Food Crawl: Baguio City (2018 Edition)

Where to eat in the City of Pines.

PHOTO BY Foggy Mountain Smokehouse Facebook page

( Despite the drive—fortunately, made faster by the new Tarlac - Pangasinan - La Union Expressway (or TPLEX)—Baguio City continues to be a popular weekend destination. Aside from old-time favorites like Café by The Ruins and Good Taste, the now-cosmopolitan and bustling city has become home to lots of new restaurants—and there’s a good variety of them, too. If you’re planning a weekend drive, we present you with food stops you should add to your itinerary.

Here are 10 places to visit for the best Baguio food trip:

Arca’s Yard

777 Tiptop, Ambuklao Road, Baguio City
Contact: (074) 442-9706
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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Even in Baguio City, you can still crave a more secluded hideaway, and Arca’s Yard fits the bill. A short 15-minute drive from the city proper, Arca’s Yard is the home-turned-café of owner Ninja Sabado. In an interview with Real Living, Sabado shares that Arca is named after her father but also stands for “Activities and Renaissance for Culture and the Arts,” an apt name for the museum-and-gallery-slash-café, which is full of art by Baguio-based artists and photographers as well as handicrafts collected by Sabado’s husband. Have your coffee or their Cacao Hot Choco (P75) and a slice of pie by their balcony, which overlooks the city. Or you can hide away at their second-floor mini library. A warm drink, books, and a cozy nook? You won’t be able to leave for hours.


Secret Garden

34 Paterno Street, South Drive, Baguio City
Contact: (074) 442-0405
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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As their name suggests, Secret Garden is a hidden garden-themed restaurant along South Drive—though their homey dishes and incredible view have made them quite buzzy in recent years. The quaint restaurant has floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a glass roof to let you take in the gorgeous flower-filled garden, but if you can, it’s still best to dine at their al-fresco area to enjoy the scenery and the crisp and cool Baguio air. The menu is full of familiar favorites: Must-tries are the Quatro Formaggi pizza (P360/eight inches, P580/12-inches), with a gooey blend of gorgonzola, brie, parmesan, and cream cheese on a crisp, thin crust and the Secret Garden’s Beef Tapa (P155), saucier and much more savory than your usual tapa.

Lemon and Olives

26 Outlook Drive South, Baguio City
Contact: (074) 442-4079
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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This charming taverna opened in June 2017, but they’ve since become a must-stop in everyone’s Baguio trip. For one, their house-turned-restaurant is incredibly charming. Retaining their rustic, homey vibe, the space is adorned with fairy lights, various photos, and other knick-knacks. Chef Takis Polychronis serves up Greek classics like the Souvlaki Plate, a large platter of your choice from Chicken (P240), Beef (P280), Pork (P260), Lamb (P320), or Mixed Meat (P260), good for sharing. An order gets you grilled meat served on a Greek-inspired, fresh tomato sauce plus pita bread, and fries with garlic, chili, and tangy tzatziki on the side. Regulars also recommend ordering the L&O Salad (P190/solo, P300/to share), popping with color, texture, and flavor with romaine lettuce, cucumbers, sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, cranberries, and Parmesan that’s drizzled with a refreshing honey-lemon dressing.

Farmer’s Daughter

Tam-awan Village, Long Long Benguet Road, Baguio City
Contact: (074) 428-1253
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.


For those in the mood for traditional Cordilleran fare, head to Farmer’s Daughter. The rustic, cogon hut immediately sets the mood for the meal that’s about to come: Down-to-earth, hearty Ibaloi cooking. Owned by Pil-odski Acop Ano, the restaurant named in honor of his grandmother and mother (all daughters of farmers) offers traditional dishes like Kinuday or smoked meat—the Kinuday jen Baboy (P115) or smoked pork and Kinday jen Baha (P150) or smoked meat that boasts a robust, smoky flavor, and extremely tender meat. Make it a hearty meal with an order of rice and Pinikpikan (P120)—this traditional Igorot soup is made with extra-salted chicken meat to make this even tastier.

