Sunshine season is more or less over now that the “ber” months are right around the corner, but that shouldn’t be a reason not to visit the Philippines’ summer capital, Baguio.
Most people come for the cool mountain air, but it seems like there’s another reason to visit these days — the food!
On this list are the top 10 best restaurants in Baguio — Northern Luzon’s now highly-urbanized capital city, based on reviews sent in by looloo users for the first half of 2014!
10. Choco-late de Batirol24 Reviews
Average Rating: 3.98
Amidst the cool mountain breeze and on chilly Baguio nights, can one think of a better companion than a cup of traditional tsokolate (hot chocolate)? At Choco-late de Batirol, located inside the iconic Camp John Hay, you can get a cup of the traditional cacao blend alongside a number of Filipino merienda staples that ought to put a little warm and fuzzy in you.
9. Happy Tummy11 Reviews
Average Rating: 4.07
Just one of the small restaurants/concessionaires you’ll find within the Ketchup Food Community, Happy Tummy is the place to go for Thai cuisine. They serve common Thai fare such as Pad Thai and Curry, but also a number of dishes that have just enough of a Thai twist to please the Filipino palate. Their Crispy Tilapia with Tamarind Sauce is a favorite among reviewers who’ve been to the place!
8. Beans Talk12 Reviews
Average Rating: 4.17
Mostly known for their delectable and affordable desserts, this cafe/tea joint offers an assortment of sweet treats to go with your cup o’ Joe or tea. Reviewers have nothing but raves for favorites like their yema cake and s’mores pie! They must be pretty good, as some looloo users have noted that the place is usually pretty packed!
7. O’ Mai Khan12 Reviews
Average Rating: 4.17
An eat-all-you-can buffet isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when you think of foodie joints in Baguio, but you’d be surprised at how diverse the dining options are now — O’ Mai Khan is a perfect example. For a little more than P200, you get a full Mongolian buffet, similar to places like Cafe Sweet Inspirations in Manila. With that price, it’s no wonder people love frequenting the place!
6. Cafe Sabel9 Reviews
Average Rating: 4.25
Cafe Sabel, appropriately named after national artist Benedict Cabrera’s famous muse, is located at the ground floor of Baguio’s famous BenCab Museum. After time spent viewing the museum’s art pieces, this is the perfect place to simply sit back, enjoy a meal made with fresh ingredients (with fruits and vegetables supposedly picked directly from the compound!), and toast to the beautiful view of Baguio’s countryside.
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5. Cafe by the Ruins47 Reviews
Average Rating: 4.25
“The perfect place to have breakfast” is mentioned a lot in reviews for this place. With their selection of Filipino breakfast classics, and what one reviewer called “the best ensaymada in the country,” it’s clear why a lot of tourists and locals come to the rustic restaurant. Of course, Cafe by the Ruins isn’t just about breakfast — they’ve got dishes like bagnet, several curries, even risotto, to fill you up at any time of the day.
4. Vizco’s Restaurant and Cake Shop53 Reviews (All Branches)
Average Rating: 4.26
“I approach the cake display as I gathered all my strength not to order a slice of each.”
Apparently, that’s how good the cakes are at this place. While they serve savory dishes like pizzas, pastas, and rice meals as well, it’s the cakes from Vizco’s that have people lining up. Baguio is famous for growing some of the juiciest strawberries in the country, and Vizco’s is well-known for taking those strawberries and turning them into their most popular offering, the strawberry shortcake.
3. Oh My Gulay13 Reviews
Average Rating: 4.37
With Benguet being known as the “Salad Bowl of the Philippines,” it seems only fitting that a vegetarian restaurant would make it to this list. The restaurant itself is a sight to see! It’s an old rustic-looking structure, decorated with plants and wood carvings, located at the top of an old building in the city’s center. One reviewer even commented that finding the place felt like a quest in itself!
They serve simple but tasty vegetarian food like Kalabasa Tempura and the popular “Anak ng Puttanesca” among others, and with the place’s look, charm, and overall appeal, you’d think they were made by local diwatas from the area. Trying this place out is definitely worth climbing 5 flights of stairs for.
2. Forest House18 Reviews
Average Rating: 4.41
As the name suggests, the place’s ambiance lends itself to its log cabin-esque look and vibe, with a stunning view from the place’s veranda to further accentuate the feeling of dining at a mountainside retreat. On their menu, you’ll find an extensive selection of local and international dishes, as well as an impressive number of pastries and baked goods for dessert (or to take home!).
Oh, and in case you really end up falling in love with the place, aside from being a restaurant, the place is also a bed and breakfast!
1. Hill Station21 Reviews
Average Rating: 4.44
Apparently voted as one of Asia’s best restaurants by The Miele Guide in 2011 and 2012, it’s no wonder that this semi-fine dining restaurant made it to the #1 spot on this list. As far as ambience goes, one reviewer had this to say: “the place oozes elegance and old world charm. The warmth of the wood floors and the regal double staircase speaks of class.”
Its menu is a mix of East and West, which speaks volumes of the chefs’ skill and expertise. Whatever craving you may have, be it Spanish, to Italian, even Tex-Mex, Hill Station will likely not only meet your expectations, but far exceed them. Oh, and don’t leave without ordering their Death by Chocolate.