So you decided to pursue a full-time program at AIM, which ultimately leads to making the ultimate sacrifice of leaving your full-time job that gave you a regular stream of income. This means you’re probably living on your hard-earned savings or an allowance from either your parents or some sponsor of some sort. This also means that you can’t eat out as much as you would like to anymore, at least not at the latest fancy restaurant (which opens as often as you’re assigned new cases in AIM).
AIM students are lucky. There plenty of cheap-eats available around the campus. We recommend the following places when you’re sick of stuffing yourself with instant ramen
Fast Food (Greenbelt 1)
Hen Lin is the closest thing to Chinese take-out near AIM. The Siomai with Yangchow Rice (P62) is the quintessential dinner when working on late-night projects with your LT. They offer a variety of other MSG laden dishes such as dimsum and noodles as well. Try their Lumpia Shanghai (P105) if you want an alternative to Siomai with your rice.
Everyone loves flavored fries. Shame on you if you don’t. This is a brand with a cult following and it’s also the most ubiquitous snack at AIM. It’s so popular that they decided to open a 2nd outlet at Greenbelt 1 near the cinemas. Fair warning though: bringing a tub (P50-P200) to AIM means is almost a free-for-all.
The cornerstone of every AIM student’s breakfast during Saturday classes and WACs. We’d feel silly explaining McDonald’s to you but we can tell you this branch is open 24/7 to serve your late-night cravings.
Jollibee is the Philippines’ answer to Mcdonald’s. Their menus are similar but the former definitely puts its own spin on essential fast food items. If this is your first time in Manila, do yourself a favor and try the Chickenjoy (P82). It’s the safest Filipino thing you can try and we guarantee you’ll love it. Do check out the restaurant’s viral videos while you’re at it.
Also at Greenbelt 1: KFC and Wendy’s
The Convenience Stores
Family Mart offers a variety of choices one would not normally find in convenience stores (in Metro Manila anyway). But the quality of the food is higher than that of its competitors. Do try challenging yourself with their Twirl-All-You-Can (P25). They give you an ice cream cone and it’s up to you how much you want to fill it with. Flavors change often but look out for crème brulee and matcha.
The 24/7 place for everything you need, and by everything we mean alcohol. The odds of seeing an AIM student buying booze at this place during weekends are pretty good. They do also offer a selection of decent deep-fried food. Their Fried Chicken (P68) is something frequently buzzed about on Twitter. It’s no Chickenjoy but it does the job.
Photo from TGW Facebook Page
Located in an inconspicuous place a few steps from the AIM conference center lies the food house which has a strong following among office workers in the area. This is the healthiest stop we can recommend as aside from serving rice meals, they also serve Oat Arroz Caldo (P59), a savory soup flavored with chicken broth but with oats mixed in instead of rice.
Photo from http://www.thepickiesteater.net
Bring your friends during Tuesdays at Chihuahua, which is when they celebrate Taco Tuesdays. Tacos (soft or hard) are discounted 50% and there are vegetarian options as well. They make a pretty mean taco (but only on Tuesdays!).