Baguio City is always a popular destination any time of the year, but it gets even busier during the festive holiday season. In case you haven’t been to the City of Pines since the lockdown and are looking for new places to dine with friends and family, here are some newly opened spots and classic cafes you can check out.
Joseph’s (Laperal White House)
With the Halloween season coming up, dining in a former haunted house might be at the top of your Baguio to-do list. The century-old Laperal White House reopened as an elegant fine dining restaurant only last December 2022.
Joseph’s offers upscale dining in Baguio City and serves continental and contemporary French cuisine. The restaurant’s interiors boast of the original solid wood ceilings and walls, and contemporary furnishings.
Aside from their standard two-course to four-course set meals ideal for milestone celebrations, Joseph’s now has an à la cartemenu available on weekday lunches. They also serve lighter breakfast meals like Croque Madame, French Toast, and Eggs Benedict from 6:30 to 10:00 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday.
Joseph’s. Brgy. Teacher’s Camp, 14 Leonard Wood Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet. To ensure a table, book reservations through their website. Walk-ins are accepted subject to table availability.
Gypsy Baguio by Chef Waya
If you’re on a special diet or looking for somewhere new to eat, you might want to hunt down Gypsy Baguio by Chef Waya, the same chef behind Gourmet Gypsy Cafe in Roces and Maginhawa.
The Baguio cafe established in May 2021 offers vegan, vegetarian, no-sugar, and low-carb options in their menu. Some specialties include Indian Butter Chicken, Indonesian Beef Rendang, Smoked Duck and Sagada Orange, Pan-Grilled Pork Steak, and more. Look out for unique craft beers Baguio Gold Farmhouse Ale and Session Road Blonde Ale.
Gyspy Baguio by Chef Waya. 6 Quezon Hill Rd 2 , Baguio City
Hot Cat Cafe
Want a chill spot to relax with quality brew and good books with a view of pine trees? Hot Cat Cafe is a cozy cat-themed coffee shop that serves premium handcrafted coffee.
This cafe is located in the garden area of an old Baguio house right next to the iconic Mt. Cloud Bookshop, which moved from its original location in Casa Vallejo Building to a quieter location across Brent School and near the Pink Sisters Convent in March 2019.
Hot Cat Cafe specialties include Spanish Latte, Cinnamon Latte, Strawberry Mocha, or Matcha Espresso for just P100 to P190 a cup. Pair your drinks with a selection of pastries and snacks like Lemon Fudge, Burnt Basque Cheesecakes, Smoked Ham and Cheese Croissant, and Moussaka.
Hot Cat Cafe. 1 Yangco Road, Corner Brent Rd, Baguio City
Aside from the new restaurants, there are many classic spots in Baguio worth revisiting.
Ili-Likha Artist’s Village
Ili-Likha Artist’s Village or Watering Hole is the brainchild of National Artist Kidlat Tahimik. This hidden treehouse food hub offers a lovely escape to relax after walking through the busy city center.
This hidden gem, which opened in 2014, hosts a thriving community where you can find inspiring art, good food, and quaint cafes and shops along Assumption Road. The whole structure makes use of recycled materials in its design and evolves over the years with new additions and tenants.
There are currently nine food stalls (including a vegan cafe and rustic coffee shops), four specialty shops, and an indie cinema here. Be sure to walk through all the floors around the treehouse and explore the different nooks and shops.
Ili-likha Artists Village is located at 32 Assumption Road, Baguio City (right across Saint Louis School).
Oh My gulay
Oh My Gulay, also founded by Kidlat Tahimik, is a pioneering vegetarian restaurant in Baguio City. Founded in 2004, this creative restaurant and art space hidden on the rooftop of an old building along the busy Session Road celebrates the vibrant Cordilleran culture.
The Bohemian plant-filled space offers a welcome surprise and instantly transports diners to a rustic countryside. The restaurant and art space is a haven for emerging talents in Baguio City to showcase their works like woodcarving, paintings and mixed media.
Oh My Gulay offers vegetarian dishes, meals, and desserts. Try their fruity crepes stuffed with caramelized apples, peaches, mangoes or bananas, topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce paired with a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or mountain tea with a view of the skyline.
Oh My Gulay. Session Road Fifth Floor La Azotea Building, Baguio City
Choco-late de batirol
In case you want a hearty breakfast or merienda, Choco-late de Batirol, which was first established in 1996, is a popular spot for families. This al fresco garden restaurant inside Camp John Hay specializes in hot chocolate made from local cacao beans and traditional Filipino food. The restaurant also sells locally-made souvenir items and serves lunch and dinner options.
Choco-late de Batirol. Igorot Park, Camp John Hay, Baguio City
Café by the Ruins
Cafe by the Ruins, which is still going strong at 35 years old, is always worthy of a revisit. Built by Baguio artists in 1988, this culinary icon built around ruins, serves authentic local dishes that showcase the region’s culture.
Specialties include the Baguio Bagnet with Padas Bagoong, Carabao Cheese Salad, Fillet Mignon, Strawberry Smoothie and home-brewed Tapuey (highland rice wine). The cafe also sells freshly baked bread like kamote bread, basil bread, sourdough loaves and baguettes, ensaymada and frozen goods like Baguio bagnet, longanisa and tapa, ideal for take-out.
Cafe by the Ruins. 25 Chuntug Street, Baguio City
* * *
For more travel tips, visit the author’s blog at www.traveling-up.com