking out – and Bodega Casa Villa is one of these gems.
It’s pretty refreshing to see a well-thought-out concept for the Filipino market. For the interiors, dynamic menu selections with generous servings and yet partnered with reasonable pricing. It is really a value of your time and money to check out this place.
Our extra rice rating/CX Rating of
- Address: 48 Dragon Street, San Roque, Marikina City
- Contact Details: +632-6451952
- Operating Hours: Tuesdays-Sundays, 5:00PM-12: 30 AM
- Official Instagram Page
- Official YouTube Page
- Official Spotify Page- Curated MixTapes/Playlist
- Zomato Reviewer Profile
- TripAdvisor Top 3% Contributor