Looking for an interesting destination where you can enjoy folk art, unique eats and more but that’s still relatively near Manila? Why not take a road trip to Angono, the “Art Capital of the Philippines” in the nearby province of Rizal?
Angono offers a different kind of dining experience compared to the usual dining destinations in the metro. Many art galleries around town double up as cafes and restaurants so you can combine your food trip with a cultural tour.
Another great thing about eating out in Angono is the “presyong probinsya” food, giving you more bang for your buck. Here are just a few of the unique dining destinations in Angono you’ll want to check out.
1. Balaw-Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery
For first-timers, Balaw-Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery is a good choice to start your culinary tour with. The specialty restaurant and art gallery, which was established in 1983, is owned by artist Perdigon N. Vocalan and school teacher Luzvimin L. Vocalan. They manage an extensive collection of folk art work and furniture which they’ve displayed on the three floors of the building.
The restaurant, which gets its name from a native sauce made of fermented shrimp paste, is well-known for serving exotic dishes that appeal to the adventurous foodies. Feeling brave? How about a plate of kamaro (crispy deep-fried crickets), a bowl of sinabawang balut (duck eggs cooked like bulalo), or uok (coconut worms)? Too tame for you? You can also find Soup No. 5 and nilasing na palaka (frogs marinated in wine) on their menu.
But if you’re not up for a Fear Factor-style dining experience, don’t worry, there are a lot of safe dishes on the menu too. The minaluto, a paella-like dish that combines prawns, crabs, mussels, pork, water spinach, and salted egg in a native bilao, makes for a festive feast for larger groups.
Balaw-Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery can be found at 16 Doña Justa Subd. Ph. I Manila East Highway Angono, Rizal.
2. Nemiranda Art House Atelier Cafe Restaurant
Another artistic restaurant in Angono is Nemiranda Art House, a family art museum owned by renowned artist Nemesio R. Miranda. More popularly known as Nemiranda, the artist specializes in paintings and sculptures that celebrate the rural scenery and figures from folklore.
Atelier Museum Cafe serves interesting local specialties like fried itik (deep-fried duck), pesang dalag (stewed mudfish) and sinigang na kanduli (a type of catfish). You can also order typical Pinoy dishes like tapsilog, grilled liempo, chicken barbecue and pork sisig at affordable prices here.
Nemiranda Art House Atelier Cafe Restaurant can be found at 5 Doña Elena St., Doña Justa Village, Phase 1, Brgy. San Roque, Angono, Rizal.
3. Scrapyard Cafe and Restaurant
One of the oldest restaurants in Angono, Scrapyard Cafe and Restaurant is a homegrown haunt located along the main highway of Manila East Road (it’s near the tricycle terminals and PUV stops). They’re open 24 hours a day.
The unpretentious and no-frills restaurant is known for its lugaw and goto, although they also serve filling minalot (rice and viands combo) meals and fresh fruit shakes. Itik or duck is one of Angono’s most famous dishes, so be sure to try their kinulob na itik here. Though you can’t expect anything to be fancy or Instagrammable here, the food is decent and is great value for money. At night, Scrapyard Cafe becomes a watering hole for locals to just chill in. A live band regularly performs here every Friday and Saturday night.
Scrapyard Cafe and Restaurant can be found at Manila East Road, Angono, Rizal.
4. AngNewNo Arts Design Cafe
Also located along the Manila East Road Highway (right across Scrapyard Cafe), AngNewNo Arts brings a more modern spin to folk art and food.
The cafe’s name is the shortened version of the term “Ang New Angono” (The New Angono) and the place serves as a gallery for aspiring artists. You can spot colorful Higantes-inspired festival masks in front of the restaurant’s facade and in the outdoor dining/garden area, while the two-story main dining space is decorated with paintings, woodcrafts and sculptures by talented young artists from the province of Rizal. AngNewNo serves some interesting fusion dishes including pizza topped with tinapa and itik pulutan favorites like red hot itik, sisig, and crispy pata, as well as budget-friendly rice meals.
AngNewNo Arts Design Cafe can be found at 6 Manila East Road, Brgy. San Roque, Angono, Rizal.
5. Lava Mocha Cafe
For those craving for something sweet, Angono has several dessert hubs and cafes you can check out. Lava Mocha Cafe, which was formerly a school supplies store, is a student-friendly hangout decked out in Higantes masks and paintings of local artist Nani Reyes.
One of Angono’s most famous festivals is the Higantes Festival which is celebrated every November. Lava Mocha cafe’s claim to fame is their one-liter Higante Frappe with overloaded toppings inspired by Angono’s Higantes or colorful paper-mâché giants. Be warned, this drink is best shared with friends (it’s good for up to 3 persons!) You can also get creative by designing your own frappes with colorful and edible toppings.
Lava Mocha Cafe can be found at 97 Doña Aurora Street, Brgy. San Roque, Angono, Rizal.
6. Kim is Hungry Cakes + Cafe
Kim is Hungry Cakes + Cafe is a small pastry shop that specializes in cakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes, cookies, coffee and cold drinks. The homegrown cafe had humble beginnings as an online business selling baked goodies and treats before owner Kim Gonzales decided to open a restaurant for walk-in customers to enjoy her sweet confections, coffee, frappes and other meals.
The cafe offers interesting cookies and cupcakes such as Matcha Chocolate Chip Cookies, Strawberry Shortcake, Choco Yema Cake and Salted Dulce de Leche Cupcake ( this one has a Vanilla cupcake base that’s topped off with buttercream frosting, gooey salted dulce de leche and toasted almonds!) They also have a few savory dishes like Mexican meals, chicken wings and burgers.
Kim is Hungry Cakes + Cafe can be found on the 2/F of Paulina Bldg., M. Diaz corner A. Ibanez Brgy. Sto. Niño, Angono, Rizal.
7. Wings on the Go
Speaking of wings and burgers, Wings on the Go or WOTG is another gem in Angono that will satisfy your foodie cravings. Highly recommended by friends based in Angono, Wings on the Go serves mouthwatering homemade buffalo wings, grilled burgers, pasta dishes, nachos, cool beverages and more. Portions are good for sharing and prices are affordable.
Wings on the Go can be found at 213 E. Rodriguez Street, Brgy. Sto. Niño, Angono, Rizal.
8. Art Capital Cafe
Last but not least, there’s Art Capital Cafe, a cozy cafe where you can enjoy good food and admire art pieces created by talented local artists. The cafe also serves a few savory dishes that commemorate renowned national artists. Lucio Pizza (with smoky bacon bits) pays tribute to composer Lucio San Pedro while Botong Pizza (with spicy chicken and bell peppers) gets its name from muralist Carlos “Botong” Francisco.
For those with a sweet tooth, the cafe serves trendy coffee-based drinks like Cotton Candy Frappe, Butterbeer Frappe, Mocha Mint and Salted Caramel Mocha. For non-coffee alternatives, the Milo Nitro and Blue Dragon are their bestsellers.
Art Capital Cafe is located right next to a Caltex gas station, so this is a good last pit stop or snack place for your road trip before driving back to the metro.
Art Capital Cafe is located at M.L. Quezon Avenue, Brgy. San Isidro, Angono, Rizal.