Stepping Out

Mercato Centrale goes to Quezon City

Forget about dieting even just for this weekend especially when you happen to be at the UP-Ayala Technohub where a number of glorious food, drinks, and desserts are yours to try at the newly opened Mezza Norte—Quezon City’s first weekend food bazaar held in the evening till early morning.

The Mercato Centrale Experience, famously known at The Fort Taguig, is now in Quezon City. Mezza Norte, the Northern version of Mercato formally opened on July 26, 2012 at UP-Ayala Technohub, Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City.

“Excited na excited talaga ako kasi matagal ko nang pinapangarap na magkaroon ng ganitong klaseng lugar sa Lungsod ng Quezon na pwedeng puntahan ng kahit sino man para mag-relax pagkatapos magtrabaho o kaya sa weekend. Tapos ngayon, natupad na yung pangarap ko.” Vice Major Joy Belmonte said in an interview with

At the ribbon-cutting at Mezza Norte. From left, Vanessa Ledesma of Mezza Norte; Monaco Consul General Fortune Ledesma; Rowena Tomeldan of Ayala Malls; Ding Dizon, Group Director of Commercial operations Coca Cola-Bottlers; QC Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte; and QC Chief of Staff Aldrin Cuna, . Photo by Aliana Gimena,

Mezza Norte is open during Thursdays to Saturdays from 6PM to 3AM. Students and employees from the North do not need to travel all the way to Taguig anymore to enjoy the Mercato food experience.

Masaya na may ganito na sa Technohub kasi mas marami nang choices. Dati parang yun at yun lang. Nakakasawa rin yung food,” Que Tumaque, an employee from IBM Technohub, said. ”Every Thursday and Friday lagi na akong nandito.”

Food lovers have more than 30 stalls to choose from. To have a glimpse of what to expect at Mezza Norte, below are some exciting booth finds.

The huge crowd at Mezza Norte during its formal opening. Photo by Aliana Gimena,

Food Stalls
The Mezza Norte food stalls offer a range of items that includes full meals or bite-size snacks to take home or enjoy at a designated dining area. Come in for dinner, after-dinner drinks, even for a midnight snack or very early breakfast.

Little tacos or “taclings” as the store’s name implies are its specialty. It is owned by Michelle Turabin who reveals that the reason why she came up with the concept of “taclings” was because she found regular tacos as too cumbersome to bite and eat.

Crisp custom-made taco shells filled with freshly made salsa, creamy garlic sauce, and ground beef or tuna filling. The green taco shells are fortified with

Crunchybelly by Carlos Kitchen
“You can’t go wrong with liempo and deep-fry because favorite siya ng mga tao,” Katrisha Reantazo, owner, said on why she chose to sell crispy liempo at Mezza Norte.

The crispy liempo costs Php120 without rice while the liempo meal (with rice) costs Php130. Photo by Aliana Gimena,

The Angus Beef Tapa Lady
Koyen Cipriano aka The Angus Beef Tapa Lady is owner of the food stall. Tender and juicy Angus beef replaces regular beef tapa.

An order of Angus beef tapa costs between Php100-Php120 depending on your choice of flavors: regular, hot and spicy, and Korean. Photo by Aliana Gimena,

Isa’s Mongolian
There’s nothing Mongolian about this food stall—only homemade, delicious “street food” like isaw manok, isaw baboy and tenga ng baby.

Street food goodness at Isa's Mongolian stall. Photo by Aliana Gimena,

Thirst quenchers
Wash off a tasty treat or meal with healthy juices or guilt-free cocktails.

Mocktail Republic by Sober club
Sober? No. It’s not what you think it is. This stall gives its customers a promise: NO ALCOHOL.

For only Php68, customers may try a variety of cocktail drinks minus the alcohol content. Photo by Alien Gimena,

The Juice Bar
The Juice Bar offers fresh fruit juices and shakes including iced tea and sago’t gulaman.

Fresh fruit juices at the Juice Bar's stall. Photo by Aliana Gimena,

For those with a sweet tooth, these are some must-visit stalls.

Owned by a medical technologist and a chef, MedChef serves its customers with mouthwatering cakes like carrot cake, red velvet, and chocolate cake.

Sliced cakes ranging from red velvet, chocolate, and carrot cake, to name a few, cost Php80 per box. Photo by Aliana Gimena,

Mio Gelati
Treat yourself to creamy and delicious gelato at Mio Gelati.

Mio Gelato offers flavors like cookies and cream, pistachio, and chocolates like Snickers and Reese's. Photo by Aliana Gimena,

Bon appétit, Quezon City!