BORACAY -- From posh restaurants to fast casual eateries to fast food chains, Boracay has it all. And now, another popular dining concept recently opened on the island -- a food hall.
A food hall is similar to the dated food court concept. However, the food vendors are carefully curated and the design more contemporary and chic. It's basically a modern-day food court with fast casual dining sensibilities.
Like most food halls in Metro Manila, Streetmarket Boracay is quite modern and houses various hipster-ish food options to choose from -- from pizza to fried chicken to burgers to tacos.
Located inside Station X, the commercial space of the newly opened Hue Hotel and Resort, Streetmarket is the first and only food hall of Boracay, which has consistently been named one of the best islands in the world.
“My wife, Odette and I partnered with the owners of Hue Hotel for this business. We were lucky enough to meet with our partners and we discovered that we had a common vision for what we’d like to achieve for Streetmarket, which was to elevate the casual dining scene on the island and create a space that everyone wants to relax in,” explained co-owner Nowie Potenciano.
Potenciano said that the planning of the dining concept started as early as 2015. It initially opened in March 2017. He and his team conceptualized the look of the restaurants while the common areas were designed by the hotel.
The new hotel is owned and managed by Hue Hotels and Resorts and is located at Station 2 by the main road. The company, which also manages a property in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, tapped New York-based CAZA Architects to design Hue Boracay. Unlike most hotels, the property has an open concept, seamlessly connecting the hotel to the commercial area, giving guests a lot more space.
One of the striking design features are the common areas. The Instagram-worthy space is located at the middle of the commercial complex, surrounded by the Prisma bar, restaurants, and shops. It has a faux grass flooring with some cool furniture like beanbags, wooden picnic tables, and native mats for floor seating. It also has a huge geometric chair swing in the middle, a favorite among guests.
“What we wanted for the food hall was for it to be design-forward but still fit the beach vibe of Boracay. We avoided making it too urban or industrial, instead, we wanted it to feel cozy and relaxing,” he said.
The main food hall has its own dinning space, apart from the common areas, and houses eight food stalls namely: Percy, which serves seafood; Winner Winner offers buttermilk fried chicken; Fat Rice for some Southeast Asian dishes; Diavolo for Neapolitan-style pizza; Santa Peligrosa serves Mexican food; Poketo is a Japanese grill; and Sugar Cloud for bingsu, fresh juices and shakes. There's also Local Color, an artisanal local souvenir shop.
In the area, there are also restaurants that have their own space like Little Wave Coffee Co. and The Tart Shop, both also owned by Potencianos.
Laksa from Fat Rice.
Porchetta Pizza from Diavolo.
Mushroom Parsely Fettuccini from Little Wave Coffee Co.
Melon with Lychee Cream Bingsu from Sugar Cloud.
The Tart Shop.
“All the concepts at Streetmarket Boracay are originals that were designed and conceptualized especially for this food hall. None of them have any branches elsewhere. We selected these concepts and their dishes carefully in order to make sure we had something to offer for everyone,” Potenciano said.
“One important thing that’s different about Streetmarket Boracay is that there is only one operator for all the restaurants—that makes sure that we are able to offer a wide variety of options without them being too similar to one another and also maintain a high standard. This means that a family or a barkada can all find something delicious to eat at Streetmarket—they can all come over and walk away happy. I believe that with more than 120 different dishes available, Streetmarket has the widest variety in such a small space on the island,” he ended.