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Where to eat: Antipolo cafés that let you do more than just enjoy delicious food

By Brooke Villanueva Published May 17, 2022 9:52 pm Updated Nov 07, 2022 1:37 pm

Figuring out where to eat in a city as huge as Antipolo is no easy feat—there are just so many options. 

Some want a lovely, quiet place where they can think about life. Some are looking for a spot where they can do other things beyond eating. There are others, however, who just can’t pick between the two. 

Are you looking for a mix of both? 

Instead of giving you blanket recommendations, we decided to explore what’s been known as the “City in the Sky” with the Ford Territory 2021—our road trip buddy that got us through traffic jams and high roads from café to café without any problem.

Here are three solid picks that understand the importance not only of good food, but also stunning views and fun activities in the capital of Rizal province. 

Crescent Moon Café

Crescent Moon Café is a work of art.

It started out as a ceramic studio established by Lanelle Abueva in their home in 1981, where her husband Bey Fernando would turn to cooking for his wife’s friends as a way to de-stress from law firm work. It didn’t take long for the guests’ Antipolo trips to equally be about both: Lanelle’s art and Bey’s cooking. Years later, Crescent Moon opened to the public as a combination of the two. 

A spacious yard and structures exuding vibrance and artistry serve as a lovely welcome to anyone who enters the vicinity. Upon entering its grounds, you would feel the warmth of family—the kind that makes you think it was a home turned into a restaurant without knowing anything about its backstory.

There’s also a spacious pond made from a bomb crater back in the Second World War, which used to house some tilapia—now, koi fish are its stars. You may feed them for P100 a food cup. 

Anyone who loves alagao and suman has probably paid a visit as the food spot has long been famous for them. The alagao salad (P400/good for 2-3 pax) is served with basil, coconut, chili, ginger, onion, green mango/kamias, shrimp, and peanut sauce, which you can wrap in alagao leaves. Meant to be eaten like lumpiang shanghai, this adaptation of Thai street food miang kham tastes fresh and incredibly light, with a spicy kick that makes it all the more exciting. 

Suman at tsokolate (P150), another signature dish, has two pieces of white suman generously topped with tablea sauce. Enjoy it with some brewed coffee and you’d be kept full and energized until lunch.

Complementing the al fresco dining areas is a good view of garden waterfalls in some corners of the place.

There’s also a space dedicated to art, featuring some stunning ceramic works available for purchase. The Southeast Asian restaurant also holds creative workshops on a regular basis.

If you love eating feel-good food and keeping your creative juices flowing, the Crescent Moon Café is the place to be.

Open from Wednesday to Sunday - 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Sapang Buho Road, Barangay Dalig, 1870

Burrow Café

From the outside, you might hesitate to go in if you see this hollow space as the entrance of a café. But dare I say that instantly, you’ll regret it once you find out what actually awaits.

Take a few steps down and you’ll be impressed with its good view and cozy atmosphere. An innovative food and drink lineup tops its many features that continue to draw an hours-long wait for walk-ins, and weeks-long—sometimes, even months—for reservations.

The inviting café is situated in Antipolo Beehouse that its owner Vitty Gutierrez built in 2014 out of reclaimed wood from old houses, which he collected for many years while he and his wife Marie were still living in Australia. Also in harmony with nature, it’s available for booking for events and photoshoots.

“The land the Burrow sits on was originally intended for a swimming pool. I decided instead to turn this into a small events space instead, since we had quite a lot of requests from Beehouse clients for a space to hold intimate private events,” Gutierrez told PhilSTAR L!fe

“I thought that while there were no events yet, perhaps we could serve simple food and coffee like a café, but then it quickly turned into a full-blown restaurant,” he shared.

While I’m not a big fan of pesto, I decided to try one of its newest offerings: Salmon, Ratatouille (P595). Made with pesto cream, its curated mix of colors and ingredients easily became a big come-on for me. “We always play with flavors, textures, and freshness of produce when we make our menu,” executive chef Dan Puga III said, adding that salmon, meanwhile, has been a menu staple for its versatility. 

“We chose to pair it with Ratatouille to highlight the flavors of vegetables, keeping it simple yet, it satisfies the palate,” he explained, “and you can never go wrong with basil pesto cream.”

One of the restaurant’s bonafide bestsellers is the Rigatoni, Italian Sausage, and Spinach. For the chef, the dish’s components are what make it particularly special. “Aside from the pasta, everything is made fresh—our tomato sauce, Italian sausage, and sourdough toast are freshly made and baked by our team.” 

Burrow Café is a place where you can hear yourself think or enjoy lively conversations with good company—both with scrumptious food on the side. It could also serve as the perfect backdrop, or subject, for the ‘gram.

Open from Wednesday to Sunday - 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
113 Beverly Hills Avenue, Beverly Hills Subdivision, 1920
0917 622 9795 

Café Rizal

Are you one to enjoy art pieces and delight in good food with friends after? Pinto Café is perfect for you.

There’s a fee of P250 for adults (18 years old and above), P200 for PWDs and senior citizens, and P125 for students (with proof of enrollment), but it already covers your entrance to the museum and café.

After spending hours admiring contemporary and local art in its many galleries, the restaurant inside could be worth a stop. Although it’s usually crowded, it has enough space for ventilation. 

Aside from heavy meals, the place also makes a great happy hour spot. It was late in the afternoon and we decided to share some margherita pizza (P400). Focaccia dough was used to make this offering, with some arrabiata, mozzarella, buffalo fresh mozzarella, and basil oil on top.

I particularly liked its crisp, which tasted better with the perfect match that we found: some margarita (P120) on the rocks. Nothing beats a classic drink when you’re in the mood for some booze without knowing what exactly you’re looking for.  

Open from Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
1 Sierra Madre Street, Grand Heights Road, 1870 

Antipolo used to be known mainly for Filipino delicacies, but it’s been rightfully and deservingly emerging as a hot spot for irresistible food and beverages. Our road trip was worth every second, including all the patience we had to muster to endure traffic jams on our way back to the metro.