50’s Diner

92 General Luna Road, Baguio City
Contact: (074) 304-3100
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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We may not have lived in the era, but the 1950s-diner aesthetic will never cease to be charming. 50’s Diner will take you back in time with their old-school diner complete with neon signages, photos of icons like Audrey Hepburn and Elvis Presley, a jukebox, and a red vintage car parked outside. They offer a packed menu that offers plenty of bang for your buck like Steak Dinners that all cost below P500, hefty meals like Guys In the Hood (P160) which has spaghetti, pizza, fried chicken, homemade bread, and rice, burgers and sandwiches, and set meals for large groups.

Camping Date Korean Restaurant

363 Legarda Road, Baguio City
Contact: 0927-487-8282
Open daily from 12 p.m. to 1 a.m.


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Pizza and Korean cuisine aren’t two things that you’d think would go together but they are the specialties of Camping Date Korean Restaurant, owned by Hoya and Melba Mun. Aside from offering pizza and Korean fried chicken, Camping Date gets its name from the tents inside their restaurant, which you can dine in for an “indoor camping” experience. But if that isn’t your thing, their pizza, like the Combination Pizza (P450/medium, P680/large, P950/family) with sweet potato paste and bulgogi, and the Snowbing Cheese Chicken (P350/half, P600/whole), a classic Korean combination of fried chicken and cheese, are worth the visit.


72 Legarda Road, Barangay Campo Sioco, Baguio City
Contact: (074) 424-4726
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Chaya is proof that for restaurants, it’s what on the inside that counts—the rustic, cottage-type exterior of this restaurant belies their menu of excellent Japanese food. Owner Sonoko Taguchi has experience working in the restos of her grandmother and mother, so you can expect to get dishes that are as close as you can get them in Japan. The Agedashi Tofu (P180), silken tofu squares served with dashi sauce and topped with onion leeks, sesame seeds, and bonito flakes is a light starter to prepare your palate for the feast that’s to come. The Temaki Sushi (P680) is also highly recommended: This combines some DIY fun with sushi—an order will get you fresh and tender tuna and salmon plus crisp vegetables and tamago.


Mama’s Table

888-A Ambuklao Road, La Trinidad
Contact: (074) 442-1794
By reservation only

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Mama’s Table is the type of restaurant that you reserve for life’s most special occasions. For one, dining at Chef Vicky Tinio Clemente’s gorgeous home requires an advanced reservation—plus you must also be a party of at least six people. She also only accepts one group at a time, so you will also have to time your visit carefully. But, all the extra hassle is worth it once you sit down and taste Chef Vicky’s eight-course, French-inspired degustacion. The menu varies depending on your visit, but you will be treated to a French dinner that includes amuse bouche, intermezzos, a seafood, a meat course plus a digestive (usually a salad served at the end of the meal), and a dessert. The whole degustacion usually takes around three hours, but trust that every minute will be an unforgettable experience.

Foggy Mountain Cookhouse

San Carlos Heights, Baguio City
Contact: 0916-767-4687
Open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Monday to Saturday)


Another private-dining destination in Baguio is Foggy Mountain Cookhouse by owner and self-taught cook Babes Reyes, who opened his house to diners after retiring from his exporting business. Today, he busies himself with welcoming guests into his beautiful ancestral home, nestled high above the rest of the city so you can take in the magnificent view, and cooking up Mediterranean-inspired dishes. All dishes are made from scratch so you’ll have to pre-order at least a day in advance, but this only assures you that you get only the freshest food. Must-orders are the Greek Peasant Lamb (P500), with tender, fall-off-the-bone lamb simmered in wine and rosemary and served with polenta and mashed potatoes, and the Oven Roasted Chicken (P1,000) seasoned with Italian herbs and roasted in a brick oven with vegetables. Note that reservations must be done at least a day in advance.

Balajadia Kitchenette

Slaughter House Compound, Balajadia Street, Barangay Sto. Niño, Baguio City
Contact: (074) 661-1664
Open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Baguio regulars know that for affordable yet yummy, no-frills food, Slaughterhouse or Sto. Niño Compound is a must-visit. Despite the rather bloody name, the compound isn’t actually a slaughterhouse but is home to several eateries, arguably the most famous of which is Balajadia Kitchenette. They’re especially popular for their Bulalo (P120), with crisp vegetables, fork-tender beef, and a savory broth that makes this perfect for the chilly weather. You might end up consuming more than one cup of rice though.

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