Under-the-radar restaurants in Baguio to warm up your appetite
Cold weather is best paired with good food, don't you agree? It's no secret that you can get the best of both in Baguio.
And no matter how many times you've climbed up the city, dined in Canto, or chilled-out in Cafe by the Ruins, it seems that there are still a lot of restaurants to discover there.
There actually are, especially ones that offer unique dishes and a cozy ambiance away from the public eye.
PhilSTAR L!fe has then teamed up with Best of the Best Manila Facebook community to give you a rundown of Baguio's best-kept food spots if you want to level up your experience of the cold city from here on out.
Oh My Gulay
Facebook/Oh My Gulay Artist Cafe Baguio/Czarkhan Pe
A real hidden gem in the City of Pines, Oh My Gulay Art Deco Resto is among the favorites of BOTB members for its forest-inspired interiors that sums up the fresh and rustic vibe of Baguio.
The sprawling art-slash-dining village is filled with wooden artworks and sculptures that altogether showcase the city's signature art form. Guests can opt to eat on its dining sets made out of wood and recycled crafts or cozy up in an area with floor mats and an overlooking view of the city. You can also enjoy the same breathtaking view plus the city's cool breeze on the restaurant's balcony.
Facebook/Oh My Gulay Artist Cafe Baguio/Czarkhan Pe
In addition to its homey ambiance, Oh My Gulay is loved by both artsy and vegan foodies for its vegetarian dishes whipped up creatively using Baguio's fresh vegetables. Its specialties include its vegetarian salad called "Cesar Asar" (P180), breaded eggplant tagged as "Tandang Sora Parmigiana" (P200), shiitake mushroom pasta or "Heneral Luna's Punyetang Shitake" (P195), and tomato pesto pasta or "Brotsa ni Antonio Luna" (P195).
The serving is big too, which is ideal for when you want to reward yourself after climbing a flight of stairs to get to the restaurant.
Oh My Gulay is located on the fifth floor of the La Azotea building in Session Road. There are no elevators in the establishment but don't worry, BOTB members can attest that the hike is all worth it.
Foggy Mountain Cookhouse
San Carlos Heights
Facebook/Foggy Mountain Cookhouse/Marianito Reyes
Enjoy sumptuous food and breathtaking view sans the usual crowd of Baguio in the Foggy Mountain Cookhouse.
Located at 172 St Joseph Street in San Carlos Heights, the restaurant offers a spacious alfresco dining area that allows you and your family to enjoy a semi-private foggy view of the landscape. It's a place that would automatically make you feel at home, as it is, in fact, the house of its owner Marianito "Chef Babes" Reyes.
Facebook/Foggy Mountain Cookhouse
Completing this at-home experience are Chef Babes' hearty Mediterranean dishes that are designed to satisfy your palate. Among his best-sellers are its grilled boneless lamb leg (P900), whole oven-roasted chicken infused with Italian herbs (P1,000), Porchetta seasoned with herbs in red wine reduction sauce (P600-P700), and chicken pot pie seasoned with parmesan cheese, layered with mozzarella, and topped with herbs (P650).
To ensure the quality of their food, the Foggy Mountain Cookhouse requires guests to book a reservation on its Facebook page one day prior to their visit. Some customers also find the restaurant's driveway too steep, so it would be best to park your car outside its gate or take a cab to the place instead.
If you think cold weather is best enjoyed over coffee, wait until you have checked out Chaya. This food spot is a top-of-mind for some BOTB members for its "great Japanese food."
Tourists looking for authentic Japanese cuisine can delight in Chaya's fresh and savory options, especially its Agedashi Tofu (P280), Salmon Seafood Salad (P300-P420), Maki Sushi Variety (P790), Ebi Tempura (P450), Beef Yakiniku (P380), and Katsu Curry (P400). If you're lucky, the restaurant staff will also treat you to a free matcha ice cream for dessert.
Adding a local twist to this traditional Japanese experience is the restaurant's structure, which is a log cabin revamped into a restaurant with a wooden beam ceiling and fireplace.
Located at 72 Legarda Road, Chaya is one of Baguio's best-kept restaurants that is often fully booked. It is open to walk-in guests, but to make sure that you get to taste its highly-rated dishes minus the hassle, book a reservation at least one day before via landline at (074) 424-4726 or Facebook.
Tam-awan, Longlong Road
You may have been to the country's summer capital one too many times, but have you actually checked out its local cuisine? Well, if you're answer is no, it's time to let Farmer's Daughter introduce you to the wonders of Cordilleran dishes.
This quaint eatery is best known for its authentic highlander food that can serve up to four persons and are reasonably priced. Its menu includes customer favorites such as Pinikpikan or Igorot chicken paired with Sagada's Etag or salted meat (P160), Kinuday jen Baboy or stir-fried smoked pork (P170), and Dinikdikan (P170) —an appetizer made out of pig ears, snout, brain, and liver that originated in Ilocos.
It's the ideal place to savor the city's ethnic culture not just with its food, but the restaurant's exterior which is inspired by the nipa huts in Cordillera, and the interior which is filled with wooden furniture.
Situated just beside the famous Tam-Awan Village on Long Long Benguet Road, Farmer's Daughter is the perfect spot to cap off your tour of Baguio's art and culture scene.
Hatch Coffee is the place to go if you want to spend a few hours of serenity from Baguio's vibrant city life. Nestled in the Easter Road of Manzanillo Subdivision, the cafe offers a relaxing atmosphere with its rustic interiors and dainty garden.
In addition to its homey vibe, customers are raving about its Dirty Horchata (P150), Grilled Cheese sandwich (P210), and Hatch Burger (P260).
Hatch Coffee is perfect for a cozy brunch with a friend (it opens at 10 a.m.) or a chill-out afternoon with the family before it closes at 5 p.m. Just don't forget to book a reservation on its Facebook page as the cafe is often fully booked.